The Gemologcial Institute of America is bowed down to by all others in the diamond industry. The GIA is a non-profit research and educational institution which has a guiding mission of upholding integrity in the diamond industry. All GIA certified diamonds come with a diamond grading report that tells you more than you probably ever want to even know about the 4 Cs of that little slice of heaven.
There are some additional advantages to purchasing GIA certified diamonds. When shopping around and doing price comparisons, you can compare the characteristics of GIA certified diamonds to the retailer’s pricing. Also, if your future wife convinces you to upgrade the ring in the future, it will be easier to find stones with comparable characteristics. God forbid the ring is lost or stolen, it may be helpful in its recovery or for engagement ring insurance purposes, to have the GIA certificate which indicates the diamond’s exact properties.
Diamond Characteristics of GIA certified diamonds are documented in the GIA Diamond Grading Report for diamonds over 1 carat in size and in the Diamond Dossier Report for those under 1 carat. They Diamond Grading Report indicates the following:
The diamond’s dimensions in millimeters. The measurements for round diamonds help you determine symmetry. For fancy shapes like the marquise or pear shapes, the overall length-to-width ratio is important because certain proportions are more visually appealing.
The weight of diamond in carats. Many people think of carat weight as the size of a diamond. However, if a diamond is cut deep and narrow, it will look much smaller than another diamond of the same weight that is cut shallow and wide
A grading which evaluates the absence of color. Colorless is the most desired status, with other grades exhibiting increasing degrees of color. A few, very rare diamonds exhibit other “fancy” colors, such as pink, green, blue, intense yellow, etc.
Clarity grade. Diamond clarity is the measure of a diamond’s flaws (inclusions). Every diamond has some inclusions, even a diamond with a flawless clarity grade
A grade of cut. This actually refers to both the overall shape and how well the shape is cut
Grades that represent a diamond’s surface and facet placement. This is a good indicator of the care taken by the artisan to make the diamond as beautiful as possible.
Color when diamond is viewed under UV light: One technique that gemologists use to help identify and separate diamonds from the diamond look-alikes is by putting the gem under a UV lamp. If it fluoresces (glows) blue, it is almost certainly a diamond.
Overall smoothness of the diamond’s surface. A diamond can be polished to have the most perfect, reflective surfaces. This is one reason why diamonds are known for their brilliance. Polish grades range from Ideal to Poor
The shape, alignment and placement of the diamond’s facets in relation to one another as well as the evenness of the outline. Poor facet alignment will allow light to leak out before it reflects back resulting in less brilliance.
A description of additional diamond characteristics not already mentioned in the report.
A map of the inclusions as viewed under a microscope. If a diamond has a clarity grade of VS1 or better, you will not see any flaws with your naked eye. If the clarity grade is VS2 or less, examine the plot to see the placement of the major flaws.
A map of the diamond’s actual proportions.
The GIA certificate that is issued has microprint lines, holograms, and security screens to make counterfeits more readily identified. The only other certification that can hold a candle to the GIA is the American Gem Society Laboratories. The AGSL is highly respected and also issues an objective, in-depth report with each diamond that is inspected in their lab.