Diamonds are popularly gifted as declarations of love, promises of a future together and as signs of appreciation. They are also often bought by individuals simply for their beauty and implications as social status symbols. However, there isn’t much worse than paying top dollar for a stone that isn’t top quality. When shopping for diamond jewellery, it’s important to understand diamond certifications.
What is a diamond certification?
Diamond certifications are produced by diamond labs in order to grade a stone’s clarity, colour, cut, carat, fluorescence, polish grade and symmetry, among other things. Diamond certificates are not used for valuation of a stone, but rather to verify its authenticity. The certificates provide grades for the diamonds’ characteristics and are typically provided alongside a jewellery purchase. Diamond certifications are also known as diamond dossiers.
Grading a diamond
A diamond must be unset in order to be graded. If it is already in a ring or pendant, it’s hard to properly measure its size and weight, and any light shined into it will reflect poorly as it’s blocked by the metal setting. Diamond laboratories employ experienced professionals to carry out the certification process. Each characteristic of a given stone is logged on a graph which serves as its fingerprint. It’s typical for a diamond to be graded several times by multiple technicians in order to make the certification as accurate as possible.
Because every diamond is unique, the grading process is somewhat subjective. However, there are set scales in place to help standardise it. There are international grading scales for carat. colour, cut and clarity. For example, the colour scale ranges from “exceptional white” to “tinted colour,” with a range of more than 20 levels. Carat and cut are easier to grade, as they are more measurement-based. Carat corresponds to a diamond’s weight, and cut refers to the angles of its facets. Clarity, like colour, is graded qualitatively on a scale ranging from “flawless” to “inclusions visible to the naked eye.” Other characteristics like fluorescence and polish grade have their own grading processes.
It’s possible to improve one or more aspects of the diamond with a simple recut. PASSION8 diamonds are cut so that light reflects only out of the top face of the stone, creating a shine that makes it look two to three shades whiter and brighter than an ordinary diamond, even when dirty.
How is diamond certification different from a valuation?
Diamond certificates are the lab reports grading a stone’s characteristics. These certifications are used to create a valuation. A valuation is a document that ascribes value to stones based on their certification and the current market conditions. While certifications and valuations go hand in hand, they are not the same thing.
Who certifies diamonds?
The Jewellers Association of Australia is a coalition that represents and protects the interests of the jewellery industry and its consumers. It recognizes several diamond grading laboratories as fit to certify. These include the American Gem Society Laboratories, the Australian Diamond Grading Laboratory, the Diamond Certification Laboratory of Australia, the Gem Studies Laboratory, the Gemmological Institute of America, HRD Antwerp, Independent Gemmological Laboratory, the International Gemological Institute, the International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research and the Scientific Gem Testing Laboratories.
By law, diamond grading laboratories cannot sell diamonds and must be completely independent of the selling process so that there is no conflict of interest when it comes to certifications.
Why is certification important?
Diamond certification serves as a protection from sellers who may try to overcharge you or take advantage of your lack of knowledge about diamonds. A certification is an official document you can reference at any point in the purchasing process and also take home with you once you decide on a diamond. These proofs of your stone’s quality are useful down the road as well. If you resell your jewellery or happen to lose it, you’ll get a much higher return on resale value and a larger claim from an insurance company on a certified diamond.
Buying certified diamonds
PASSION8 diamonds all come with a promise of perfection. Passion8 Diamonds are certified by the Gemological Institute of America, are laser inscribed for your records, and are guaranteed to be conflict-free.
The Kimberly Process, a protocol implemented to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the market, is followed strictly when sourcing PASSION8 diamonds. All PASSION8 stones are tracked on their journey from mine to setting to ensure there are no unethical behaviour or practices at any point along the way.
When giving the gift of diamonds to your loved ones, include the diamond certification document. It’s a way to show you took the trouble of finding a high-quality diamond for them, and also that the jewellery you picked out is authentic. Even if you’re just buying for yourself, it’s nice to look back at the certification document and remind yourself of the quality of your jewellery. PASSION8 diamonds even come with an authenticity card you can tuck into a gift bag along with the certification.
There are lots of ways to gift diamonds, from rings and bracelets to necklaces and earrings. They can even be worked into watches and more unique pieces like tiaras and more. If you take the time to find a certified diamond with high grades across the board of its characteristics, you may want to stick to a simpler design which showcases the stone. This is especially true of diamonds with high carats. Pick a setting which shows off the diamond’s best qualities, and doesn’t distract with unnecessary frills. You could also go in the opposite direction and fully embrace the opulence of your diamond and set it in a cluster to create a glimmering, eye-catching piece of custom jewellery.
However you end up designing your jewellery, choose PASSION8 for your certified diamond needs.