Why Diamond Certification Doesn’t Exist And Why That Matters

Everyone tells you the same thing. Don’t buy a diamond without a certificate. You definitely need a certified diamond. What does it say on the diamond cert? Does your diamond have GIA certification? What’s on the GIA cert? There’s just one problem with all that good advice. There is no such thing as diamond certification.

That piece of paper you receive from a gemological laboratory that tells you the quality grade of your diamond isn’t called a diamond certificate, it’s called a grading report. But this isn’t just a matter of nomenclature or diamond jargon. That difference between a diamond certificate and a diamond grading report is actually really important.

The reason why your diamond’s quality factors are on a diamond grading report not a diamond certificate is that they are an opinion, not a guarantee. They are opinions given in good faith but they may not be correct. And if they aren’t correct, you have absolutely no recourse. That’s not a certified diamond: there’s no guarantee that the grades on that paper are accurate or even that your diamond is really a diamond!

Diamond grading isn’t a science: there’s no diamond certification machine that you can put your diamond in and get grades out. There are just people who look at your diamond and give you their professional opinion on its quality.

That’s really important because if your diamond quality grades are just an opinion, it really matters who is giving you the opinion, doesn’t it?

If you were thinking of buying a house, before you sign on the dotted line would you ask an engineer to look over the structure or would you just take the word of the seller’s agent that the roof was just fine?

If you are buying a diamond engagement ring based on an opinion of the diamond’s quality you need an independent grading report from someone who not only has real expertise but who is objective.

In the world of diamond grading, that means choosing a report from a non-profit gemological laboratory. The most respected grading laboratory in the world is the Gemological Institute of America.

GIA invented the 4Cs of diamond quality and the GIA International Diamond Grading System, which is now recognized by virtually every jeweler in the world. Today, GIA operates as an independent nonprofit in 15 cities around the globe.

Some of the world’s most famous diamonds have been graded by the GIA: the 45.52-carat Hope Diamond, the 273.85-carat De Beers Centenary Diamond, and the 69.42-carat Taylor-Burton Diamond.

At RockHer, we trust the diamond quality grades from the GIA. (And also the grades from the American Gem Society, which is also an excellent non-profit laboratory although it is much smaller than GIA.) That’s why we only list diamonds with GIA reports. And that isn’t just our opinion, it’s the opinion of the entire diamond market around the world. Diamond pricing uses GIA grades as a benchmark.

Diamonds that do not have a grading report from the GIA or AGS sell for a discount. That’s because professionals around the world believe that the grades on other grading reports may be inflated and they don’t trust them enough to pay full price. If diamond professionals don’t trust those other reports, why should you? Those reports might be cheaper but they aren’t better.

So even though there is no diamond certification or certified diamonds, there is a source for independent professional grading from a respected international non-profit institution: GIA. That’s the name you want on your diamond grading report.