Diamond Certification Dossier or Report - Is There Actually A Difference?

Author Sue Davidson, G.G.
Date Feb 15, 2021

Looking to buy a diamond? Purchasing a certified diamond will help you ensure that your diamond is fairly priced and is a good quality stone. When diamonds are sent into independent grading labs, like the Gemological Institute of America (i.e., GIA), they come back with a certification after being graded compared to other similar stones.

There are a couple types of diamond grading documentations you can receive when buying a diamond graded by GIA. Let's explore two of them so that you can really understand what you are buying:

The GIA and Diamond Certificates

GIA is "a nonprofit gem research institute dedicated to protecting the public by providing education and objective, unbiased gem evaluations" (GIA.edu). GIA was the first to introduce the diamond grading standards recognized internationally and followed today.

The diamond certification, as referred to among jewelers, includes both the diamond dossier and the diamond grading report. Both are a representation of the diamond’s quality with regard to the 4Cs; cut, color, clarity, carat weight. For round brilliant cuts, since 2006, it's also deemed essential to have specific grading of the diamond cut inclusive of its proportions, symmetry and polish. Both use the common language established by GIA to consistently identify a diamond’s characteristics.

GIA has established a very clear means of communicating the specific identity of a diamond. This language developed is recognized internationally and used as the standard of communication within the diamond industry.

The Diamond Grading Report

The diamond report is a full sized document that is most commonly found in online and retail stores. This report is produced for loose diamonds of any shape starting from 0.15 carats.

diamond grading report

Note the report shows two maps. One is known as the crown diagram (the top view) the other is the pavilion diagram (the bottom view). This map is a plot. The plot is a depiction of the identifying characteristics for the specific diamond it represents under 10X magnification. Graders will plot most characteristics using the crown diagram. Those characteristics that can only be seen from the pavilion view are plotted on the pavilion diagram.

The Daimond Dossier

The dossier is a condensed version of the diamond report and equally valued as documentation, though smaller in size.

This report is only available for diamonds up to 1.99 carats, and if you compare the two photos, the dossier does not have a plot. A clarity plot is a depiction of the identifying characteristics for the specific diamond it represents. It’s essentially a map. Having a plot, though useful, is not necessary if the diamond is laser inscribed. All diamonds accompanied with a dossier are laser inscribed.

diamond dossier

Laser inscription provides a very easy way to positively identify a diamond, because it matches the report number to the diamond. Without causing any damage, a micro-laser beam is used to etch a microscopic inscription on the girdle of the diamond. Laser inscriptions usually contain the certification laboratory’s initials and the certification number.

GIA stone

Long's Jewelers has an extensive collection of certified diamonds for you to choose from. Want to see these diamonds up close? Just visit any of our five retail locations or make an appointment to schedule time with an expert.

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