Diamond Certification - What is a Diamond Certificate and do I need one?
In recent years the jewellery industry has seen a shift towards the sale of Certified Diamonds – but what does this mean, and is it really necessary? Read on to find out more about the 5th C of Diamond Grading – Certification.
What is a Diamond Certificate?
A diamond certificate is a document from an independent gemmological laboratory detailing the physical characteristics of a diamond – from detailed measurements of size, to colour and clarity grades and other unique identifying factors such as fluorescence .
Some of the large, internationally recognised labs include the GIA (Gemmological Institute of America), IGI (International Gemmological Institute) and CIBJO (World Jewellery Federation). There are also other local organisations such as the UK’s AnchorCert, run from the Birmingham Assay Office’s gemmological labs.
Because diamond certificates are issued independently it removes the risk of an unscrupulous seller misleading a customer about a diamond’s quality. What you get is what is stated on the accompanying certificate – a useful tool when comparing different stones.
A diamond certificate serves as a record of your diamond’s size and quality. This can be helpful information to know, for example in the event of an insurance claim. A diamond certificate does not tell you the market value of your diamond. It simply details the physical characteristics of a stone.
Why Aren’t All Diamonds Certificated?
Diamond certification is an intensive process where diamonds are examined in minute detail under laboratory grade equipment and every characteristic recorded. Some diamonds are simply too small to be worth the investment of certifying. Think of the small size diamonds arranged in a cluster, or used as accents on other gem-set jewellery. It simply isn’t feasible to certify every single stone!
Diamond certification is typically reserved for larger and higher quality diamonds, when it is worth backing up the investment in a stone with a report of its quality.
Should I Avoid Uncertified Diamonds?
If you are confident in the experience and honesty of your jeweller, there is no reason not to buy an uncertified diamond. At Broadway Jewellers we stock both certified and uncertified stones. We have also taken the step of arranging certification of our second-hand diamonds so you can feel confident in the diamonds we sell.
An uncertified diamond is still a diamond. Certification simply offers you additional piece of mind when you make your purchase.
Natural and Synthetic – Why Certificates are becoming more important
In the last few years technology has improved to a point where synthetic diamonds of gemstone quality can be grown in a lab. These man-made diamonds are only distinguishable from natural diamonds by detailed examination with laboratory grade equipment.
It is virtually impossible for even an experienced gemmologist to tell the difference without sending the stone to a lab for assessment. Because of the appearance of man-made diamonds in the jewellery market, certification is seen as an important tool to distinguish between natural and synthetic diamonds.
When you buy a certificated diamond, it will state whether the diamond is natural or man-made. It is worth noting that natural diamonds are still far more prevalent than man-made diamonds. However as synthetic diamonds become more common, the accompanying certificate stating the diamond’s origin becomes more important. This will be particularly true in the second-hand market, and is one of the reasons why Broadway Jewellers has all second-hand diamonds over 0.50ct certificated by AnchorCert in Birmingham.
A diamond certificate is not a necessary item for you to be able to choose a piece of jewellery you love and enjoy wearing it. However, certification is likely to play an increasingly important role in the gemstone market moving forwards and at Broadway Jewellers we have adopted the provision of diamond certificates as standard practice as we want you to have every confidence in your purchase from us.