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Why buy GIA certified?

You probably already know that each diamond is qualified and priced according to the four "C's" (carat, color, clarity and cut). But have you ever wondered who grades the diamond a sales person shows you? In other words, how do you know a diamond shown to you as G color and VS1 clarity is really a G color, VS1 clarity diamond?

Let's assume that you purchase a diamond graded as 0.76 carats, G color and VS1 clarity from us at Five Star Jewelers. To ensure that our grading of the diamond is current, you decide to take it to ten different diamond appraisers, or graders. You will probably find that the ten appraisers give you at least six different combinations of grades, all of which might differ from the appraisal you received at Five Star. Does this mean that Five Star jewelers lied to you, and sold the diamond to you in an unethical or deceptive manner? Maybe Five Star's appraisal was valid and the other jewelers were giving you incorrect information. How can you compare diamond prices objectively if one diamond can receive any one of many subjective gradings?

Now you probably understand what a typical shopper has to go through in pursuit of that special diamond. Isn't there a better and simpler way of doing this? YES THERE IS! Shop for a diamond that has been certified, not by just anyone, but by the GIA(Gemological Institute of America). All diamond experts and jewelers know what a "GIA certificate" is. The GIA's grading is undeniably recognized throughout the jewelry industry as the most accurate and unbiased opinion when it comes to grading diamonds.

Comparing prices of diamonds with GIA certificates is now very easy. You don't even have to visit jewelry stores to make the comparisons. Simply call a jeweler and ask for a price on a GIA certified 0.76 carat, G color, VS1 clarity diamond with a good cut. If normal prices are competitive, they will be able to quote you an exact price. Then, all you have to do is buy the diamond from the jeweler with the best price. Theoretically, you would be able to reach a decision without even leaving home. Of course, factors other than price should also be considered. You will want to purchase a diamond from a jeweler who has a good reputation, quality workmanship, and solid guarantees.

It sounds easy, but who sells these GIA certified diamonds? Almost all jewelers sell them, even if many do not have them in stock. Many reputable jewelers sell nothing but GIA certified stones. You will even hear some jewelers tell you that their grading standard is as good as that of the GIA, so you don't really need a GIA certificate. Others will offer to send the diamond to the GIA for certification after you purchase it, which normally takes about one month. Some will tell you that GIA certified diamonds cost much more than non-GIA certified diamonds of the same grade (Actually, it costs only $98 to have the GIA certify a 1.0 carat diamond).

Some jewelers may inaccurately tell you that their diamonds are GIA certified. What they really mean is that their diamonds are graded by someone who graduated from a GIA grading course. Remember that the GIA is headquartered in Carlsbad, CA and their certificates come only from their New York and Carlsbad laboratories. Every diamond report from the GIA will have these addresses at the top of the certificate.

The only drawback to shopping for a GIA certified stone that we can think of is the limited availability of certain sizes and qualities. Generally, it is difficult to locate the following diamonds with GIA certificates:
  1. Diamonds priced at less than $1,000
  2. Diamonds with a weight less than 1/2 carat
  3. Diamonds with clarities and colors lower than S12 and I, respectively.

Obviously, there will be some exceptions, so go ahead and make a few phone calls. You have nothing to lose.

The advantages of buying a diamond with a GIA certificate are:
  1. You will know exactly what you are buying. Every important factor you need to know about the diamond is described in the certificate.
  2. The seller knows exactly what he/she is selling to you so as to avoid any misunderstandings in the future.
  3. If a diamond comes with a GIA certificate, you do not have to worry about the possibility that you might be purchasing a fracture-filled diamond. These are diamonds that have surface cracks that can be artificially filled to appear as much better diamonds than they actually are. These are in essence, very low quality diamonds that look great to naked eyes. GIA does not certificate these diamonds.
  4. If a diamond comes with a GIA certificate, you will not become a victim of buying a synthetic diamond. Yes, there are real man-made diamonds that hit the market in 1977. Currently, average jewelers have no way of telling if a diamond is natural or man-made (These are not diamond stimulants as CZs, but real diamonds that are man made).
  5. Purchasing a GIA certified diamond will simply provide you with much more confidence and value.
  6. Because we, as jewelers, are inclined to quote prices over the phone, the competition on GIA certified diamonds is fierce. In an effort to lure customers into their stores, jewelers price GIA certified diamonds very low. The chandeliers, spotlights, slick salesmanship, and other extravagant aspects of their stores go out the window. It's the certificate and price that sell the diamond. Of course when you do buy a certified diamond, be sure to verify that the diamond you purchased matches the certificate you receive.

    Please give us a call,, and/or make an appointment. We will not be undersold and your satisfaction is always guaranteed.

    Home Page Why from Five Star | Why GIA   | Personal Info on Owner | Refund Policy | Do's and Don'ts | Four C's | Anatomy of GIA | Which Certificate | Current Debates | In-Town or Out-of-Town | Ideal Cuts really Ideal  |
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