Are you curious about IGI certification? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
IGI Diamond Certification
In this guide, I will provide answers to the following questions related to IGI certification:
- Is it recommended to purchase IGI certified diamonds?
- What makes IGI certificates more affordable?
- Does IGI offer certification for lab-grown diamonds?
What is IGI Certification?
IGI Certification refers to the diamond grading reports provided by the International Gemological Institute, which was founded in 1975 and is one of the oldest diamond grading authorities. The institute has 20 laboratories located around the world, making it the largest independent grading laboratory globally. They are proud of having graded a greater number of diamonds and diamond jewelry than any other organization in the diamond industry.
IGI diamond certification used to be the go-to report for many prominent retailers such as Kay, Zales, and Jared, due to its efficiency and quick turnaround time. However, these retailers have now switched to GSI certifications due to their competitive pricing.
Despite this, IGI certified diamonds are still commonly found online, and the institute offers educational courses and degrees similar to those offered by the Gemological Institute of America, which is considered the leading resource in the industry. IGI considers itself one of the top grading and educational authorities in diamond jewelry.
What Does an IGI Certificate Contain?
IGI laboratory offers several diamond certificates that include grading for diamonds, various types of lab-grown diamonds, colored diamonds, jewelry, and colored stone reports.
Your IGI report can be presented in either a brochure document or a digital PDF file.
IGI Natural Diamond Report
Here is the typical IGI diamond report for a natural diamond that has been certified by IGI. The report comprises information on the diamond’s origin (whether lab-grown or mined), clarity, color, shape, and carat weight.
Additionally, the report includes details on the diamond’s measurements, fluorescence, polish, and symmetry. The report also features diagrams that illustrate the diamond’s proportions and clarity characteristics. If you opted to have one, the report will also display an image of the Laserscribe number on the diamond.
IGI Lab Grown Diamond Report
The IGI Lab Grown Diamond Report provides additional information beyond what is included in the IGI Natural Diamond Report. Along with the standard information, such as the grading of the diamond, the report also notes any treatments performed on the diamond and specifies the process used to create the lab-grown diamond.
For example, the diamond certificate below indicates that the IGI-certified diamond was produced using the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method. This method uses Type IIa diamond seeds, as noted on the certificate.
In addition, the report also identifies any optical effects present in the lab-grown diamond. In the case of this CVD diamond, it has a blue nuance, which is a blue tint commonly found in CVD lab-grown diamonds.
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IGI Jewelry Identification Report
The IGI previously issued grading reports for loose diamonds, while the IGI Jewelry Identification Report is specifically designed for engagement rings, wedding rings, and other mounted jewelry items, particularly solitaire rings.
IGI prides itself on being the first grading service to offer a jewelry report for mounted engagement rings. Moreover, the Jewelry Report is not limited to diamond rings only. Customers can also request reports for diamond stud earrings, diamond solitaire necklaces, or any other precious stone jewelry.
The Jewelry Report provides a comprehensive description of the jewelry item, making it particularly useful for heirloom pieces. Since the IGI grades mounted jewelry items without dismantling them, the diamond grades may not be entirely accurate. In such cases, they may need to remove the diamond to provide more precise grading.
The report may also include photographs to enhance the details of the jewelry item, making it a valuable document for insurance purposes and determining the jewelry’s worth.
IGI Colored Stone Report
The colored stone report is intended for colored gemstones, particularly faceted pieces, although some gemstones cannot be faceted. Along with a detailed description, the report includes photographs of the gemstone.
The report’s primary purpose is to identify the gemstone species and variety, while also noting whether the origin is natural or synthetic. IGI’s trained gemologists carefully analyze the stone to determine if the country of origin can be identified.
Frequently Asked Questions about IGI Certification
Why is it important to have a diamond certification?
Diamond certification is crucial as it confirms all the information about the diamond you are purchasing. It verifies the quality and characteristics of a diamond, including its carat weight, cut, color, and clarity. A reliable grading report is essential to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money. Without it, you may end up with a diamond of lower quality or a diamond that has been misrepresented.
What are some common issues with diamond certification?
Diamond grading is subjective, particularly when it comes to color and clarity grades. Not all diamond grading labs are equally reliable, even the most common ones. The same diamond can be graded differently by various authorities.
For example, some jewelers might recommend an IGI certified diamond because they are less expensive than GIA or AGS certified diamonds. However, the IGI doesn’t grade with the same consistency or strict standards as GIA or AGS. As a result, the diamond’s grading may not be accurate, leading to a lower-quality diamond.
Are IGI Diamonds the best diamond certification?
While there are many diamond grading labs, not all of them are reliable or consistent. Some people may choose an IGI certified diamond because it is less expensive than other certifications. However, the IGI lab is not known for its consistency or strict standards like the GIA or AGS.
It is important to note that not all IGI certified diamonds are of poor quality, but there have been instances of diamonds graded differently by different authorities. When it comes to lab-grown diamonds, IGI certificates are recommended by some, while others prefer GIA or IGI. Ultimately, the choice of diamond certification should be based on the lab’s reputation, consistency, and accuracy.
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Looking for trustworthy grading reports for natural diamonds?
I recommend purchasing either GIA or AGS certified diamonds. For GIA diamonds, my go-to place is James Allen, which offers a better business model for customers than other stores under the same umbrella, such as Kays.
James Allen’s GIA certified diamonds are also less expensive compared to those found at other stores mentioned. Blue Nile and Ritani exclusively sell GIA or AGS certified natural diamonds, while James Allen, Blue Nile, and Brilliant Earth offer IGI lab diamonds.