What is GIA certified?
What is GIA certified?
Are you looking for the perfect diamond for the perfect engagement ring? Or maybe you’re looking for the perfect pair of diamond stud earrings. However, you may have noticed that there are many different options available. Perhaps you’ve seen certified and non-certified diamonds – you can only buy one, so which one do you choose? It can be tough to choose when you’ve had no experience buying diamonds before – let’s face it, most of us haven’t!
To make this big decision, you’ll want to educate yourself on how these two types of diamond contrast. Luckily, this blog is here to inform you of the facts and give you some quality advice concerning your diamond purchase. Read on for more information!
The GIA, short for the Gemological Institute of America, is an organization that commits itself to research studies concerning jewelry and gemology. Founded in 1931, the GIA operates to help diamond purchasers know what they are buying. It sets standards for stone quality with its diamond grading system. As a non-profit institute, customers can be sure the organization will not grade a diamond inaccurately on its price. Customers can easily expect this behavior from less established grading labs or typical jewelers, but the GIA always prioritizes the customer’s best interests. There are other organizations, such as IGI, EGL, and AGS, but we always recommend a GIA-graded diamond.
GIA Diamond Certification
Despite using the term ‘certification’, the non-profit doesn’t certify stones; it grades them instead. Stones with this diamond certification have been put through the GIA’s strict grading procedure, which essentially produces a critical document that assesses and reports on a particular diamond stone’s characteristics.
Every single GIA-certified diamond stone is accompanied by one of these certification reports. This is both written and approved by the non-profit organization itself. The GIA attaches an original code to each specific diamond inscribed onto the stone for added legitimacy. Fortunately, the code can only be seen under magnification, so it doesn’t ruin the diamond’s overall aesthetic. Both lab-grown and natural diamonds can be GIA certified. The GIA diamond grading report covers the 4Cs, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.
The GIA takes pride in its strict standards concerning the certification procedure. These standards ensure that any bias is removed from the grading process. Indeed, each diamond is placed in a case in the lab, stripped of all identification. This includes information to do with the owner. Instead, bar-coded labels are utilized so all items are identifiable and are assessed objectively.
As mentioned earlier, the characteristics which the GIA analyses are commonly referred to as the ‘4Cs’. This includes cut, clarity, carat, and color. Each of these qualities is discussed in the report and details the stone’s width, depth, table size, fluorescence, symmetry, polish, inscriptions, and blemishes. A couple of gemologist experts operate on each stone, determining the high accuracy of every assessment.
How to get a GIA certification
The truth is that any individual can get a diamond graded – even if they are not a jewelry expert! This means that you can give one of the GIA’s laboratories your precious gem and get it certified. Despite this, it might be worth submitting your diamond through a local jeweler considering the complications that may come with the shipping, packaging, and insuring procedures. Do a little research and remember to ask any questions you have – quite a few diamonds you may be looking to purchase already have a GIA stamp of approval. You can ask your jeweler to see the grading report before spending a single penny – and you’ll receive the report after your purchase.
Why Is GIA Certification Important?
There are many reasons why GIA certification is integral in your diamond shopping process. For example, you will want to avoid buying a fake replica. Since individuals can now generate diamond stones in labs, it is often challenging to tell these fakes apart from the real precious gems. Fortunately, GIA certification will clarify the fact from the fiction for you.
Some traders like to deceive their customers, luring them into splashing out more cash for a diamond than what it is actually worth. With GIA certification, you can compare apples to apples. The GIA doesn’t establish market prices for gemstones. However, the reports provide detailed insights into diamond characteristics that reflect each stone’s true value.
Finally, the GIA inscribes a unique report number into each diamond, ensuring that the diamond you purchase is the same one that turns up in the diamond engagement ring you buy, matching its GIA certificate. The GIA number is typically in an accessible place, ensuring that customers can double-check the code number. When you pick up the ring, it is always worth asking your jeweler to confirm the unique code under a microscope. This should help reassure you that you have received what you have paid for.
Now that you know more about the GIA, perhaps it’s worth going over what qualities you can expect from a diamond.
Regarding the color grade, it’s crucial to note here that color differences can impact a diamond’s value, even if the variance in color is slight. The normal color range includes colorless, light yellow, and brown variations. Diamonds can give off fluorescence when exposed to UV radiation. While blue colors are the most common in this case, variances of white, orange, yellow, and other colors can occur in rarer diamonds. Higher-quality diamonds do not have fluorescence. Fluorescence can cause the diamond to look cloudy in certain light. This is often a part of the certificate consumers ignore but pay attention!
Regarding the cut diamond, the arrangement, contrast, and size of contrasting light and dark areas can determine a diamond’s aesthetics. Although typically thought of as the shape of the diamond, the cut is different. Gemstones with the right proportions can make more use of light, revealing themselves as colorful and dazzling and are given a better cut grade.
Carat weight refers to the actual weight of the diamond. 1 carat is equal to 0.000440925 pounds. t
Clarity grade refers to the absence of blemishes like scratches (they may negatively affect a diamond’s value), while carat concerns the diamond’s weight. Diamonds with inclusions will have a lower clarity grade.
It is important to upgrade the color for certain diamond shapes, such as round brilliants. You are able to go down in the clarity grade because it’s harder to see. However, since an emerald is a step cut, you should prioritize clarity over color.
You may assume that non-GIA-certified diamonds are lower-quality than certified options, but the fact is that these stones just simply haven’t been assessed in a lab. Some may hold similar quality to certified diamonds – but this quality remains undetermined.
The advantages of purchasing a GIA-certified diamond over a non-certified diamond for your partner’s engagement ring
The truth is that GIA certification will give you the most peace of mind about your specific gemstone’s quality. The rigorously detailed report you will receive on your diamond’s characteristics will share everything you may need to know about the product you are splashing the cash on, including the clarity, cut, and color of the stone. Knowledge certainly equals power in this instance because you can analyze diamond prices and ensure you don’t overpay for what you get.
Furthermore, if there is ever a scenario where you end up selling your diamond ring, a GIA certificate would be helpful in proving the quality of your specific diamond, thus making it easier to sell.
GIA-Certified & Non-GIA-Certified Pricing Comparison
Whilst you may initially think GIA-certified diamonds will cost you more money since they go through a grading process, this is not necessarily the case. GIA-certified stones can cost more on the surface. But, in truth, you have a much stronger chance of getting the best value for money when you opt for a GIA-certified stone over a non-certified one because the quality is assured.
Any non-GIA-certified diamond may not be as high-quality as it claims to be, so you should be aware of this. Indeed, the stone may be graded higher than it actually is so that it can be sold at a higher price. Further still, many vendors are actually lowering diamond stone quality to keep costs low in the competitive market.
With this in mind, you’ll probably always get the most of your money when you opt for a GIA-tested stone. As a non-profit organization, the GIA is unbiased since they do not gain any advantage from grading diamonds higher than they should be. And, of course, it is important to go to a reputable and trusted jeweler.
What have we learned?
So, there you have it. Hopefully, you now know a little more about GIA certification and why it is so vital when buying precious gemstones. This non-profit organization takes pride in delivering rigorously detailed reports for each diamond it tackles. It is motivated by the drive to protect customers and help them buy into the quality they have paid for.
The most significant recommendation we can highlight here is that you should usually buy a GIA-certified diamond over a non-GIA-certified one. This should be the case unless you are an expert in your field and are very confident about assessing the diamond quality on your own or have a very trusted jeweler with gemologist capabilities. By opting for certified stones, you can have the peace of mind that you’ve paid for exactly what you’ve got – no more and no less!
So, if you’re planning on popping the question or buying a diamond stone for any other reason, remember to consider the facts before you purchase the first stone you come across.