Difference between certified & non-certified diamond rings

Written by caitlin mcculloch
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Difference between certified & non-certified diamond rings
There are differences between certified and non-certified diamond rings. (Engagement Ring image by Kimberly Barton from Fotolia.com)

Getting engaged can be one of the most joyous occasions of one's life. When you select a diamond, you want to get the best ring possible. The purchase of a diamond ring, however, can have pitfalls. Diamonds are pricey and today are often considered investments, so it is important to be well informed about the ring at hand. A legitimate certificate can help with this.

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Benefits of a Certified Diamond

Think of a diamond ring certificate as a report card for the jewel. It will tell you what the strong points of the diamond are and what its weak points may be. Having a certified diamond ultimately makes the purchase and the jewel more credible; it is clear exactly what you are paying for, and all aspects have been checked out. Having a certified diamond ultimately instils confidence in the person purchasing the stone as well as the recipient.

Dangers of a Non-Certified Diamond

It is a common belief that stores will raise the price of diamonds simply because they are certified. A reputable lab certificate is insurance against this practice. The truth is, if a diamond appears too good to be true, it probably is. Roughly, a whopping 50 per cent of diamonds available for purchase are made to seem better than they are. This can be done by exaggerating the clarity or carat weight. Without a certification, you may unknowingly be paying thousands more for a lesser stone.

Trusted Laboratories/Certifiers

Just as no two diamonds are created equal, not all gemological laboratories are the same. If a diamond is certified by a jewellery store or an unknown source, there is a risk of the certificate being false. It is best to go with a jewel certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the American Gem Society (AGS) or the European Gemological Laboratory (EGL). These are all well-known, established laboratories that are credible. They have no hidden agendas and do not receive commissions on diamond sales, making them overall most trustworthy.

Getting to Know the Four Cs of Diamonds

When looking at diamonds and at a certificate, important elements of the jewel can be found by the considering the four Cs. The first C stands for the cut. This will tell you the shape (princess, round, pear) and make of the stone. Second is colour. The colour of a diamond ranges from varying shades of yellow to the rating of colourless. Next is clarity. This is the shimmer the diamond gives off depending on internal flaws the jewel possesses. The last C stands for carat weight. This tells the weight of the diamond, both the centre stone alone and the weights of other side diamonds.

Other Important Information Within a Certificate

Although the four Cs are important to take into consideration, a legitimate certificate will provide much more detailed information that normal shoppers would think of or could never assess themselves. Certificates may contain up to 13 detailed areas, such as finish, fluorescence and symmetry of the diamond. It is crucial to make sure the date the certificate was created is included. Flaws of the diamond should also be listed.

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