Does my diamond really need a certificate?

No, your diamond does not need to have a certificate.

Diamonds without certificates should cost less than their certified counterparts. For example, one popular jewelry retailer sells a round, one-carat solitaire diamond in a 14-karate white gold ring for $3,100. The same jeweler sells a ring with the same description, plus the word “certified” for $4,800.  Both diamonds are H-color, one-carat, round. One’s clarity is I1; the other’s clarity is SI2-I1. So, they may be exactly the same diamonds, except one is certified.

However, some people prefer to have a certificate, for various reasons:

  • They want a reputable, independent third-party to verify the color, cut, clarity, and carat weight of the diamond.
  • They feel a certificate provides assurance this is not a “blood diamond” or “conflict diamond.”
  • They want certification for insurance purposes.
  • They want the diamond to have a laser-inscribed number and certificate in case of theft, so police will identify their diamond if it turns up during an investigation.
  • They want certification for ease in reselling—or returning—the diamond.
  • Someone they know bought a pretty piece of glass, moissanite, or cubic zirconia, thinking it was a diamond.
  • They think a relative or friend might imply the diamond is not what it appears to be, and they’d rather have proof available.

But not everyone has these concerns. When shopping for a diamond, each individual must balance his own personal thoughts against the prospect of saving money. In the end, the decision of whether or not to seek a diamond with a certificate—or even a particular certification laboratory—is up to the individual buyer.