December 03, 2007



“Buy your Diamond from a Reputable Retailer!”

What does this mean? How do I tell if the retailer is reputable or not?

Buying a diamond can be a scary undertaking these days. There is an abundance of information available to consumers, but not all of it is accurate. Hopefully we can clear up a few of the myths and give you some guidelines.

Most diamond buying guides advise you on the 4 C’s and suggest that you only shop at honest, reputable retailers, but how does the average consumer determine this?

Our advice is to ask if the diamond is certified and to see which laboratory issued the certificate or grading report. The quality of the certificate, or lack thereof, goes a long way towards telling if you are dealing with someone reputable and professional.

A diamond certificate or diamond grading report is only as good as the laboratory who issued it.

The certificate should come from a reputable, independent and recognised laboratory.

Diamond certificates from respectable labs, meaning GIA, HRD, AGS or DCLA, are totally necessary if you want to compare diamonds intelligently.

If you are unsure we suggest you do some investigation.

Laboratories such as GIA, HRD, AGS and DCLA issue grading reports of the highest international standards. All of these diamond grading laboratories utilise strict procedures, have the most advanced equipment, and affiliations which meet the strict requirements for recognition by international trade organisations.

It is up to you, the consumer, to verify the credentials of a diamond grading laboratory.

If you are told certification is unnecessary, or that the diamond certificate will cost you extra we suggest that you shop elsewhere.

Valuations or appraisals are NOT the same as a diamond certificate or grading report.

One important thing to remember is that a diamond certificate or grading report never includes an appraisal, or any kind of statement about the monetary value of the diamond.

Be even more cautious of website vendors who issue their own 'in house diamond certificates' or 'manufacturer's grading reports' as these simply are NOT independent certificates and they are NOT from a recognised laboratory.

A diamond certificate, is only useful if it is reliable and has been issued by a reputable independent laboratory which has no financial interest in the stone. If you've never heard of the institution that is offering a grading report, don't hesitate to ask about its credentials and that of the people who graded the diamond.
Diamond grading laboratories which grade to IDC International Diamond Council rules, do not just use the opinion and expertise of one person. They must grade the diamond and have the opinion and consensus of three qualified diamond graders before the grade is applied to any diamond.

Do not judge a certificate by its cover and title alone
Just because someone calls themselves a laboratory or opens up a business to do diamond certificates and valuations after having completed a gemology course, that does not mean they have the needed technical equipment, qualifications, knowledge and expertise.

These small local labs often lay claims of being independent, recognised, and having state of art equipment but what about the qualifications of the directors, graders and that of the person who graded the diamond? Did they test for all types of treatments and any enhancements? Do they guarantee that the diamond is natural? Was the diamond laser inscribed using a cold laser? Do they grade diamonds to set international rules and standards?

It is one thing to produce great looking certificates but it is extremely important that the certificate or grading report has accurate information and is technically correct.

As a consumer, the diamond certificate or grading report is your safe guard when buying a diamond. Diamond certificates are invaluable documents that show in detail a diamond's credentials, so why wouldn't you check the credentials of the laboratory who graded the diamond and the retailer as well?

The comments to this entry are closed.

© 2010 Brandweek. All rights reserved. Terms Of Use and Privacy Policy.