Don’t Be Blinded by Brilliance – Why Diamond Certification and Jewellery Appraisals Are Important

Diamonds, the world’s most popular gemstone, hold a special place in many hearts. They represent a lifetime commitment, a cherished family heirloom, or a significant investment. This enduring popularity is reflected in the global diamond jewellery market, currently valued at over US$80 billion and projected to grow further.

However, for first-time buyers, navigating this world can feel like venturing into a glittering labyrinth. Terms like “cut,” “clarity,” and “carat” swirl around, while price tags can leave you wondering: Am I getting what I paid for? 

Fortunately, two key tools empower informed diamond purchases: the diamond certification and the jewellery appraisal.

“Many clients are either unaware of certification or do not know the differences between different issuing organizations,” says diamond expert, Jonathan Goldberg, founder and CEO of Toronto-based jeweller, Kimberfire

Also known as a grading report, a certification is like the diamond’s ID or fingerprint. It evaluates the stone’s unique characteristics, providing a scientific, unbiased assessment of its value and beauty.

For instance, the document will detail the gem’s “4 Cs” (cut, clarity, colour, and carat), analyzing how it interacts with light, and whether there are any internal or external flaws affecting its brilliance. It will also check the diamond’s symmetry, fluorescence, and the smoothness of its facets. With this knowledge, buyers can compare diamonds accurately, without being swayed by subjective descriptions.

Beyond aesthetics and price, a certification acts as a shield against fraud, protecting consumers from purchasing simulants (stones that resemble diamonds) or diamonds with inflated grading.

Moreover, in an age where sustainability and ethical sourcing are increasingly paramount, diamond certification promotes transparency and accountability within the industry. Some certificates trace a diamond’s journey from mine to market, and consumers are able to verify that the given gem has been ethically sourced and mined in accordance with international labour and environmental standards.

However, not all certificates are created equal. Different labs grade diamonds differently, and consistency and reputation matter. In other words, a certification is only as reliable as the lab that issues it.

As Goldberg illustrates: “A lot of clients come in having seen diamonds for some pretty unbelievable prices graded by laboratories with very poor reputations, thinking that the stone they were quoted on is a colour or clarity that it surely isn’t.” 

“For our natural, earth-mined diamonds, we only work with the GIA,” he adds, referring to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). As the most reputable lab in the world, the GIA employs skilled gemologists and uses advanced equipment and rigorous procedures and standards to produce reliable certifications. 

For buyers, knowing that a diamond has been certified by the GIA assures them that the stone’s qualities align with the seller’s claims, and that they are investing in a gem with verifiable characteristics.

That said, while certification establishes a diamond’s physical attributes, it doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story.

A diamond’s value isn’t static. Market trends can shift, and the stone’s unique qualities influence its worth. This is where a jewellery appraisal comes in.

Using the grading report as a starting point, a qualified gemologist will factor in current market trends, the stone’s origin (if known), and any treatments it may have undergone, such as laser drilling for improved clarity. 

Based on this, they will estimate the diamond’s replacement value, which is crucial for a few reasons. 

First, the replacement value established in appraisals is essential for obtaining proper insurance coverage. Indeed, many insurance companies require an appraisal to determine the appropriate replacement cost in case of loss or theft.

Secondly, getting an appraisal can prove helpful when selling or trading the stone. With a current valuation in hand, it’s easier to negotiate a fair price based on the diamond’s market worth, receiving what the precious stone deserves. 

Finally, an appraisal document also benefits those who seek accurate valuations for inheritance or division of assets.

Unfortunately, according to Goldberg, as is the case with certifications, most buyers don’t know how important an appraisal is. Or they think it is acceptable for the jeweller themself to issue the document, which could mean a biased result.

“We believe our clients should always get third-party certificates and appraisals,” he explains. “Before purchase, this ensures that they compare apples to apples when making a decision. Post-purchase, it ensures that we always provide them with what we promised, equipping them with independent verification of everything they purchased in case needed for replacement or resale.”

Still, responsible diamond buying requires more than just getting a certification and appraisal. Buyers should familiarize themselves with the 4Cs, obtain quotes for diamonds with similar characteristics, and ask the jeweller about the stone’s origin and return policies.

And, as Goldberg emphasizes, even before getting down to the technical aspects, one should consider what is it exactly that they are looking for in the diamond they want to give or receive.

“Is a certain shape a necessity? Do you have a particular affinity for a diamond formed naturally in the earth, or for the technological marvel of a lab-grown diamond?” he says.

“We had a client recently with a healthy budget, who could have purchased a very large lab-grown diamond, of very high quality,” Goldberg recounts. “In the end, size wasn’t the most important thing; he wanted to know he was providing his soon-to-be fiancée with a stone that was formed naturally and has been around longer than the lifetime he looks forward to spending with her. He opted for a more modestly sized, natural, earth-mined diamond, also of very high quality — and that was the right choice for him.” 

“Once you have an idea of the stone you envision, then it is time to use the 4 Cs to help narrow down your choices and ensure you purchase a diamond of high quality and good value,” Goldberg concludes.

Fortunately for buyers, finding a high-quality diamond of good value is only becoming easier. As the diamond industry continues to evolve in response to shifting consumer preferences and technological advancements, there is increasing innovation and adaptation within the certification and appraisal sectors.

New technologies, like blockchain tracking and better imaging techniques that enhance the accuracy of diamond grading, are constantly emerging. These advancements can make diamond certification and appraisal even more reliable and trustworthy in a quickly changing market.

“Within the next few years, we will know when and where every diamond we purchase was either mined or grown — down to the day of the month and the mine or growing facility,” says Goldberg. “This is getting more feasible and cost-effective as technology improves.”

Access to additional certification and appraisal information means more awareness about the origin and history of a stone, and therefore the opportunity for more informed, sustainable decisions.

As Goldberg emphasises: “With everything happening in the world, including global conflicts and environmental concerns, it is becoming imperative that we provide our clients with the knowledge they need to make decisions they feel great about.”

Knowledge seems to be the keyword here. 

Diamond certification and jewellery appraisals go beyond technical specifications; they empower informed choices. By understanding the quality, value, and origin of diamonds, consumers can make a purchase with confidence, knowing they’ve acquired a piece that reflects the brilliance of meaning but also the clarity of values.

Media Contact
Company Name: Kimberfire Inc
Contact Person: Jonathan Goldberg
Email: Send Email
Country: Canada