Understanding the Different Quality Assurances for Buying Diamond Jewellery
Buying a valuable item in Thailand, such as diamond jewellery, is a high-involvement decision, especially if it is a gift for a loved one. Considering the price, personal value, lifespan, and different variety of diamonds and diamond jewellery, it is normal to need time for deliberation before making a purchase.
To begin with, there are a number of must-know pieces of information about a diamond’s quality, origins and grade that many first-time buyers may not be familiar with. This should be discussed with the retailer early in the purchasing process.
Respectable jewellers and online jewellery shops should provide this information to customers during the sales process; however, it is still useful to have a working knowledge of the certifications and quality assurances that go along with diamond purchases.
Each diamond available for sale should come with a corresponding report grading each stone’s 4C’s. The 4C’s is a grading system created by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), a universally accepted grading authority for diamonds, and covers Colour, Clarity, Cut, and Carat. Reports generated by the GIA will include grades for the 4C’s as well as any note of treatment or fluorescence, among other items.
Jewellers or retailers may often note that a diamond is “GIA Certified”, however this is simply a shorthand way of informing the customer that the diamond has been graded by the GIA; the GIA does not certify diamonds. While this distinction may seem trivial, customers should know that just because a diamond has been graded by the GIA that does not necessarily mean it is a high-quality diamond or that it has been “certified” to meet a certain set of criteria.
What a GIA report does signify is that a diamond has been evaluated and graded by unbiased gemologists. Buyers should feel confident that the grades issued by GIA are an accurate reflection of a diamond’s quality.
A diamond having a GIA report automatically increases its value and allows the consumer to trust that they are in fact buying the stated diamond quality. Therefore, GIA certification is an important tool. All of our 0.30 carat diamonds and above come with corresponding GIA reports.
Kimberley Process Certification Scheme
Despite the world’s storied history with diamond appreciation, the modern history of diamond sales has a dark underbelly. In the 1980s to early 2000s, there were many anti-government rebel groups funding their factions through the sale of diamonds. Diamonds of this nature were dubbed “conflict diamonds” as much of the diamond mining was done using labour that violated human rights laws, in addition to their sales financing anti-government groups.
In 2000, leaders of diamond-producing states in South Africa met and developed the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), a multi-faceted system of checks and protocols aimed at eliminating the sale of conflict diamonds. Today, the KPCS has stemmed over 99% of the global conflict diamond trade.
A diamond that is certified as “Conflict Free” from KPCS means that its origin and sales history can be traced fully. Therefore, diamond buyers can be confident that they are not supporting any of the unsavoury companies or factions that stain the diamond industry. MarryMeDiamonds has a zero-tolerance policy for conflict diamonds and only buys diamonds and raw materials from companies who comply with KPCS standards.
The sale of diamonds and other precious gems is so regulated and monitored because the items themselves are so valuable. A typical buyer entering a jewellery shop is not a savvy diamond trader; they may be searching for an engagement ring or a piece of jewellery to commemorate a special occasion. In other words, average buyers are spending a significant amount of money on an item that they expect to last a lifetime.
This highlights the importance of taking time to assure the quality of each diamond in consideration. When buying diamonds or diamond jewellery in Bangkok, quality assurance of the dealer should be considered as well. Thailand is one of the gemmological centres of the world where diamonds and other precious gems are routinely bought and sold. This increases the availability of high-value diamonds as well as the risk of being cheated.
Buying from a reputable dealer and checking if the diamonds in question are KPCS certified and have a GIA report should quell any fears or worries. This way, buyers have a full record of the diamond they are buying and ensure they are not supporting any unethical businesses or illegal trade.