September 2017

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Diamond Reports Need to Change: Here’s Why

Diamond reports have long been the accepted standard for smart diamond transactions. How do you know if a diamond is real? How can you tell the diamond clarity and color? What if the diamond isn’t as described by the seller? For diamond buyers, diamond reports offer a security blanket, a certification of the diamond’s true features. But, contrary to popular belief, a lab report is not an absolute guarantee of a diamond’s quality. There are discrepancies between various labs on the evaluation and grading of diamonds. In fact, the same diamond may receive slightly different gradings from different labs. And this tends to elicit fear and wariness among consumers. How do consumers know what they are paying for?

Diamond Reports: Pros and Cons

Diamond reports are issued by various gemological labs around the world. Lab reports are an important element in the process of valuing a diamond. The power of a lab report lies in the fact that the diamond has been assessed by an independent professional with no vested interest in the sale of the particular diamond. In other words, the gradings and information provided in the report are an objective evaluation of the diamond. Even so, it is not uncommon to find mild and even more significant differences between lab reports of the same diamond. Aspects such as clarity or color, which are traditionally assessed via manual processes conducted by gemologists, are prone to differences of opinion. This is particularly true when it comes to very slight differences that are hard to see or measure with a loupe.


Accurate Grading Based on Technology

A diamond report is an educated opinion of the diamond’s features. With the help of technology, the diamond report can achieve much higher levels of accuracy and repeatability. Technology has the capability of measuring very fine differences in diamond 4Cs, much more than the naked eye or human capacity. Recently, Sarine Technologies reported on progress made in the development of the world’s first automated color and clarity grading of diamonds. The technologies have achieved the ability to correctly and consistently match the grading opinion of a reference group of human gemologists. They are also shown to match the diamond’s lab report when available, within a grade’s accuracy, with error rates of 3% for clarity and 1% for color. This is in comparison to the current error rate of manual grading, which is over 7% for clarity and 3.5% for nonfluorescent color.

Detecting Synthetic Diamonds

With advances in lab-grown diamonds, the issue of diamond verification is a critical one facing the industry. Even for experienced gemologists, it is extremely difficult – near impossible – to distinguish between natural and lab grown diamonds. Verifying a diamond as naturally sourced, not man made, lab grown or synthetic, is an important part of the diamond report. Today’s consumers are aware of the proliferation of lab grown diamonds on the market. The ability to assure buyers of the diamond’s natural authenticity is an integral part of selling diamonds in today’s market.

More Than a Diamond Report

Even though a diamond report provides official information about the diamond’s gradings and features, does it really help the buyer to understand the diamond’s visual beauty? For instance, two diamonds may have completely different inclusion patterns, yet the same clarity grade. In order to help buyers in the diamond purchase process, there is a need to go beyond the traditional 4Cs report. Advanced elements, such as light performance grading, 3D imaging and interactive digital reports are key to creating a visually stimulating, interactive, intuitive and hands-on experience of the diamond that help it to sell.



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