Having a grading certificate issued from a non-biased, third party laboratory on the diamond you are purchasing can be a very useful and valuable tool. However, you may notice that pricing among diamonds of the same carat weight, shape, color and clarity can vary greatly depending on the laboratory that issued that particular diamonds certificate. The scales of color and clarity used to grade diamonds were developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). All laboratories use this scale, although not all use it to the same standard. What one laboratory grades a diamond for color and clarity may not be what another laboratory grades that same diamond. It is important to compare prices based on the same certificate. Diamond grading is subjective and at the discretion of the grader. Since price is directly related to quality factors (color, clarity and cut), accurate and honest grading is essential.
What does a diamond certificate say? A diamond certificate tells you all about the diamond. Known also as diamond grading report and diamond dossier, the certificate discloses the 4Cs of diamonds – color, clarity, cut and carat weight.
In order to make the quality parameters of the diamonds even more visible and clear to the customers, the certificate also displays a plotted diagram of the diamond and it's internal characteristics.
Independent Laboratories issuing diamond certificates or grading reports
GCAL - Gem Certification and Assurance Laboratory works to keep very strict grading standards. The company is so sure of its high quality standards of grading the loose diamonds that it offers cash-back if the customers find any error in the diamond graded by it. See Guarantee.
GIA - Gemological Institute of America is well known for grading system that it propagated across the world for diamonds. The certificates of this company are sough after by most of the jewelers as this is also one of the oldest and most reputed companies of its field.
IGI - International Gemological Institute was set up in 1975 in Antwerp and is known for its strict grading standards with its laboratories located in New York, Mumbai, Tokyo and Bangkok.
AGS - American Gem Society is one of the few diamond grading companies that keep strict quality standards. It’s headquarter is in Nevada, USA.
EGL - European Gemological Laboratory has its labs opened in many cities including Johannesburg, New York, Antwerp, Paris, London, Seoul and Antwerp.
HRD - Hodge Raad Voor Diamant, meaning the diamond high council has its headquarters in Antwerp. The company also represents diamond trade and industry of Belgium
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