What Exactly are Certified Diamonds?
Before being purchased, many diamonds are sent to a third party laboratory for a comprehensive evaluation; a process known as diamond certification. A reputable lab is one staffed by professional gemmologists who specialize in diamond grading. Each diamond certificate issued is uniquely numbered, and corresponds to one individual diamond. From that point forward, the diamond and certificate (laminated to prevent tampering or damage) will travel together from seller to buyer. Often, the certification number is laser-inscribed unobtrusively, all but inconspicuously, on the girdle (circumference) of the diamond.
Laboratory certification provides an impartial judgement of the characteristics and quality of each diamond. This certification (called a grading report by GIA) gives the purchaser added confidence that the diamond received is as described by the seller. The diamond certificate is also valuable for insurance purposes, as it provides a professional, independent evaluation of the diamond.
A laboratory certification is not an appraisal. An appraisal seeks to establish the value of an item, mainly for insurance purposes. A diamond certificate does not evaluate a diamond’s market value, only its characteristics and quality. That said, diamond certification from a reputable laboratory is invaluable in generating an accurate appraisal.
S. DeBono Jewellers’ preferred Certification Authority is the GIA (Gemmological Institute of America), the world’s oldest and largest independent lab. It is also one of the most respected. Unlike some other labs, GIA is not owned or partially owned by diamond wholesalers or retailers, and is a non-profit organization. GIA actually developed the “4 C’s” diamond grading system (used almost universally today) to provide truly objective standards in the evaluation of a diamond.