What is Certification?

The differences in diamond attributes such as Cut, Color, Clarity or Carat can be very minor, but the price differences are not. And because a high level of expertise is required for diamond evaluation, it is of the utmost importance to know the precise attributes and characteristics of your diamond. Given that pricing varies so drastically, you'd never want to purchase an expected quality of diamond, but get something else. Diamond certificates standardize diamond attributes so you know you're getting exactly what you've paid for. It's a protection for consumers globally.


GIA Certification

GIA sealIn order to deal with the lack of transparency in diamonds and pricing, an institution known as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) was founded as a nonprofit organization. Over time, GIA has become the global industry's standard for diamond grading and grading practices. GIA is a technology pioneer that holds the strictest grading standard. After GIA, other laboratories arose in order to compete with GIA. With lots of inconsistencies and questionable practices, the value of the certificates issues by these other institutions rapidly declined. Therefore, GIA certificates carry a premium because they are the industry's safest, most consistent and strictest evaluation of a diamond's characterics. Other labs include AGS, EGL and IGI. In the diamond industry, it is understood that the other labs will have inflated color or clarity grades. We strongly recommend researching diamonds and reports if they are not GIA certified diamonds. The price difference between GIA diamonds and non-GIA diamonds can be 15% - 25%. Four Mine only carries GIA certified diamonds in order to preserve the same standard of consistency and transparency. GIA certification reports are thorough and provide all the relevant information required to assess a diamond. Each report has a unique identification number and all diamonds under 1.00ct are laser inscribed by GIA on the girdle of the diamond in order to verify them. All diamonds above 1.00ct have optional laser inscription. Nowadays, most diamonds do have a laser inscription of the report number for ease of identification.

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How to read a GIA Report

GIA reports come in 2 forms: diamond dossiers and diamond grading reports. We'll show you what to look for and how to free both. Diamond Dossiers: these reports are standard practice for all diamonds under 1.00ct. The largest difference between a dossier and a full grading report is that a dossier does not have a GIA diamond plot, which maps the location of inclusions.

example of GIA diamond dossier report for diamonds under 1.00ct


Line 1: Date of certification and unique GIA report number assigned to every graded diamond.

Line 2: The shape of a diamond and whether or not it is a brilliant cut diamond.

Line 3: The length x width x height of the diamond.

Line 4: Identification of the 4 C's of diamonds starting with the precise carat weight rounded to the nearest 0.01ct.

Line 5: The color grade assigned to the diamond.

Line 6: The clarity grade assigned to the diamond.

Line 7: The cut grade assigned to the diamond (only available for round cut diamonds).

Line 8: The polish grade assigned to the diamond.

Line 9: The symmetry grade assigned to the diamond.

Line 10: The fluorescence grade assigned to the diamond.

Line 11: The grade setting clarity characteristics known as inclusions that are found within the diamond.

Line 12: The inscription laser etched on the girdle of the diamond.

Line 13: Comments provided by the gemologist about any potential treatments or clarity inclusions that affect the sparkle of the diamond.

Diamond chart: These are all the angles and measures that contribute to the diamond's cut grade. These include the diamond table, depth, crown angle, crown height, girdle size, pavillion angle, pavilion depth and culet. GIA also provide the 4 C's grading scales as reference points so you can identify in which range your diamond sits. GIA reports can be verified by entering the report number on the GIA Report Check.

GIA diamond grading report with all the diamond attributes as an example

Line 1: Date of certification and unique GIA report number assigned to every graded diamond.

Line 2: The shape of a diamond and whether or not it is a brilliant cut diamond.

Line 3: The length x width x height of the diamond.

Line 4: Identification of the 4 C's of diamonds starting with the precise carat weight rounded to the nearest 0.01ct.

Line 5: The color grade assigned to the diamond.

Line 6: The clarity grade assigned to the diamond.

Line 7: The cut grade assigned to the diamond (only available for round cut diamonds).

Line 8: The polish grade assigned to the diamond.

Line 9: The symmetry grade assigned to the diamond.

Line 10: The fluorescence grade assigned to the diamond.

Line 11: The grade setting clarity characteristics known as inclusions that are found within the diamond.

Line 12: The inscription laser etched on the girdle of the diamond.

Line 13: Comments provided by the gemologist about any potential treatments or clarity inclusions that affect the sparkle of the diamond.

GIA grading report with a diamond plot showing the inclusions mapping

Diamond chart: These are all the angles and measures that contribute to the diamond's cut grade. These include the diamond table, depth, crown angle, crown height, girdle size, pavillion angle, pavilion depth and culet.

Diamond Plot: The diamond plot shows 2 very important features of the diamond. First, it shows the faceting style of the diamond. This is valuable because in shapes such as Cushion, they can vary in their cutting and faceting style as well as in their length (rectangular or square). Second, the plot includes red and green markings that represent the size, type and location of inclusions. These plot are subjective because they are hand plotted by GIA gemologists.

Finally, below the plot, you'll find the definitions of the red and green markings, including the type of inclusion. Please note that there could be inclusions other than what is described in the plot. The major, most visible, grade setting inclusions are plotted.

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