You have made up your mind to get your lady a diamond. You’re prepared for the cost and you’ve got her parents approval. The only problem is, you’ve never done this before and you’ve heard of so many diamond scams, you don’t know who to trust.
First things first: you need to find yourself a jeweler that you can trust. One who is honest and will not rob you blind. You need someone who will be willing to walk you through the process of finding the perfect diamond for you and your lady without charging you an arm and a leg.
The most honest jewelers will also provide you with a certificate of the diamond that you choose. It is best that the certificate come from one of the laboratories renowned in the industry for their impartiality and ability to properly identify your diamonds attributes. The must trusted in this field are the following:
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is considered the world’s leading authority on gemology. Founded in 1931, this non-profit institution developed the famous four C’s method of grading diamonds. They are well known for their gem grading and identification services, not just in diamonds. They are considered the most unbiased and accurate in the field, usually giving conservative grading. Diamonds with a GIA certificate normally sell at about three to five percent higher than other gems because of this guaranty of quality.
The European Gemological Laboratory is an independent laboratory, considered one of the premier in the industry worldwide. Though not as strict as the GIA in their grading reports, they are usually reliable and provide a more detailed report than the GIA in terms of the proportion of the diamond you purchase.
The American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) was founded in 1996. Just like its parent organization, the American Gem Society, the AGSL is dedicated to setting a new standard in the grading industry. They aim to provide consumers (the couple who will be the final owners of the stone) with reliable, unbiased and creditable reports on the quality of the diamonds that they purchase. They are considered the top in the field for grading the cut of a diamond; in fact they are the often the preferred laboratory if the gem in question is being certified as an ideal cut.
The International Gemological Institute was founded in 1975 and is one of the leading gemological institutes worldwide. They seek to provide the consumers with a reliable report on their diamonds. As they see it, without a certification, a diamond has no history, it is just a gem. The certificate is the equivalent of the passport of the gems and jewelry that they certify.
As the consumer, it will now be your task to check that you are being given the right certificate. Check that the name of the laboratory that certified your gem is one of those listed above. One diamond scam to keep your eyes open for is having certificates from laboratories with similar initials as those of the above institutions. You may end up with a certificate from the Gemological Institute from Antarctica, which is not what you need at all. Don’t be scared, but do be warned… 😉