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Understanding GIA Comments!

What do the Comments in a GIA Grading Report mean?

Having almost 50 years of expertise in researching the intricate grading of diamonds, GIA has methodize a detailed and in-depth grading style of diamonds. Known for being the founder of the four pillar of the diamond quality today- the 4Cs, GIA has many eye-opening parameters to rate the value of a diamond.

It is not just the half a century old quality assurance that makes GIA a respectable authority over diamond certifications, but the elaborate way of how sophisticated diamond ratings are expressed in easy-to-read language by the grading reports.

A brief on GIA Grading Report:

As a diamond owner, you must know every characteristic of your diamond. A grading report is made after analyzing every part of your diamond with high-end equipment to ensure the right analysis of the gem. Known for being one of the best reputable grading labs in the world, GIA is inspected by expert gemologists with unique number allotted to each report.

Known for being of the best quality of grading, GIA uses multiple parameters to rate the structural characteristics of a diamond. Unlike most other gems, a diamond is an expensive buy. Knowing that you’re not ripped off is necessary. Moreover, a diamond should not be bought blindly on trust alone, but with paper witness too.

  • Cut, Color, Carat and Clarity- Known as the 4CS, the report individual rates the quality of cut, various colors, precise weight of the diamonds to the hundredths of a carat, and clarity quality of the diamond.
  • Shape and Cut Style- This analyses the overall shape of the diamond as well as the style of cut by observing the facet arrangement of a rock.
  • Dimensions- The precise measurements of a rock in the unit of millimeters;
  • Finish- Grade of the quality of the arrangements of a facet in a diamond;
  • Symmetry- Alignments and the precision of the pattern, outline or silhouette of the diamond
  • Fluorescence- The glow of a diamond under UV light, which are available in colors blue to yellow;
  • Plotting Diagram- Lists the thickness of the diamond’s girdle, culet and table size.
  • Polish- Judging how smooth the surface of a diamond is.
  • Clarity Plot- An easy to understand diagram of the Size, Location and the category of inclusions in a diamond;
  • Additional Comments- Additional information acquired not through physical tests, but via the expert inferences of the gemologist during the analysis.

Additionally, all GIA Grading Reports also comes with Hologram, Microprint Lines, Report number, Watermark, Security Screen, Cut and Color Scale of your diamond.  To know more about Diamond Grading Reports, click here.

Depending on the international jewelry benchmark, GIA grades all its diamond orders individually, but as every diamond is unique, the characteristics are too.  This is why the five point grading system of a dozen characteristics of a diamond does not apply to all diamonds. If you’re looking to find the value or the cons of your diamond, two sections you must be digging are the Appraisals and the Additional Comments Section.

Comments Section in GIA Grading Report:

A GIA dossier is not an appraisal, but an unbiased analysis of the various characteristics of the diamond. Amongst all the characteristics listed in categories in the grading report, the one that is a direct influence of the expert gemologist independent observations is titled under ‘Additional Comments’.

While all comments listed refer to the observations noticed while grading the other parameters, these can refer to many vital details about the diamond’s durability as well as strength. For example, a diamond with too many inclusions or indented naturals, the diamond is weak and dull, respectively. The additional comments add many characteristics of a diamond that does not have a grading unit to be allotted under. For a detailed report on the diamond’s durability values, availing an appraisal from a qualified GG will help.

The grading parameters like- Very Good, Good and Fair lacks precision or conclusions as these are mere grading of the precious rock. Additional comments section sheds light on the extra features that are not enlisted under the grading categories, but based the observations and conclusions of the gemologist.

All treatments done on a diamond will be elaborated under the comments as the grading categories does not individually refer to enhancement categories as the sign of quality diamonds. If you observe the additional comments section of your diamond’s grading report and wonder if your diamond was worth its buy, it is best to know the common comments used in the same section.

Dangerous Comments on the GIA Grading Report:

  • Internal Laser Drilling not Shown

The most dangerous comment of all GIA grading Report is the Internal Laser Drilling history of a diamond. Provided the additional comments stamp that internal laser drilling holes are noted, it means that the diamond has been enhanced, filled or treated. If you’re not aware that the diamond you’re about to buy in a clarity enhanced a diamond, make sure you report and keep away from the jeweler!

  • Clarity grade is based on internal grading that is not shown.

This comment refers to the shaky clarity of the diamond where the noted internal grading is impossible to pin down at a location in the plotting diagram.

  • Crown Angles noted to be <400

All additional comments that refer to the crown angles in a diamond should be considered a red zone issue. When in doubt, ask your jeweler as the poor workmanship of cutting the crown angles of a diamond can lead to its poor durability.

Understanding the comments within a GIA grading certificate is not difficult if you knew the diamond glossary. Provided that you are not aware of the glossary, it is easy to get an appraisal or talk to the jeweler’s expert advice personally, about your buy.

Common Comments in the Comments Section of GIA Grading Report:

There are many types of comments highlighted by the GIA gemologists in the grading report. These comments elaborate the diamond’s internal structure backed by technical data otherwise not under the certification categories.

Without knowing the appropriate definitions of these comments, it is not only easy to go wrong, but you can also end up getting ripped off.

·Diamond Chips

Not to be confused with diamonds akin to tiny chips, chipping in diamonds refer to the protruding of the diamond’s internal structure due to strain or innate flaws. Unlike the consensus, diamonds are not unbreakable. Given that you hit the diamond at a precise spot, where its threshold can break, the diamond can then split, crack or chip. Simply put, if you accidentally bump your diamond on a rough surface, it is easy to cause an internal strain that can appear as a chip on the surface. If you neglect the condition of the diamond afterwards too, it is easy for it to crack.

These needn’t immediately result in the diamond getting split. Moreover, diamond chips that are minor and close to the girdle, edge or claws can be easily repaired to mar the flaw. Another alternative to resolve the burden of too many chips in your diamond is by cutting the parts of chipping and re-shaping the remnant.

·Diamond Crystals

A unique type of inclusion that refers to tiny diamonds entrapped inside a bigger diamond at the time of its formation, Diamond crystals are also referred to as baby diamonds. The most common form of diamond crystals- the pinpoints are not marked on the plotting diagram owing to the difficult in marking its exact location. Hence, addition comments like ‘Pinpoints not shown’ refers to the unmarked pinpoints on the chart and not the absence of erstwhile.

·Cool Diamond Crystals

Denoted as the intriguing yet encapsulating diamond crystals in a diamond, the observation of cool diamond crystals refers to a group of diamond crystals that tend to resemble odd silhouettes or shapes in the color white.  Gemologists might refer to these by their shapes like the Dragon, Fish or Zeppelin Diamond Crystal.

These are observable distinctly only at magnification more than 20X to 70X.

·Needle Shaped Crystals

Just as the name suggest, these crystals are shaped like a long, straight and thin needle of white or black strands within the diamond. Needle shaped crystals are often observed on the table of the diamond. These are harmless to the strength and clarity of the diamond, unless there are too many.

·Clouds

Seen as a blurred space, clouds in a diamond refer to the cloud like the appearance of diamond crystals (3 to 4) that are located adjacent to each other. The clouds in a diamond are referred to as a cluster of pinpoints.  One important thing to remember when comprehending the clouds referred in the additional comment section of the diamond report is that as most clouds are often see through, the clarity of the diamond is uncompromised. The same is the reason why the cloud crystals are not easily noticeable with the naked eye on the diamond.

It is true that generally, only 3 to 4 pinpoints are noticed, however, if your diamond’s general comments show more than 4 pinpoints, the strength of the diamond can be weakened. Any cloud that covers more than a third or the diamond’s surface area is a cause of worry. The GIA diamond grading report marks the clouds in red dots or hashes.

·Knots

When a diamond contains an inclusion that extends ruggedly till the surface of the diamond, making it rough or uneven, knots are formed. This happens when the baby diamonds in a diamond is polished till the surface area of the rock.

Under adequate lighting as well as equipment, the knot can be traced and can be observed next to the faucets under a common diffused source of light. To identify the knots on a diamond, simply run your palm over the surface of the diamond slowly and thoroughly.

·Feathers

Benign fracture within a diamond Feathers, is marked with the help of hash or red marks on the plotting diagram accompanying the diamond’s grading report. Usually seen next to the edges of the diamond, feathers are not a serious concern unless there is just one or a maximum of two.  Nevertheless, too many feathers can indicate the probability of the diamond’s edges chipping off sooner than later. From the rate of pressure applied on the rock during its setting as well as routine bumps, if the rock suffers more pressure, there is a substantial reason for it to break. Using the common light setting and a 40X magnification, feathers can be a cause of worry if it is let exposed to much.

Furthermore, if the feather is located deep within the gem, then a considerate force is necessary to break it.

·Indented Naturals and Naturals

Referred to as the skin of a diamond, naturals is the rough or dull outer layer of an unpolished diamond. For certain loose diamonds, this outer sheath is left as it is, sans polishing the rock to keep the carat weight unchanged. Naturals are commonly noticed at the edge of the girdle or the facets of a diamond.

Some decades back, naturals were kept intact along the diamond’s sides to make sure that the owner understood that no ideal cut diamond was polished beyond wastage of diamond. During this era, the ideal cuts had the dull skin of the diamond along its corners.

Indented Naturals are formed when the naturals or the skin of the diamond are pricked layer of diamond into its own surface. Indented naturals are mostly mistaken as chips and only on deeper magnification can the distinctions of both, be determined.

·Girdle Finishes- Bruted or Satin

A girdle is denoted as the lined projection separating the top and bottoms half of a diamond. While Bruten Girdle refers to a girdle finish with the bruiting process. Bruting refers to the polishing prior to faceting of the diamond.

When the girdle of a diamond is polished with the help of two diamonds, the finish is smooth and referred to as satin girdle finish.

·Girdle Finish- Polished and Faceted

When he girdle is polished with substantial care, the naturals on the girdle disappear and it appears smooth, flawless as well lustrous. In addition, some experienced diamond cutters also add facets to the girdle finish for better inscribing the unique report number.

·Bearding Girdle

Commonly referred to as ‘dig marks’ in the diamond industry, bearding refers to the discolored feathers or chips at the edge of a diamond that appears like the beard of the diamond girdle. While this is the direct cause of grime deposition due to the lack of cleaning of the diamond, bearding can also be due to the agedness of the ring as well.  The rugged diamond cutting skills also remain as dig marks on the girdle of a diamond.

·Internal Graining: Grain Lines

Often, the comment- Internal Graining not shown/ noticed is an instant cry for help to most customers who are not well equipped with the grain lines in a diamond. Dependent on the lighting facilitates as well as the standard of equipment used to grade, the grain lines can seem different.

Grain lines slightly degrade the quality of a diamond as diamonds with grains are often rated VVS2 while the ones without grain lines are rated VS1.  As the GIA grading inferences usually require a 10X magnification, internal graining is neglected or unobserved.

·Surface Graining: Grain Lines

On the other hand, the general comment –‘Surface Graining Not shown’ refers to the grain lines across the facet junction of a diamond. As the lines as transparent, Surface Graining might sound like Internal Graining, but the latter forms the transparent grain lines on the surface of the diamond facet, while the latter does it internally.

Rarely even considered as the artistic stroke of the polisher, surface graining needs to be about 50X – 70X magnification to be recognized. Another notable result of surface graining is that the clarity of diamond might get degraded to Flawless from Internally Flawless.

·Reflections due to Inclusions

In diamond technemes, reflections are simplified as the tiny mirrors on a diamond that helps the diamond to reflect the light proportionally.  Often, reflections can make the inclusions or flaws within a diamond look malignant than it originally is.  This not only makes the identification of the number of inclusions a daunting task, but also locating the inclusions on the plot diagrams.

· Twisted Wisps

Also known as Inter growth, these are spiral inclusions on one twisting plane inclusive of pinpoints, feathers, clouds and maximum variety of inclusions. Depending on the parent rock used to cut the diamond from, twisted wisps occurs in a variety of diamonds. These white stretch marks are most observed in fancy shaped diamonds such as Pears and Hearts.

By the above, you must have understood that the common comment- Internal Graining or Intergrowths not shown. The gist is that these state that the marking of these subsets of diamond characteristics is impossible and hence not marked on the plot diagram.

When buying a diamond online, make sure to get your diamond grading appraisal, in addition to the report, if you’re doubtful about the authenticity and clarity of the diamond from the same jeweler.

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