Why Certified Diamonds

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Certified diamonds are those gemstones that have been graded by a reputable gem lab on the basis of their 4 C attributes, which are Cut, Carat, Color, and Clarity.

These diamonds have undergone quality analysis by a trusted gemological lab, such as GIA or AGS and have been issued a lab report, which is commonly referred to as a “certificate” or “report”.

The most popular gem labs serve as an independent authority on the quality and identity of diamonds and are not directly involved in the transaction.

Non-certified diamonds are pretty commonly available in the market and are simply those diamonds that have not gone through any kind of official lab grading.

Buying Certified Diamonds Vs. Non-Certified Diamonds

Not all diamonds need to be graded by a gem lab. Lab reports on inexpensive or small diamonds offer insignificant benefits to the buyer while adding considerably to the cost (usually under 0.3 carats).

For diamonds of this size however make sure you are buying from a reputable dealer, that does certify all their larger diamonds. The best online retailers that I would recommend are Whiteflash (for round and princess cut diamonds), James Allen (for fancy shapes) and Leibish and Co (for colored diamonds. 

Diamond Certificate vs Diamond Appraisal

Keep in mind that a diamond appraisal and a diamond certificate are the not the same thing since there are some retailers who will attempt to pass off a diamond appraisal as a diamond certificate.

A diamond appraisal is usually prepared by the diamond seller to denote the approximated worth for the purpose of insurance, whereas a diamond certificate is a third-party, unbiased assessment of the gemstone’s quality arranged by a certified gem lab.

Additional Considerations Regarding Diamond Certification

Since practically any diamond can be sent to a laboratory for a grading report, the sheer fact that it is a certified diamond does not automatically mean that it is anything specifically special. The grading data contained in the report will act as proof of whether or not the diamond is commercial grade, gem grade, or a grade below.

Conversely, just because a diamond is not certified does not necessarily imply that it is somehow undesirable or of poor quality. Some diamond jewelers and dealers typically like to forgo the expenditure of a lab report to be able to sell the gem at an affordable rate however I would avoid them at all costs unless you are an expert. 

This is particularly true with more commonplace commercial quality diamonds in medium to small sizes. High-quality diamonds in bigger sizes are often sent to the gem lab before they are even placed on the market.

Regardless of the diamond, you may be considering, it is suggested that you only deal with a reputable diamond expert and on top of that only invest in certified diamonds.

Do make sure you read my posts on GIA and AGS certification and the importance of how to read a diamond certificate.