engagement ring
Without a grading report, it’s impossible to know this diamond’s color and clarity. Even then, some grading reports can disagree on these qualities. Engagement ring photo by Ilovebutter. Licensed under CC By 2.0.

Is Diamond Certification the Correct Term?

You’ll probably come across the term “diamond certification” frequently as you’re shopping. Although many websites and vendors use “certification” and “grading report” interchangeably, gemologists should avoid referring to diamond grading reports as certificates.

In 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued diamond grading quality guidelines that recommend not referring to grading reports as certificates. “Certification” suggests the diamond receives an independent, external review. This doesn’t happen with most diamond grade reports. Furthermore, “certification” implies the grades on the document are facts. However, diamond grades, even those performed by experts, are opinions. Even if a diamond receives grades from multiple expert reviewers, those grades are still opinions, not facts, about quality.

Over time, more websites and vendors will likely modify their terminology. Meanwhile, as consumers, be aware that any diamond grade certificates you encounter are best understood as opinions. This article will help you find experts you can trust.

What Makes Diamond Grading Reports so Important?

A diamond’s grading report