Know your diamonds – Grading and certification
Diamonds are one of the most beautiful and covetted gemstones used in jewellery making. Diamond jewellery is not only a sure shot way to add glamour and elegance to your style statement but for a lot of people they are also a symbol of status. Given how expensive diamonds can be, it is important to understand the 4C’s of diamonds and significance of certifications.
The 4 C’s
The 4C’s of diamond stand for cut, clarity, colour and carat. When evaluating the price of a diamond, it’s important to consider not simply the size of the diamond but the 4Cs as well. The cut of the diamond determines how well the surfaces are able to reflect the light. The clarity refers to the amount of inclusions in the stone when viewed via a 10x magnifying loupe. Coloured diamonds are more rare, as compared to regular white diamonds and hence add to the price value, and the carat is a reference to the weight of the diamond. A carat is equal to 200mg which is further divided into 100 points allowing for very precise measurements.
Difference between real diamonds and American diamonds
Real diamonds are the ones that occur in nature, whereas American diamonds or Cubic Zirconia are produced in labs. The lab variety sells for much cheaper as it does not hold the same strength or durability of the real diamond. Natural diamonds are one of the toughest stones on earth, but at the same time they will be lighter than Cubic Zirconia. American diamonds, being much less durable, are also prone to scratches and damage quite easily.
What is a Certified Diamond?
A certified diamond is nothing but when an independent evaluator (not the retailer) analyzes the diamond and grades it based on the international standards of 4Cs as well as other factors. This evaluation is recorded on a certificate and sold with the diamond as proof of its genuinity.
What certifications are available?
There are various international and national entities that offer diamond certification services. Some of the most well reputed ones include GIA (Gemological Institute of India) and AGS (American Gem Society). Gradings are carried out by trained professionals, and although there’s an international standard for grading diamonds, evaluations and certifications differ from one entity to another. It’s best to research the evaluating entity and learn about their grading methods so as to truly understand your diamond certificate.
How to get your diamonds certified?
Most retailers will sell diamonds that are already certified, so as to save you the hassle, but if you do happen to possess a piece of diamond jewellery or even just a single stone, then you can just as easily get in touch with the one of the gemological laboratories in the country and request for an independent evaluation. Some labs even allow you to choose the professional who will perform the grading and provide the certificate.