IGI Certification – A handy guide to everything you need to know

When you set out to buy a diamond, it’s no easy task. It’s not something you can tick off your list in the matter of a few hours. In fact, buying a diamond requires you to be at your most attentive. There are after all, a number of factors to consider. Take diamond certification, for starters.

One of the most pressing issues when it comes to buying a diamond is the whole concept of diamond certification. Who is the one in charge, who is assigned the job of ‘certifying’ your diamond? Should you always buy a ‘certified diamond’? Is one diamond certificate far better than another?

Well, first things first. Let’s begin by explaining what these two words (diamond certification) actually mean.

Diamond Certification, broken down

Diamond Certification is essentially a document that is given to you by an objective third party lab. This document tends to list out each and every characteristic of your diamond. These certifications generally come from labs such as the GIA, the IGI, the HRD and more.

Whenever you’re considering the purchase of a diamond, you must also receive and go through its lab certification. This certificate from the lab is issued by a grading body, listing out several key traits and elements of the diamond you’re considering buying. This includes the cut, the colour and even the general width and length of the gem.

How does this happen? Well, you have expertly trained groups of professionals who look through each diamond with a fine-tooth comb, if you will. They use only the most professional tools to analyse, evaluate and measure out the diamonds. These tools range from a microscope to a loupe.

IGI – What is it?

One among these many entities is the International Gemmological Institute, or the IGI. Following stringent international standards, a report from this body provides you with an accurate assessment of your diamond’s colour, cut, clarity and carat weight. 

In the beginning, the IGI was the most renowned lab when it came to the larger jewellery chains in places like Canada, the USA and more. It is said that the IGI works like a horse – fast and efficient. Their prices are often better than those listed out by other entities. This is what makes them so appealing to diamond sellers.

An IGI diamond report also comes in different formats and can be presented in different ways. They are often personalised to cater to a large chunk of consumers scattered across the globe. Undoubtedly, IGI is a name that people do trust in the wide world of gems.

The IGI report.

Why is it so important?

If you seem to be wondering why you need to be well-equipped with such information, we’ll tell you why. When you buy a diamond, you ought to be confident about it.

Who can provide you with said confidence? Diamond certification, of course. An IGI Certificate will clearly and transparently tell you the details of any and every item that it comes with. And this is what brings in the confidence for both buyers and sellers. An authentic IGI Laboratory Report is synonymous with confidence and trust, anywhere in the world. That’s exactly why an IGI Certification is so important and why it should be an integral part of all diamond transactions.

The IGI Jewellery Identification Report

Interesting fact: IGI was the very first lab that brought in jewellery identification reports. As such, it prides itself on being the leader in its field today. But what do these reports do?

Well, an IGI Jewellery Identification Report gives you expert and an unbiased analysis of your gemstone. Right from its colour and its clarity to its carat weight and the mounting details, it lists it all. The IGI provides clear documentation and photographs against every item that you purchase. These photographs are vital in such jewellery identification reports because they show you details of the craftsmanship that may not be witnessed otherwise.

How does it help you?

An IGI certified diamond or an IGI Jewellery Identification report for that matter, can help you in many ways. First off, it will ease any anxiety that you may have while making a purchase, as it is one of the most trusted names in the gemmological world.

Secondly, it leaves you with the authority to focus on finding and discovering just what you want, with complete assurance as to the quality and the nobility of this certificate that you now hold.

The 4 Cs

IGI understands the value of every diamond and its 4 Cs. To the uninitiated, the 4 Cs mean Carat, Colour, Clarity and Cut.

On the IGI scale, carat accuracy stands at 1/100,000 carat. This carat weight is extremely precise. When it comes to colour, diamonds vary in their hues. They could be completely colourless or could also be a slight yellow or brown. IGI has a colour grade for diamonds in the D-Z range (the most unique and most expensive diamonds in the colourless range) with the diamond face-down. They use neutral environments so that their results and reports are absolutely precise.

Speaking of clarity, there are two kinds – inclusions and blemishes. Inclusions are inherent characteristics of the gem, while blemishes are external. The grading reports by the IGI display accurate diagrams of these clarity traits. Red means internal and green means external.

Finally, the cut. The cutting precision, finishing details and other factors can change the whole appearance of your diamond. From refraction to brilliance, dispersion to scintillation, all these come together to create the final diamond – the way you see it.


The Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) is also a very respectable diamond grading body. But how does it differ from the IGI?

GIA is thought of as the industry standard for loose solitaire diamonds above 0.18 carats. Moreover, its grading standards are said to be far more consistent than those of the IGI.

Usually, the IGI grade is considered to be half to one grade better than a GIA grade. What that means is that a VS1 grade in GIA might be a VVS2 grade in IGI. Simply put, GIA has stricter grading standards than IGI.


The HRD is the Diamond High Council, or the “Hoge Raad voor Diamant”. HRD Antwerp’s, founded in 1973, greatly represents the diamond industry in Belgium. The general standards of the HRD Labs are considered to be similar to those employed by the GIA. They are also completely reliable, as they follow the grading rules put in place by the International Diamond Council.

In reality, the shape, clarity and size are nearly the same across all labs. Speaking of colour grading, GIAs standard is half a color stricter than HRD or IGI. For instance, if a diamond’s colour is graded J in the GIA, it could very well be graded J or even better, in HRD or IGI.

Uniglo Diamonds offers GIA, IGI and HRD Certified Diamonds.

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