If you didn’t know it yet, GIA Diamond Grading is the entity that constructed a grading process for diamonds, according to the 4Cs (diamond cut,diamond color, clarity and carat).
GIA as an authority acts independently and simply put, if your diamond has a GIA rating, this organization has graded it.
Then it’s known as a ‘GIA diamond’.
If you want to buy smart, using GIA’s grading system is a wise reference to use.
Whether you’re shopping for engagement rings or other jewelry, let’s help you understand this aspect of the diamond business so you can make informed decisions.
GIA Diamonds: What’s it All About?
Let’s summarize what GIA does in the diamond industry:
- It’s an NPO
- They conduct research
- Industry professionals obtain education from GIA
- The quality of stones is determined according to the standards set by GIA
- GIA handles the grading of diamonds, creating a list of relevant terms and following their 4C guideline, which uses scientific techniques to determine:
- Color of the diamond
- Its weight in carats
- The cut
- The hue or color of the stone
What does GIA NOT do?
- It’s not a mine
- It can’t appraise stones
- It doesn’t trade commercially
By staying independent from these aspects of the diamond market, GIA remains objective and there’s no bias when it makes certain calls on grading.
Yes, this is important for all buyers to know because you can ensure you get a quality diamond simply by specifically looking for GIA diamonds and discussing their reports with your jeweller.
The information helps you identify whether you’re getting proper value for the price you’re paying.
Is Any Diamond a GIA Diamond?
In the modern diamond market, not all stones have GIA reports yet, but many of them do.
These reports have become important because both those who sell and those who purchase gems want confirmation of a diamond’s worth; and GIA provides accurate, independent information about this subject.
So, does your diamond belong to the GIA diamond group?
Simply ask for the GIA report.
If it has authentic documentation, you’ll see feedback on the assessment according to the 4Cs as well as the stone’s own, unique GIA number.
The number can also be found on the girdle on some stones, though not all, and serves as a reference: you can go online and view the stone’s grading on GIA’s global database via the ‘Report Check’ platform.
That’s how you verify the stone’s grading and you can view all the details about the stone, as reported by the GIA team.
GIA Certification: An Explanation
It’s important to use the correct terms in the diamond industry, because calling a stone a ‘GIA certified diamond’ isn’t 100% accurate.
GIA doesn’t really certify gems, so using ‘GIA cert’ in diamond talk is wrong.
In truth, the NPO (None profit organization) is only involved in grading gems.
Be prepared to hear these references in the industry as a whole, but remember that it actually refers to ‘grading’, not ‘certification’.
Their documentation proves this, because it’s not called a certificate.
GIA provides a ‘report’ you can obtain in digital or printed format.
In the same way science labs provide documentation of their findings, GIA does too, after examining a stone, assessing it according to the 4Cs and then describing it based on the findings.
Can you see that none of these activities incorporate certification?
GIA doesn’t even mention ‘value’ in their reports.
Can GIA Really Stay Objective?
Have a look at GIA’s method of work and you’ll see the pains they go to to treat each gem objectively.
Specifically, through anonymity the agency prevents bias.
It all starts when a diamond arrives at GIA: it will be placed in a see through case without any details about who owns it.
Either this data is hidden from view, or it can be removed from the unit.
All that’s used to identify the stone is a barcode on a label. This is the tracking code used throughout the GIA grading process.
This unbiased process results in honest reporting with truthful feedback of the gem’s grading.
Another way objectivity is maintained is by using multiple graders and waiting for consensus among them.
First, graders will look at the cut, color, carat and clarity.
These findings will be reviewed by senior, experienced gemologists. They can then provide findings independently.
When the various individuals agree, only then will the diamond be given an official GIA grading.
Do You Need the GIA Grading for Your Diamond?
If you’re going to spend a lot of money, don’t you want to make sure you get what you pay for?
Researching a diamond’s value and grading is a dynamic way to ensure this.
Also, if you’re shopping for an engagement ring you want to make sure you’re offering a valuable stone, right?
A GIA grading can give you peace of mind about what you’re purchasing, so investing in a GIA diamond is the better option. You get all you need to know in one document:
- Feedback on the 4Cs
- Know if your stone underwent treatment
- Learn about its fluorescence
Thanks to modern equipment you get accurate data on all these aspects.
This data is also helpful if you need to decide between different gems.
Simply compare the details on the reports to determine the most appropriate in terms of value and your personal taste.
You can instantly compare quality of two or more stones.
Since GIA doesn’t act with bias you know the data on the reports help you make an objective, smart decision.
It’s like having your jewels assessed similar to getting your house or car assessed!
The report also carries value because if you want to insure your new purchase you may need the grading report as reference.
How to Obtain GIA Grading Reports
Remember, it’s more accurate to talk about ‘grading’ than ‘certification’.
So, how can you get your stone graded?
The good news is that anyone can contact GIA and ask for a diamond to be graded.
There are nine laboratories across the globe, located in the ‘jewelry capitals’ of the world.
A smarter alternative is to work via your jeweler who will know about getting it right when it comes to insuring, shipping and wrapping your stone.
The diamond you want may already have a GIA report and this you can obtain from your jeweller.
Remember to ask them about it when shopping.
And once you purchase a specific diamond, the report should be handed over to you to take with you.
Are GIA Diamonds Worth More than Others?
No, actually your GIA certified gem doesn’t automatically cost more than a similar one without a grading report.
When looking at two stones’ price tags, many people assume they pay more for GIA diamonds, but remember that worth is a representation of quality.
You need proof of a stone’s quality to determine whether you’re paying too much or even too little.
To make an accurate comparison when looking at two price tags, you need to compare stones that have similar qualities in terms of weight, clarity, color and cut.
And of course, the details should be provided by independent parties, of which GIA is an example.
Without it you can’t make an informed, objective comparison. And that’s why getting GIA reports are so valuable.
Does it cost a lot to obtain these reports?
Luckily not. You can pay less than $50 for gems between 0.70ct and 0.99ct.
If your stone is up to 1.49ct you’ll pay more or less eighty dollars.
In comparison to what the jewelry itself costs, that’s not a lot of money, right?
2017 reports showed that on average, engagement rings cost more than $6300. And it’s wise to add grading costs to that bill so there is confirmation of the value of your stone.
Often, jewelers work this expense into the overall price of a jewelry piece anyway.
GIA Diamonds: Where can You Buy Them?
In many cases when you buy from respected sellers, getting a GIA report is compulsory.
If you want to know who these sellers are, simply use the ‘Retailer Lookup’ feature to find one in your area.
Opt to work with jewellers where the stock list includes GIA diamonds and where you work with GIA trained team members.
With online shopping you can also look for GIA certified gems, and yes even online stores will stock them.
Both the look and the paperwork will be important when you pick out that engagement ring!
Make a wise choice—you know how to get a diamond right now.