When people buy a diamond engagement ring, they often ask if the diamonds are certified…
YES & NO!
Yes, one diamond is certified, and No, all the rest of the diamonds are not.
This is mainly due to 2 reasons; 1) the cost to certify diamonds, 2) the size of the diamonds.
The average price to certify a diamond is $150-$300 each (from GIA, depending on how big the stone is). And usually only stones .15 carat and up can get certified (otherwise, it’s not worth it).
So, say for example you have an engagement ring with 43 diamonds in it (like the one shown below). Can you imagine the added cost to that ring if all the diamonds were certified? It would add an additional $6,300 to the price of the ring, just for the paperwork alone.
Not to mention the fact that you can’t send in a premade ring like this to get certified, all the diamonds need to be loose first (so they can weight them and view the diamonds freely from all angles and sides). So every stone would have to be sent in singly, certified, and then set into a mounting afterwards. And, you would then have 43 separate diamond reports (certificates) to lug around, and still not know which certificate went for which diamond. It would be an insane purchase.
They aren’t certified!
So side diamonds, or diamonds in the mounting are not certified. Usually only the center stone is (the master piece, the focal point)… The big diamond that truly matters. All the other diamonds are just sparkle and beauty.
This is why so many people buy the center stone loose, and then pick out the mounting of their choice to have it set and sized to fit later (the best way to buy a diamond engagement ring). All the importance goes to the major cost of the ring; the center stone. Everything else is icing on the cake.
But not all center diamonds are certified…
There are many instances where none of the diamonds are certified. This can be for many reasons:
- The jeweler bought the ring pre-made
- The diamond was a trade-in
- The diamond is small in size
- The diamond is lower quality
No matter what, certification is not required on any diamond purchase. It’s only for peace of mind.
Just make sure you get a full appraisal on any item you buy, that lists the diamond quality (4c’s; cut, color, clarity, and carat weight), so you know what it is you’re buying, and have replacement value for any insurance company.
Certifications are a wonderful thing, and I always recommend it (especially GIA). But if you buy from a trusted and reputable jeweler (like Tiffany for example, who certifies their own merchandise), then you’ll have no issues and feel confident in your purchase. But for smaller independent jewelers (mom and pop stores), buying certified is the best way to go (just in case).
Think about this:
Out of all the jewelry you own, how many diamonds are actually certified? I’d suspect just one, your engagement ring (center stone only). That is, unless you buy a ton of rather large high quality stones. And even then, you’d probably only have a few.
Do keep in mind that all diamond rings should always come with an appraisal no matter what. The appraisal lists the quality of the stones, as well as the mounting, gram weight (or DWT), a description of the item, and a replacement value (usually retail price).
While the certificate usually only has detailed information about one stone only… And even then, it doesn’t list the value of that stone, just what it is, and often with a certificate number (that many times is engraved into the side of the stone; an inscription on the girdle).
So, how many certified diamonds do you own?
Let me know in the comments below.
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