To determine the authenticity of your phone, tablet, iPad, or any other expensive gadget you own, you check its serial number. The serial number also tells you more about what you should know about the features of that item. Like phones, diamonds also come with serial numbers – guess you didn’t know that. What this means is that if you just bought diamond earrings or a diamond ring, you would want to look at the serial number to determine its features and authenticity.
The serial numbers for diamonds are, however, a little different from what you see on other items, and we’ll tell you all about that in this article. So, keep reading!
Are Diamonds serial numbered?
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If you are not well-versed with diamonds and you are shopping for the best of diamonds for the first time, you would be overwhelmed by the choices available. With differences in cut, carat weight, color, and the clarity of the diamonds, and more importantly, how these features affect the quality and the price of the diamonds, your options might be a little more confusing, and you may overlook other important elements, hence this article.
As you look for the diamond with the highest brilliance and best price, you need to be careful not to overlook an important feature of the diamond-like its security features. Yes, authentic diamonds have built-in security features, a serial number that tells you more about the diamond.
Authentic diamonds are serial-numbered. But not all diamonds will have serial numbers. And in the US, for example, only the graded diamonds come engraved with a serial number. The grading is by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). For the graded diamonds, the serial number will be engraved in the diamond because it is one of the important certification processes for diamonds.
The serial number is important, and it ensures that the elements of the diamond match the diamond’s identification number on the diamond’s certification documents. Note that other countries employ similar grading and certification techniques as the GIA, albeit by different certification institutions.
And yes, the diamonds are serial-numbered with a series of numbers and specific letters, often AGSL.
What does the GIA Laser Inscription for diamonds look like?
The serial number on the diamonds is a laser inscription that is used by the GIA to identify authentic diamonds that they have graded. This micro-laser inscription is often applied to the edge of the diamonds, with the GIA’s report number appearing as a number that has been microscopically engraved. Note that the laser inscription provides the buyer with a unique way of linking the diamond to the received GIA report and the details on the report.
So, where on the diamond is the inscription located?
The GIA laser inscription is often found running on the diamond’s girdle, on its outer edge, specifically between the lower pavilion facet and the upper crown facet, on the thinner outer edge that separates the upper bit of your diamond with its lower section. In other words, the polished, bruited, or matted, or faceted girdle of the diamond will have the serial number etched microscopically.
What Diamonds Have Serial Numbers?
Diamonds with serial numbers are authentic diamonds whose details regarding the cut, carat weight, clarity, and color have been certified. These are also the diamonds that come with certification documents. In other words, if you buy diamonds with serial numbers and a certificate, the certificate will have your name on it after purchase. And in case of theft/ burglary, it would be easy to recover the diamonds.
Also, the diamonds with serial numbers would be the ones bought from reputable diamond jewelers, often the ones who sell diamonds that have been certified by the GIA or any other reputable certifying institution.
Why is it Important for My Diamond to Have a Serial Number?
The main reason why you should buy a diamond with a serial number is that the GIA laser inscription is an important identification feature that gives you confidence in your purchase. With many fake diamonds or illegally obtained diamonds, also called blood diamonds flooding the market today, the laser inscribed serial numbers confirm that you’ve purchased an authentic diamond.
The other reason why it’s important for your diamond to have a serial number has to do with the fact that the leading diamond merchants, as well as jewelry manufacturers and retailers all, handle huge volumes of certified diamonds that weigh less than 1 carat and some of these stones would pass as authentic pieces, even when they are not.
The other reasons why it is important for your diamond to have a serial number are as follows:
- The certification via the serial number is an important feature that authenticates the details of your diamond by certifying its actual color, weight, cut, and clarity level.
- The certification will also identify you as the genuine and actual buyer and owner of the diamond, a feature that would allow you to recover your diamond with ease in case it is stolen.
- This certification is also important when you decide to sell the diamond because it means that there will be a chain of custody of some sort, and the stone would be easy to sell because you have proof of ownership and genuine certification of its features.
Tips for Reading the GIA Laser Inscription on Your Diamond
While the GIA laser inscription on a diamond allows you to identify authentic diamonds, and it also protects your interests, making for easy sale or recovery of the diamond, it often takes a trained eye to find the serial number and to decipher it. As mentioned above, the inscription on the diamonds is microscopic, which means that it will not be visible to the naked eye, and you need a 10x loupe or a more microscope to see the inscription. Keep in mind that the serial number is supposed to fit in a very small area on the diamond’s girdle without affecting the diamond, and the inscription has to be very small and done extra carefully.
To read the GIA laser inscription, follow these steps/ recommendations:
- Use the right magnification power microscope
Generally, a 10x loupe might be what you have on hand, but it doesn’t have the power you need. For a clear and accurate view of the serial number, you need a microscope with a magnification power of 20x. Now, it will take a bit of time for you to set up the microscope and the ring and to be able to view the serial number, but as long as the numbers inscribed are not too faint, the entire serial number should be visible at the 20x magnification. A 10x loupe will present a huge struggle when trying to read out the full number.
- Use a laser inscription viewer.
As a jeweler, you’d have to invest in some of the best tools for the best customer experiences and for you to make sure that you are selling authentic pieces of jewelry. In this case, we’d recommend buying a laser inscription viewer. It is an effective, high-performance tool that will allow you to view the serial number on the diamond with the ring held using a ring clip or a ring mount. The laser inscription viewer comes with an adjustable magnifying class that rests at the end of the arm that will glide around the diamond’s edge with ease, making it easier for you to scan the diamond and the GIA inscription with ease. Like all other gadgets, it would take a bit of time for you to be acquainted with this laser inscription viewer, but after you learn how to use and tweak its angles, the inscriptions would be much easier to read.
- Reading GIA Inscriptions using Digital Microscopes.
Since gemological microscopes are quite expensive and such a microscope would be overkill if you are not a professional diamond jeweler, a digital microscope would be a good option for you. It is a more affordable option that works easily, and the best part is that it connects to your smartphone, and the serial number of the diamond will be displayed on your phone easily.
- Know that there are different kinds of inscriptions for different types of diamonds
The lab-grown diamonds, for example, are inscribed differently. This means that although you wouldn’t tell the difference between the lab-grown and the genuine diamonds by looking at them, knowing what the numbers on the certificate mean is crucial to recognizing the genuine diamonds. The lab-grown diamonds will have a ‘LABGROWN’ inscription at the edge of the stone.
The diamond’s serial number is an important element that allows for easier identification of the certified diamonds.
The inscribed serial number is microscopic, and it will not impact the value or the appearance of the diamond. In some cases, however, the diamond with serial numbers would be more valuable because future buyers will have proof of authenticity, and the diamonds would have been graded by the GIA.
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Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.