How to Read a GIA Diamond Grading Certificate | The Diamond Reserve

How to Read a GIA Diamond Grading Certificate

A diamond’s brilliance and beauty may capture your heart, but understanding its quality requires delving into the world of gemology. Thankfully, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) provides a diamond grading certificate, a document that serves as your diamond’s passport, detailing its key characteristics. While these reports contain a lot of detailed information and can seem overwhelming, they are relatively easy to read and understand.  Here’s a roadmap to navigating this essential document.

What’s Included on a GIA Diamond Certificate? 

A diamond should come with a report from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or similar gemological organization or laboratory that contains a full scientific and unbiased assessment of your diamond’s 4Cs (cut, clarity, color and carat). The GIA is considered the gold standard among the industry’s most reputable jewelers and diamond dealers. It’s a dossier, first developed in the 1950s that documents and assesses a diamond’s characteristics as well as a lot of other information. 

The layout of a certificate may vary slightly, but you’ll typically find the following information:

  • Diamond Diagram: A visual representation of the diamond, often including any clarity characteristics plotted for easy identification.
  • Grading Report Number: A unique identifier for your specific diamond.
  • Shape and Cutting Style: The diamond’s outline (round, princess, etc.) and the faceting pattern.
  • Measurements: The diamond’s dimensions, presented in millimeters for round diamonds and length x width x depth for fancy shapes.
  • Color Grade: The diamond’s color rating on the GIA color scale.
  • Clarity Grade: The diamond’s clarity rating on the GIA clarity scale.
  • Cut Grade: The diamond’s cut quality as assessed by GIA (applicable only to round brilliant cuts).
  • Polish and Symmetry: These additional characteristics may be included, indicating the surface quality and symmetry of the diamond’s facets.
  • Fluorescence: This section indicates whether the diamond exhibits fluorescence, a reaction to ultraviolet light that can sometimes appear as a faint blue glow.

The diamond report simply outlines the details of a diamond’s individual characteristics, it is not an appraisal and does not suggest a monetary value, and while the certificate provides valuable information, it doesn’t capture everything, a visual inspection under good lighting is crucial. By understanding the certificate information and consulting with a trusted jeweler, you can choose a diamond that sparkles with brilliance and reflects the beauty of your love story.

Understanding Your GIA Diamond Grading Certificate

Every diamond is unique with a range of characteristics that you could think of like a fingerprint. These characteristics are what ultimately determine the diamond’s value, and are recorded on a diamond certificate. If you’ve ever wondered where a diamond’s price comes from, you’ll soon realize it’s not just about the size of the gem or the store where you get it. 

At the heart of every GIA certificate lie the four C’s: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight. These characteristics significantly influence a diamond’s beauty and price tag. Did you know diamonds are graded by the absence of color using a scale of D to Z? After the cutting style and measurements, you’ll find color, clarity and cut grades. The finish of the diamond is influenced by two factors: polish and symmetry. Polish is an indication of how smooth the surface is and symmetry is the comparison of how the stone’s facets are shaped, positioned and aligned in relation to one another.

You’ll also find a description of the diamond’s fluorescence properties which is the intensity and color it glows with when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. The clarity plot diagram is a graphical representation of the diamond’s “fingerprint” and identifies any flaws or blemishes. You’ll also see a very detailed proportions diagram.

We carefully inspect our GIA certified diamond inventory to provide stunning options based on grading, visual brilliance and beauty. Learn more about our GIA approved process here or contact us with questions.