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Also referred to as certs, diamond certificates are often called the fifth C, in addition to the well-known 4 Cs of diamond stones, which are: carat weight, color, cut, and clarity.

A diamond certification is an assessment carried out by a third-party, and not by the diamond seller or buyer. This certification is needed to prevent an unscrupulous jeweler from taking advantage of an uninformed customer.

A lack of certificate may indicate that the diamond has been “enhanced” with heat, lasers pressure or other methods to improve clarity and/or color and the jeweler fears that an inspection would expose the diamond’s true condition, as well as indicate how the compromised diamond might erode.

The importance of understanding your diamond certificate cannot be stressed enough. If you are a customer who requires assurance that you are getting exactly what is described in a piece of diamond jewelry, then you should only  purchase diamonds with certificates issued by independent gemological labs.

If you are unaware of the certificate’s components, you will be overwhelmed by all the details present in the document. Keep in mind that every diamond is unique, with an array of features that act as its “fingerprint”. These features govern the diamond’s worth and are noted on a diamond certificate.

The diamond certificate contains information about the color, cut, carat and clarity of the diamond. However, the certificate doesn’t stop there. It also uncovers numerous other important pricing factors of the diamond, including its finish, proportions, polish, color grades, advanced cut, and fluorescence.

There is another key element that shoppers should know about the diamond certificate – the person or company that generated it. You want to make sure that a renowned and widely acceptable company has issued the certificate rather than one that arouses suspicion. You want to make sure that the GIA, EG, or AGS Laboratories issue your diamond certificate since these three labs are respected worldwide.

It can overwhelm when purchasing diamonds from online jewelers but the reputable ones will always ship their diamonds with a certificate, such as James Allen, Whiteflash and Bluenile.

Some even allow you to view the certificate online before the purchase, take this one from Whiteflash for example: 1.80ct D VS1 Cushion Cut Loose Diamond

Lastly, you should look for a diamond certificate that shows whether or not the diamond is conflict-free. A lot of countries in Africa are plagued by violence and war due to control over the diamond mining industry. Having a diamond certificate that is conflict-free ensures you are not unintentionally giving money to the people who mine for diamonds under awful conditions.

Reference diagrams are also a major part of a diamond certificate. They are basically a graphical representation of the diamond’s “birthmarks”. When skimming through the signs and classifying the kinds of imperfections, you should pay extra attention to what you actually see. Inclusions are marked in red, whereas blemishes are marked in green.

Next, you look for the critical proportions of the diamond as shown in a profile view. This diagram is helpful for those who want to assess the diamond on the basis of numbers like depth percentage, table percentage, crown angles, girdle thickness, and pavilion angles.

In the last part of the certificate, you should keep an eye open for security features as they can help verify the authenticity of the document.