Not all sellers provide diamond grading lab reports (aka diamond quality reports) to their consumers. So my common advice to you is to keep your money in your pocket when dealing with such jewelers.
Only purchase a diamond engagement ring if it comes with the original diamond quality report.
A lab report is an independent evaluation of the 4Cs of a loose diamond and includes a plotted diagram of the stone’s clarity features and a graphic representation of the stone’s proportions. Having such a report enables you to compare diamonds of different qualities plus ultimately helps you make a more educated buying decision.
A retailer might cut corners and not provide a lab report or an unscrupulous seller may provide a fake one because of the time, trouble and expense he will bear to getting a stone graded.
Yeah – there is a price to get grading a diamond (though that cost is eventually paid by the consumer), plus the shipping and insurance charges for sending the diamond towards the lab. And let us not forget the chance cost of a jeweler not having the diamond in his store for sale for some weeks while the grading takes place.
However , a diamond grading report may also not be available because the costs for you to get one may impact too heavily around the final price of the ring.
For example , the 0. 3ct diamond ring costing $250 say, may cost around $75 to be graded and have the report number inscribed on the girdle for the diamond.
As you search for that ideal diamond engagement ring for your sweetheart, viewers there is an alphabet soup of labs claiming to provide reputable diamond grading reports. But I would only put my money on…
The Top Diamond Grading Lab Reports
Indeed, all diamond quality reports are not created equal. Within the industry, this is a consensus that the two premier labs are GIA-GTL (Gemological Institute associated with America’s Gem Trade Lab) as well as the AGS (American Gem Society Laboratories).
The GCAL (Gem Certification and Assurance Lab) also offers highly regarded reports or “diamond certificates” as they are usually referred to by GCAL.
The GIA has the strongest global reputation intended for independence and consistency. Due to their continuous color and clarity strictness recommendations, the globe’s largest and most costly diamonds have been sent there for grading decades. In 2006, GIA-GTL added a two-dimensional cut grading system for round brilliant gemstones.
AGS uses the strictest trim standards in the industry. It uses a three-dimensional light performance metric that can level several diamond shapes. In fact , it does not take only cut grading system that is recognized by the scientific community.
What is more, its Diamond Quality Document uses an unique and proprietary 0 to 10 grading system to evaluate the particular 4 Cs – a system that is easier to comprehend than GIA’s grading system. In fact , AGS even will go the extra step by equating their particular 0-10 rating scale to other forms of rating.
For example , the conventional VS1 gemstone clarity rating is a 3 in the AGS Diamond Quality Document.
Gemstone Reporting – The Drawbacks
one Diamond grading is not standardized or even regulated and hence you may come across rate 2 labs that employ loose guidelines to the tier 1 grading labs mentioned above.
If you buy a gemstone that has been graded by a tier 2 lab, you may end up paying more for a lesser quality diamond. Therefore for example , a diamond rated a “F” in color at a rate 2 lab may get a Grams, H, or lower color ranking at a more reputable lab.
The also discounts diamonds graded by lesser known labs by about 15-30% or more. So either you only buy a diamond graded by a tier 1 lab or you accept that you might be buying a lesser quality diamond than what is mentioned on the report if that diamond is graded by a lesser known lab.
2 . Many large chain shops have huge contracts with less popular labs with “softer” diamond grading guidelines. Some of these softer labs place “suggested replacement values” on the laboratory reports – values which are greater than what stores intends sell the diamonds for.
So a sales rep in a chain store may say to you, “Look at the great deal you are getting here. We are selling you this diamond engagement ring for $2500 but the report says that the suggested replacement value is $4000. ” Wow – what a deal – NOT! This is why it is better that you rely on only independent tier 1 labs.
Also bear in mind that reputable diamond grading reports are not appraisals and don’t give appraisal figures. Diamond appraisals will often be grossly inflated and are not something you’ll want to rely on.
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3. Diamond reports are riddled with disclaimers that designate that nothing is “certified” or assured and that the labs are not responsible for errors. In fact , the GIA provides a disclaimer of sorts on their website regarding the use of the word “certify. inch The website says:
“It is incorrect to state that students, graduates, their businesses, or particular gemstones are “certified” by GIA. The Gemological Institute of America does not approve anyone or anything. Neither students nor a graduate who has been awarded a certificate or degree or diploma, nor a gem which has been graded or identified by GIA has been certified by GIA”.
So it is possible that you the consumer is left keeping the bag should an inaccuracy in a report is later discovered. Courts have frequently ruled that sellers, not labs, are responsible for like errors. Why? Because the labs indicated beforehand that their reports couldn’t be held liable.
Fortunately, a few couple ways to give yourself even more buyer protection:
A. You could take flight to India where jewelers provide a lifetime buyback policy to their clients. Too expensive to fly?
B. You could find one of the 20% of US jewelers that sell fully bonded diamonds. These are diamonds that are sold with life time breakage, lifetime trade-in and life time buyback policies.
C. Not as good a remedy as buying a fully bonded diamond but you could buy a gemstone that comes with an actual “certificate” and not a report. “Certified diamonds do come with guaranties” albeit for shorter durations.
Some sellers refer to a “diamond report” as a “certified diamond” yet technically this is not correct. From a lawful standpoint, a diamond report is a simply an expert opinion though in fact, aspects of a diamond grading record are not just opinions.
For example , a diamond’s carat (weight) can be accurately determined as well as its cut quality by measuring its optical efficiency or by referring to a computer design. A certificate on the other hand is a statement of fact – a document for which the issuer accepts culpability and will make restitution to the customer for mistakes.