I've noticed almost all diamond sellers online mentioning
"Certified Diamond", isn't that actually incorrect?
The term “certified” when used to describe diamonds is not only
incorrect, it’s deceptive and misleading, even though some labs
actually call and label their reports “Diamond Certificates”. A
certificate, by definition, is a statement of universally verifiable
fact, guaranteed in it’s accuracy by the signing or issuing
authority. The operable word is “fact”.
The only certifiable facts concerning diamond grading are a stone’s
physical dimensions or measurements, it’s weight and the fact that it
is a natural diamond, things that when examined by any lab or
qualified person will be found to be exactly identical and
repeatable. Any form of grading past that point is subjective in
nature, and is dependent on someone’s judgment or opinion. A clarity
grade by it’s very nature is an opinion, so it cannot be certified.
The late Tim Russert once said, “We are all entitled to our own
opinion, we are not entitled to our own facts.” The two are not the
A specific well known gem lab’s reports are titled “Diamond
Certificate - Report Issued by XXX Lab” and include a fine print
statement at the very bottom that actually says, "this report
expresses an opinion at the time of examination… It is not a
guarantee, a valuation or an appraisal of any kind… XXX Lab has
made no representation or warrantee regarding this report or the
diamond described. Since diamond grading is not an exact science this
report represents only the best professional opinion of this company.
XXX Lab is in no case responsible for differences which could occur
by repeated expertise and/or use of other standards, norms, methods
or criteria… "
A document with such wording is not a certificate at all, regardless
of how it’s titled. By using the words “Diamond Certificate” in the
title, they have made “guarantee, representation and warrantee” by
the legal definition of the word “certificate”. It’s one or the other
folks, you shouldn’t get to have it both ways.
The better labs, like GIA and AGS call their diamond reports just
that, Diamond Grading Reports, and they contain very similar wording
as well, but do not use misleading or deceptive terminology in their
labeling, and in fact specifically discourage the use of the word
This is one of my pet peeves about the jewelry industry, that
diamond grading reports are called “certificates” or “certs” by just
about everybody, including many people that should know better.
Having a means of expressing diamond characteristics in an
understandable format is very important, but calling such a thing a
"certificate" I think is slightly to downright deceptive. It
encourages the consumer to believe that every 1 carat VS1 H is
exactly the same as every other 1 carat VS1 H, when nothing could be
further from the truth. Why shouldn’t the consumer believe such a
thing, the stones are “certified” to be exactly the same aren’t
Used car salesmen are held to higher standards than that. Let a
dealer try selling a used car with a "certificate of actual mileage"
with a statement like that on it and see if the FTC, the Better
Business Bureau and every other consumer advocacy group doesn’t come
down on them like hail from a Texas thunderstorm. Rightly so too, in
my humble and not certifiable opinion.