A diamond certificate is awarded by a committee of gemologists, and can also be referred to as a diamond quality document or a diamond grading report. There are two primary laboratories that offer diamond certification: the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL). These are the most respected laboratories in the industry, and any serious diamond vendor ought to have certification from at least one of them. Although the cost is substantial, the value added to the diamond provides a sufficient rate of investment, making certification profitable.
Diamonds are graded with a number of tools including a jeweler’s loupe, a microscope, and the human eye. Diamonds are graded based on a number of factors, such as cut, clarity, color, and carat. The cut of a diamond is important because well-cut diamonds sparkle and glisten, whereas poorly-cut diamonds usually appear cloudy and dull. Clarity refers to any imperfections within the diamond, and the larger the gem is the easier it is to see imperfections insider of the stone. Color is considered the second-most important aspect of a diamond, since human eyes notice sparkle before color; as with clarity, the larger the diamond, the more noticeable the color. Carat is a unit of weight, and combined with a measurement of width provide an accurate analysis of a diamond’s size.
By combining these four factors, diamond certification laboratories can provide helpful information for both the vendor and consumer. Although an expensive and often time-consuming process, diamond certification is important so that both parties understand the quality of their gems.