The 4 C's, Then There Is "The Fifth"
The Fifth C – Certificate ~ How To Read The Most Important Document
GIA Certificate describing the characteristics of a Diamond
While the characteristics of diamonds are known as the 4 C’s and have been for decades, the reality is that there is a fifth C that is almost if not just as important as the original 4 C’s. The fifth C is the diamond certificate or grading report. This document will include the complete evaluation from an expert gemological team, giving you the authenticated information about your diamond in writing, and listing the proof that your diamond exhibits the qualities that you were told that it has and that you paid for. This certificate is the entire reason that you would feel secure about your investment.
Cut, clarity, color and carat will all be measured and subsequently recorded in these documents, along with any defects in the stone. This will serve as evidence of the diamond’s authenticity should you choose to resell or reevaluate your diamond. Because the color of fancy color diamonds never fades, and the attributes of diamonds are completely permanent, coupled with the fact that diamonds are virtually indestructible and almost nothing will cause them harm, what is written on your certificate at the time that your diamond is evaluated is guaranteed to be the same information if the diamond is even checked up on.
The certificate can be produced by a number of labs across the globe, but the most famous and trusted laboratory for fancy color diamonds is the GIA.
Usually, you will want a diamond with a GIA certificate because it is the most universally recognized. For example, the most impressive and expensive diamonds in the world are always sent to the GIA for certification and not any other lab in existence, although other such labs do exist. Be aware that grading diamonds is carried out by humans, and it is possible that what one laboratory grades a diamond may differ from the certificate that another lab would produce, although usually it won’t differ by such a large margin.
Certain laboratories, including the GIA, will not grade enhanced diamonds on principle. If they do grade them, they will indicate that the diamond was enhanced quite clearly on the certificate. Occasionally, by sending in a diamond to be professionally graded, it has been discovered that a diamond was clarity or color enhanced. That is the beauty of a third party grading laboratory – they are objective and will write all of the important details on your diamond’s certificate. The more established a grading laboratory is, the more you can trust their certification. Below is an example of a typical GIA certificate.
GIA reports represent the highest standard of reliability, consistency and integrity. And now, GIA Report Check is available for all GIA reports, providing you with an additional level of assurance.
With Report Check, you can quickly and conveniently confirm that the information on your report matches what is archived in the GIA report database.
How to Read a GIA Diamond Grading Report
1. DATE Date diamond was examined by GIA.
2. REPORT NUMBER Unique GIA report number registered in GIA’s extensive global database.
3. SHAPE AND CUTTING STYLE The outline of the diamond (shape) and the pattern of the facet arrangement (cutting style).
4. MEASUREMENTS Diamond dimensions listed as “minimum diameter – maximum diameter x depth” for round diamonds and “length x width x depth” for fancy-shaped diamonds.
5. CARAT WEIGHT Weight given in carats, recorded to the nearest hundredth of a carat. One carat is equal to 1/5 of a gram.
6. COLOR GRADE The absence of color ranging from colorless to light yellow or brown when compared to GIA Master Color Comparison Diamonds. Graded on a D-to-Z scale. If “*” appears next to the color grade, a color treatment was detected.
7. CLARITY GRADE The relative absence of inclusions and blemishes. Graded on a scale from Flawless to Included based on size, nature, number, position, and relief of characteristics visible under 10x magnification. The GIA Diamond Grading Report includes an assessment of the 4Cs – Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight – along with a plotted diagram of its clarity characteristics and a graphic representation of the diamond’s proportions. GIA issues the Diamond Grading Report for loose natural diamonds only, weighing 0.15 carats or more. For standard round brilliant cut diamonds falling in the D-to-Z color range, the report also includes a GIA Cut grade. How to Read a GIA Diamond Grading Report
8. CUT GRADE For standard, D-to-Z color, round brilliant diamonds. Cut grade incorporates the aspects of face-up appearance, design, and craftsmanship. Graded on a scale from Excellent to Poor.
9. POLISH Smoothness of the diamond’s surface, assessed on a scale ranging from Excellent to Poor.
10. SYMMETRY Exactness of the diamond’s outline, and the shape, placement, and alignment of its facets, assessed on a scale ranging from Excellent to Poor.
11. FLUORESCENCE Strength and color of the diamond when viewed under long-wave ultraviolet light. A fluorescence description of “none” represents a range of fluorescence from Indiscernible to Very Faint. Used for identification purposes.
12. INSCRIPTION (S) Any text, symbols, logos, or a unique GIA report number inscribed on the diamond’s girdle.
1 3 . C O M M E N T S Additional identifying characteristics or features that are not otherwise represented on the report. If a treatment is detected, such as laser drilling, it would be described here.
14. PROPORTION DIAGRAM Graphic profile representation of the diamond’s actual proportions.
15. PLOTTED DIAGRAM Approximates the shape and cutting style of the diamond. Symbols indicate the type or nature, position, and the approximate size of a clarity characteristic.
16. KEY TO SYMBOLS Lists the characteristics and symbols shown on the plotting diagram, if present.
17. GIA COLOR SCALE Illustrates the GIA Color grades and their relative positions in the GIA Diamond Color Grading System.
18. GIA CLARITY SCALE Illustrates the GIA Clarity grades and their relative positions in the GIA Diamond Clarity Grading System.
19. GIA CUT SCALE Illustrates the GIA Cut grades and their relative position in the GIA Diamond Cut Grading System. Available for standard round brilliant cut diamonds in the D-to-Z color range and Flawless-to-I3 clarity range.
20. SECURITY FEATURES Micro printing, security screens, watermarks, a two-dimensional barcode, a hologram, and sheet numbering safeguard report integrity and facilitate document authentication.
21. QR CODE A two-dimensional barcode that, when scanned, verifies data on the report