You want the best for your jewelry and diamond collection. You’ve properly appraised and insured your pieces. You keep up on all of the regular maintenance needed by a professional in the industry. You keep your collection stored safely in your home and wear pieces only when appropriate. But have you considered having your jewelry and/or diamonds GIA-certified? This easy and simple-enough step for protecting your jewelry collection could make a big difference in your appraisal and, as a result, your insurance policy. Here’s everything you need to know.
What Does GIA Certified Mean?
First of all, it’s important to know what exactly it means for a piece of jewelry or a diamond or gemstone to be considered “GIA certified.”
“GIA” stands for the Gemological Institute of America, an institute for geological research and one of the best in the world, if not the best. The institute tests and grades diamonds based on a range of factors. If a diamond has been tested by the institute and then that diamond’s grade is filed with the institute, it can be considered “GIA certified.” So, when you’re shopping at a jewelers’ and you see the “GIA certified” label, you can be fairly certain that any claims a jeweler is making about a diamond’s value, authenticity, clarity and weight, among other factors, are all true.
What does GIA certification Tell You
About Your Diamonds?
A GIA certification, or the report that you would receive after the GIA tests your diamonds, tells you some important information about your diamond. It details a diamond’s carat weight, cut, color, clarity, authenticity and, possibly most importantly, value. A diamond’s authenticity and value are directly impacted by its weight, cut, color and clarity, and with GIA certification, you can be assured that you know the correct value for your diamond, thanks to that information straight from the pros.
When the GIA looks at color, it uses a color scale from D to Z. Generally, the later the letter in the alphabet, the darker the diamond. D to F diamonds are considered colorless. G to J diamonds are considered almost colorless but with some slight coloration. K to M diamonds feature some color that’s visible. N to R diamonds are considered lightly colored. S to Z diamonds are considered darker.
Likewise, when the GIA looks at clarity, it grades diamonds according to 11 possible scores, from FL being the best to I3 being the worst. If a diamond receives an FL clarity grade, it means that it features no blemishes or inclusions that are visible to an experienced grader who looks at the diamond under 10x magnification. If it receives an IF clarity grade, it means the grader did see some blemishes (though no inclusions) under the same circumstances. A VVS1 or VVS2 grade means the grader could see some blemishes and some inclusions under these circumstances, but that the inclusions were difficult to see. If the inclusions were only somewhat difficult to see, the grade is VS1 or VS2. If the inclusions were not at all difficult to see, the grade is SI1 or SI2. If the inclusions impact transparency and brilliance, however, the diamond will receive a lowest score of I1, I2 or I3.
When the GIA looks at cut, the grader isn’t only looking at the actual cut of the diamond (such as princess or round, or so on). Instead, they’re looking at (a) the diamond’s brightness, fire and scintillation when viewed from the top down, (b) the diamond’s design and (c) the diamond facet alignment
All of this, combined with your diamond’s weight, can inform just how much value your diamond has — and since the rating comes from the GIA, it’s a measure of value that’s difficult for your insurer to disagree with.
What About Origin?
For authenticity purposes, you can also obtain a GIA Diamond Origin Report. This report will tell you not only all of the details listed above, including the GIA’s assessment of your diamond’s cut, color, clarity and carat weight, but also your diamond’s geographic country of origin. It’s even possible to obtain images of your diamond in its rough and unpolished state, as well as details of how the diamond made its way from the earth to your favorite piece of jewelry.
What About Colored Diamonds?
If you have a colored diamond that you don’t feel will be accurately represented by the GIA’s normal color grading process, you can choose to go with a colored diamond grading report, which is ideal for diamonds that are blue, brown, pink, yellow or green. These fancy-colored diamonds are graded by hue, tone and saturation.
While the GIA grades normal, clear diamonds according to their absence of color, colored diamonds are graded based on their color saturation. Graders assign colored diamonds a color, and then a color term based on tone and saturation, such as Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Deep, Fancy Vivid or Fancy Dark.
How to Get a GIA Diamond Grading Report
So now you know the importance of a GIA diamond grading report and certification, and what it can tell you, how can you go about actually getting one?
Don’t think that you have to ship off your diamond to some unknown research lab overseen by the GIA. Instead, you can easily obtain a GIA diamond grading report via your favorite fine jewelry retailer (such as Yamron!). After a diamond is graded, it receives a report number and both that number and all the associated data are stored within the GIA database forever.
Do note, however: GIA only grades diamonds that are not mounted. Settings interfere with the grading process.
Fees for your GIA diamond grading report vary according to diamond weight.
How the GIA Diamond Grading Report and Certification Impacts Your Appraisal
While a diamond with a GIA certification isn’t necessarily more valuable than a diamond without one, the certification makes it incredibly easy for you to actually prove your diamond’s value — and the GIA is known worldwide for its rigorous standards and strenuous testing processes, which means, if your appraiser or insurer is going to trust anyone’s expertise on your diamond, it’s going to be the GIA.
The Yamron Team is Here to Help
If you’re interested in obtaining a GIA diamond grading report or certification for your unmounted diamonds, the Yamron team is here to help with our expert advice and years of experience in the jewelry and diamond industries. We can provide guidance and services to help you ensure that you receive the best diamond grade, as well as the best appraisal, possible. We can assist as you build a diamond collection that’s not only noteworthy for its beauty, but also for its value.
Talk with one of our luxury jewelry experts to learn more today, by giving us a call at 239-592-7707 or email at [email protected]. If you’re in Naples, stop by our showroom to speak with one of our team members in person.