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GIA report check — what it won’t tell you

By Stephanie Dore

Most of us have learned, through a lot of trial and error, that what’s good on paper isn’t always what’s best for us. After all, some of our best qualities can’t quite be put into words. Well, the same goes for diamonds. A diamond grading report is nice, and the GIA Report Check will tell you whether it’s the real thing, but it’s just never going to give you the full picture. You know, like the picture you get of someone after you’ve been dating them IRL for more than a few months. Hello in-laws and personal hygiene, amirite? So what exactly is Report Check and what red flags are you missing? Well, we’re about to break it down.

Check, Please!

Hands down, the GIA is a fave when it comes to diamond grading. I mean, they pretty much set the standard. Their reports even come with super cool security features (like holograms!) that help prevent forgers and duplications. And the GIA report check is super handy for quick confirmation that the report you’re seeing (whether it’s online or in your hand) matches what’s in the GIA’s database. I.e. someone didn’t alter or fake it. Don’t roll your eyes. It happens! And nobody likes a faker. 

This is great for knowing that your report is real, but ultimately, it doesn’t tell you some pretty important stuff. Like…

The Money Honey

A common misconception is that diamond certificates or grading reports are the same thing as appraisals, or that they solely determine the price of a diamond. Well, they’re not. And they don’t. A grading report only tells you the objective qualities of your diamond. What it weighs, what it’s clarity grade is, you know…the 4Cs and stuff. Lots of little measurements. And while those are all important, they are only a portion of what sets diamond prices. See, diamond pricing is set based on all kinds of fluctuating factors like the general market, economic conditions, retail overheads, and a jeweler’s subjective visual evaluation of what that diamond looks like. An appraisal, on the other hand, is someone evaluating the cost to replace the diamond (and, if you get a good deal on your diamond, an appraisal will come in significantly higher than what you actually pay for it).

The Dating Game

Just because your diamond has a grading report, and it matches the GIA report check, doesn’t guarantee that the diamond would get the same grade and report today. Wait, what? That’s right, maybe the diamond was graded years ago. It may have been damaged since then, or altered (recut, repolished, etc.). It may have even been graded more than once (this happens often…). 

It’s always good to have a jeweler verify that the diamond physically still matches it’s report or certificate. So check the date and details on that report (a more recent one is much less likely to have differences, but it’s not impossible) and find a diamond profesh you trust, especially if you’re buying online!

The Little Things

So, there are two different basic diamond certificates from GIA. The full Diamond Grading Report (which will be generated by GIA automatically for anything 1 carat or larger, and the cute lil Dossier, which will be issued for under-1 carat diamonds (unless the gem cutter/dealer paid for the larger report). The Dossier is great for just about everything, but it leaves out the clarity plot. It only lists the names of the grade-setting inclusions, so you really won’t have anything to go on if you’re trying to evaluate the location or number of a diamond’s inclusions. You could be looking at an SI1-clarity diamond that lists only “crystal” but it could potentially have multiple other inclusions within that clarity grade that you’d never know about without seeing the diamond. 

And it’s good to remember that the 4Cs represent a range. So while knowing the difference between an F color and an H is one thing, knowing a high G from a low G is totally different. No report will tell you that. Only experience and lots and lots of comparing. It’s eye-boggling, for sure.

Most Importantly

Report Check just simply won’t tell you if your diamond is pretty. 

Confirmation of an authentic grading report is great. Confirmation of eye-widening, breathtaking, heart-racing sparkle and fire is another. Things like bow ties, brilliance (remember, only round diamonds have cut grades!), or the gentle curve of a cushion are never going to come across on paper. And you’re not putting that paper on your finger. 

What Now?

Get your pretty lil eyeballs on that diamond, or get ours on it! When it comes down to dropping big baller budgets on little disco balls of brilliance, the eyes have it, and there’s really no better way to judge. When you’re shopping online (aren’t we all, these days?), check for photos and videos (hello, 360s!) of diamonds. And ping a jeweler!

That’s Right!

Whether you have no clue what you’re looking at or just want a second, trusted opinion, we’re more than happy to pull a diamond for you, take extra pics, and weigh in with our two cents to make sure you’re super jazzed about that gem. Want to see them yourself? Set up a consult at our NY studio to pick your diamond in person! Just email hello@frankdarling.com to get started.