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Would you go out and buy a car without an MOT certificate? Without knowing it is roadworthy in the long run and not only on the test drive? And you would also make sure that the MOT certificate is from a recognized garage which is approved to issue these certificates, yes?
In the olden days, your local jeweller would provide some sort of verbal assurance that “oh, the diamond you are buying from us is very good quality, do not worry, you are getting an excellent deal” or hand over a store piece of paper mentioning the quality. This is where the jeweller made enormous profits to your detriment. You had to trust them and their personal knowledge for quality assurance.
Another problem today is whether your diamond is natural, synthetic or lab grown? Even a reputable qualified jeweller today without a GIA or IGI certificate will not know the difference. Guaranteed.
Natural Diamonds – retain most value as a percentage of cost, and over a longer period of time, recover cost and increase in value as the cost of mining, cutting and polishing these treasures has increased over the years and demand is strong.
Lab grown diamonds – currently retain about 30-40% of their cost and in the long term may be near zero as these are lab grown man made which eventually will be manufactured in unlimited quantities.
Synthetic diamonds – retain about 0-10% of cost as this is predominantly used as a fashion accessory and has no resale value.
It goes without saying that diamond certificates from the GIA, IGI or other trade recognized labs are an important document to demand while purchasing diamond jewellery, but… what is a diamond certificate and why are they important? Actually, the certificate only relates to the larger central diamond in your engagement ring which has the most value in the ring you are buying (on average around 80-90% of the total value). Firstly make sure from the report that the diamond is 100% natural without any enhancement or treatment.
The most prominent labs, being the GIA or IGI, trains and prepares their graders to be qualified to check the colour, clarity, cut and carat weight of the diamond and the laboratories they work in are fully equipped to check the authenticity of the diamond. For grading the colour, a gemologist checks it against master colour samples and for determining the clarity, they inspect the diamond for crystals, cracks, chipped elements, etc. How do they look inside the diamond? Well, they do so with the help of the 30x microscope, sometimes not available to even a specialized jeweller.
Why a certified diamond engagement ring, you ask? Well, the first and foremost reason being the value of the diamond. Diamonds are expensive and when you are spending large amounts on something as special as your engagement ring, you should be sure of its authenticity and what is better assurance than a diamond with GIA or IGI certification. Besides this, if you want your jewellery to be insured, you will have to provide the insurance company with some kind of documentation of its authenticity so that they can analyse its replacement value.
Apart from diamond certification, there is also a diamond appraisal and people often tend to get confused between the two. While a diamond appraisal is for insurance purpose and is prepared by the seller keeping in mind the estimated value of the diamond, a diamond certificate is an analysis of diamond’s quality and is prepared after the gemologist checks the stone for all the parameters.
Traditionally, the central diamond in a certified diamond engagement ring is graded on the basis of 4Cs (Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat weight):
On a scale of importance, we outline the 4c’s 4 U -
Carat weight - With diamonds, size is most important. Choose a larger diamond that comes within your budget but in doing so, making sure its GIA or IGI certified.
Colour – is visual. Colourless diamonds are considered to be of the highest quality, colours ranging from D –Z and then fancy colours, some are extremely expensive.
Clarity – Measures diamond imperfections (inclusions or blemishes), Flawless being the best clarity, down to I3 with visual imperfections.
Cut – Is the final factor to be looking at. The better the cut, the more attention a diamond would grab as it would sparkle more.
Finally, cash and certification, which go together. Make sure your cash buys you the right certificate for your diamond.
So, now that you are aware of the importance of certified diamonds and have read about 4Cs, buy only a certified diamond ring. These rings are great value for your money. The key is to visit a reputable jeweler and still demand the GIA or IGI diamond grading document so that the quality can be verified by any other person in the trade.
Visit www.gia.edu for more info and knowledge about grading diamonds.