What Does It Mean if a Diamond Is GIA Certified? (Full Guide)

What Does It Mean if a Diamond Is GIA Certified

When spending a large amount of money on diamonds, you want to ensure that the quality of the diamond is superb.

This fact is especially true whenever you are searching for an engagement ring or some other accessory that is meant to last a lifetime.

With GIA certification, you can have peace of mind, knowing that your diamond truly is the objective value the jeweler claims.

Although the process does not certify or impact the diamond’s price, it provides an objective grading system that allows you to know the quality of the diamond.

What Is GIA?

The “GIA” is an acronym that stands for the “Gemological Institute of America.” This organization is a nonprofit located in California. It dedicates all its funds and works towards the research and education of gemology and jewelry arts.

The GIA was founded in 1931 to help buyers and sellers understand the value of the diamond and other gems. Since then, the GIA has been a leader in gemology technology and innovations.

One important gemology innovation was the microscope now used to determine the physical and optical characteristics of the gem.

Another important development is the international diamond grading system, which is dependent on the four Cs: clarity, cut, color, and carat weight. This grading system has been used worldwide.

Today, the GIA remains one of the top institutes. It is based in California, but it is now operating in 13 countries and has 11 campuses, as well as nine laboratories and four research centers.

It even offers online programs to help individuals learn through an e-learning format.

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What Is Diamond Grade?

In order to understand how GIA certified diamonds differ from other diamonds, you first have to understand the diamond grading system.

The GIA grade is dependent on the clarity, color, cut, and carat weight of the diamond. These four qualities are sometimes called the four Cs.

The exact grade systems or specifics vary based on the organization that grades the diamond. With the GIA, there are 11 different grades. The lower the grade, the better.

With the help of a diamond certification, both the buyer and jeweler understand the value of that diamond in an objective manner.

Without the diamond grade scale, sellers may be able to upcharge or undercharge diamonds because they are not aware of the actual value behind them.

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What Does GIA Certified Mean in Diamonds?

Now that we have learned what the GIA is and what a diamond grade is, it’s time to tackle what GIA certified means specifically.

A GIA certified diamond is one that has been graded by the organization. In other words, a GIA-certified diamond is one that has been assessed for objective qualities to determine its grade.

The GIA does not certify the diamond or describe its value. It simply reports that particular diamond’s grading.

Furthermore, the GIA certification process ensures that the diamond is certified from an objective point of view.

To ensure objectivity, the diamond is located in a transparent storage case. Every reference to its original owner are removed for objective grading. Throughout the process, it is given a barcoded label so grades are not confused.

Whenever the GIA certifies the diamond, it comes along with a document that explains all the qualities related to that diamond.

This report is a scientific documentation. As such, the GIA does not use the term “certificate” when describing this document.

In other words, a GIA certified diamond simply means that the gemological institute of America has assessed the diamond and given it a grade so both the buyer and jeweler are aware of the value of the diamond.

Does GIA Certification Matter?

Any time you want a diamond of value, it’s a good idea to select a GIA certified diamond. The GIA certified diamond ensures that you know the objective quality of the diamond. By knowing this information, you have a lot of power in the buying process.

Firstly, you get to find a diamond that has the value you are looking for. Because you know the grading system, you can select a diamond that truly has the value you are looking for and has the scientific evidence to back it up.

Secondly, a GIA certified diamond ensures you are not paying more than you should for the diamond. GIA certification ensures that there is an objective party determining the value of the diamond.

This objective party does not care about how much the owner makes. As such, you will not overpay for a diamond with shoddy value.

Technically speaking, there are other certifications for objective grading systems. However, the GIA certified is the most widespread and objective. As such, it’s best to go with a GIA certification process than another certification process.

Is It Worth It to Get GIA Certified?

Whether or not it’s worth it to get a GIA certified diamond depends on your buying purpose. For some people, GIA certification is worth it, but the certification may be a waste of time for others.

GIA certification is worth it if you care about the value of your diamond. If you are spending a lot of money on that gem, GIA certification ensures that the gem is actually worth what the jeweler is asking.

A good example of when you should get a GIA certified diamond is when you are buying an engagement ring. The GIA certification ensures that the ring has a high-quality diamond and that you are not overpaying for a ring that possibly has a less than impressive gem.

As a rule of thumb, most jewelers recommend getting a GIA certificate if the diamond is 1 carat or larger.

Likewise, it’s a good idea to get a certificate if the jeweler claims a K in color and a 1 in clarity. For reference, diamonds that meet these stipulations are normally $200 or more.

In contrast, a GIA certified diamond is not worth it if you just care about the look of the jewelry and don’t so much care about the quality.

If you only care about the look of the jewelry, you’re unlikely to purchase a fine diamond. That is, a diamond size 1 carat or a larger.

To make a long story short, GIA certification is worth it if you care about the value of the diamond, but GIA certification is not necessary if the value is irrelevant.

How Do You Get GIA Certified?

Getting a diamond GIA certified is relatively easy. Some jewelers will provide GIA grading out right. With others, you will have to request a GIA grading report yourself.

In that case, you will send your diamond for GIA testing through your retailer. The retailer will package and ship the product unmounted.

Once the diamond makes it to the GIA laboratory, all distinguishing markers will be removed so that the diamond is completely anonymous.

A technician will grade the diamond and provide a GIA diamond grading report. Then, GIA sends the stone and reports back to the retailer, which they will provide for you.

Read also >> How Long Does GIA Certification Take? (Here Is What To Do)

FAQs About GIA Certification

Do GIA Certified Diamonds Cost More Money?

Whenever you are paying for a GIA certified diamond, the certification does not make the diamond cost more.

The only thing you have to pay for is the labor associated with the certification process. Depending on the size of the diamond, the grading report is anywhere from $50 to $300, which is worth it for most individuals purchasing an engagement ring.

Does GIA Certification Ensure Objectivity?

Yes. GIA certification ensures objectivity by making the original owner or seller anonymous. That way, the GIA inspector assesses the diamond alone based on that diamond’s grade.

Where Do You Find a GIA Diamond?

If you are looking for a diamond that has already been certified, you will have to go to a fine jeweler. You also have the option to get the GIA diamond certified yourself.

How Long Does It Take to Get a GIA Certification?

GIA diamond certification can take anywhere from 48 to 72 hours from the time the diamond was received to be completed.

The exact gemstone type and other factors will impact the exact timing.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a GIA Report?

It can cost anywhere from $50 to $300 to get a GIA lab report.

The cost depends on many factors, such as the quality of the diamond, the type of certificate you want, and any additional features you want to be added to the report.


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Final Thoughts

To wrap it up, a GIA certified diamond is a diamond that has been objectively tested by the Gemological Institute of America to determine the diamond’s quality.

This certification ensures that you have peace of mind, knowing that your diamond is of high quality.

If your jeweler does not automatically offer GIA certification, it’s a good idea to get the diamond certified if you are spending $200 or more on it.

Especially if you need a diamond for long-term purposes, such as an engagement ring, GIA certification ensures the diamond you get is the diamond you want.





Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Rvandplaya.com. Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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