As you’ve shopped for a diamond ring, you may have seen some advertisements for diamonds that are “certified”. It’s important to understand what this means, and to make an informed decision about whether you want to purchase a diamond ring with a certified diamond.
Having a certificate on your diamond verifies the carat weight, cut, clarity and color. Your diamond certificate will list these attributes about your diamond. The certificate will also contain a unique number, which is also engraved on the girdle of the diamond. The certificate ensures that the diamond really has all the attributes that have been described to you.
Diamonds are certified before being set, to allow the certifier to get the best look at the stone. However, you may purchase a certified diamond that has already been set into a diamond ring, or you may purchase from a jeweler that allows you to choose your diamond and setting separately.
Several certifying agencies are used in the United States. The two most respected are:
- Gemological Institute of America (GIA) – The GIA is actually the body that created the “four C’s” of diamond buying.
- American Gem Society Laboratories (AGSL)
If your diamond is certified by either of the agencies, you can feel confident in the certification. There is also a certifying agency in Europe, called the European Gemological Laboratory (EGL). This is a “for profit” company and is known for having a less stringent grading scale than the other agencies. Most reputable American jewelers avoid EGL graded diamonds.
If you buy a diamond certified from one of the two certifying agencies above, you can rest assured that the diamond has been through a very rigorous examination. The diamond is measured and weighed, as well as being closely examined using equipment that allows the examiner to see deeply into the diamond to evaluate color and clarity. One thing the examiner does not do is assign your diamond a value. The current market in part, determines diamond values, so these can fluctuate. For the value of your diamond, you need an appraisal.
By choosing a certified diamond, you ensure that your diamond investment is sound. A certified diamond is guaranteed to be the weight, color, clarity and cut stated, and is marked for identification. These attributes can give you peace of mind that you’ve made a good purchase in your diamond ring.