With all the vendors selling diamonds whether online or as walk-in shops, it became more popular to see low-quality diamonds stores selling diamonds with fake GIA certificates!
Because of this, it’s more important these days than ever to check the GIA certificate if it’s real, official, legit, and represents the diamond you’re thinking to get.
While the big online vendors that we always recommend to buy your diamonds from are 100% safe on this front, you may still see this with less-known & scammy online diamonds vendors, and in local stores as well.
Before understanding how we can make sure a GIA certificate is original, it’s a good thing to see how a typical GIA certificate/report looks like.
GIA Certificate Sample
Here is a sample of GIA report, it contains everything you need to know about the diamond, just take a look and pay attention to details, we will highlight some important information shortly: (click the image for a larger view, opens in a new tab)
How Do I Check if a Report is Official & Real?
It’s not rocket science, there are many signs that will tell you if the report is legit, but be careful, it’s not only about having an official report by GIA, some local stores provide real GIA reports, but for different diamonds!
Yes you read that right, I’ve been reached by a reader who was about to get a diamond based on the certificate of another diamond!
So when we check the report, any report, we need to notice what makes it real, and what makes it for the diamond we’re checking!
1- Report Number:
The certificate has a report number on the middle top, and under it, it says you can verify this report on GIA website. Head to GIA Report Check Page and enter the report number, you will get a page like this one for the above sample report.
2- QR Code:
Starting 2014, ALL GIA certificates included a QR code that at the bottom right of the certificate, scan it to get to the Report Check Page on GIA. If the report is older than 2014, it won’t be there, but it would be a good question to know why a diamond wasn’t sold for all that time!
Note that these two points (number & QR) will guarantee that the report is officially issued by GIA, but doesn’t confirm if it belongs to your diamond or not.
3- The Clarity Characteristics Section:
This is the MOST important thing you need to look on your report, if your diamond is more than one Carat, the GIA report will have this in the middle lower section.
This Clarity section will tell you where exactly the inclusions appear on the diamond (unless it’s flawless which is very rare grade, and impossible for someone to have one and willing to use a fake GIA to sell it).
If you’re on a website that doesn’t show magnified image of the diamond, DON’T buy from them, don’t ever buy a diamond without seeing it, that’s why we always recommend getting from the known brands like James Allen, Blue Nile & Whiteflash.
If you’re in a local store, ask to see the diamond under magnification, every store will have a magnifier (loupe) like this one, look at the diamond on the exact locations pointed in the clarity section and match inclusions between report and the diamond in your hand.
Inclusions on the report are 100% accurate, and if you saw an inclusion that’s not on the exact location marked on the report, it’s most probably a fake one, and you better get out of that store.
If you’re more into diamonds and can tell what type of inclusion is it, you can also match the location with the type as well, such low-quality stores will try to match diamonds with same inclusion spots, but it’s less likely to match inclusion types as well!
4- Other Considerations:
You may want to check & match ALL characteristics of the diamond on the certificate with the ones provided, it’s less-likely a seller will have unmatched characteristics, but you never know!
“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Albert Einstein
If you’re good in numbers and giving approximations, try to see if the dimensions provided for the diamond in the report make sense and match what you’ve in your hand.
Look at the Hologram, security code, QR, all information on the report, something there will tell you about that.
Or let me give you a better advice from all what you’ve read above:
Get Your Diamond From A Reputable Store, either online or a local store, just make sure you’re not putting x thousands of dollars on a diamond that you suspect.