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THE COST TO CERTIFY A DIAMOND

WHAT'S THE COST TO HAVE YOUR DIAMOND CERTIFIED?



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The Cost To Certify A Diamond

A good portion of all the diamonds worn today are not certified (and by certified, I mean, without a laminated diamond report).

So at least 75% of all the rings and diamonds worn, do not have official grading paperwork with them.

That’s sad. Especially since most people know that if you’re buying an engagement ring, buy it certified.

But as we know, there are many, many reasons why one would wear a Diamond that isn’t Certified…



It’s not Certified Because:

  1. It was sold like that
  2. The buyer did not care, or know enough
  3. It costs more to have a stone certified
  4. The diamond could be of small carat weight (like under 50 points)
  5. The diamond could be low quality (meaning clarity or color)
  6. The diamond could be old, or antique
  7. The diamond could be a hand-me-down, or inherited
  8. The paperwork may have gotten lost
  9. You may have purchased it from a friend
  10. The diamond was re-cut and never re-certified

And there are many reasons why you should get that stone certified:

  1. To verify the grades and 4C’s
  2. Insurance might demand it
  3. For peace of mind
  4. To double check that another diamond report is accurate
  5. Because you don’t fully trust your jeweler
  6. It’s never been appraised or graded before
  7. You need it for an estate sale
  8. You bought it not certified
  9. You want the best, most accurate report that’s possible

So now the real question becomes:

Where do you get it certified?

To get your diamond (or a gemstone like a ruby, sapphire or emerald) certified (graded with a diamond report), you’ll need to do a couple of things:

  1. Remove the diamond from the mounting (most places won’t certify a mounted stone)
  2. Send the diamond to a grading company (like GIA, AGS, IGI, EGL or HRD – Insured of course)
  3. Take it to a jewelry store and have them send it into the grading companies for a report (most jewelers have accounts with these places and can easily submit it for grading)

Have your stone removed:

If your stone is already set in a head, prongs or mounting, simply take the ring (or whatever piece of jewelry it is) into a jewelry store that has a jeweler working on-hand, and one that can remove your stone while you wait (call around to the independent stores and you’ll find one).

I think this is way better than taking it to a store where they have to send your item out to have it done, and it’ll probably take them 2 weeks just to do that.

Take it to a jeweler and have them remove the stone from the mounting. Sometimes they can even do it in front of you (but often insurance doesn’t allow customers in the shop area). No matter, this process takes just a couple of minutes, depending on the mounting of course.

Jewelers remove stones all the time from mountings, and a lot even have to remove them just to do accurate jewelry appraisals (it’s very difficult to grade a stone in a mounting – the mounting doesn’t allow you to get an exact weight, nor to get the real color or clarity of the stone).

This simple process takes just a minute or two to execute. You may even ask them to clean your stone while they’re at it (I recommend this, that way you can scope it before you send it out to the grading company). Clean it in an ultrasonic cleaner, and use either a microscope or a 10x jeweler’s loupe to see what your stone looks like under 10x magnification.

Remove your Diamond and Clean it!

Now, it’s just a matter of where you send it.

The two certificate grading companies that I would recommend the most are GIA (The Gemological Institute of America) and AGS (American Gem Society). Those two are the best and the top of the line when it comes to reports.

GIA and AGS Diamond Report Certificates!

Generally it can take anywhere from 10 days to 3 weeks to get a report done (you can also pay for a rush job).

Now you can also send your diamond to IGI (International Gemological Institute) and EGL (European Gemological Institute), but quite often, these companies are loose on their grading, and will grade the stone higher quality than it really is (they’ll round the quality up).

That’s why I always advise and prefer to use GIA or AGS only.

Now what’s the price?

The cost of certifying stones will vary on what type of report you want, and what additional services you require.

For example…

GIA (based out of Carlsbad, California) offers 3 different types of diamond reports:

  • The full diamond report
  • The smaller Dossier report
  • The eReport (online diamond report)

There are also different features you can purchase as well:

  1. GIA inscription
  2. Custom text inscription
  3. Having more than 1 stone certified
  4. Having the diamond or stone sealed in a plastic case

These all affect the cost of the report.

EXAMPLES:

A .50 carat round diamond, with a smaller diamond Dossier (non-laser inscribed), will cost you $43 (if you submit it yourself).

While a .50 carat round diamond with a full diamond report and a GIA laser inscription will run you $76 (that’s $64 for the report and $12 more for the inscription).

Compare GIA Diamond Report Certificates!

These prices are good and cheap (and at the time this post was wrote). If you take it directly to a jewelry store to have it done, they’ll probably charge you double that price, and add on shipping and handling and insurance fees.

So most stores will probably charge a customer $150-$300 to get their stone certified.

Do also note that the size (carat weight) of the diamond will also affect price.

A .50 carat full diamond report is $64, a 3/4 carat diamond report is $78, while a 1.00 carat diamond report is $105.

And if you have a 50.00 carat diamond, well that stone will cost you $2,845 to certify.

WOW!

So let’s look at the charts and see what the prices are for services rendered.

GIA full diamond reports

GIA Full Diamond Report

A full GIA diamond report (their newly updated look is above), includes the following; report #, shape, cutting style, measurements, carat weight, color, clarity, cut, polish, symmetry, fluorescence, inscription, comments, and a plot, the costs are (for D-Z colored diamonds):

CARAT WEIGHT FEE
0.15 to 0.22 $ 53
0.23 to 0.46 $ 59
0.47 to 0.69 $ 64
0.70 to 0.99 $ 78
1.00 to 1.49 $ 105
1.50 to 1.99 $ 121
2.00 to 2.99 $ 169
3.00 to 3.99 $ 250
4.00 to 4.99 $ 331
5.00 to 5.99 $ 470
6.00 to 7.99 $ 554
8.00 to 9.99 $ 656
10.00 to 11.99 $ 910
12.00 to 14.99 $ 1,067
15.00 to 19.99 $ 1,309
20.00 to 24.99 $ 1,707
25.00 to 29.99 $ 1,992
30.00 to 39.99 $ 2,417
40.00 to 49.99 $ 2,845
50.00 + Upon Request

GIA Diamond Dossier Reports

GIA Diamond Dossier Report

A smaller diamond Dossier report (0.15-1.99 carats), includes the following information; report #, shape, cutting style, measurements, carat weight, color, clarity, cut, polish, symmetry, fluorescence, inscription, comments, and clarity characteristics (just no actual plot – see image above for their new look), the costs are:

CARAT WEIGHT FEE
0.15 to 0.22 $ 32
0.23 to 0.29 $ 34
0.30 to 0.39 $ 40
0.40 to 0.49 $ 42
0.50 to 0.69 $ 43
0.70 to 0.99 $ 53
1.00 to 1.49 $ 85
1.50 to 1.99 $ 110

GIA eReports

GIA Diamond eReport

If you want to have just a digital copy of the report made (nothing laminated and sent back to you – it’s online only), then the prices get cheaper:

CARAT WEIGHT FEE
0.15 to 0.22 $ 32
0.23 to 0.29 $ 34
0.30 to 0.39 $ 36
0.40 to 0.49 $ 38
0.50 to 0.69 $ 39
0.70 to 0.99 $ 48
1.00 to 1.49 $ 80
1.50 to 1.99 $ 99
2.00 to 2.99 $ 152

GIA Sealing

GIA Diamond Sealing!

If you want your diamond to be sealed securely in a plastic tamper-proof package, the cost is:

DIAMOND SEALING FEE
0.15 to 8.00 Carats $ 9

GIA Laser Inscriptions

GIA Laser Inscriptions!

If you want the diamond laser inscribed with the report number, or custom text (up to 15 characters, like: I love you) or even graphics, then the price of these inscriptions are as follows (in addition to the actual cost of the report you want):

CARAT WEIGHT REPORT # CUSTOM TEXT 15 CHARACTERS
0.01 to 0.14 $ 12 $ 15 $ 12
0.15 to 0.22 $ 12 $ 15 $ 12
0.23 to 0.46 $ 12 $ 15 $ 12
0.47 to 0.69 $ 12 $ 15 $ 12
0.70 to 0.99 $ 15 $ 15 $ 12
1.00 to 1.49 $ 15 $ 19 $ 15
1.50 to 1.99 $ 16 $ 20 $ 16
2.00 to 2.99 $ 24 $ 30 $ 24
3.00 to 3.99 $ 33 $ 42 $ 33
4.00 to 4.99 $ 44 $ 56 $ 44
5.00 to 5.99 $ 62 $ 79 $ 62
6.00 to 7.99 $ 73 $ 93 $ 73
8.00 to 9.99 $ 86 $ 110 $ 86
10.00 to 11.99 $ 119 $ 153 $ 119
12.00 to 14.99 $ 140 $ 179 $ 140
15.00 to 19.99 $ 172 $ 219 $ 172
20.00 to 24.99 $ 223 $ 286 $ 223
25.00 to 29.99 $ 261 $ 333 $ 261
30.00 to 39.99 $ 316 $ 405 $ 316
40.00 to 49.99 372 $ 476 $ 372
50.00 + Request Request Request

AGS Diamond Quality Reports

AGS Diamond Quality Reports!

AGS is the only other company I would really advise using to obtain a diamond report. However, this is not an easy process. In fact, it’s almost impossible. Why do I say that? Because AGS doesn’t have their pricing guide online. So I wrote them. They replied back saying that they don’t allow customers to send them diamonds directly… You have to go through a jeweler to do so. And, that’s the only way to find out the price as well (which also means prices could be all over the board).

So I decided to test this out…

I called up a dozen stores in my area to see if they would send in my diamonds (fictional diamonds I made up just for this call) and the responses I got back were rather interesting:

We deal mostly with GIA.

“We don’t have an account.”

Do you mean IGS?” (which doesn’t exist, it’s either AGS or IGI.)

“Why would you want it AGS certified?” Was another.

“We deal strictly with GIA.”

“We could probably do it, I would assume the prices are the same as GIA’s”

GIA and IGI only.

“We could send it to our corporate offices and have them send it out to AGS. I don’t know what the price would be.”

“The price would depend on the size of the stone and the amount of inclusions in the stone…” ??? What? This guy said that the lower the clarity, the more the report would cost, because they would have to plot it (insane).

You’re the first person to ever ask that.

“Have to send it to corporate to have done.”

No.” He went on to say that AGS is for profit, while GIA is non-profit.

Bewildered at my loss of help, I went back to AGS’s website and looked at their jeweler’s approved list. I typed in my zip-code and saw that there was only 1 store in a 50 mile radius from me. I called…

They said that they don’t have an account with AGS anymore (even though they were still listed), and that they would have to re-submit an application, do a background and credit check, and then be required to submit a certain number of stones per year in order to keep their account active. So in other words “Sorry I can’t help you.

So I widened my zip-code search to 100 miles, and came up with 2 more locations. I called them. They said that they would have to check on prices, and whether they could even do this, they would have to call me back.

They did so (surprisingly). One responded “$100-$150ish” depending on what I wanted done. The other store called saying “$200-$300“, and it would take them 2-3 weeks.

All in all, AGS is a great diamond report to have, but that’s only if you’re buying one already certified by them. Otherwise, forget it.

Getting one done after the fact is not simple at all. Good luck if you try. :)

IGI Diamond Reports

IGI Diamond Reports!

IGI is mainly used for jewelers like Kays, Jareds, and any of the Sterling stores. They feature a full diamond report, as well as a mini-identification report (both shown above, and both are the same price).

Their reports are questionable in my mind. And if I had to choose to either have a stone IGI certified or nothing… I would choose nothing.

The prices they charge are here:

CARAT WEIGHT FEE
Up to 0.22 $ 35
0.23 to 0.29 $ 45
0.30 to 0.45 $ 50
0.46 to 0.69 $ 70
0.70 to 0.89 $ 80
0.90 to 0.95 $ 95
0.96 to 1.45 $ 125
1.46 to 1.94 $ 150
1.95 to 2.94 $ 190
2.95 to 3.94 $ 290
3.95 to 4.94 $ 350
4.95 to 5.94 $ 455
5.95 to 7.94 $ 495
7.95 to 9.94 $ 575
9.95 + Upon Request

EGL Diamond Reports

EGL has offices in both New York and California. Their reports are also highly skeptical. I’ve seen some diamonds come back that have been extremely inflated (grade bumped). EGL reports will make a diamond appear better, and sell better (make the jeweler more money), but they aren’t worth much in my book. Plus, if you try to sell a diamond that’s IGI or EGL certified, jewelers will just frown and dismiss these reports anyway. They don’t matter much. Take a look at them…

EGL Full Diamond Report:

EGL Diamond Report

The prices of the full EGL diamond report are:

CARAT WEIGHT FEE
Up to 0.69 $ 60
0.70 to 0.99 $ 65
1.00 + $ 65
Hearts & Arrows Additional $ 5
360° Light Performance Additional $ 15

EGL Plot Reports:

EGL Mini Diamond Certificate!

The EGL mini plot reports are smaller versions of the diamond certificate.

The prices for the mini certificate (shown above), and the mini appraisals are:

CARAT WEIGHT FEE
Up to 0.69 $ 50
0.70 to 0.99 $ 55
1.00 + $ 55

EGL Mini Gem Card:

EGL Gem Id Card!

These prices are for the ID card, gem passport, gem tag, or appraisal summary:

CARAT WEIGHT FEE
Up to 0.69 $ 45
0.70 to 0.99 $ 50
1.00 + $ 50

HRD ANTWERP CERTIFICATES

The HRD Institute of Gemmology (housed in Antwerp, Belgium) is also respected in the field, but not quite as well known here. Their prices for their two diamond reports are as follows:

HRD Full Certificate Report:

HRD Full Certificate Report

The full certificate is a detailed description of the 4C’s, and can be ordered with additional fees for hearts and arrows grading, laser inscription as well as sealing. Their prices, shown as Euros (EUR), are as follows for the full report and the additional services:

CW CERT H&A INSCRIPT SEALING
Up to 0.49 € 40.55 +€ 5.00 FREE +€ 5.00
0.50 to 0.69 € 51.15 +€ 5.00 FREE +€ 5.00
0.70 to 0.84 € 56.45 +€ 5.00 FREE +€ 5.00
0.85 to 0.99 € 64.40 +€ 5.00 FREE +€ 5.00
1.00 to 1.49 € 75.00 +€ 5.00 +€ 15.00 +€ 5.00
1.50 to 1.99 € 93.55 +€ 5.00 +€ 15.00 +€ 5.00
2.00 to 2.99 € 133.30 +€ 5.00 +€ 15.00 +€ 5.00
3.00 to 3.99 € 186.30 +€ 5.00 +€ 15.00 +€ 5.00
4.00 to 4.99 € 236.65 +€ 5.00 +€ 15.00 +€ 5.00
5.00 to 5.99 € 289.65 +€ 5.00 +€ 15.00 +€ 5.00
6.00 to 6.99 € 318.80 +€ 5.00 +€ 15.00 +€ 5.00
7.00 to 7.99 € 347.95 +€ 5.00 +€ 15.00 +€ 5.00
8.00 to 8.99 € 377.10 +€ 5.00 +€ 15.00 +€ 5.00
9.00 to 9.99 € 406.25 +€ 5.00 +€ 15.00 +€ 5.00
10.00 to 10.99 € 435.40 +€ 5.00 +€ 15.00 +€ 5.00

HRD Diamond Identification Report (DIR):

HRD Diamond Identification Report

The compact report (for diamonds smaller than 1 carat), can be ordered along with additional services. Their pricing structure is as follows:

CW CERT H&A INSCRIPT SEALING
Up to 0.29 € 30.15 +€ 5.00 FREE +€ 5.00
0.30 to 0.49 € 33.15 +€ 5.00 FREE +€ 5.00
0.50 to 0.69 € 35.95 +€ 5.00 FREE +€ 5.00
0.70 to 0.84 € 41.25 +€ 5.00 FREE +€ 5.00
0.85 to 0.99 € 44.04 +€ 5.00 FREE +€ 5.00

My advice:

Have a trusted jeweler send your stone to GIA for grading. Or do it yourself.

That’s the best report to have and the most accurate you could get in the states.

It’s well worth the time, effort and money.

Send it in, get it graded, and laser inscribed. You’ll have great peace of mind.

P.S. Also note that these prices listed on this page are as of February 2013. Which means, they may change, go up, go down, as inflation and services increase.

Check with the company to see the actual costs so you don’t get sticker shock.

Their pricing and information is here:

GIA Diamond Reports

AGS Diamond Reports

IGI Diamond Reports

EGL Diamond Reports

HRD Diamond Reports

So there you go… The cost to certify your diamond.

The Cost To Certify A Diamond

Cheers! :)


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10 Comments on THE COST TO CERTIFY A DIAMOND

  1. Earnest Welch // September 19, 2016 at 7:37 pm // Reply

    Need to get a diamond certified

  2. Trinh Nguyen // June 2, 2017 at 4:57 pm // Reply

    How can I have certificate for my diamond if I don’t have jewelry store? How to do for less cost? Thank you very much!

    • Hi Trinh. You absolutely can get a certificate on a diamond yourself, just send the stone (insured) to the company. Just contact the company (like GIA) first, to find out exactly what you need to do (what to package up, how to package it up, how to ship it…), and they will also work out the price. The only way to get the price less is to get a smaller report (like a dossier), or send it to a smaller grading company that charges less. There really is no way around it if you want your stone certified. But, what you could do instead is just have it appraised (by a local jewelry store or gemologist). That costs way less, has almost as much detail, and will also give you a replacement value, too. Hope this helps. -Richard

  3. Can a packet containing large number of very small diamonds be certified with a single report?? if not how effectively can smaller(0.01-0.25)diamonds be certified at a lesser cost in order to maintain transperancy in the market.

    • Hi Srinivas. Diamond reports take a lot into evaluation, like the 4c’s, polish, symmetry, fluorescence, measurements, visual appeal, and the plot. This is why it costs so much to certify. When talking about small parcels, it’s just not cost effective to certify them. That’s why most are sold by color and clarity parcels. Plus, when dealing with stones that small, which are hard to see, a lot of the other aspects don’t matter much, like dimensions, since they don’t really affect the appearance much. These things are more noticeable in larger stones, and that’s why many of those are graded. -Richard

  4. Excellent! As per usual. Extremely informative- particularly regarding the differences between the GIA Diamond Dossier and the full certificate including the plot. First time I saw the Dossier, which was online, and ages ago, I immediately noticed the lack of the Inclusion Plot, but couldn’t figure out where it went, or why it wasn’t there in the first place! I hadn’t yet heard about the new “Dossier” and wasn’t aware of its significance. I finally figured it out after coming across the full report, and noticed the difference between them.

    That last one you mentioned – the HRD? – is listed with prices in your chart, but that’s not the British Pound Sterling symbol – £ – before the amounts, it’s the Euro sign – € – and as far as I know, they don’t translate out to be the same. Countries not attached in any way to Britain don’t deal in GBP – Great Britain Pounds, but in Euros, as certainly Belgium would be.

    In fact, I just visited your link to that page, and found the page it’s supposed to go to isn’t there any longer, but it’s not difficult to make your way to the pricing page from where you do land. Prices are there for LOTS of different services, updated to 2017.

  5. Oh, you’re gonna hate me now!But, either I misspoke, or you misunderstood what I misspoke, or something like that! What was that mishmash of confusion attributed to Reagan while he was in office? Something along the lines of “What I said wasn’t what you misunderstood, and what you think I said wasn’t ….” Oh well – you get the idea!!

    Anyway, what I said was, the HRD is priced in Euros – which IS the “€” sign, not in GBP or pounds, which is the “£” sign. Your original description said it was priced in GBP pounds – “Their prices, shown as pound sterling (GBP)…” – while the chart was set in Euros, which it still is on their site.

    I think where things “fell through the roof” as it were, was when I was trying to describe that only Great Britain and countries directly connected with Great Britain (owned by, ruled by, territorialized by, etc.,) use the GBP “£” or the Pound, for their currency, while Belgium uses the Euro “€” since its *not* connected with Great Britain in any way.

    Those little signs may be confusing, but the easiest way I’ve had to find to keep them straight, is that the “Pound” in Britain, and British territories, reminds me of OUR pound in weight, which is frequently abbreviated as “lb” and the “L” sort of looks like their symbol, the “£.” In fact, that’s very similar to one particular style of script penmanship for making the capital letter “L” in writing.

    As for the Euro, the symbol – “€” – looks very much like a letter “E” in writing.

    So, now that I’ve just completely wrecked your day, I think I’ll just mosey on down the road, and see what else there is to see! So sorry!

  6. needsomehelp // April 15, 2019 at 7:40 pm // Reply

    This is so helpful! Would you be willing to do the same exercise for lab grown diamond reports? I am having a hard time understanding which to trust and how much to expect. GIA offers them, but they don’t seem to get used much. IGI and GCAL seem to be the biggest players (although HRD does have a lab grown certificate as well.)

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