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GIA Certification for Diamonds: What It Is and Why It Is Important

What is GIA?

You may have heard about GIA certification when shopping for diamonds in the past. GIA (Gemological Institute of America) is a non-profit organization that focuses on research and education about gemstones and gemstone jewelry. GIA is the leader and the most stringent diamond grading house in the industry. They devised the 4C’s (carat weight, clarity, color and cut)! They wrote the book that everyone uses to grade, buy, sell, price, and compare diamonds by. Any jeweler would agree that GIA is considered the king of all diamond grading houses.

What does it mean to be GIA certified? 

GIA certifications, called diamond reports, are the most accurate diamond grading reports in the WORLD.  However, on the flip side, GIA only grades the stone! They list what they believe the true quality of that diamond is and nothing more! Which means, they don’t have the ability to change what’s true about the quality of a diamond. If the stone is a good quality stone, like D, VVS1, it’ll end up getting a good grade. But, if the stone is a low-quality diamond, like a K, I1, it’ll end up getting a low grade. So, whether the stone is certified or not, does not affect what the stone is, or what the quality is.

Is GIA Certification Essential?

Now you know that GIA certification doesn’t affect the stone, or its quality, but it can still matter.  The bottom line is, it’s subjective.  If you’re going to purchase a diamond that isn’t GIA certified, then you better really know and understand diamonds and how to determine their quality, otherwise you are opening the door to relying on a salesperson whose knowledge may not be as reliable. And since most new diamond buyers aren’t experts, it is comforting to get an extra level of authentication.  My recommendation is, if you’re purchasing a diamond larger than .5 carats then make the extra spend for GIA certification. If it’s less than .5 carats you can skip it.

The moral of the story is, when shopping for a more expensive diamond, make sure it is GIA certified so that you know you can trust it. However, for diamonds smaller than a half a carat, the cost of getting GIA certification outweighs the cost of the diamond and therefore might not be necessary.

If you’d like to learn more about GIA certification or purchase a diamond that is GIA certified, go to my contact page and let’s get started!