What do the comments in a GIA certificate mean?
When shopping for a diamond engagement ring, the grading report (certificate) is an important document that describes the quality of the diamond. Yet, most consumers do not fully understand the information found in the certificate.
In fact, the “Comments” section of the GIA report is something that consumers frequently have questions about. In this write up, we will take an indepth look at the different types of remarks found under the comment section and show you what they mean.
Let’s dive in!
The ‘Comments’ or ‘Other comments’ section in a grading report is reserved for stuff that the laboratory wants you to know about yet cannot be properly represented in other sections of the report.
Broadly speaking, most of the information placed in the comments section is regarded as minor and doesn’t usually impact the appearance of the diamond. That said, there are cases where 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 and clarity grades assigned. Hence, it depends on a case by case basis.
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 and low clarity ratings (<SI2), 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.
Both plot diagrams show SI1 diamonds of 0.70 carats in size.
If you are purchasing SI clarity stones and the inclusion plot looks amazingly clean with little or no inclusions except for the entries in the comments section, I would highly advise a careful examination of the stone to check for problems.
In my experience, I have come across many SI diamonds that have suspiciously clean looking plots and they appear milky in real life because of the clouds or twinning wisps listed in the comments section.
The rule of the thumb is, you can’t game the GIA/AGS grading system. There is always a reason for a diamond to be graded as a slightly included stone. Most of the time, if an SI stone has a nice neat inclusion plot, the flaws are usually more serious than you think it is!
Don’t be afraid of seeking clarifications and asking questions!
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 problematic 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.
This SI2 diamond is hazy looking because of excessive clouds!
Grade setting 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 for a diamond’s visual appearance.
Brilliance and dispersion suffer because the cloud inclusions occur throughout the stone such that it is no longer feasible to plot them on a 2D diagram. For low clarity diamonds, there is a very high probability that the diamond will appear hazy or milky due to this remark because the inclusions impede 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 or seek the help of a professional.
Similar to the point mentioned above, there are other clarity grade setting comments that require further analysis before you buy them:
Grade setting remarks like patches of color are uncommon occurrences.
I want to stress the importance of asking the jeweler for clarification if you see anything in the grading certificate 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 expose yourself to risks of getting a problematic stone.
To conclude, you should always take extra care in reading the entire grading report. Most people simply skim through a report and bypass the comment section. Don’t make this mistake!
Remember, you are paying significant amounts of money for a diamond and the details do matter. I believe I had covered and touched on the different types of comments used by laboratories.
However, if you come across other comments that aren’t listed here or need my second opinion on a stone, feel free to leave me a message below.<< Prev Page