Diamond Standard – GIA & Diamond Certificates

GIA, the Gemological Institute of America, is the world’s largest education and research facility for the gem and jewellery industry.

A GIA certificate provides an official gemological laboratory assessment of an individual diamond. This is based on its analysis using the 4C’s. It is a report provided by the GIA that accurately assesses your diamond’s quality. This is not necessarily a guide to price since it is important to remember that when you buy diamond jewelry, you are not merely buying the diamond but a craftsman made item of beauty that also comprises other materials plus the design and labour of the manufacturer.

The cost of supplying a certificate is normally dependent upon the size of the diamond in question. It usually takes the GIA around two weeks to analyse your diamond and provide you with a full report.

Any diamond that is backed by a certificate from a reputable grading laboratory, like the GIA, can more easily be valued that one without. Since certificates tend to be issued for better quality gems, it is not surprising that they tend to cost more than those without.

As long as an individual jeweler can clearly demonstrate that he is a Graduate Gemologist from a reputable grading institute such as the GIA, there is no reason why he cannot provide his own certificate. In many instances jewelers with an established reputation will find that their certificates are as equally valued as those from a well known grading laboratory.

It has always been the GIA’s policy not to provide a cutting grade. This is because it can vary very considerably depending on the skill and art of the craftsman cutter. Indeed both the trade and customers in different countries have different ideas on what constitutes a perfect cut and can judge a gem diamond cut by differing criteria. Overall, it must always be remembered that the cutter’s ability lies in releasing the maximum brilliance, fire, scintillation and beauty from each individual gem. As a result, it is very difficult to institute a set of rules governing cut that will be applicable to all gems.

Internationally recognized grading laboratories who issue certificates include the GIA, HRD and CIBJO and others of reputed operation within a given market but not internationally.

The answer is, of course, yes. The value of the diamond you purchase is unaffected by its setting. However, it is important to remember that when you buy a piece of diamond jewelry you are not only buying the diamond but a work of art that is the result of the craftsmanship and designing skills of a diamond jewelry designer.

The difference between the GIA and HRD is one of nomenclature. The GIA grading system is just one of several recognized globally and has no less or no greater validity than any other. Popularity is usually dependent upon the standing of a grading laboratory in a given market which, since they are commercial enterprises, will be as a result of their promotion in that market.

In most markets of the world, there are laws protecting the consumer against deception and false description of goods. On top of this, some markets have trade associations who jealously guard the reputation of the diamond jewellery industry within their market and effectively police and control the behaviour of their members. When you choose your jeweller it is sensible, therefore, to check whether he belongs to a nationally recognized and established trade body of repute. If unsure, the consumer can always have confidence in an international recognized certificate such as GIA.

GIA certificates are issued in English and Japanese only. In case of loss, the GIA will re-issue a certificate, but there will be a charge.

Whilst international experts such as those at the DTC can identify the origin of most rough uncut diamonds, this knowledge is not considered vital to your appreciation of the diamond’s natural beauty, fire, scintillation and magic once it is polished. Indeed, there is no reason to suppose that a diamond from any one country is more beautiful when cut and polished than that from another, if it is of a similar quality.

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