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What Is a GIA Certificate and Why Should I Care?

What Is a GIA Certificate and Why Should I Care?

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What Is a GIA Certificate and Why Should I Care?

Shopping for new or vintage jewelry? How can you know that you're getting the value that you're paying for? Unless you're a jeweler, you're probably unfamiliar with the GIA. However, when shopping for jewelry, a GIA certificate is one of the most important factors to consider. 

First and foremost we should mention that the GIA is an established organization: The Gemological Institute of America. Not only have they been around since 1931, but they are also the organization that came up with the 4 Cs of diamonds and the diamond grading guide as well as other tools in the diamond and gemology industry.

Secondly, it should also be mentioned that the GIA is the leading organization when it comes to gemology. This nonprofit organization regulates gemstone grading, education, and management in America. One of the most important functions of the GIA is to certify jewelers with credentials that validate their expertise. The GIA can also provide specific stones with certification that validates their integrity and value. 

What Is A GIA Certificate?

A GIA Certification or certified diamond is essentially a report or a dossier on the diamond itself that determines the overall value of the stone. The report will include vital pieces of information about the diamond, including:

  • The diamond's own certificate number - each diamond will have its own individual report number which you can check online. 
  • A description of the shape of the diamond. 
  • A description of the diamond's physical dimensions, as the color, clarity, and carat of the diamond.
  • A report on the grade, polish, symmetry, and fluorescence of the diamond. 
  • Other characteristics including a report of the culet, the girdles appearance and the depth vs table percentage of the diamond.

To the untrained eye a lot of these terms might seem odd, but when asking what is a GIA certification, the report is the most important part of the certification process, especially when it comes to a jeweler selling the diamond or a customer buying the diamond.  

The only thing the certification will not include is the monetary value ie; what you can sell the diamond for. Because of this, you would need to get an evaluation for the diamond which will indicate an estimated retail value. That being said, often a GIA certified diamond will be more expensive because it carries the backing of the country's most trusted diamond authorities. 

Report Checker

If you come into contact with a diamond that includes a GIA certification you should also be aware that there is an official GIA report checker. This allows you to take your report number for the supposed gem you have and look up the report that was done by the GIA. This will give you a chance to check your certification against official database records.

The Report Checker can be found on the official GIA.edu website. If you are interested in selling your used jewelry or have questions about GIA certification, visit Ralph Mueller & Associates or call 480.949.9229.