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GIA, GCAL AND IGI - Your guide to Diamond Certification Laboratories.

Certified Diamonds for your Engagement Ring Melbourne 

In the world of diamond certification, there are three leading authorities: (GIA) The Gemological Institute of America, (GCAL) Gem Certification & Assurance Lab and (IGI) International Gemological Institute. These independent gemological laboratories provide millions of diamond certifications every year against a set of stringent criteria and are globally renowned for their diamond grading. 
GIA, GCAL and IGI provide advanced testing methods to authenticate and assess the quality of each diamond passing through their laboratories. Their trained gemologists examine individual diamonds to produce reports reflecting the grade and physical characteristics of the stone. Typically accompanying diamond certificates will provide an evaluation of the 4C’s, the cut grade (polish and symmetry of the facets), measurements & proportions, and clarity characteristics to map any inclusions. These diamond grading reports play an essential role in determining a diamond’s overall value and are equally as important as appreciating the stone’s visual appearance and beauty as they define their quality. 

GIA, GCAL and IGI gemological laboratories set the benchmark for diamond certifying, all with their own distinctive histories and testing approaches. Below we will explore the backgrounds behind these renowned institutions and discover what their diamond certificates include to verify both natural and lab-grown diamonds.

example of GIA certificate

GIA - The Gemological Institute of America

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is widely regarded as the pinnacle of diamond certification. First established in 1932 in Los Angeles, USA, GIA is a non-profit organisation that is dedicated to research and education of gemology. The institute's beginnings were focused on teachings, providing gemology courses to jewellers in the industry and developing patented technologies such as jewellers loupes and gemological microscopes.

GIA pioneered the Diamond grading system of the 4Cs - Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat weight. This has formed the international benchmark for diamond evaluation that we are still familiar with today.  Since 1953, GIA has been issuing diamond grading reports against these criterias and today these evaluations still detail the 4C’s alongside additional information regarding the diamond’s internal and external features. Included on a modern GIA diamond certificate is the fundamental Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat grading, alongside an assessment of the diamond’s polish, symmetry, fluorescence, angles, proportions and clarity diagram mapping any inclusions. Providing a detailed diamond report identifying the quality and authenticating the stone as a natural or lab-grown diamond. GIA diamond certificates are available in both printed and digital versions for clients to keep and have a corresponding laser inscription on the physical diamond assessed.   

GIA sets itself apart with their rigorous grading process and is the preferred choice for many clients and jewellers. This is due to their gemologists adhering to the strictest diamond grading standards in the industry. GIA’s global authority is built upon their reputation of integrity and their gemologists are highly regarded due to their extensive training. They are revered for their accuracy and consistency when it comes to diamond grading. GIA stays true to their heritage and continues to this day to offer gemology education courses to continue to contribute to their credibility.  Today GIA operates globally with laboratories in the USA, Israel, India and South Africa earning themselves the title of the most-esteemed gemological lab with a  great deal of respect from jewellers within the industry.

example of GCAL certificate

GCAL - Gem Certification & Assurance Lab

Founded in 2001 in New York City, the Gem Certification & Assurance Lab (GCAL) takes a more innovative approach to certifying diamonds. The laboratory distinguished itself through their advanced technologies and techniques to assess and grade diamonds. GCAL boasts the most comprehensive evaluations out of the three acclaimed gemological laboratories. GCAL also developed its reputation by adhering to the highest ethical standards. What sets apart their certification process in comparison to GIA is their meticulous attention to detail and cutting-edge equipment.

GCAL diamond certificates go beyond the 4C’s to assess diamonds. They provide a much more thorough analysis. GCAL identifies each diamond through a unique Gemprint, photographs of the table and crown of the diamond for real-life measurements, photograph laser inscriptions, and provide photomicrographs which reveal diamond clarity characteristics. Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of a GCAL certificate is their assessment of light performance. GCAL measures diamond symmetry and optically scans diamond facet measurements and angles to assess their brilliance and sparkle.

A GCAL diamond certificate is categorised into three sections. The first is identifying the diamond, with a GCAL Gemprint. This system assigns a unique gem ‘fingerprint’ to each diamond, enhancing authenticity and traceability. Then also providing an actual image of the diamond laser inscription number. The second focuses on the 4C’s analysis, with actual photo images up to 10x magnification. The third is GCALs innovative Light Performance assessment, a technique that measures how a diamond interacts with light.  GCAL reviews a diamond's optical brilliance (the return of white light) and optical symmetry (giving a visual representation of proportions and facet alignment). Finally their optical scanning technology records the dimensions and angles of the diamond cut illustrated in a proportion diagram.

What sets apart GCAL’s certification process is their revolutionary technologies. GCAL is exploring the future of AI diamond grading technology, to achieve unparalleled consistency and accuracy for diamond grading.   

example of IGI certificate

IGI - International Gemological Institute

The International Gemological Institute (IGI) was established in 1975, and is currently the world’s largest Gemological Institute. IGI currently has 29 laboratories operating in 10 different countries to provide diamond grading reports for many major retail chains. The International Gemological Institute is a globally recognised service catering to a diverse clientele to certify both lab grown and natural diamonds.

An IGI diamond grading certificate outlines the all important 4C’s. The report also describes additional grading information including the polish, symmetry, fluorescence and diamond inscription number. IGI certificates also show two diagrams of the diamond - one to illustrate the proportions of the individual diamond and another to show the positioning of any inclusions and clarity characteristics. IGI certificates also include a photograph of the diamond and laser inscription.

IGI is appreciated for its efficient services and are the most competitive with their diamond report pricing. They provide a quick service of diamond assessment for those purchasing diamonds around the world. IGI certificates are clear and concise to offer valuable evaluations to buyers. As a consequence of their size and speed in producing certificates, IGI have been criticized for their inconsistencies in grading reports. Although scrutinized they continue to certify more than 1 million diamonds every year and are accepted at large the industry. 

Why purchase a certified Diamond?

When investing in an engagement ring, certified diamonds assessed from GIA, GCAL and IGI play a vital role in ensuring the quality and authenticity of your purchase. Understanding certification and the value of a diamond's physical characteristics will empower you to make a confident and informed decision when buying your diamond.  

Authenticity is undeniably the most important factor when buying diamonds. Without any certification, clients and retailers run the risk of paying a considerable amount of money for a low quality or even a fake diamond. Anybody can try to guess the quality without a proper examination - however there are many slight nuances and variations in diamonds that the naked eye cannot see or an untrained eye wouldn’t even know to look for. Lab-certification is a much more sophisticated and accurate method to verify each and every individual diamond over one carat.

In an ideal world one could simply purchase a genuine diamond for a set price per carat weight, but the truth is that no two diamonds are exactly the same in their quality. Differences in their physical characteristics greatly affect their value - and nobody wants to risk paying thousands of dollars to later discover they were overcharged or duped. With limitless options available for natural, lab-grown and many imitation lookalikes or diamond simulants, buyers need to be more discerning than ever when shopping for an engagement ring

Reputable jewellers always sell Diamonds accompanied with documentation on all of their centre stones. These gemological laboratories that do all of the independent assessing for you. Creating documentation profiling the unique characteristics and physical properties of each diamond. Diamond certificates from GIA, GCAL and IGI will also assist in forming a pricing appraisal, forming part of the diamond replacement value if it ever happens to be lost or stolen.

At Janai we couple our diamond expertise with internationally renowned Gemology Laboratories to provide a seamless and transparent diamond-buying experience. Buying certified diamonds for your Engagement Ring in Melbourne comes with the assurance of legitimacy and a profile of all your diamonds unique traits.

Book your appointment with us below to create your custom Engagement Ring in Melbourne 

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