We know just how daunting the diamond buying process can be for anyone. You have to spend a ton of time just learning about the 4 C’s, and just when you think you’re ready to start shopping, you hear about the 5th C – Certificates. Also, there’s that word “appraisal” to contend with. Many buyers confuse appraisals and certificates, but they’re actually two very different things that you need to know about.
So, let’s try and clear things up for you and prepare you for shopping for the finest quality wholesale diamonds in Sydney or in your local area.
What is a Diamond Certificate?
You may know a diamond certificate by its other name – a diamond grading report. Think of it like a car title. The title of a car contains important information, like the make, model and year of the car and its VIN number. It’s the same with the diamond certificate – it contains information for a specific diamond, including:
- The diamond’s internal characteristics, such as imperfections or inclusions.
A diamond certificate also confirms that the stone really is a diamond and not something else, and whether or not the stone has undergone any clarity or colour enhancements such as fracture drilling or irradiation.
The diamond certificate is usually issued by a gemological lab and is written up by a Graduate Gemologist under 10x magnification.
There are quite a few grading laboratories around the globe that write up and issue diamond certificates. Some labs are more reputable and reliable than others. For instance, the Gemological Institute of America is by far one of the most respected labs due to their stringent standards and consistency.
Many Graduate Gemologists are trained by the Gemological Institute of America. Other reputable labs include:
- The European Gemological Laboratory of the United States of America
- The American Gem Society
What Is an Appraisal?
An appraisal is different to a certificate. A diamond appraisal is an estimate of the stone’s current monetary value – something a certificate will not list. The diamond’s value is determined according to the stone’s quality and current market conditions. On the other hand, the diamond certificate is usually used to determine the value of a stone when conducting an appraisal. Appraisals can and do change from time to time, and you’ll need to have yours updated periodically in accordance with market value changes. However, a diamond certificate will always remain the same.
Always Ask for Independent Certification
One of the most important elements of a diamond certificate is that it is done by a lab that specialised in certification. It should be fully independent of jewellers. After all, grading in, and should be, the result of a skilled grader’s opinion who follows certain stringent and accepted procedures and guidelines when conducting a diamond grading.
So, if a biased person, such as a jeweller, allows a diamond to be classified in a class or two higher or lower than it belongs, you may not receive an accurate certificate. That’s why it’s important to request independent certification from labs to ensure that certificate is accurate and unbiased.