If you’ve ever shopped for diamond jewelry, you’ve probably noticed that some diamonds are touted as “certified” diamonds. What does that mean, and does it make a difference in the quality of the diamond? In this blog, we’ll demystify the certification process to help you make the most informed purchasing choice possible.
What is Diamond Certification?
When we think of certification, we generally consider that something or someone is more credible if certified. And when you try to obtain a certification, you know that you generally have to pass a test in order to meet a certain standard. The same is true for diamonds. When applied to diamonds, “certified” means that the quality of the diamond meets a predetermined standard and is verified by a qualified, experienced gemologist, which is a person who is a whip-smart, highly-trained scientist that specializes in knowing all about gemstones. Think of the certificate as a report card for your diamond. It’s everything you need to know to have complete confidence in the uniqueness and quality of your diamond, documented in one place for you to safely keep.
Diamond certification is important because it serves as proof of the quality of your diamond and gives you peace of mind that you are spending your hard-earned money on a diamond that is exactly what it says it is. If you do choose to buy a non-certified diamond, then you simply won’t have the same knowledge or confidence about your purchase, and you will lose all the protection a certificate provides.
Certification Vs Appraisal
It’s also important to remember that a certificate and appraisal are not the same things. Remember, a diamond certificate is essentially a hyper-detailed report card for the description and quality of your diamond. An appraisal, however, places a dollar value on your diamond, usually for insurance or resell purposes. Do note that a certificate is used to help appraisers determine the insurance or replacement value of your diamond, and having a certificate means the stone will be given a higher value.
The Four C’s of Certification
The standard qualities of diamonds are defined by an internationally accepted system of cut, clarity, color, and carat. These are known as The Four C’s and comprise your diamond’s certification. The certification may also include your diamond’s finish (polish and symmetry), fluorescence, and additional comments about its unique characteristics.
Cut refers to the precision and quality of the methods used to cut and polish a diamond from its raw state. The cut is the most important of The Four C’s because it has everything to do with how light interacts with your diamond — in other words, cut determine how much it will shine. When diamonds are properly cut, the light will reflect out of the top the stone for that signature brilliance we all love. If the cuts are too shallow, the light will escape out of the bottom. If they’re too deep, the light will leak out from the sides. (Sidenote: despite popular opinion, the cut does not refer to the diamond’s actual shape.)
Color defines what impurities and defects are present in the diamond that affect the immaculateness of its hue. Interestingly, all diamonds have varying amounts of color, even the ones you think of as white. White diamonds are actually prized for their lack of color, and high- quality white diamonds are essentially colorless. Lower-quality white diamonds have a more yellowish cast to them. Each white diamond color grade is based on a scale of completely colorless (D) to small amounts of color (Z). Colored diamonds are graded a little differently. The most important factor in grading a colored diamond is the deepness or richness of its color. The more intense the color, the more valuable your diamond will be.
Clarity measures how many blemishes or inclusions are visible in the diamond. Blemishes are flaws on the surface of the diamond, while inclusions are tiny imperfections inside the stone that can only be seen with specialized tools (source). The lower the clarity of a diamond, the more imperfections found in the diamond. However — inclusions actually aren’t all bad! They can be great identifiers because just like fingerprints, no two diamonds are exactly identical (even lab-grown). Getting to know key inclusions can help you recognize your diamond.
Carat refers to the weight, but not necessarily the size of your diamond. Carat and cut should be thought of together when you’re talking about white diamonds. For example, a higher carat diamond with a poor cut grade can look a lot smaller than a small diamond with a higher cut grade. If you’re talking about colored diamonds, however, carat and cut aren’t so entwined. Colored diamonds are cut to emphasize their color rather than their brilliance, so carat weight is little more important than cut.
New World Diamonds Certification
Our lab-grown diamonds are certified by various world-renowned, independent laboratories, including the International Gemological Laboratories (IGL) and the International Gemological Institute (IGI). Our .25 carat up to .90-carat weight stones are certified by IGL, while any of our diamonds that are .91 carat weight and above are certified by IGI. When browsing our diamonds, you’ll see that each of our product descriptions will tell you which laboratory certified the respective diamond. We send our diamonds to these labs not only because they are experts in diamond grading, but also because they are independent of New World Diamonds. This means they provide truly unbiased, impartial reports on the quality of our gems. So, by the time you see and feel one of our diamonds, you can rest easy knowing that it was not only masterfully cultivated, cut, and polished, but it was also carefully reviewed by multiple third-party gemology experts.
At New World Diamonds, certification is so important because it’s a promise from us to you that we stand behind the quality of our diamonds. We want you to fully understand what your certificate means, so if you are uncertain about anything or have questions, please call one of our friendly customer service representatives at 877-653-2250.