Post # 1
Hi bees! I just wanted your opinions on certified diamonds. We went looking today at diamonds and realised that we can get a good quality diamond within our budget…however it is not certified.
Jeweller said that there is not a difference apart from the paper work and that we would be paying a couple of thousand more just for a certificate but of the same quality of this specific diamond we have seen.
What would you do and do any of you have any experiences with certified or non certified and differences?
Post # 3
- Wedding: January 2014 - Lizard Island, Australia
I have a certified diamond which was pretty important to me but that’s probably a lot to do with the fact we bought it sight unseen on Blue Nile. However I think if you can see the non certified diamonds in person and you choose one that you love and is gorgeous and sparkly to you, what does a piece of paper matter? You could have a certified diamond that’s dull as dishwater. My paperwork only sits in a drawer, not in my hand. So I’d say no as long as you see it and its beautiful it probably doesn’t matter, apart from maybe insurance purposes but maybe you can just have it appraised for that reason.
Post # 4
I would never ever buy an uncertified diamond. Usually there’s a reason they haven’t been rated. GIA selects the ones it will rate, then EGL does. If no one has certified a diamond, you have to ask why?
That said, if you like the diamond, then go for it — just know you may not be paying what it’s worth.
Post # 5
No, I wouldn’t buy an uncertified stone. I’m fairly good with a loupe, but I have absolutely no formal training. GIA is the best, although mine was certified through EGL and turned out to be exactly as specified (i.e. EGL is not always wrong). -However- I would not recommend anything other than GIA and certainly nothing uncertified. Sorry.
Post # 6
Another who sees her Diamond as an Investment (in the sense of being a Family Heirloom)… so I too would only consider a CERTIFIED DIAMOND (GIA preferably)
As well, going CONFLICT FREE / CANADIAN was very important to us, and those Diamonds all come as CERTIFIED.
The best diamonds are going to be CERTIFIED as that is their “pedigree”. Think of it like a dog… you may love the Unregistered Dog just as much as the Registered one for sure… BUT if you ever wish to breed the Uncertified Dog you won’t get much for the puppies.
If you have an UNCERTIFIED Diamond it could be great, but ultimately not worth as much as you think it is (or paid for it if you got it from a Chain, Big Box, or On-Line Jewellery Store)
A CERTIFIED DIAMOND typically is valued at more than one pays for it… and this is the amount that it will end up being insured for (Replacement Value… which you’ll need some sort of Certificate for anyhow)
If buying a top quality Diamond (4Cs) is a priority for you (my first marriage it wasn’t… this time round it was) then you’ll want that CERTIFICATION to verify what you have in your possession.
Hope this helps,
Post # 7
@London_Bride: I would personally never buy a diamond that’s not certified by GIA/AGS, no matter if I saw the diamond in person or not. To the typical person’s eyes, the diamond may look very sparkly and nice, but aside from the fact that you’re looking at it with the store spotlighting (which could make anything look good), the fact is that they (myself included before researching heavily) just don’t know what a super-ideal cut diamond looks like. Believe me, I thought all diamonds were generally the same, but I was blown away as soon I saw certified AGS 000 and GIA Triple Ex stones.
I believe that jewelers aren’t stupid. They do it for a living and therefore need to make money. Your jeweler said that if it was certified, it would cost thousands of dollars more. Then why wouldn’t they just send it into GIA/AGS if they were that confident and sell it for more? GIA charges $105 USD to grade and provide a complete certification for a 1-1.49 ct diamond. Insured shipping maybe adds another $100. It’s the reason why many stores send their stones to the more lenient labs like EGL, they know EGL will give them higher grades than they deserve so they can sell it at those grades. If stores are completely confident they have an ideal stone, they send it to GIA/AGS to prove it. So what does that say about a store that doesn’t get a certification at all?
You couldn’t know whether the stone was cut deep/shallow, if it had an extremely thin girdle that’s suspectible to chipping, or if the jeweler was honest (or made an honest mistake) about the color without getting a certification.
Post # 8
Thanks for the responses.
We are upgrading my stone so it is really important to me to get the best we can. My jeweller values the diamond at the lowest he thinks it will be so if we ever got it certified or valued elsewhere then it would at least reach what he valued it at. I also trust him to be honest with us. FI got my ring from there 2 years ago.
My current diamond is not certified and I get compliments on it all the time. And it has never chipped and after 2 years I still have not spotted a flaw. I saw a certified diamond today with the same specs as mine and it looked EXACTLY the same so it proves my jeweller is trustworthy.
With this new diamond, the jeweller let us take it out in natural light and really examine it. It looked perfect to me, but I am also wondering why it is not certified.Surely GIA and EGL do not see every single diamond and decide if they should certify it or not?
Post # 9
My opinion is slightly different: If you saw the diamond and like how it looks, and budget is on your mind, then why does it have to be certified for you to love it? what everyone said about certified diamonds is true, but you can still find a lovely looking ring that is uncertified. it might not have the absolute brilliance that a high specs diamond might, but then again, not everyone wants to spend 5k on a 1/2 ct stone,e ven if they can 🙂
Post # 10
@London_Bride: GIA/EGL don’t get to decide whether they certify the stones or not. Vendors and suppliers send in their stones to the labs to get them graded, they are a service company. I could send the worst cut, horribly included stone to GIA and they won’t say no, they’ll just give it the worst grades and take my money. Jewelers can decide to not send their stones at all, they have to judge whether the money they gain by being able to exaggerate cut/clarity/color is higher than the money lost by losing customers who insist on certified stones
If you’re comfortable with buying the stone, then I say congratulations on finding a stone you love :). But I’ve been in situations where jewelers either lie or make an honest mistake on the subtle details like color grades, which makes a not so subtle difference in price.
If you’re going to buy the stone, I recommend you bring it to an independent appraiser (one who does not sell anything), or better yet, use that appraiser money to send it to GIA yourself to get it graded. If the color/cut/clarity isn’t what it’s supposed to be, show it to the jeweler and return the stone. If it matches, then not only have you found a jeweler you can trust, your stone will be worth (money wise at least) so much more with the certifications.
Post # 11
@London_Bride: I would NOT spend a sigificant amount of money on a diamond unless it was certified. If all you have to go on is the jeweler’s word, then that would not be good enough for me. If it’s certified, then you know the specs for insurance or resale purposes. You really don’t know what you’re getting without a certificate.
I mean sure, if you see a $300 ring at an antique shop and love the look of it, then go for it.. but if you’re spending like $3,000 or more on something, unless you’re really well off, I wouldn’t do.. since you really could be ripped off quite easily.
Post # 12
@London_Bride: I saw a certified diamond today with the same specs as mine and it looked EXACTLY the same so it proves my jeweller is trustworthy.
Playing devil’s advocate here.. not saying your jeweler is lying or anything, but realistically, unless you’re trained, you’re not going to be able to tell the difference between diamonds unless it’s a significant difference. Many will look the same to the naked eye. Diamonds are graded (at least by GIA) at 10x magnification. A “D” and a “G” colored diamond will look similar to many people, as will an IF diamond and an eye-clean SI1. The price difference, however, is astounding.
Post # 13
I thought certified had something to do with conflict free diamonds as well as grading/clarity and cut?
Post # 14
@Novaimu: Getting a certification from a lab like GIA has nothing to do with whether it is conflict free. It’d be nice if that was the case, but unfortunately there are no physical cues to determine whether the stones is conflict free, so the labs can’t vet them out
Post # 15
My only hesitation would be that I wouldn’t know if it’s conflict free. Where I live (Ab, Canada), as far as I know anyways, the jewellery stores only sell conflict free diamonds. It probably is only for new stones, I’m not sure. I wouldn’t buy one that wasn’t certified conflict free.
Post # 16
I get what everyone is saying. Maybe I should wait for a certified diamond to come along. I will go to the jewellers next weekend, have a look at the stone again and find out why it’s not certified.
And also, if I ever wanted to trade in this diamond, or get money for it I would go back to the jeweller I bought it from so I am not too worried about being ripped off. However, I am definitely going to ask to compare it to other certified diamonds and have a look at them through the magnifier.
I am also going to find out how much it costs to GIA certify it in the UK, and possibly go down that route of getting it certified myself and possibly return it if it is not up to the specs.