How Diamonds Are Graded

You’ll often see this Disclaimer on Diamond Certificate Reports or Jewelry Appraisals… And it means exactly what it says!

Buying Las Vegas diamonds can help consumers in several ways. Because the institute’s standards are well known and respected, a certified stone’s credentials are unlikely to be questioned, and an appraisal will not be suspect. With the certificate, it can be easier to recover the stone if it is lost or stolen, and if at some point the owner wishes to upgrade the diamond jewelry, it will be easier to find a similar stone with comparable characteristics. Furthermore, before ever purchasing a stone, consumers can compare stones of similar quality to judge the best price – because GIA certified diamonds are judged independently and anonymously, it is easy to compare the characteristics of each stone to the jeweler’s asking price With a GIA certificate, it may also be easier to insure a diamond without tedious authentication paperwork.

Cut Scale- This measures the quality of the diamond’s cut. A diamond with a 0 level, or the ideal” grade, will be one that has flawless cut, with perfect symmetry, even pattern of light and dark areas when viewed and high brilliance and scintillation. The polish of the diamond must also be perfect and completely lacking in any nicks, scratches or chips. Diamonds with grades 2 and 3 are excellent” and very good” respectively, having similar characteristics as an ideal cut diamond, but just not to the same extent if perfection and flawlessness. Levels 3 to 4 comprise diamonds that are described by the grading system as very good” while those with 5,6 and 7 are fair”, depicting a lower quality of cut. Poorly cut diamonds with very noticeable flaws and low brilliance, scintillation as well as faulty patterns and symmetry occupy the last range, from 8 to a diamond is graded

Many people prefer a marquis shape. This is fine, but do not expect a marquis — or any other shape — to be as brilliant as a round. On a marquis it is necessary to cut a number of facets to accommodate the shape. The angles at which these facets are cut vary (slightly to greatly) from those that give the greatest brilliance. This is a simple fact: the more facets that are cut at the ideal angle, the greater the brilliance of the gem.

In the example above we see how different laboratories have two different standards in grading. But because of prices set by the diamond trade and higher demand and regard for GIA certified diamonds, the prices are shown accordingly. In fact the price increase on the same diamond given to GIA is simply due to a demand for one certificate over another based on reputation and image. One buyer who has perhaps less budget restrictions will go towards the GIA certificate based on the image it portrays. Another buyer who is more price conscience is going to pick the EGL certificate as the better buy. People who sell only GIA will never admit to this, and people who sell only EGL won’t give you the truth about the different standards in grading. Usually you would like to buy from a vendor that sells both and will most likely be unbiased towards either laboratory.

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