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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19 Comments

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

    Could you explain the portion of color patches in more details? I found this listing at James Allen but couldn’t identify where it is found in the video.

    https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.19-carat-j-color-si2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-94254

  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: http://beyond4cs.com/go/ja-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/

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