Author Topic: Information on GIA Lab reports, "Certificates" and "Certified Diamonds"  (Read 5424 times)

Offline Diamondsbylauren

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This Section deals with GIA, and lab reports in general.
If you are shopping for a diamond, or own one and are curious about it's value, the diamond's grade is critical.
Two diamonds that might look similar can have vastly different values. When it comes to high dollar diamonds, even slight differences in appearance ( grades) can create HUGE price differences.

For an example, let's compare two hypothetical diamonds. Let's assume both have been graded by GIA, and both are really well cut.
One is a D Internally Flawless 2.00 Round Brilliant,worth in the range of $70K+
The other is a E/VVS1 2.00 Round Brilliant- weighs in around $46k+
The imperfection which constitutes a VVS1 is microscopic- yet it can cost the cutter $24,000 in this hypothetical example.
To prove a D/IF is actually internally flawless, no dealer will accept anything short of a GIA report.
How much would a dealer pay for the same D/Internally Flawless Diamond prior to GIA grading it?
Based on our market experience, dealers might try to buy it for the price of an F/VS2. Let's assume the highest price a dealer might pay would be the price of E color VVS1. At least 35% less- which can amount to well over $20k. For this reason, cutters need to use GIA - there's a lot of money at stake. For the same reason, as a buyer, GIA is essential.
Hypothetically speaking, a 2.00 round diamond that GIA graded E/VVS1 might be sent to a lesser lab who might call it D Flawless. Now what's it worth?
In my opinion a lot less than the diamond GIA graded E/VVS1.
There's simply no reason to risk buying a "high grade" diamond for market price, without a GIA report to back up the claims of the seller regarding the grade.
When I say "high grade" that means top dollar diamonds in any particualr range.
For example: A 1.00ct diamond for $2500 versus as .50carat diamond for $2500. Thew 1.00 is an inexpensive stone, the 1/2 carat, "high grade"
 If we are speaking of colorless diamonds, I'm talking about I color and better- SI2 clarity and better.
J-K-L-M colors, and imperfect diamonds are more feasible without GIA ( or with lesser reports).
Again, an $8000 two carat diamond is actually "cheap"  Remember, a well cut H/SI1 2.00 Round diamond with GIA rpeort can cost $20k
Now, if it was a 1.00 at $8000- then it had BETTER have a GIA report.

Other Reports
The main danger is the representation of a diamond with a lesser report as equal to a diamond of the same grade issued by GIA.
It's widely reputed that some of the non GIA labs are more lenient than GIA. Some sellers may suggest that grades issued by one of the main non GIA labs is simply "one off". Thier contention might be that an EGL G/VS2 is equivalent to a GIA H/SI1.
That assumption overlooks the facts. Dealers won't use any such formula. Dealers will ONLY pay top dollar for any given grade, if that grade was issued by GIA.
It seems that there is a problem with sellers that understand the difference between the labs purposely blurring the lines.
Take a hyperthtical diamond. It's legitimate grade is K/SI1. GIA gives it K/SI1.
Another lab gives it J/VS2 ( or I/VS2).
If both dealers were charging the same price, a buyer unfamiliar with the information in this article might reasonably assume the guy selling the I/VS2 was less expensive.
When the lesser reports are used in this manner, it smells like misrepresentation. After all, if the seller knows all this stuff- and we must assume that, as a dealer, they do- why not tell the buyer?
If you go to sell any valuable diamond back to a dealer, their first question will be- "Is there a GIA?"

« Last Edit: February 14, 2007, 09:36:46 PM by Diamondsbylauren »
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Offline CaratHead

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Re: Information on GIA Lab reports, "Certificates" and "Certified Diamonds"
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2007, 06:57:45 AM »
Thanks for such great information, David.  Having a GIA report on your diamond also enhances it's resale value.  If you are selling to a 3rd party, having a GIA really makes a difference.  It takes the uncertainty out of the deal, which is one of the reasons that third party sales are usually at a much lower price.
So many ballgames, so little time...

Offline briolette

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Re: Information on GIA Lab reports, "Certificates" and "Certified Diamonds"
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2007, 01:40:49 PM »
I'm going to direct everyone looking for a new diamonds to this post. It sums it all up nicely, David!

Offline WM

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Re: Information on GIA Lab reports, "Certificates" and "Certified Diamonds"
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2007, 01:45:51 PM »
I also made this information into a tutorial. We still need to add a section on GIA color origin reports. Coming soon.

General information on GIA Reports

Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Next Installment
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2007, 11:36:38 PM »
GIA Reports- This section will deal with identifying the most commonly seen GIA reports.
First: GIA's newest, and current reports, introduced January 1 2006.

GIA's report for Fancy Shaped diamonds between D thru Y-Z Natural Light Yellow is called "GIA Diamond Grading Report" Here's the outside

The inside:

On these latest GIA reports- whose design was introduced January 1 2006, the depth and table measurements are no longer in the main body of measurements. Instead, they are down at the diagram on the lower right

Natural Fancy Colored Diamonds: GIA issues several reports for natural Fancy Colored Diamonds.
The first one is similar to the standard "GIA Diamond Grading Report"


The second type of GIA Report commonly used for Natural Fancy Colored Diamonds. It's referred to in the trade as a "Color Origin" report.
 The "Jacket- or back portion, looks just like the one above.

The inside, denoting it as a "color origin":

As we can see, this report identifies the Shape and cutting style, measurements, Weight, Color Grade, (Sub-categories  "Origin", "Grade" and "Distribution"), Comments ( if any) and a diagram ( perfect for those adept at Rubik's Cube, otherwise useless).

It omits a few specifications we're used to seeing the "Grading" reports- these include: Clarity, Depth %, Table %, Girdle, Culet, Polish, Symmetry, and Fluorescence.

For diamonds in the light yellow ranges ( U-V, W-X, and Y-Z), there's an interesting dichotomy.
When a Y-Z color diamond is submitted for the "Full Report", GIA issues a report identical, front and back, to a D color diamond's report.

Additionally, the color would be identified simply as "Y-Z Range"
Submit the same diamond for the "Color Origin" report and you'll get the same outer jacket as a Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond- "GIA Colored Diamond Report"
The inside would have the same info as any other "Color Origin," but in a slightly different format- with a heading of "Identification report"

Remember how GIA terms this shade on the full report? Just a plain old Y-Z Range"

Look how the diamond has all of a sudden become a "Light Yellow, Natural Color". That alone would be reason enough for a cutter of these diamonds to opt for the "Color Origin" report. We've had many diamonds GIA would have graded VS1 or better with the "Origin" report.
Or, the cutter knows it will get I1, and feels that Intense Yellow is better off without the "stigma" of an I1 moniker.
Of course another possible reason for opting for a color origin could be that the diamond is an imperfect piece of junk.
AS with ALL diamonds of note- GIA  or not- close physical examination by an expert is necessary to determine valuation.
A "Color Origin" diamond might very well be a far better purchase than another Fancy Colored Diamond with a GIA report calling it Internally Flawless .

This article is admittedly not a complete listing of GIA products. For example, these is a "mini" GIA report called a "Diamond Dossier".
 In addition,  we currently have information for the last 5 years or so. We'll compile the photos of older GIA reports in the near future
Next Up: GIA reports from prior to 2006.
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