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Diamond certification is also known as a diamond grade report. This is a fairly straightforward process by which a diamond is measured, examined, and tested.
The results of this scientific study of a particular diamond are recorded in a report that accompanies the diamond. This report, or certificate, serves as a unique fingerprint for that particular diamond because like snowflakes, no two diamonds are alike.
The certification process is carried out by a gemological laboratory. All Gemological laboratories should be independent of any diamond retailers or wholesalers to avoid any conflict of interests or bias. The gemological laboratory will take the diamond, loose only, and measure its various attributes and dimensions. Amongst the diamond's details, the 4 C’s: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat are also measured.
The diamond's flaws (or inclusions) are noted and, depending on the laboratory grading the diamond, can be plotted on a diagram of the diamond. The laboratory then produces the necessary paperwork to accompany the diamond for which it was prepared. Please take into consideration that not all gemological laboratories are equal in either their costs or their grading results.
There are many different gemological laboratories available to the diamond-buying public. Some of the more well known, respected, and trusted are the following: GIA (Gemological Institute of America), HRD (Hoge Raad Voor Diamant; Diamond High Council), and the IGI (International Gemological Institute). Each of these has their own criteria and method of grading loose diamonds, but they all operate within a high set of parameters in regards to grading a diamond's attributes and dimensions.