Before you conclude a purchase of a diamond, it is very important to ensure you are purchasing a certified diamond.
Why Certified Diamonds?
Would you purchase medication from your local pharmacist that had come from an uncertified or unknown place? Purchasing an engagement ring will be the first major purchase you will make in your marriage. A diamond certificate is a document that describes all of the details of the examination, under a microscope. It will have an explanation of all of the properties of the diamond. When making this investment for your future, it’s important to know your diamond is not a fake and has been certified by a qualified gemologist. The two most respected institutions are the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society Laboratories (AGSL).
Keep in mind that the report is in no way a guarantee. On the certificate, it can say “This report is not a guarantee” and “Gemstone grading is not considered a science… results of any examination performed may differ.” The certification report only states that the properties of the diamond fall within certain parameters, based upon the examiner’s education, experience, and opinion. As mentioned in our article regarding diamond tolerance, one diamond could get a completely different certification, depending on the perspective and guidelines of each institution. This “difference of opinion” can change a significant amount in the diamond appraisal, which will affect the price as well. A diamond certification and appraisal are different. A diamond certification does not provide a dollar value of the diamond, just the qualities of the physical properties.
A certified diamond will also provide the source of where it originated. The Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is a process used to certify the origin of rough diamonds which are free from areas involved with slavery and war financing. Before buying, check with your jeweler or wholesaler to verify that the diamond has been Kimberly certified.
GIA Certified Diamonds
The Gemological Institute of America was founded in 1931, and today employs over 900 employees, which consist of scientists, diamond graders, and educators. The GIA is the largest and most well-known and respected nonprofit organizations of gemological research and education in the world. The GIA is very strict in determining color and clarity grades. If a diamond’s property is on the line of the next higher quality grade, GIA will adjust it to the lower grade (eventually saving money on the appraisal). GIA also is the creator of the 4Cs (Cut, Clarity, Carat, Color), which determine a diamond’s value.
AGS Certified Diamonds
The American Gem Society is a professional trade organization in which members may join after completing an accredited or graduate program (from the GIA or Gemological Association of Great Britain) and have been trading at least two years. The AGS report furnishes a carefully drawn plot which shows the precise position, size and shape of every inclusion and blemish. The report also entails a full analysis of proportion, clarity, and color.
When purchasing a certified diamond, it not only guarantees you are getting a real diamond (and verified by a trained and certified professional), but it also confirms your diamond is not a conflict or blood diamond, and comes from sources that are legal and highly respected. This way you can rest assured you have a clean diamond that can endure for a lifetime.