10, August 2015: Diamonds occupy a unique space in our society. In few other areas is there such a direct correlation between fiscal and emotional value and in general opinion there’s no better way to crystallise a beloved memory or heart-melting gesture into a physical reminder that will last for lifetimes, while still remaining as vivid and majestic as the day it was cut.
Those who are spending hundreds, even thousands of pounds on such tiny, beautiful things, are understandably inclined to seek out an expert opinion before they buy. For many, the go-by standard of diamond verification is a grading certificate from a respected laboratory, such as GIA or IGI.
However, Simon Wright, a member of F&L Designer Guides, has recently pointed out that such a certificate might not be all it seems. “Any sort of grading is essentially the subjective opinion of somebody you’ve never met, and as such there’s no guarantee that it will accurately reflect the quality of the diamond.” In fact, while the grading is sometimes engraved into the girdle of a stone, this is not always the case, meaning that there’s little to stop an unscrupulous jeweller from selling an inferior diamond with the certificate of a high quality stone. Perhaps most worryingly, even GIA has been embroiled in a bribery scandal, while there are times where IGI has been found to be worryingly lax with its grading standards.
Simon Wright emphasises the importance of purchasing from reliable jewellers, who take pride in their trade and settle for nothing but quality in their products. Working closely with a trusted designer is the best way to ensure that you are provided with splendid, authentically valued diamonds, and negates the worry about whether the certificate matches the diamond or whether the mysterious laboratory grader has a good eye. Wright: “A good jeweller will refuse to sell anything but diamonds that have passed their own, expert evaluation, rather than relying on an anonymous member of an external agency.”
While GIA and IGI evaluations do offer a degree of standardisation and guidance, the best tool in your arsenal will always remain a strong relationship with an accomplished jeweller.