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Home > Diamonds > The 4 C`s of Diamond > Certification
Certification
CertificationIf you are buying a high priced, high quality diamond, it is worth while considering whether you should get an expert opinion. It is surprising how few people do so!
Who can provide independent expert advice?

Diamond Grading Laboratories
In the past few decades, a set of international diamond grading standards have emerged. As yet there is no single world-wide standard, but the standards applied by the GIA, Gemmological Institute of America, have influenced European laboratories. GIA terminology and standards have become almost a de facto international standard. GIA certificates are accepted almost world-wide.

CIBJO is a European organisation which has a number of affiliated national gemmological laboratories, including in Britain, the London Gem Lab. This grades to the same strict standards as the GIA. Although CIBJO lab certificates are not as universally accepted as those issued by the GIA, they provide perfectly good independent expert testing, grading and certification for diamonds and other gemstones.

Other Laboratories
There are many other laboratories throughout the world, but not all can be relied upon to provide first class, honest, and reliable grading. Indeed in most countries anybody could, and often does, set up as a gemmological grading laboratory, offering cut-price grading certificates to dealers, manufacturers, and retailers of all ethical persuasions.

Many diamond grading certificates are probably not worth the paper they are written on!

Retailer Grading
Only one generation ago, many British retail jewellers could not even tell you the weight of the diamonds in a diamond ring they were trying to sell you, some still cant!
Things have improved slightly, but many retail jewellers still cannot tell you accurately the quality of the diamonds you are expected to buy from them. If they dont know, how can you expect them to be able to advise you properly? Recently, many jewellers, particularly the large multiple retailers, have realised that they need to appear to their customers as being more expert. Many have introduced graded diamonds into their ranges, or offer grading information about diamonds from their stock. Sadly many of them use "hack" certification from unknown laboratories. Other retailers will give you an oral opinion of the grading. Because of the vast differences in grading standards between laboratories and the diamond trade, the grades you are told may be exaggerated sufficiently to double the apparent value of the diamond.

If you are offered grading information, ask who performed the grading, and what guarantees there are about the grades.

When Should You Expect A Laboratory Certificate?
Its difficult to be precise, but well try to give you a few guidelines.
When you want a high quality diamond, of colour about H or better.
When you want a diamond of VS clarity or better.
If you are spending over 1000 on a single diamond, unless it is large in relation to its price.
Whenever you are buying a diamond which is small for its price, so that you should be expecting high quality.
If you are buying it from an unknown source.
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