BUYING DIAMOND JEWELLERY: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CERTIFICATIONS?

When buying a diamond, it’s very important that you understand certification. Buying a diamond that is certified ensures that it is a diamond that has been sourced ethically.

When you start to do your research, you will soon discover that there are many different diamond certifications out there. For anyone new to the business, this can be pretty confusing, as it is difficult to determine which ones are reputable and recognised and which mean nothing at all.

Here are things you need to know about your diamond certification, and how to avoid getting ripped off or buying an unethical diamond.

KNOW YOUR DIAMOND CERTIFICATIONS

There are five leading diamond certification companies, they are:

  • Gemological Institute Of America (GIA)
  • American Gem Society (AGS)
  • HRD Antwerp
  • International Gemological Laboratory (IGL)
  • European Gemological Laboratory Organization (EGL).

You can expect any diamond above 0.2 carats to have a grading.

LOOK FOR AN INSCRIPTION

All of the five major certification laboratories will include a laser inscription as part of their grading process. This inscription will commonly be found on the girdle of the diamond and can be viewed with a magnification loop, so you can confirm that the diamond you are buying is certified and genuine.

AVOID LESSER KNOWN CERTIFICATIONS

Even the smallest difference in a diamond certificate can mean a dramatic difference in the price, so it’s important to make sure you are buying a diamond from one of the top certifications.

If you are offered self-certification, or if the certification isn’t one that you recognise, this could mean it could be worth less than the asking price.

CERTIFICATIONS ARE EQUAL

Even across the 5 top certificates listing above, there are subtle differences in grading which can mean big changes in the valuation of a diamond.

When shopping for diamonds, it’s best to consider each one individually, as comparing certifications can lead to unfair comparisons. The Gemological Institute of America is commonly thought of as the industry standard, so this is a good place to start.

BUY FROM REPUTABLE COMPANIES.

The best way to ensure that you diamond will be genuine and certified is to buy from a reputable and well known outlet. Websites like Diamonds Of Choice will allow you to have this peace of mind from to comfort of your own home, or you can head to your local Jewellery Quarter and see the diamonds and the certifications in the flesh.

The most important thing is to research and find the best deal for you by reading reviews, viewing the diamond or images of the diamond you are purchasing, and by checking the certification.