How do I check a GIA Diamond Rating (Our Definitive 8 Step Guide)

There’s a lot to know when purchasing an engagement ring, but undoubtedly the biggest question you will have is ‘How do I know that I’m buying a good quality diamond?’ The simplest way to understand the quality of your diamond is by checking the diamond ratings on a GIA certificate.

A GIA certificate is your roadmap to diamond buying and a good understanding of the ratings (or gradings as we like to call them) will ensure you’re across every aspect of your purchase. But where should you start? A sound understanding of the 4C’s is the perfect foundation to understanding your GIA certificate.

What is a GIA Diamond Grading Report?

A GIA certificate is a diamond grading report issued by the Gemological Institute of America. The GIA is the world leading organization for diamond grading and gemmological practices. The GIA established the 4C’s of diamond grading which remains the worldwide standard for evaluating diamond quality. Having your diamond certified by the GIA means you can be assured you’re purchasing a quality diamond that has been subjected to the most consistent and reliable grading processes.

What is Included in a GIA Diamond Grading Report?

This certificate contains a full scientific and unbiased assessment of your diamond. It details not only the 4C’s, but every aspect of your stone. The GIA report covers the diamond’s measurements and proportions, types of inclusions found in the stone and other grading characteristics such as; symmetry, polish and fluorescence.

It’s a comprehensive look into every element of the stone, but don’t be intimidated if science isn’t your strong suit. We’re going to break down each section one at a time!

GIA Natural Diamond Grading Report

On the left-hand side of the certificate all the basic information regarding your diamond can be easily viewed. Starting with the date of issue, the GIA report number (which we will touch on a bit later in this post), diamond shape, cutting style of the diamond and the stone’s measurements.

This is a great place to start and the quickest way to identify that you are viewing the report which corresponds to your chosen diamond. Immediately checking the carat weight and shape are the same as the stone you are viewing, is a great reference point prior to viewing the laser inscription.

Grading Results

The next section under the heading ‘Grading Results’ is where your 4C’s knowledge comes into play. Carat weight, colour, clarity and cut gradings can all be found here. If you need a refresher, the grading scales can be located on the far right-hand side of the report.

Additional Grading Information

The next section covers ‘Additional Grading Information’ which refers to some key points beyond the 4C’s. This includes the polish, symmetry and fluorescence gradings of the diamond, plus any additional comments from the lab. But before you commit hours of study to these additional gradings you should know that an extensive knowledge of these elements is not necessary prior to your consultation. Your DX Diamond Specialist will be able to guide you easily through these advanced gradings during your consultation. These advanced gradings usually come into play when deciding between two diamonds with similar specifications.

Diamond Proportions

The middle section of the grading report focuses on the diamond’s proportions. If you have already selected a diamond with excellent cut and symmetry gradings then this stone will likely have great proportions. Although this section is interesting, especially to those of you who are a little more mathematically minded, the best indication of how big your stone will look lies within the dimensions.

Clarity Characteristics

Below this is the ‘Clarity Characteristics’, certainly one of the most interesting aspects of the diamond grading report. This can be described as a map of any inclusions present within the diamond. This is fantastic for identifying the type and placement of inclusions. If you are considering a diamond with a high clarity grading, then there is likely to be very few symbols found on this diagram. If the diamond you are looking at does have inclusions this will help you determine how noticeable they are likely to be. It is important to know, that just because inclusions are indicated on this diagram does not necessarily mean they will be visible to the naked eye. This is one area that is fantastic to go over with your DX Diamond Specialist as they will be able to guide you through the details of this illustration and each inclusion.

GIA Report Number

Now for the all-important GIA number, this piece of information is the link between your selected diamond and its grading report. This number is unique for every stone and is your diamond’s identification code. It can be found at the top of the report and again on the left-hand side. This number is also laser inscribed on the actual diamond! The inscription is so small you won’t be able to see it with your naked eye. At DX you can view this inscription under magnification upon collecting your ring, so you can be sure that you are getting the right diamond and certificate.

You can also use this report number to search the GIA online database for your diamond details. Just type the number into the GIA Report Check and you will have access to your certificate information with just one click!

Now you know how to check any ratings for a GIA certified diamond. You can take the guess work out of buying a good quality diamond and go into your consultation feeling like a pro! At DX our Diamond Specialists are always ready to answer your questions. You can book an appointment at one of our showrooms , virtually or over the phone.