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How to Read a GIA Certificate

The Gemological Institute of America, aka GIA, is the standard for diamond certificates because they are an independent laboratory whose grading is objective, accurate, and strict. All the information detailed on a diamond grading report is comprehensive and unique to each diamond. That's why it is highly recommended that all diamond purchases come accompanied by a GIA certificate. You should be able to match the diamond to the certificate and feel confident in the value of your diamond.

At the top of the GIA certificate, you’ll see the date the report was issued, the shape and cutting style, as well as dimensions of your diamond expressed in millimeters. Here, you'll also find the report number. It is a series of digits used to identify the specific diamond and can be used to get the report reprinted and to verify it on the GIA website via their "report check" page.

Grading Results

The next section of the GIA certificates details the “Four Cs” including, carat weight, color, clarity and cut. (Please note that in the example above, the certificate does not include an overall "cut" grade. This is because The Eighty-Eight is completely unique and cannot be compared to the traditional round since it has different ideal proportions. Therefore, the GIA cannot use their scale to award a cut grade. Learn more about the cut of the 88 diamond.)

Additional Grading Information

In this section, the GIA provides more information regarding the fourth "C" - cut. Referred to as finish, the polish and symmetry are two important aspects of a diamond that tell how well the diamond was cut and therefore how much it will sparkle.

Fluorescence is also noted in this section and refers to the intensity of the diamond’s reaction to long-wave UV light. In white diamonds, flourescence is most commonly seen as blue. It is simply a natural occurance that affects many diamonds but does not compromise the integrity of the diamond.

Comments are also provided in this part of the certificate. These most often include notes about the diagram of the inclusions (which is in the following section of the report) and any laser inscriptions. Diamonds can be inscribed with their report number for identification, a personal message, symbols and brand logos. (Please note that all Eighty-Eight diamonds will be laser inscribed with the 88 symbol to ensure authenticity.)

Reference Diagrams

Here we can see an illustration of the top and bottom of the diamond with symbols that "map" the diamonds inclusions. A clarity grade is based on the number and type of flaws or inclusions. The GIA uses microscopes and other technology to inspect each diamond and then plot each imperfection on the diagram. A key is provided so you can understand what each symbol represents.

Also in this section, you'll see the proportion diagram. This is shown as a profile view of the diamond and provides the table and depth percentages of the diamond as well as the girdle thickness and absence or presence of a cutlet. (For more on these terms, check out our simple glossary.)

The report will show a few more items to reference. These are the color and clarity scales that GIA uses to grade each diamond. The color scale outlines the range of colors to be seen in a white diamond - from colorless, to light yellow. Next to it is the clarity scale indicating a range of eleven possible clarity grades from best (Flawless) to worst (I3).

Security Seals and Declarations

A GIA diamond certificate contains security seals and declarations in small print to establish the authenticity of the certificate.

If you have any questions regarding the GIA certificate of an Eighty-Eight cut diamond, please contact us!

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