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Posted under Diamond Guide

Wednesday, Apr 05 2023

IGI Vs. GIA Certified Diamonds: Know the Difference

Written by Karen Collins

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IGI Vs. GIA Certified Diamonds: Know the Difference

A diamond, it is said, is timeless. Its beauty is that of a pristine sparkle that captivates all who look at it. A diamond, it is also said, is eternal, for one look at it reminds you of the brightest stars that inhabit the cosmos, glimmering in the palm of your hand.

Deep within the mystique of this glimmering gemstone lies the promise of eternity, for a diamond, like love, is forever and beyond! No wonder diamonds are the first choice for engagement rings.

The value and prestige of a diamond can only be described by one who wears and owns this exclusive gemstone. A diamond can only be called a diamond if it meets the gemstone's physical, optical, and chemical markers. To know this, you must have a diamond certificate from an accredited diamond grading institution.

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Diamond Certification

A diamond certification also known as a diamond grading report is an assessment that contains a formal and comprehensive description of the diamond that is being purchased. Also known as a diamond dossier, the certificate verifies a lab grown or natural diamond’s cut grade, clarity, carat, and color. It also contains other aspects like symmetry, measurement, fluorescence and polish.

diamond certification

The certificate or diamond dossier report can prove invaluable when the purchase of high-value gems or jewelry mandates insurance to protect your purchase from theft or unauthorized resale.

GIA Certified Diamonds

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is an internationally acclaimed gemstone grading institute whose certification is the gold standard for purity, integrity, and quality. The GIA is headquartered in Carlsbad, the USA, with offices/laboratories in Antwerp, Bangkok, Gaborone, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, New Delhi, New York, Ramat Gan, Surat, Taipei, and Tokyo at present.

The GIA diamond dossier or diamond grading report, as it is commonly known, has been accepted by collectors, auction houses, jewelers, and retail customers since 1931. A GIA diamond report is a certificate of guarantee that your GIA certified diamonds have been graded and assessed per internationally benchmarked industry standards. This would give you the confidence to buy that perfect gemstone or piece of jewelry with confidence that you are paying for the real deal. The GIA assesses and grades mined diamonds, laboratory diamonds, even identifying the manufacturing process, such as CVD, HPHT or any other technology in practice. The GIA undertakes rigorous market surveys and calibrates their internal quality matrix to match and stay ahead of industry practices.

GIA certified diamonds

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The GIA diamond grading report includes details like the GIA report number, grading system, carat weight, measurements, shape and cutting style, and additional grading information making your GIA certified diamonds the perfect buy. A GIA diamond grading report or a GIA diamond certificate often accompanies a laser inscription of a serial number inside the gemstone, loose diamond, or even a mounted jewelry piece. A loose or mounted, colorless or colored diamond according to diamond color grades can be submitted to the GIA for assessment for a fee.

IGI Certified Diamonds

Like the GIA, the International Gemological Institute (IGI) is another landmark institution for assessing diamonds and other gemstones since 1975. The IGI has its head office in Antwerp, Belgium and has over 17 satellite offices and laboratories worldwide. The IGI is present in the US, China, India, Thailand, Tokyo, U.A.E, Israel, Canada and Italy.

The IGI, like the GIA, provides IGI certificates after employing state-of-the-art technologies to assess and grade diamonds and other gemstones, regardless of their origin. Like the GIA, the IGI’s grading methodology includes the use of technology that can identify a mined diamond from a lab diamond down to the creation process, be it CVD, HPHT, or any other.

igi certified diamonds

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The IGI, like the GIA, trains people and conducts courses to prepare professionals for employment in the gem industry, such as gemologists, diamond graders, artisans, etc. The IGI is an internationally recognized and acclaimed institution for grading loose precious gemstones, fine jewelry, and other precious jewelry.

An IGI certificate includes all particulars of the IGI certified diamonds and colored gemstones.

GIA Certified Diamonds Vs. IGI Certified Diamonds

There are no discernible differences in the technical and mechanical grading standards and technologies employed by the IGI and GIA. The GIA certificate is much preferred as the gold standard because the institute predates the IGI. Also, the GIA has pioneered the universally accepted 4C grading system, the gold standard for diamond grading and assessment worldwide. The GIA also offers diamond dossiers and complete grading reports in their GIA certificates for diamonds of all sizes. As a result, the GIA’s grading system is more stringent than that of the IGI, with a marked difference in the certificate fees as well, with the GIA certificate priced higher than the IGI.

The IGI provides two kinds of diamond grading reports: a mini-report and a comprehensive grading report. Unlike the GIA's reports, the IGI's mini grading reports are highly concise, which can be a drawback, especially with high-value diamonds. Certification and methods used at the IGI and the GIA to assess the diamond are likely similar, if not the same.


However, when one buys a high-value diamond, it is best advised to buy one with a complete grading report from a reputed jeweler. Friendly Diamonds, an online jewelry brand offering lab diamonds and lab diamond jewelry, offers IGI certified diamonds and GIA certified diamonds available with IGI and GIA certificates. You can also seek an appraisal certificate for insurance purposes.

The Importance of Diamond Certification

When shopping for diamonds it is important you obtain a diamond certificate. Your diamond certificate guarantees that your jewelry or solitaire meets the highest possible grading standards set by the world's best gemological laboratories, including the GIA, IGI, and the 'Gem Certification and Assurance Lab’ (GCAL).

Your IGI, GCAL or GIA-certified diamonds come with a certificate that assures you and provides peace of mind with regard to quality, price, and value to protect your investment. The certification covers the 4C's, which are cut, clarity, carat, and color, aside from certifying the origins of the diamond.

Certified Lab Grown Diamonds at Friendly Diamonds

At Friendly Diamonds, every diamond is carefully picked, after meeting stringent internal quality standards, for a final seal of approval from the GIA, the IGI, or the GCAL. At Friendly Diamonds, our entire inventory is assessed and graded by the GIA, IGI, and GCAL for the promised quality assurance. Also, with every Friendly Diamonds purchase, a hard-bound report will accompany the product.

lab grown diamonds

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Choose from a dazzling inventory of over 20,000 IGI, GCAL and GIA certified diamonds and nearly 250 artistic designs for that perfect engagement or wedding diamond jewelry at Friendly Diamonds. Or, if you have a design in mind, we would be happy to customize the jewelry for you.