There is no physical difference between a diamond that has a lab certificate, or grading report, and one that does not. A lab certificate does not change the nature of a diamond in any way. The difference between a diamond that has a certificate and one that does not is that, with the lab certificate, you have tangible, assurances as to the particular nature and quality of the diamond you are purchasing.
But not all diamond labs are created equal. Of all of the diamond grading laboratories, there are two that are non-profit organizations; The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and The American Gem Society (AGS). What does that mean? You can be assured that these diamond grading labs are working in the best interest of you, the consumer.
So which one is better? That is a personal choice. The format of the report is different for each lab, and it depends on which format you like better. Vanscoy, MAURER & Bash Diamond Jewelers stands behind both grading labs as being the leaders in their industry, and trust that the information provided on each certificate is accurate and unbiased. Only these two labs have consistently proven to grade to the strict and uncompromised standards needed to allow you confidence in your decision.
All of a diamond’s attributes are listed on a grading report. This information is developed using the 4 C’s as a guideline. In having a lab certificate, you can be assured that the diamond is independently recognized as possessing all the qualities specified by that report.
On the other hand, some diamonds are not accompanied by a diamond grading report and therefore its stated quality is based only on the word of the seller. A diamond without a certificate is not necessarily a bad diamond; certainly, it can be as beautiful as its counterpart with one. However, we encourage our customers to buy diamonds with a lab certificate for the following reasons:
1. Shopping for diamonds with certificates allows you to make an informed choice about your selections, and to comparison shop.
2. You can compare one diamond with a particular weight and quality with other diamonds of similar weight and quality to determine which is the better value.
3. It is difficult to determine whether the quality assessments of one jeweler will be as stringent and precise as the judgments of other jewelers if there is no certificate present; that is, not all jewelers may agree about the quality of a diamond. This is why our diamonds at Vanscoy, MAURER & Bash Diamond Jewelers have been graded by either our in house diamond expert, or at the labs themselves. Our in house diamond expert is not only a Graduate Gemologist of the GIA, but he is also a Certified Gemologist of the AGS. In having these letters behind his name, much like a doctor has M.D. following his name, he grades our diamonds to the same standards as the GIA and AGS do in their facilities, only he is right in our store! This also gives you the advantage of having someone to discuss details of the reports that are often overlooked but could have a tremendous impact on the actual eye appeal of the diamond.
4. A diamond grading report adds value to a diamond. The quality assessments made by independent labs, such as GIA and AGS, are recognized worldwide. These quality assessments are used by appraisers to determine the insurance or replacement value of your diamond.
5. If you purchase a diamond with no certificate, there is no guarantee that the appraiser will appraise your diamond at the same level at which the jeweler who sold it to you did.
6. A diamond grading report adds an increased comfort-level to your purchase. Because the quality of your purchase has been independently verified, you can feel assured that you have made a wise purchase and that you have received exactly what you have paid for.
Take the Guesswork Out of Diamond Buying
The key to a diamond’s value is its rarity, and no two diamonds are alike. Rarity is determined by a diamond’s unique characteristics as measured by the Four Cs: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight. Using these criteria, a small diamond of exceptional quality will likely be more valuable than a larger diamond of lower quality. Diamond professionals use these four factors to describe and classify diamonds. When taken together, they help in evaluating the finished diamonds you buy. That’s why they are often called value factors. With the value factors taken care of for you, you can then concentrate on which diamond has the eye appeal most suited for you.