What is a Diamond Certification and Why Do You Need It?
Every industry has a way of guaranteeing quality assurance to their consumers. To make it possible, products go through a raft of rigorous tests and analyses most of which are usually intended to investigate the safety of a product for immediate consumption. Other tests are often conducted to evaluate the value of a commodity and establish whether it matches the commodity’s price tag.
Similar to other products, diamonds need to be graded and certified. This allows consumers to shop confidently, knowing that they are investing in a timeless jewel that is worth the price. Each grading process must culminate in a certificate that accompanies the product to retail outlets so that consumers can access and review it while purchasing the stone. However, you do not necessarily need to be a diamond buyer to benefit from diamond certification. The reports are also useful for other entities, such as individual jewelry owners, pawnbrokers, and insurance companies.
Simply put, diamond certification is a document that a buyer receives from an independent and objective gemological lab that analyzes and describes a diamond in detail. The certification typically highlights the elements comprising the four Cs—carat weight, color, cut, and clarity. Besides, diamond certifications from reputable labs will also review the other finer details of a stone; examples of these more intricate attributes include fluorescence, girdle thickness, symmetry, polish, etc. The Gemological Institute of America, also known as the GIA, is an authoritative organization when it comes to preparing reliable diamond grading and certification reports.
Why Should You Have Your Diamond Certified By the GIA?
As has already been mentioned, a diamond certificate is only as reliable as the lab that issues it. The GIA is a household name when it comes to the issuance of consistent diamond grading reports.
It is a third-party gemological institute, and therefore, all their diamond grading activities are free from bias and undue influence, be it from the government, other gemological organizations, or jewelry traders. Every diamond that you send to the GIA laboratories is analyzed for what it is. Provided the diamond has no ethical concerns around it, the GIA will never inquire about the business or social credentials of the owner. The economic or sentimental value of a diamond does not matter for them; it only has to meet the minimum grading threshold set by the company.
Another reason why you should get your diamond graded and certified by the GIA is that the company is a non-profit entity; meaning that they do not place the profit motive above their fundamental mission of upholding the highest standards in the jewelry industry. The company primarily survives on donations from its well-wishers. You can visit their website if you desire to be part of their noble mission.
Besides its not-for-profit status, the association continually undertakes numerous research and education programs. All their endeavors are geared towards educating and enlightening various stakeholders in the jewelry industry.
How Much Does A GIA Diamond Certificate Cost?
The cost of a GIA diamond certificate depends on numerous factors some of which include;
1. The Attributes of Your Diamond
These chiefly consist of the four Cs but with a particular focus on the carat weight. So, as you might expect, the higher the carat weight, the costlier the diamond certificate will be. The other elements that comprise the 4Cs also impact the overall cost of a GIA diamond certificate.
However, for aspects like color, cut, clarity, fluorescence, etc., the price relationships are not always linear. For instance, it is wrong to imagine that the cost of grading and certifying a flawless red diamond will be relative to the value of that stone regarding its high clarity score and rare color grade. In most cases, it is the carat weight that matters.
2. The Kind of Report You Desire
The GIA provides three types of diamond certificates. The Full Diamond Report captures as many attributes of a stone as possible and is the costliest of all of the GIA’s certifications. The Smaller Dossier Report is relatively cheaper as it highlights fewer details of a stone. Lastly, there’s the eReport which is essentially a digital copy. Unlike the first two, the eReport is not laminated and mailed back to you. Therefore, it is the cheapest of the three GIA certificates.
3. Other Features Available for Purchase
In addition to highlighting the fundamental attributes of your diamond, a diamond grading certification by the GIA might come with additional special features. For instance, there’s a GIA laser inscription that gives your diamond a unique identity. It is especially crucial in case you lose or damage the gem and wish to be compensated by your insurance company.
You can also have your diamond inscribed with a custom text. The text could be anything; from the initials of your names to a short quote, company slogan, etc. Lastly, you might request to have the stone securely sealed in a plastic case before it is sent back to you. Each of these features comes with a price tag.
Other factors, such as the number of stones that you wish to have certified and whether or not you submit the diamond yourself, will also impact the cost of a GIA certification.
To put it into a better perspective, a .50 carat round diamond without a laser inscription will cost you $43 for a smaller diamond dossier if you submit the stone yourself. The same diamond will cost you $76 if you go for a full diamond report and have the stone laser-inscribed. The following tables will attempt to illustrate the average cost of a GIA diamond certification as of January 2019.
A Full GIA Diamond Report
|0.15 to 0.22||$53|
|0.23 to 0.46||$59|
|0.47 to 0.69||$64|
|0.70 to 0.99||$78|
|1.00 to 1.49||$105|
|1.50 to 1.99||$121|
|2.00 to 2.99||$169|
|3.00 to 3.99||$250|
|4.00 to 4.99||$331|
|5.00 to 5.99||$470|
|6.00 to 7.99||$554|
|8.00 to 9.99||$656|
|10.00 to 11.99||$910|
|12.00 to 14.99||$1,067|
|15.00 to 19.99||$1,309|
|20.00 to 24.99||$1,707|
|25.00 to 29.99||$1,992|
|30.00 to 39.99||$2,417|
|40.00 to 49.99||$2,845|
|50.00 +||On Request|
The Full Diamond Report details the report number, shape, cut and cutting style, carat weight, measurements, clarity, color, fluorescence, symmetry, comments, inscriptions, and a plot.
A GIA Diamond Dossier Report
|0.15 to 0.22||$32|
|0.23 to 0.29||$34|
|0.30 to 0.39||$40|
|0.40 to 0.49||$42|
|0.50 to 0.69||$43|
|0.70 to 0.99||$53|
|1.00 to 1.49||$85|
|1.50 to 1.99||$110|
A Diamond Dossier Report captures the report number, shape, cut and cutting style, carat weight, measurements, clarity, color, symmetry, polish, fluorescence, comments, and inscriptions. The fundamental difference between this certificate and the Full Diamond Report lies in the absence of a plot.
A GIA eReport
|0.15 to 0.22||$32|
|0.23 to 0.29||$34|
|0.30 to 0.39||$36|
|0.40 to 0.49||$38|
|0.50 to 0.69||$39|
|0.70 to 0.99||$48|
|1.00 to 1.49||$80|
|1.50 to 1.99||$99|
|2.00 to 2.99||$152|
As previously shed light upon, the GIA eReport is not laminated and sent back to you, hence the cheaper rates of grading and certification.
To seal your diamond certificate in a plastic tamper-proof package before sending it back to you, the GIA will charge you an additional $9 for diamonds weighing between 0.15 and 8.00 Carats. The cost of having your diamond laser-inscribed with a text, image, or graphic will depend on the length and size of the inscription. Generally, the texts must not exceed fifteen characters. It will cost you $15 for diamonds weighing up to 0.99 carats. From there onwards, the cost rises linearly with an increase in carat weight.
One thing that ensues is the cost-effectiveness of GIA diamond certifications. Remember, regular gemological labs will charge you between $150 and $300 for diamond certifications. Even worse, there could be gross inconsistencies in their grading reports.
A GIA diamond certification is not only a marker of quality, it is also the cheaper yet more reliable certification as far as diamond grading is concerned. This falls in line with the company’s mission of making its services accessible for all.