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Proper Care for GIA and AGS Certificates

One thing that amazes me about diamond vendors in Australia is that lack any respect for GIA or AGS certificates, or any overseas certificate for that matter. By certificate, I mean the actual paper, that in the case of it being lost, stolen or damaged means that the actual diamond needs to be sent back to the lab overseas.

Most vendors I know of think nothing of the certificate – that is, they see the value in the diamond, and not the actual paper the certificate is printed on. However the value of the certificate can be defined in three separate parts:

  1. The cost of shipping and insurance to and from the lab.
  2. The cost of re-printing.
  3. The opportunity cost of not having diamonds to sell whilst they are back in the lab (3-4 weeks).


Now parts one and two, if you have a lot of stock, could cost thousands of dollars if all your certificates are lost or stolen. However, part three may essentially shut your business down for up to a month whilst the certs get re-printed, thus robbing you of one month’s income.

Therefore it is imperative for anyone selling diamonds to take proper care of their certificates, such as:

  • Storing them in a secure place. A low-cash rating safe would be perfect if you have no room in your safe.
  • Not putting sticky-tape or labels on the actual certificate. Labels should be stuck onto the sleeve and the basika (spelling?) can be used to easily identify the diamond.
  • When completely cutting the basika off a dossier, use a guillotine. Tearing them off may damage the certificate.
  • Don’t send original certs on memo if you don’t have to.
  • Keep the cert in the sleeve at all times, especially when shipping.

Given that the cost of loosing a cert could run into several thousands of dollars, following these simple steps will ensure that you don’t loose any money because of poor “cert care”.

One Response to “Proper Care for GIA and AGS Certificates”

  1. Liz goudprijs Says:

    I’m grateful for coming across this article. I have never really given such certificates much thought as I would always be thinking about the diamonds only. I’m not from Australia though but I guess a lot of people our there who are into the diamond business will find your post useful. Thanks for reminding us about the importance of that one simple piece of paper that may cost a hundred diamonds! 🙂

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