List of GIA Report Comments And What They Stand For

what do these gia report comments mean?

Not Sure What a Comment Represents?

While the grading report is a very important document, many people do not fully understand every feature that is detailed on the certificate. In this article, we’ll discuss the contents and remarks made under the ‘Other Comments’ section. 

The ‘Comments’ or ‘Other comments’ section on a report is reserved for stuff that the laboratory want you to know but cannot be put within the report’s format. Broadly speaking, most of the information placed in the comments section is regarded as minor and don’t usually impact the appearance of the diamond.

With that said, there are cases whereby comments are deemed acceptable and unacceptable in my professional opinion. Whether a comment is malignant and benign largely depends on which lab graded the diamond, the size of the stone, clarity grades assigned and depends on a case by case basis.

Here Are Some Examples of Comments That Are Generally OK:

 
  • Additional clouds are not shown / Additional pinpoints are not shown – This indicates the presence of inclusions that are plotted on the diagram because of their sheer number or minute sizes. Typically, these comments will usually not impact appearance and are already accounted for when a rating is assigned for clarity.
  • Surface graining is not shown – This statement refers to the presence of irregularities in the diamond crystal during the growth process. Surface grain lines are usually transparent and faintly detected even under 20-30X magnification.
  • Internal graining is not shown – Like surface graining, the distortion of growth planes in the crystal lattice can result in faint lines within the diamond. Internal graining is a feature that is hard to observe even under magnification. Detection usually depends on the viewing angles and lighting conditions.
  • Minor details of polish are not shown – A typical remark found in the Internally Flawless grade, this is a non-issue and serves to differentiate a flawless from an internally flawless diamond.
  • Additional twinning wisps not shown – Typically found in slightly included (SI) diamonds, twinning wisps are caused by changes in direction during a crystal’s growth.
   

As I mentioned earlier, every diamond is different. For clarity grades of VS2 or better, you will most likely be safe. If you see such comments on your GIA report for stones with SI1 or lower, my best advice is to get someone trained to eyeball the diamond before purchase. In severe cases, factors like additional clouds or internal graining might make a diamond appear hazy and this is something that you can’t tell from a piece of paper.

Comparison of 2 SI1 Diamond Inclusion Plots

 
normal looking inclusion plot for si clarity
diamond inclusion plots that are too good to be true
   

 
   

These Comments Should Raise a RED Flag!

Crown angles greater than 40 degrees – Comments about crown angles and related remarks to cut proportions are significant issues to beware of. They usually indicate that the stone’s cutting is perform to extremes and are telltale signs of poorly made diamonds.

Internal laser drilling not shown – Be on the lookout for remarks and any mentions of laser drill holes. The presence of these features indicates a clarity enhanced diamond and that the stone was treated artificially.

Beware of Grade Setting Inclusions And Statements

We are standing on thin ice here. Grade setting inclusions and statements should be avoided for diamonds with low clarity grades. For example, the sentence “Clarity grade is based on clouds that are not shown” in an SI2 stone is the unholy stamp of death.

Brilliance and dispersion suffers because the cloud inclusions occur at so many locations throughout the stone such that it is no longer feasible to plot them on a 2D diagram. There is a 99% probability that the diamond will appear hazy or milky due to this remark because the inclusions affect the pathways of light transversing through the stone.

For diamonds with VS2 or higher grades, such comments require a case by case analysis. The best way to determine any negative effects is to examine the diamond physically and seek the help of a professional. Similar to the point mentioned above, there are other similar examples that require you to view a particular stone in suspicion:

   
Clarity grade is based on feathers that are not shown.
Clarity grade is based on internal graining that are not shown.
Clarity grade is based on pinpoints that are not shown.
Clarity grade is based on a patch of color that is not shown.

   

patch of color

Grade setting remarks like patches of color are uncommon occurrences.

Paying Attention to Details Helps

red flags for diamonds

Always Ask And Clarify!

I want to stress the importance of asking the jeweler for clarification if you see anything that isn’t clear. If the jeweler himself is unsure or gives an ambiguous answer, switch your jeweler or opt for an independent appraiser. At no point in time should you buy such diamonds blind and take up the additional risks of a problematic stone.

To conclude, you should always take extra care in reading the entire grading report. Many people simply skim through a report and bypass reading this section all together. Remember, you are paying significant amounts of money for a diamond and every single detail matters.

I believe I had covered and touched on the majority of comments used by laboratories. However, if you come across other comments that aren’t listed here or if you need my second opinion on a stone, feel free to leave me a message below.

Remember, a grading report by itself doesn’t tell you exactly how the diamond looks like. HD videos and magnified images provided by vendors such as JamesAllen.com and Brian GavinDiamonds.com will help you visualize how the diamond looks like in real-life.

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37 Comments

  1. Anthony-
    April 3, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Could you explain the portion of color patches in more details? I found a listing at James Allen but couldn’t identify where it is found in the video. => http://beyond4cs.com/go/ja/

  2. Lorraine-
    July 8, 2013 at 4:02 am

    What about “minor details of polish”? I found this in a GIA grading report for an E color IF diamond.

  3. Paul Gian-
    July 10, 2013 at 4:27 am

    I missed that out caused I talked about it on a separate page. Anyway, thanks for reminding me! I had now updated this webpage to reflect the information. Let me know if there’s anything else that’s unclear to you.

  4. Mackie-
    January 25, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    I am looking to buy a 1.5 carat diamond with a GIA graded VVS1 clarity. On the clarity plot, the diagrams are totally clean and under the comment section, I see a remark “clarity is based on internal graining that is not shown”.

    Could you offer any advice on this because I’m starting to have doubts about the diamond and want to know if I’m getting conned. The jeweler I spoke to said this remark didn’t matter and the diamond is one of the most brilliant she’s ever seen. Also, what’s internal graining and how does it look like? I tried looking for it under the loupe but could detect anything out of the ordinary.

  5. Paul Gian-
    February 2, 2015 at 6:51 am

    whitish internal graining lines in diamond

    Photograph credit: GIA

    In a VVS1 diamond, this remark is a non issue and is very insignificant. In no way would it affect how the diamond looks like. I would be more concerned about the cut quality and if you haven’t done so, you can research on how to determine cut at these links:

    http://beyond4cs.com/2014/12/aset-reference-charts/
    http://beyond4cs.com/cut/

  6. Scott-
    October 19, 2015 at 8:08 am

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for your posts I find it very help being a first time diamond buyer. I had a question in relation to “external graining not shown” which is listed in the comments of the GIA cert of a 1.1 carat triple X VS1 stone I am looking at. The clarity plot is relatively clean, however the statement “external graining not shown” has me slightly concerned that the diamond is flawed, and won’t have the same quality polish as one that didn’t have this graining comment. Any advise would be much appreciated.

  7. Paul Gian-
    October 19, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Which laboratory graded the diamond? “External graining” is not a typical term used by the reliable labs in today’s market.

  8. Mike-
    February 24, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    I know this is an old article, but after digging through Google it helped me the most.

    This diamond from James Allen looks virtually flawless from the imagery. However, it is graded SI2, only detail on the GIA is “cloud.” Is this the kiss of death you speak of?

    https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.83-carat-j-color-si2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-947826

  9. Paul Gian-
    February 24, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    Maybe. This diamond doesn’t appear all that hazy to me. The inclusions can be found at 12 oclock but a physical examination by James Allen should be able to confirm whether the clouds pose an issue.

  10. Mike-
    October 13, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    I hope I can still get a response because I also see that this is an old article, but I am looking to buy a 1.26 carat, F, VS2 with an “Excellent” cut. The comments on the GIA cert say “Clouds, pinpoints and internal graining are not shown.”

    Is this an issue?

  11. Paul Gian-
    October 14, 2016 at 10:04 am

    It’s hard to say. In general, it wouldn’t be an issue for smaller diamonds. Do you have videos or images for the diamond?

  12. Nisarg Zaveri-
    October 14, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    I am looking to buy vvs2 -G- 0.92, GIA certified,
    In clarity characteristic it says: needle, pinpoint and internal graining, I don’t know any thing about internal graining, does this comments affect the clarity of the stone? Does the fire of the stone get affected?? Please help

  13. Paul Gian-
    October 15, 2016 at 5:09 am

    For a VVS2 diamond, these comments will not affect clarity in anyway the naked eye can see. Fire (dispersion) is impacted by cut quality more than anything else. Cut is KING not clarity. I suggest you give these pages a good read http://beyond4cs.com/cut/

  14. Teddo-
    November 13, 2016 at 6:56 am

    Hi Paul

    Been offered a 3.3 carat G colour and VVS1 clarity by a friend. The other details based on the GIA report are:
    Shape : Round brilliant
    Cut grade: excellent
    Polish: excellent
    Symmetry: excellent
    Fluorescent : none
    Comments: clarity grade is based on internal graining that is not shown

    1. What does the comments means?
    2. Is this defect stone?
    3. Should I be worried if seller is hiding something?

    Rgrds

  15. Paul Gian-
    November 14, 2016 at 2:59 am

    Read everyword here: http://beyond4cs.com/buying-diamonds-blind/

    For a VVS1 clarity rating, the internal graining shouldn’t pose an issue. Cutwise, everything is a question mark with the lack of data.

    Anyway, just a caveat, 99% of purchases or recommendations made by a “friend” in the industry don’t turn out well. Buy at your own risk.

  16. Doug-
    February 15, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Hi Paul.

    What do you think of this diamond on James Allen? Sku 2173780 Is an H color ok for engagement ring, or should I go with a F-G

    $6500 budget. I like 1.2ct range and SI2 -SI1 clarity. Thoughts?

  17. Paul Gian-
    February 16, 2017 at 9:49 am

    It’s a terrible diamond. The steep pavilion angles kills light performance. This is a much better option: https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.30-carat-h-color-si2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-2229584

  18. Stefan-
    March 10, 2017 at 1:29 am

    Hi Paul,

    You are doing great job here.
    Your blog is a great help while choosing the diamond for the engagement ring.

    I’ve come across a diamond that looks really good…

    Carat Weight: 0.50
    Shape: Round
    Cut: Super Ideal
    Color: E
    Clarity: IF
    Measurements: 5.11 x 5.08 x 3.18
    Table: 56.0%
    Depth: 62.3%
    Symmetry: Excellent
    Polish: Excellent
    Girdle: Medium – Slightly Thick
    Culet: None
    Fluorescence: None

    Should I be worried that it is stated in the report that it has “minor details of polish”?

    Anything else I should pay attention to?

    Thank you very much!

    Regards.

  19. Paul Gian-
    March 10, 2017 at 3:11 am

    The comment is not of any significance. This is an IF diamond and as good as it gets in terms of clarity. On the other hand, I won’t say the same for cut quality until there is tangible proof.

    Read this: http://beyond4cs.com/buying-diamonds-blind/

  20. Jehan-
    March 20, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Hi Paul
    My son is buying engagement ring and is comparing between two stones as below :
    1 carat, H, IF, excellent cut and polish and symmetry, flouresence medium blue, minor details of polish are not shown
    1carat, G, vs1, cut very good, polish excellent, symmetry very good, flouresence none

    Price difference is minor. Thank you so much for your help

  21. Rick-
    March 25, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Hi there, I bought this diamond and am waiting for arrival. I will take it in to get looked at, but what is your take on the diamond overall? I was looking for a more eye cleaned SI2 with good sparkle.

    Cut and ct weight was most important in this decision. I tried to get the most bang for my buck.

    Thoughts? Thanks

    https://www.jamesallen.com/mobile/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.82-carat-i-color-si2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-2538984/

  22. Paul Gian-
    March 27, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell which is the better diamond without details like proportions, scope images and videos. It’s a shot in the dark and it’s risky to shop in this manner. Regardless of shopping in a brick and mortar store or via Internet stores, you definitely need more information!

  23. Paul Gian-
    March 27, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    The diamond is eyeclean. That said, it’s a little on the deep side with a high crown angle. This affects its face up size and may affect brightness.

  24. Rick-
    March 27, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    https://www.jamesallen.com/mobile/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.82-carat-i-color-si2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-2538984/

    In regards to this diamond again, it was rated a 3x by GIA and is in the great and reccomended category for all the major angles. Table/depth/pavilion angle/crown angle

    I was told the sparkle and brilliance would be great.

    Are you nitpicking on this? Please email me at (email address removed) I would appreciate your feedback.

    Thank you.

  25. Paul Gian-
    March 28, 2017 at 2:29 am

    I’m not sure where you had gotten those information from. GIA 3X is a very broad range of cut quality and let me tell you that this diamond is nowhere near the top end of it.

  26. Praveen-
    April 5, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Hi Paul,

    I have purchased a diamond ring and received a GIA certificate stating following characteristics. Measurements 4.32 – 4.35 x 2.63 mm, Carat Weight – 0.30, Colour Grade – E, Clarity Grade – VVS2, Cut Grade – Excellent, Clarity Characteristics – Pinpoint, Cloud, Feather, INDENTED NATURAL, Polish – EXECELLENT and Symmetry – Very Good.
    However, when I went back to the jeweller and ask to check the GIA inscription on the diamond, it turned out to have a different GIA number compared to the certificate I had.
    The Jeweller have had a look at the GIA website and found out the Diamond has pretty much same feature apart from the following – Measurement 4.27 – 4.29 x 2.63 mm, Clarity Characteristics – Cloud, Feather, Pinpoint, EXTRA FACET. and Polish is VERY GOOD instead of Excellent.
    Do I need to worry about the above mentioned difference in my actual diamond report compared to the certificate I originally received?
    Is it possible to receive an original GIA certificate for my actual diamond from GIA?

    Looking forward to hear from you.

    Many Thanks

  27. Paul Gian-
    April 5, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    You definitely need to be worried and raise a red flag. If the GIA numbers are different, it just goes to show how irresponsible the jeweler has been. If I were to give the jeweler the benefit of a doubt, checks should have been performed prior to handing the diamond over to you. There’s really no explanation here that will cast a good light on them.

    Here’s what it’s more like to be. It’s likely a case of bait and switch. Demand a refund and go elsewhere.

  28. Juliet-
    April 19, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Hello,
    I purchased this diamond. Can you tell me your thoughts on it?

    https://www.jamesallen.com/mobile/loose-diamonds/princess-cut/0.51-carat-e-color-vs1-clarity-sku-2366206

    I was a little concerned about the GIA report because I really didn’t understand it until I came across this article.
    Thanks

  29. Paul Gian-
    April 20, 2017 at 6:17 am

    Juliet,

    I reviewed the diamond and I think you did pretty well with the stone. It’s well cut and eyeclean. In a VS1 diamond, I wouldn’t worry about the inclusions found in the report (feather, cloud, cavity). They are minute and will not affect the diamond in any way.

  30. Juliet-
    April 20, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Thanks for your feedback. Your website is so informative and really helped me with my understanding of the 4 c’s. I went to some popular jewelry retail stores and would ask them the 4 c’a and they wouldn’t give me specifics. They would say well it’s near colorless and eye clean lol I went with your advice and shopped at James Allen and the experience was so much better. I never thought I’ll buy a piece of jewelry online but your website helped educate me in the process. Thanks again

  31. Jim-
    April 28, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    Hello Paul,

    Like many asking for your feedback, I’d like to ask your opinion on this stone;

    https://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD08497867

    The “clarity is based on internal graining that is not shown” has me concerned.

    I found the AGSL Proportion Charts online:

    https://www.americangemsociety.org/Content/uploads/85481435071929.pdf

    Do you find these charts as a reliable way to at least screen cut grade for potential purchases?

    Thanks!

  32. Paul Gian-
    April 29, 2017 at 8:47 am

    The comment is not an issue in a VVS1 diamond. However, cut quality is. This is NOT a well cut diamond.

  33. Jim-
    April 29, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Thanks Paul, I appreciate your comments.

    In other words, you’re saying the AGSL charts are of little value since this diamond is right in the middle of “ideal” cut on the appropriate chart.

    Thanks again!

  34. Paul Gian-
    May 1, 2017 at 2:34 am

    Proportions are only a guideline. And in this case, this diamond already has POOR proportions to begin with because of the steep pavilion angles with this table/depth combination. Use this as a guideline and READ EVERY SINGLE WORD IN THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE:

    http://beyond4cs.com/shapes/round/ideal-proportions/
    http://beyond4cs.com/buying-diamonds-blind/

  35. Jim-
    May 1, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Thanks again Paul.

    I’m completely new to this and all of the info you’ve provided is very helpful. And I just read every word of the two articles.

    Like many who use your site, my biggest fear is paying too much for a stone. Local jewelers want you to buy right now. Online sellers give the impression of having great deals, but you’re buying blind.

    Fortunately, I still have some time.

    Thank you,
    Jim

  36. Jai-
    May 4, 2017 at 12:10 am

    Hi Paul,

    I have selected 2 diamonds to decide on but notice one GIA report number begins with 7xx dated Feb 2016 yet the other stone begins with 6xx show a later date of Nov 2016. Are they not in chronological order? Should I worry there could be a re-graded stone that someone has traded back in? as I have read this could happen.

    Below are the details of my selected diamonds, could you give me your opinion on it which is a better stone?

    1.
    Measurement: 6.57 – 6.61 x 4.06 mm
    Carat weight: 1.08 carat
    Colour Grade: F
    Clarity Grade: VS1
    Triple Excellent
    Depth: 61.6 % Table: 58 % Crown Angle: 35.0° Crown Height: 15.0% Pavilion Angle: 41.0° Pavilion Depth: 43.5%
    Star Length: 50% Lower Half: 80%
    Girdle: Medium, Faceted, 3.5%
    Culet: None
    Fluorescence: Faint
    Clarity Characteristics: Crystal, Feather, Pinpoint

    2.
    Measurement: 6.63 – 6.65 x 4.14 mm
    Carat weight: 1.13 carat
    Colour Grade: G
    Clarity Grade: VS1
    Triple Excellent
    Depth: 62.3 % Table: 58 % Crown Angle: 35.5° Crown Height: 15.0% Pavilion Angle: 41.0° Pavilion Depth: 43.5%
    Star Length: 50% Lower Half: 80%
    Girdle: Medium to Slightly Thick, Faceted, 4.0%
    Culet: None
    Fluorescence: None
    Clarity Characteristics: Cloud, Needle

    Many thanks.
    Jai

  37. Paul Gian-
    May 4, 2017 at 2:41 am

    The numbers are not in chronological order. Both diamonds proportions aren’t great. The table sizes are too large and the lower girdle facets are too long. You need to read every single word here: http://beyond4cs.com/buying-diamonds-blind/

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