6 Common Myths about Diamond Grading Reports

#1 Misuse of the Term “Certificate”

The purpose here is to understand exactly what a Diamond Grading Report accomplishes. Nowhere does GIA use the word “Certificate” because of the legal implications. In fact if you read the Important Limitations Statement on the back of every GIA Diamond Grading Report the first sentence reads: “This Report is not a guarantee, valuation or appraisal, and laboratory providing this report (GIA) has made no representation or warranty regarding this report, the article described herein or any inscription thereon.” The point here is to understand everyone in the diamond industry misuses the term certificate when talking about Diamond Grading Reports. Certificate implies guarantee, there is no guarantee with Diamond Grading Reports.

Dictionary.com defines certify as: cer·ti·fy

  • [sur-tuh-fahy] Show IPA verb, cer·ti·fied, cer·ti·fy·ing. verb (used with object)
  • 1. to attest as certain; give reliable information of; confirm: He certified the truth of his claim.
  • 2. to testify to or vouch for in writing: The medical examiner will certify his findings to the court.
  • 3. to guarantee; endorse reliably: to certify a document with an official seal.
  • 4. to guarantee (a check) by writing on its face that the account against which it is drawn has sufficient funds to pay it.
  • Understanding that “No Guarantee” is granted is extremely important. However the major diamond grading laboratories provide an important independent third-party opinion on diamond quality.

#2 Diamond Grading Reports Guarantee Price

Diamond Grading Report has nothing to do with diamond prices and do not guarantee price. Diamond Grading Reports only describe diamond quality grading and carat weight. Diamond prices are determined by the diamond industry based on the diamond quality.  The Diamond Grading Report firmly establishes the diamond’s quality leaving no room for misrepresentation of diamond quality by the seller.

#3 All Diamond Grading Reports Are The Same

Diamond grading companies generally use the same or very similar grading systems. The problem arises as each company applies their own definitions to the grading system. An “I” color diamond from one laboratory in some cases will not be the same as an “I” color from another laboratory. This is by design and reflected in the diamond price as the market recognizes these subtle differences. The most consistent and highly regarded diamond grading companies are Gemological Institute of America – GIA, American Gem Society – AGS, and Antwerp Institute of Gemology – HRD.

  • Tip: Don’t be fooled into thinking a two diamonds with exact same quality grades and carat weights can have drastically different prices!  Stay with the above three laboratories and you cannot go wrong!

#4 Diamonds with Diamond Grading Reports Are Superior To Diamonds Without Diamond Grading Reports

Any diamond can be submitted for a Diamond Grading Report.  Common sense dictates that higher quality diamonds are submitted for a Diamond Grading Report to assure the cutter receives the highest possible price. Diamonds without Diamond Grading Reports probably are an attempt by the seller to obtain a higher price through deception. It is reported that some Diamond Grading Reports are discarded, as the owner believes his diamond is of superior quality to the stated quality on the report and the disclosure of report will hinder obtaining a higher price.

#5 Diamonds with Diamond Grading Reports Do Not Need To Be Appraised

Diamonds having Diamond Grading Reports need to be appraised by a certified gemologist for the following reasons:

  • To verify the diamond and the original Diamond Grading Report match.
  • If you require insurance coverage of your diamond.
  • Appraisal insures the diamond has not been damaged since receiving the Diamond Grading Report.

#6 Diamond Grading Report Date Does Not Matter

From time to time diamond grading companies make improvements in Diamond Grading Reports.  These improvements mean older reports have less disclosure regarding quality grading.

  • Tip: do not accept Diamond Grading Reports over 5 years old.

This article was contributed by Frank Fisher.

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learn everything you need to know before you buy a diamond in this detailed book!

learn everything you need to know before you buy a diamond in this detailed book!