Diamond Certification

Sometimes referred to as the 5th or forgotten “C”, Certification is just as important as the other 4Cs because it speaks to the degree of consistency that Cut, Color and Clarity are graded against.

What are Diamond Certificates?

Diamond grading reports, or “certificates”, exists to protect all purchasers of gemstones by providing consistent, accurate and unbiased analysis and quality grading of loose diamonds.  Diamonds with these grading reports carry with them a higher value in the industry than those without certification.

Within the industry, two laboratories are respected above all others for their ability to educate consumers and accurately and objectively determine gemstone quality:

Gemological Institute Of America (GIA)

American Gem Society Laboratories (AGSL)

How Grading Houses Differ

Apart from GIA and AGS, there are many other “grading houses” the provide certifications of a diamond.  The need for different grading houses is in part because the diamond industry is a global business and so different houses exist to serve different markets.  GIA and AGS are renown international and so your best bet is always to ensure the diamond you are purchasing is graded by either of the two.

In terms of the other grading houses, it’s important to understand that each grade house does things a little differently and so they have different standards.  It’s not unheard of to find a stone graded as a D color by local house but as a E color by a grading house following stricter standards.

Understanding this will help you always be mindful of where the certification is coming from.

What is the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme?

The Kimberly Process Certification Scheme is an international initiative designed to certify the origin of rough, uncut, diamonds from sources which are free of conflict – conflict fueled by the production of diamonds.

The Kimberley Process (KP) is a joint governments, industry and civil society initiative established in 2003 to prevent diamond sales from financing rebellious movements by stemming the flow of conflict diamonds. The certification scheme aims at preventing these “blood diamonds” from entering the mainstream rough diamond market. It was set up to assure consumers that by purchasing diamonds they were not financing war and human rights abuses. The trade in these illicit stones has fuelled decades of devastating conflicts in countries such as Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone.

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