OK, what do I mean? Well, quite a few things influence a gemstone certificate. The most important thing to remember is that a certificate is only as good, honest, and accurate as the person writing it. When you choose a gemologist to certify a gem for you, ask questions. Find out about their experience and reputation. Learn what gem grading system they use. This is critical for the quality of any certificate for a gem you may buy.

Before buying an expensive gem, I recommend reading this article.

What About Gemstone Certificates Written by Degreed Gemologists?

Some certificates are done by gemologists with degrees from somewhere like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or another accredited school, and there are many schools. In theory, a certificate written by a GIA gemologist or a graduate of some other well-known gemology school should be reasonably acceptable. Just don’t depend on it.

The GIA and other similar institutes — and the vendors selling stones with certificates from people trained by these schools — have a sales pitch. That is, their gemstone certificates are all quality and consistent. These people promote the “party line,” so to speak: their certificates are not only the…