If you're looking for diamonds, you most likely already know what the 4 C's are (cut, clarity, colour, and carat). All of these drastically affect the price of a diamond. Have you wondered who grades the diamond that sales reps show you?
Let's say, you purchase a diamond from ABC Jewellers, and they've certified it as VS1 clarity, F colour, excellent cut, and 1 carat. You decide to check this diamond with another jewellery store, and they certify it as VS2, G colour, very good cut, and 1 carat. You're wondering how it is grading lower than what you paid for. Then you go to a third jewellery store. Now this jewellery store is certifying it as something different too. Did you get scammed because you paid for a higher quality? The answer is no. Each jewellery store works with their own gemologist. Some gemologists are more conservative, and some are more lenient in their grading. It all depends on the gemologist's eye, and what he/she sees. Everyone's perception is different, which results in a different grading each time. Keep in mind, that the grading should not be drastically different from one gemologist to another. If you paid for VS1, but it's grading as Si1, then yes that is an illegal practice.
So, is there a sure fire way to know what your diamond is? YES! That is what we call a GIA certificate. It stands for “Gemological Institute of America”. It is a non-profit institute dedicated to research and education in the field of gemology. GIA is recognized throughout the jewellery industry, and is the most accurate, unbiased grading on any diamond. When a diamond is submitted to GIA for a grading, it passes through the hands of several gemologists and strict guidelines before it is assigned a grade. After the diamond is graded, a GIA report and certificate number is assigned to that diamond. Every diamond receiving a diamond certificate is then, laser inscribed with that GIA certificate number.
It's much easier to compare prices amongst jewellers when looking for a GIA certified diamond. When comparing prices of uncertified diamonds, it can be confusing and inaccurate. Our advice is to always look for GIA certified diamonds especially when purchasing higher quality diamonds. 95% of the time when you're looking for a high end diamond, it will always be GIA certified.
Is it more expensive to buy a GIA diamond? The answer is no. It costs approximately $100 to have a diamond graded through GIA.