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What Is a Certified Diamond? Grading Certificates Explained in Easy Terms

Have you come across the term “certified diamond” recently? Did you wonder what it meant? How does certification affect your jewellery’s value? Is it better to buy a certified diamond?

We’ll answer all your questions below.


Why do we need diamond certificates?

The intention of a diamond certificate is to give you a thorough report on what you’ve purchased. It provides information about the diamond’s quality, as well as its measurements.

It proves your ownership and confirms the diamond’s authenticity.

An expert examining a diamond

An expert examining a diamond

♦ A certificate won’t make your diamond more beautiful. However, it adds a lot of value to your purchase.

♦ A certificate also gives you peace of mind when you purchase your jewellery, proving your diamond’s authenticity and its characteristics.

♦ Should you wish to sell your diamond jewellery on, a certificate will give potential buyers proof of authenticity and quality.

♦ Genuine Canadian diamond certificates are truly exceptional, because they come with more information than usual about the stone’s origin. We’ll look at why they’re so special a little further down.

Certified Halo Engagement Ring with certificate from IGL

View now: Certified Halo Diamond Engagement Ring


Why are only some diamonds certified?

Diamond certification must be carried out by a gemmological expert under laboratory conditions. It’s a rigorous, costly and time-consuming process.

Therefore, only solitaire diamonds and larger and more expensive stones tend be certified.

Smaller and less expensive diamonds are usually not sent for certification, because this would add a disproportionately large cost to their sale price.

Who issues diamond certificates?

There are many independent gemmological laboratories that offer diamond evaluations. The internationally best known ones are:

  • International Gemological Institute (IGI)
  • Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
  • European Gemological Laboratory (EGL)
  • Official Canadian Diamond Certification

Smaller gem laboratories exist too. Their size does not necessarily make their work any less reliable, they just aren’t as famous as the big international institutions.

It’s also important to bear in mind that no one diamond laboratory employs exactly the same criteria as another, when studying diamonds. What’s important is that their work is thorough and independent.

An IGI diamond certificate

Canadian Diamonds

Authentic Canadian diamonds are only mined in Canada. Their production is strictly supervised by the Canadian Government and their production is guaranteed to be ecologically and socially responsible.

Each Canadian diamond has a unique laser-inscribed identification number that can only be seen with a jeweller’s loupe.

This number matches a Canadian Diamond Certificate. The number and the certificate together enable you to trace a Canadian Diamond all the way back to the mine it came from. 

Read more about ethical Canadian Diamonds.

A Certified Canadian Diamond Engagement Ring

View now: Certified Canadian Diamond Engagement Ring

Finally, how do I know if an uncertified diamond is authentic?

If you shop from an totally unknown jeweller, the truth is that you’ll have no guarantee of a diamond’s quality unless it’s certified by a well known laboratory.

However, if you buy diamond jewellery from a reputable retailer, they will not sell you a diamond that’s not what they say it is.

Always check your jeweller belongs to the British Jewellery Association to be sure you’re dealing with a reliable vendor.

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