Diamond certification refers to the process of examining a jewel and recording its quality. Unlike appraisal, certification does not estimate the value of a diamond, but simply gauges the jewel’s traits. Ideal certification comes from independent third party laboratories, which are unlikely to favor either vendors or buyers. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is one such laboratory.
GIA reports come in many forms. Along with diamonds, there are certificates for other jewels. The ones related to diamonds can be detailed, abbreviated, digital only, or concentrate on certain types of diamonds, such as Fancy colored. Diamond grading reports come with physical documentation as well as both text and images describing the traits of the stone.
The left side of the report is divided into three sections. The top most portion lists the date of the certification, the jewel’s unique ID number, and the depth and diameter of the stone, listed in millimeters. The middle section names the diamond’s carat, color, clarity and cut grades. Additional grading information is at the bottom left, describing the polish, symmetry, presence of fluorescence and inscriptions, as well as possible comments.
On the top center of the certificate is a large print version of the diamond’s ID number. Beneath this are two diagrams. One features the jewel’s profile, and lists the measurements that make up the jewel’s table percentage, crown angle and other proportions of the stone. The second diagram shows both the top and profile of the diamond, along with symbols which mark the location and types of clarity characteristics, if any.
The right side of the report features the grading scales for color, clarity and cut. This provides a point of reference for those who may not be familiar with GIA’s grading systems. The scales allow readers to see where in the ranges their diamond’s grades are.
Diamond reports are available for any D-Z diamond 0.15 carats or greater. Stones that are between 0.15 and 1.99 carats are eligible for an abbreviated certificate known as a Diamond Dossier. The left side is similar to that of the report, but the right side is a blend of the center and right portions of the detailed certificate. Along with the three scales, there’s a diagram of the proportions, though not of the clarity characteristics.
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