If you’re looking into the cost of having a diamond certified, I’m sure you already have an idea of what a diamond certificate is. You may also know there are certificates provided by many different grading labs, and not all of these labs grade diamonds with the same accuracy.
Why have a diamond certified?
Many people are looking to have a diamond certified either because they want to sell it or buy it, and they want an objective opinion (or proof) of the quality. If you’re looking for the strictest and most accurate grading lab to certify your diamond, you undoubtedly send it to the GIA (Gemological Institute of America). They have a program where you can send them a stone and they provide you with a diamond grading report. There are a few other grading labs out there, but the GIA remains the authority in the field.
Cost of a GIA certificate
The cost of a Diamond Grading Report is based on the weight of the stone. It costs $64 for a 1/2 carat diamond up to $120 for a 2 carat. You can also purchase an eReport (online only) for slightly less. All diamonds are also checked for laser drilling, fracture filling, irradiation, and HPHT treatment. Any diamonds sent for grading must be loose or removed from the ring mounting. They will, however, determine the material (synthetic, natural, etc) of diamonds that are mounted in a setting.
Laser inscription for diamonds
If you’re selling a large diamond on the secondary market, you may also want to have the diamond laser inscribed. This will verify that the diamond you’re selling is indeed the diamond that is graded on the certificate. For an additional $12-$24, the GIA will laser inscribe the report number on the girdle of your diamond. It can only be seen with a loupe or microscope.
One thing you should know about the laser inscription is that it can be buffed off. It cannot be easily replicated so it works well for matching a certificate, just know that if you leave your stone with a jeweler you should verify the inscription with them so there’s recourse if the stone you get back is without it.
Do I need a certificate?
You don’t have to get a diamond certified in order to sell it. If you’re selling to a jeweler who knows how to grade diamonds, a certificate isn’t necessary and probably won’t get you a higher offer. It may be easier for the jeweler to re-sell the stone with a certificate, though. Just like it will be easier for you to sell it on the secondary market with a certificate.
For the majority of people looking to buy a diamond either from a jewelry store, online or in the secondary market, I would highly suggest you seek one that is certified by a reputable company. Remember that even GIA certificates can be inaccurate so it’s important to compare diamonds in person and know who you’re buying from.
If you can really trust the source you’re buying from, it’s okay to buy a non-certified diamond when the transaction meets all other criteria.
If you have any other questions about diamond certificates, submit them in the comments below!