When a Cert Can Hurt

Most retailers insist on getting “certificates” when they buy high-quality diamonds. It’s not unusual, therefore, to see wholesale diamond offices with literally hundreds of these grading reports stacked up in the safe. A seal of approval from the Gemological Institute of America’s Gem Trade Lab (GTL), Diamond High Council (HRD), International Gemological Institute (IGI), European Gem Lab (EGL), or American Gem Society (AGS) carries considerable weight. At more than $100 apiece, these papers represent a substantial investment. “Clean” papers, those with no comments or unusual grades, facilitate a diamond sale. They assure the retailer of a stone’s quality and justify the wholesaler’s asking price. But when additional or unusual comments draw attention to a diamond’s inclusions or proportions, the certificate becomes a risk. These comments reduce the value of the dia
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