Certified Vs Uncertified Diamonds
The term “certified diamonds” refers to polished diamonds that have undergone quality analysis by a trusted gemological laboratory such as the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and have been issued a lab report, commonly referred to as a “certificate”. The major gemological laboratories serve as an independent authority on the identity and quality of diamonds, and are not directly involved in the transaction. Non-certified diamonds are very common in the marketplace, and are simply those diamonds that have not been put through formal laboratory grading.
Not all diamonds need to be laboratory graded. Lab reports on small or inexpensive diamonds provide negligible benefit to the consumer while adding significantly to the cost. While they do provide assurance that the diamond is real, that confidence can be brought about by dealing with a reputable jeweler and/or by having an appraisal done by a qualified jewelry professional. Non-certified diamonds will always be more common in the marketplace.
For consumers purchasing diamonds of significant expense, a laboratory report is highly recommended and relatively affordable. Incurring a cost of several hundred dollars to document the quality of a diamond worth many thousands of dollars is a reasonably prudent thing to do. Investing a large sum of money in a non-certified diamond can be a very risky proposition.
Diamond Certification – Additional Considerations
Because almost any diamond can be sent to a lab for a grading report, the mere fact that it is a certified diamond does not necessarily mean it is anything particularly special. The grading information contained in the report will be the evidence of whether the diamond is gem grade, commercial grade, or a grade below.
Conversely, just because a diamond is non-certified does not necessarily mean that is of poor quality or somehow undesirable. There are many reasons why a decent commercial grade diamond, even one of significant size and value, may not be accompanied by a lab report. Diamond dealers and jewelers will often forego the expense of a lab report to be able to sell the diamond a bit more affordably. This is especially true with more common commercial quality diamonds in small to medium sizes. High quality diamonds in larger sizes are normally sent to the lab before they are even put on the market. Today’s consumer is much more likely to be looking for certified diamonds.
The growth of e-commerce has dramatically increased the role of the certified diamond in today’s market. It is very difficult to sell a diamond “sight unseen” that is not accompanied by a trusted pedigree. A non- certified diamond is almost impossible to sell in the click-and-buy channel.
No matter what type of diamond you may be considering, you are well advised to deal only with a reputable diamond professional.