Diamond Certificates.

Now if ever there was a “hot potato” this is it. Diamonds that are Certificated are rapidly becoming an “issue” in the Jewellery Trade in truth. Why is that? would be a fair, sensible and reasonable question.

Some realities – a fair few years ago now ( in 1978 to be precise) a chap called Martin Rappaport decided the Diamond Industry needed a common basis for pricing Diamonds in order to allow the TRADE to buy and sell between themselves. He established something now referred to in the TRADE commonly as “Rapp.” This is a Price List for Diamonds that the TRADE can access to establish the current Market Price for each size, type, and category of Diamonds. I say current and Market Price because the List is updated every week. It is in truth slightly more complicated than this but overall that briefly covers the reality.

Now, in order to establish the price on “Rapp” of a particular Diamond one has to know several important characteristics about the particular Diamond in question and broadly speaking that covers the four “c’s” (colour, cut, clarity and carat.) These are the characteristics that you typically find on a Diamond Certificate. Other important factors are also considered but stay with me and accept that if I cover all of those here too I’ll be writing this until midnight tomorrow!

So, thus far, we’ve established that there is a TRADE price for Diamonds called “Rapp.” We’ve also established that you need someone to identify the four “c’s” of the Diamond that you are looking at so you know which “Rapp” price bracket the Diamond you are looking at falls into. You can then work out its TRADE price. Perceived wisdom would then suggest that you would need to have an “Expert” look at the Diamond in order to ascertain its characteristics in order to ascertain its “Rapp” price. This is where the system falls down frankly – and unfortunately to the detriment of you, the Customer. Over the years various “Laboratories” have set themselves up as self appointed “Experts” and they dispense Diamond Certificates that in some instances are frankly laughable. Let me explain the significance to you in a simple measurement that we all understand – MONEY. I can sell you a 1.0 carat D/IF Diamond allegedly perfect also in every other way too for an astonishing 40% difference in price depending upon which “Laboratory Certificate” that I choose to supply to you with the Diamond. The reason – because in truth some “Laboratory’s” grade Diamonds on their Diamond Certificates more softly, or less harshly, than others. One Laboratory’s colour D is another Laboratory’s colour E, or even colour F! One Laboratory’s Si1 can be another Laboratory’s VS2 or even VS1. This then means in turn that when a Diamond Certificate has come from certain Laboratories whom we all in the Trade know grade more softly, or less harshly, we pay less for that Diamond when we buy it in to our stock from Trade Suppliers. Regularly we in the TRADE can save 40%. If we then sell it to the Public Customer (you) at the full Market Price as though it had come from a “better” Laboratory then we would make extra profit…Simples! Should we be caught out at a later date after the sale then our “get out” is that the Diamond came to you with a Diamond Certificate from an Independent Laboratory over which we had no control and so it is not our problem. Simples again!

So, what’s to be done? Well, amazing as it may sound the truth is that there are an awful lot of you that seem happy to have a Diamond Certificate that even after having read the explanation above you don’t care about whether your Diamond Certificate is accurate. You have it in your mind that you want an “E Colour VS1” and as long as you have a Diamond Certificate that says that then you don’t really care what the Diamond actually is. This sounds absurd I know – but I speak to customers like you all of the time so I know you’re out there! You just care about price, and false claims don’t concern you……
Then there are those of you that spend 15 hours on the Internet, or eight hours walking around Shops, or sometimes you’ve done both of these, and suddenly you’re an Expert and know everything – even though I know that I’m still learning about Diamonds after 28 years in the Trade! Fascinating…….

So, now let’s cut to the chase and give you some advice to help you through and get you sorted with a Diamond Ring or some Diamond Jewellery which I imagine must be why you’re reading this…..
An Independent Diamond Certificate is worthwhile obtaining only if you truly know and understand what you are looking at. Does an MOT Certificate mean that a Car is good? No. It means that its roadworthy. These are two entirely different things. Don’t confuse them.

Most importantly then in truth in your buying process should be establishing that the person/Company you are buying off has a reputation that they value and want to protect. Ask anyone who you are buying a Certificated Diamond from if “notwithstanding the Diamond Certificate that they personally are happy that the Certificate accurately reflects the characteristics of the Diamond that they are selling to you to the best of their knowledge.” Ask them then to write this on the Receipt of sale, and sign it too. If they are not prepared to do this then walk away.
Furthermore, if I were advising my best friend I would also tell him to buy a Diamond with a Diamond Certificate from one of four Laboratories – GIA, IGI, HRD or AnchorCert *

To end – I have been aware of these inconsistencies in the Diamond Trade for a number of years. Many of my Colleagues in the Trade have been aware of these inconsistencies for many more years. The Diamond Grading inconsistencies also appear to be getting worse, not better. For my part I am using my various other positions as Non – Executive Director of various key Organisations within the Trade to try and push for an “Industry Standard” to be set and applied in this area….and I will continue to push hard until it is done.

(* DECLARING A PERSONAL INTEREST – I should state for the Record that I am a Non- Executive Director of the Diamond Grading Laboratory called AnchorCert that is a Division of The Birmingham Assay Office and whilst I do consider this Laboratory to be at the top of its Diamond Grading game, as well as the others that I have previously mentioned, I believe that it would be somewhat disingenuous of me to recommend it to my Customers on this particular Blog entry without declaring my interest!)


Loose Diamonds
Loose Diamond with Certificate.

About Diamonds Please

DiamondsPlease™ specialise in manufacturing Jewellery and is located in the famous Birmingham jewellery quarter. We have been manufacturing and selling jewellery for over 25 years. Primarily we make Engagement Rings, Wedding Rings, Eternity Rings, Diamond Earrings and Diamond Pendants. Our aim is simple - to offer you beautiful luxury Diamond Jewellery at a price that will make smile.