Independent Grading How do I know if my diamond is what they say it is?

After learning the 4C's and understanding the different qualities, we need to consider yet another factor. As a consumer with limited or no experience grading diamonds you may ask yourself, How would I know if the jeweler sells me a diamond and claims it is a G color, VS2 clarity and it's really an H color, SI1 clarity or possibly even worse? The truth is, maybe they are not malicious and intentionally trying to cheat you, maybe they are not trained enough to know how to grade accurately or maybe it was a mistake. The best way to protect yourself is to have a third party that is not involved in buying or selling diamonds who can grade the diamond accurately and impartially. Obviously an in-house gemologist grading a diamond would be a conflict of interest.

There are 4 major laboratories that are known around the world and issue detailed grading reports, they are; Gemological Institute of America (GIA), European Gemological Institute of America (EGL), International Gemological Institute (IGI) and American Gem Society (AGS). These independent labs provide detailed grading reports that help you determine if the diamond you are buying is what the sales person says it is. It also allows you to shop around knowing that the grade on the report is accurate and you will be able to compare apples to apples. But you should still have a trained gemologist review the diamond and the report to be sure all the aspects are in order

There is no such thing as a GIA certified diamond

That's right, the Gemological Institute of America does not certify diamonds, neither does the American Gem Society of the International Gemological Institute. The term "certified" has been common amongst sales people when selling diamonds. Unfortunately they are deceiving the client, since the lab only grades the diamonds and don't certify them.

On my first day of class at the GIA the instructor made it very clear to us, "The GIA does not certify diamonds, they issue grading reports stating the results of their examination. Anyone who claims to sell GIA certified diamonds is misleading his or her customer. You might question why so many websites claim to sell "GIA certified stones", well that is a good example of how sad the quality of websites is. Don't take my word for it, call and ask the GIA for yourself at (212) 221-5858.

Almost every diamond that we sell will have a grading report from one of the top four labs (the 3 listed above and the European Gemological Laboratory). Depending on the quality and value of the diamond, we determine which lab should grade the diamond.