Absolutely! Simply put, do not buy a diamond without an independent grading certificate. Unfortunately, it is fairly common to see diamonds that are misgraded, especially when they are not graded independently.
Be aware of diamond certificates from labs you have never heard of. Sometimes they are really not independent laboratories.
It is true that you have to see the diamond yourself to judge the beauty, but the independent grading will give you a good indication (usually within one grade, up or down) of the diamonds actual color and clarity along with accurate measurements of the diamond including it’s weight. You may find it hard to believe, but even the carat weight of the diamond can be exagerrated by the seller if you are not careful. And, the certificate can be very useful for future identification of the diamond especially when combined with “laser inscriptions”.
Probably because it “fits their business model”. Professional diamond buyers always look at the diamonds they are buying and choose the one’s best for them – even when the diamonds have already been certified. So why shouldn’t you buy the same way? The truth is that there is a big risk in not getting as good a diamond if you do not compare and choose for yourself. At Fey, our staff is trained on how to help you get the largest most beautiful diamond for your budget.
In general, we find that many color and clarity grades are “accurate” within one grade, up or down. Color and clarity grades are based on a subjective continuum. So, it is reasonable for different labs or even different graders within the same lab to reach different conclusions.
Be aware that some diamonds are graded multiple times with the most favorable grades being presented to the buyer – a form of diamond “arbitrage”. Also, sellers who know their buyers are not likely to look at the diamond before it is purchased could certainly present the diamonds that have a better certificate grade, but are not nearly as pretty as you would expect.
As noted above, an independent lab is always the best. At Fey & Co. we have diamonds graded by several different labs. Additionally, our in-store diamonds are also triple graded by Ed, Tom and our Fey & Co. diamond experts. For our online diamond selection we exclusively show diamonds graded by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and the AGS (American Gem Society) because these are the two most well-known “brand names” in the grading market.
A piece of paper cannot possibly describe the unique beauty of each diamond which is not mass produced, but a product of nature and some of the finest craftsmen in the world.
There are differences in grades between labs and even between graders within a lab.
There are differences in beauty such as transparency in the original diamond rough that are not adequately described in the grading.
There are nearly an infinite number of ways that diamonds are cut and there is no comprehensive way to document the subjective beauty of all the different cutting combinations. You have to see for yourself.
Different people look for different things in diamond quality. What is the best for you might not be for the next person.
The most telling example of these differences is the fact that it is easy to find many diamonds all with the same “grades”, yet all priced significantly differently.