What is the difference between a Diamond Certificate
and an Appraisal?
A Diamond Certificate
is a document issued by a Gemological Laboratory describing a Loose
Diamond. The laboratory will not issue certificates on Diamonds
which are set in a mounting. A Diamond Certificate issues a "grade"
indicating the physical properties
of the Diamond "at the time of evaluation". A certificate
is a document which retains its value over a long period of time,
assuming the Diamond does not chip or is not otherwise altered.
An appraisal can be performed
on a loose Diamond, a mounted stone, or jewelry. If the stone is
not loose, the physical properties are estimated using various estimation
techniques. Most importantly, an appraisal indicates the Dollar
Value of the piece under consideration. Obviously, the Dollar Value
can easily change considerably over a relatively short period of
time. Appraisals are most often used for insurance purposes.
Many people make the
mistake of using an in-house appraiser to evaluate the purchase
price of their Diamond. This is a big mistake. Firstly, appraisals
are often over-estimated, and are therefore a very poor estimation
of price. More importantly, any in-house Jeweler may be biased.
To further complicate
matters, many people have become more educated when it comes to
buying Diamonds, and have learned that its important to have a GIA
certificate. What they have not learned, unfortunately, is how to
differentiate between a GIA GTL (Gem Trade Lab) Grader, and a GIA
G.G. or Graduate Gemologist. Many assume that getting an appraisal
by a GIA gemologist is the same as getting a GIA Certificate. Some
unscrupulous Jewelers attempt to further that illusion.
The GTL (Gem Trade Lab)
Grader is a GIA employee who performs the Diamond Grading
for the Institute. A GIA Graduate Gemologist, on the other hand,
has simply passed the GIA Diamonds and Colored Stone course.
GIA has pointed out to us that to be allowed to use the title "Graduate
Gemologist", "One must pass GIA's Diamonds course, the
Diamond Grading Course, the Colored Stones Course, Gem Identification
Course, and the Colored Stone Grading course"]
The GTL grader is far
better trained in grading and usually has far more experience than
a G.G. Further, the GTL grader does not have the same vested interest
in the outcome of the grade of the stone they are evaluating.