Certified diamonds have been verified for quality, allowing consumers to purchase with confidence based on the attributes of the diamond rather than blindly trusting the sales pitch of the retailer. When armed with a grading certificate, consumers have a pretty good idea of what the diamond will look like without having to see it in person. Certified diamonds also:
- Hold their value better than their non-certified counterparts, especially for resale and upgrading purposes
- Simplify the comparison process, it's much easier to compare certified diamonds based on the 4 Cs than it is to rely on visual inspection alone
- Broaden the shopping base to include online retailers, resulting in significant savings
When purchasing certified diamonds, be sure the diamond certification is from a third-party laboratory rather than one associated with the store, jeweler, or diamond wholesaler, who may offer a biased opinion to facilitate the sale. Also, verify that the third-party laboratory has a history of stringent grading practices and that they've been in business long enough to establish a solid reputation in the jewelry industry. Brilliance recommends the following laboratories, in order of preference: GIA, AGS, EGL, IGI, and HRD.
Diamond Certificate vs. Diamond Appraisal
In addition, some retailers will try to pass off a diamond appraisal as a diamond certificate, when there is actually a significant difference between the two documents. A diamond appraisal is typically prepared by the seller of the diamond to denote the estimated value for insurance purposes, while a diamond certificate is an unbiased analysis of the stone's quality prepared by a gemological laboratory.
What to Look For When Purchasing Certified Diamonds