What Exactly Does It Mean To Have a Certified Diamond?

Nov 08, 2012

Each diamond possesses its own unique composition due to exposure to a variety of elements during its growth, such as pressure, heat, and presence of other elements. These distinct features are what give the diamond its visual appeal and can be boiled down to the 4 C’s of diamond grading: cut, clarity, color and carat. But since the beauty of a diamond goes past the surface, many people seek to purchase a certified diamond to ensure that the diamond they are purchasing is a worthy investment.

Think of these diamond certificates as the genetic blueprint of these diamonds. They explain to you where the internal and external “flaws” are in a map-like detail, they tell you the measurements of the diamond and also the 4 C’s. Two of the most common certifications are EGL and GIA.

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European Gemological Laboratory – EGL

Founded in Europe in 1974, the EGL International and the EGL USA laboratories employ over 1,100 scientists, diamond graders and educators. Their locations in New York, Los Angeles, Vancouver, and Toronto are considered part of EGL USA. The EGL introduced the grading techniques for diamonds weighing less than one carat and for establishing the “SI3” rating for diamond clarity. Before a diamond gets the EGL USA “stamp of approval” and receives a certificate, it goes through several rigorous tests and the hands of eight professionals, four of which are trained gemologists. It takes a minimum of five graders just to grade the color and clarity of each diamond.

Gemological Institute of America – GIA

The GIA was established in 1931 and is considered worldwide as the leading authority in gemology. Their staff of 1,400 employees includes scientists, certified diamond graders, and educators. They have locations all over the world, with the closest being in New York City. GIA is credited with standardizing the grading industry by introducing the Four Cs. They offer laser inscription services, as well as a wide range of educational services for diamond professionals and consumers.


GIA certifications are the preferred certifications of the two diamond grading houses. The criteria of grading is more consistent between assorted GIA locations, not to mention much more strict. Every single diamond is graded by no less than four expert gemologists chosen at random to ensure a completely unbiased report. At EGL grading houses the standards are more flexible and less consistent and on average an EGL diamond will be equal in quality to a GIA diamond that is graded two color grades and one clarity grade lower. Since EGL gradings are so inconsistent, they are generally less expensive than a GIA diamond, but a GIA diamond will give you more quality for your money.

American Gem Society – AGS

The American Gem Society is a prestigious jewelry trade organization with a dedication to protecting their consumers. Since 1934, this company has made it safer and easier to purchase all kinds of diamond and precious gemstone jewelry. It is their mission to take the time to understand your jewelry needs and direct you to the trusted jeweler who will cater to your high expectations. It should be noted that only about one in every twenty jewelers has met the exact qualifications necessary to become approved as members of the American Gem association. The association’s high standard of ethical business practices and development are valued and highly-coveted among many jewelry consumers around the globe. Aside from the differences in in the grading scales, GIA and AGS are not entirely different. AGS is more focused on gemstones, while GIA was created strictly for diamonds.


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Here at King Jewelers, we also sell Forevermark diamonds which come with their own grading. Like GIA and EGL certifications, a Forevermark Grading Report is an accurate analysis of your diamond’s unique qualities: its cut, clarity, color and carat weight. Forevermark diamonds are graded at the Forevermark Diamond Institute in Antwerp, Belgium, the internationally renowned center of diamond excellence. As part of the De Beers group, they have over 120 years of experience, as well as cutting-edge technology and grading processes. Aside from their prestigious history, Forevermark also uses the most stringent standards of diamond grading to date, with less than 1% of the world’s diamonds mined on a yearly basis even qualify to bear the Forevermark stamp.

Established in 1912, the King family has owned and operated King Jewelers for five generations while building an outstanding reputation steeped in quality, value, and first-class service. Today, King Jewelers has brick-and-mortar stores located in Aventura, FL and Nashville, TN, both of which have won numerous regional and national awards of distinction. Offering a magnificent selection of fine jewelry collections including the hottest Italian designs, estate jewelry, colored gemstones and fancy-colored diamonds, as well as luxury European timepieces, King Jewelers prides itself in being one step ahead of the trend. In addition, you can visit us online to explore a wide selection of high-quality diamond jewelry. Free shipping and hassle-free returns are available on all online orders.


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