What is a Diamond Certification and Why Do You Need It?
Every industry has its way of guaranteeing quality assurance to its consumers. And to make that possible, products go through a raft of rigorous tests and analyses. Most of these tests are usually intended to investigate the safety of that 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.
Like any other product, diamonds need to be graded and certified. That way, the consumer can shop with peace of mind, knowing they’re investing in a timeless jewel. But the mere diamond grading process isn’t enough in upholding consumer confidence on the product. Each grading process must culminate in a certificate. And the certificates must accompany the product to every retail outlet so that the final consumer can access and review it. However, you don’t necessarily need to be a diamond buyer to benefit from a 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 you receive from an independent, objective gemological lab that analyzes and describes a diamond in detail. The certification typically highlights the elements comprising of the four Cs – carat weight, color, cut, and clarity. Besides, diamond certifications from reputable labs will also review the other finer aspects of the stone. Examples of these more intricate attributes include the fluorescence, girdle thickness, symmetry, polish, etc. The Gemological Institute of America, also known as the GIA, is an authority organization when it comes to preparing reliable diamond grading and certification reports.
Why Should You Have Your Diamond Certified By GIA?
As we already mentioned, a diamond certificate is only as reliable as the issuing lab. And GIA is a household name when it comes to the issuance of consistent diamond grading reports.
GIA is a third-party gemological institute. Therefore, all their diamond grading activities are free from bias and undue influence, be it from the government, other gemological organizations, or jewelry traders. Each diamond you send to the GIA laboratories is analyzed for what it is. Provided the diamond has no ethical concerns around it, GIA will never inquire about the business or social credentials of the owner. It doesn’t matter the economic or sentimental value of the diamond; it only has to meet the minimum grading threshold set by the company.
Another reason you should get your diamond graded and certified by GIA is that the company is a non-profit entity. That means they don’t place the profit motive above their fundamental mission of upholding the highest standards in the jewelry industry. In fact, 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.
And besides its not-for-profit status, the association continually undertakes numerous research and education programs. All their endeavors are geared towards educating and enlightening the 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 those factors include;
1. The Attributes of Your Diamond
Basically, these consist of the four Cs, but with a particular focus on the carat weight. So, as you may expect, the higher the carat weight, the costlier the diamond certificate will be. The other elements comprising of the four Cs also impact the overall cost of a GIA diamond certificate.
However, for aspects like color, cut, clarity, fluorescence, etc., the price relationships aren’t always linear. For instance, it’s wrong to imagine that the cost of grading and certifying a flawless red diamond will be relative to the value of that stone with regards to its high clarity score and rare color grade. In most cases, it’s the carat weight that matters.
2. The Kind of Report You Desire
GIA provides three types of diamond certificates. The Full Diamond Report captures as many attributes of the stone as possible. It’s the costliest of all the GIA certifications. The Smaller Dossier Report is relatively cheaper, as it highlights fewer details of the stone.
Lastly, there’s the eReport which is essentially a digital copy. Unlike the first two, the eReport isn’t laminated and mailed back to you. Therefore, it’s 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 GIA might come with additional special features. For instance, there’s a GIA laser inscription that gives your diamond a unique identity. It’s especially crucial in the event 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 may request to have the stone securely sealed in a plastic case before it’s sent back to you. Each of these features comes with a price tag.
Other factors, such as the number of stones you wish to have certified and whether you submit the diamond yourself, will also impact the cost of a GIA certification.
To put it into a better perspective, .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 we mentioned previously, the GIA eReport isn’t 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, 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, the cost rises linearly with an increase in carat weight.
One thing that comes out clearly 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 isn’t only a marker of quality. It’s also the cheaper yet more reliable certification as far as diamond grading is concerned. That’s in line with the company’s mission of making their services accessible for all.