It’s important that consumers appreciate the significance of a diamond certificate before making a purchase. A proper certification from an independently certified laboratory will reveal the fine details and characteristics of a diamond, which will offer an indication the diamond’s value. However, a certificate is not to be confused with an appraisal, which is an estimate of the stone’s actual worth. Instead, a diamond certificate will reveal information about its 4 Cs, such as the grades of its cut and carat weight.
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The certificate will tell you key information about a diamond’s qualities, but it won’t shed light on the actual appearance of the diamond. There can be no substitute for actually viewing the diamond itself, since certifications can always be misleading. While they are very useful in establishing the objective characteristics of a diamond, consumers should be aware that sometimes diamonds with similar certifications (even from the same laboratory) can look drastically different from one another.
Only trust a certification which comes from a reliable third-party and is completely unaffiliated with the retailer selling you the diamond. For example, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is widely trusted as an independent laboratory that holds itself to the highest standards in the industry. Their certification uses an objective grading system of the 4 Cs so that diamonds can be graded objectively. However, even with a reliable diamond certificate, it is best to see the actual diamond with your own eyes.
Absolutely not! Unfortunately there are not objective standards that hold true between different laboratories, which means that some hold themselves to lower standards. As a result, many diamonds with major flaws and imperfections may actually have a certification with very high grades. In order to avoid purchasing such a diamond, make sure that the certification is coming from an independent third party that has the respect of the industry, such as the GIA
It’s important to recognize the value of a legitimate diamond certification while also recognizing its limitations. A certificate cannot tell you how the diamond looks, and whether it will compliment your personality and preferences. The diamond’s beauty and sparkle will reflect its characteristics detailed in the certificate, but it’s not the same as seeing the diamond for yourself. However, it has an important role to play in terms of analyzing the diamond’s characteristics objectively, which provides real value to consumers.