Buying a diamond ring is not as simple as one would think, at least if you want to get the best investment for your money. It requires a lot of research. One thing that is very important to know and understand, and which is often overlooked, is certified diamonds. The reason this understanding is so important is because while two diamonds may look exactly the same to the naked eye, one may cost a lot more because of its grading. A better cut diamond with less flaws and better clarity is going to have a higher grading, and so will cost more. Each certified diamond has its own certificate. For your own piece of mind, and to avoid misunderstandings with the jeweller, always ask to see its certificate.
Who are the gemologists?
Most reputable jewellers use diamonds certified by one or more of several upstanding, unbiased laboratories. Some that are considered the best in the industry are the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and the IGI (International Gemological Institute), and several others. The gemologists use tools of the trade, including microscopes and a jewellers loupe, to assess diamonds in all their categories, which are then included on their certificates.
What does the certificate include?
The diamond’s certificate includes the diamond’s rating and analysis in the four Cs – Cut, Colour, Clarity, and Carat. It will also include information about symmetry, dimensions, polish, and other important information.
What are certified diamonds?
Certified diamonds are loose stones that have been inspected and graded by professional gemologists. With their special, industry-specific tools, a licensed gemologist will give each diamond a grade in several different categories. The diamonds with the highest grading will, not surprisingly, cost the most, but will also be the best investment.
• Cut –Cut is the most important characteristic in a diamond, because the cut is what maximizes or minimizes facets and gives the diamond its sparkle. Facets are what make the diamond catch and reflect the light. If the diamond has a shallow or deep cut, it will not reflect the light as well. The best cut rating is Ideal, which is the top 3% of diamonds. The lowest grading is Poor. Diamonds rated Poor trap most of the light and do not reflect it.
• Colour – The colour scale for diamonds specifies how colourless a diamond is. The scale goes from Z, which is a noticeable yellow colour, to D, which is colourless. Colourless diamonds are rare, which accounts for the higher cost.
• Clarity – Clarity is referring to the number of small imperfections on the diamonds. Flawless diamonds have no imperfections, but are incredibly rare. Most imperfections are not visible to the naked eye. On the scale, diamonds will be classified as F, W, V, S, and I. Diamonds classified as F are flawless. Diamonds classified as I have inclusions that are visible to the naked eye.
• Carat – Another important thing a diamond’s certificate will include is the carat, or weight, of the diamond. Weight does not necessarily correspond to a diamond’s size, because different shaped cuts can have an impact on how large a diamond actually appears.
Why buy certified diamonds?
There are several reasons that buying a certified diamond a good idea. Perhaps most importantly is that a certified diamond will not be internally fractured, a fracture that could be breaking your diamond apart from the inside. These fractures are almost never visible to the naked eye, but they can be disastrous later.
Another benefit to buying certified diamonds is that you know exactly what you are getting and there are no misunderstandings with the jeweller. It also ensures that you are buying a natural diamond, and not a man-made diamond.
Drawbacks to buying certified diamonds:
The only drawbacks to finding certified diamonds are that there are limitations to what size of diamonds gemologists certify. Only diamonds that cost over a certain amount, and are larger than a half-carat will be certified, and only diamonds with colours higher than S12 and a clarity value higher than I will receive a certificate.