To determine the authenticity of your smartphone, laptop, or any other expensive gadget you own, you would probably check its serial number. The serial number also tells you about the item’s features. But what about diamonds? Do diamonds have serial numbers?
Just like smartphones, diamonds also come with a serial number. That means you can look at the serial number of a diamond you just bought to determine its authenticity and features.
However, serial numbers for diamonds are a bit different from what you see on gadgets and other items – and we’ll tell you everything about that in this article.
So, keep reading!
Diamonds And Serial Numbers
If you’re not that experienced with diamonds and you want to buy the best one for the first time, you’d be overwhelmed by all the choices out there.
With differences in carat weight, color, clarity, the cut of the diamonds – and more importantly, how these features impact the price and quality of the stone – your options might be a bit more confusing, and you might overlook some other important factors.
As you search for the diamond with the best price and highest brilliance, you need to be careful not to overlook one crucial factor of the diamond.
We are talking about the diamond’s security feature. Yes, real diamonds have built-in security features – a serial number that tells you more about the stone.
However, not all diamonds have serial numbers. For example, in the US, only the graded gems come with serial numbers.
The GIA conducts the grading, and the serial number is engraved in the diamond due to the fact that it’s one of the essential certification processes for the stone. The serial number ensures that the elements of the stone match the identification number on its certification documents.
Note that other countries use similar grading and certification techniques as the GIA, though by different institutions. Diamonds are numbered with a series of specific numbers and letters.
The serial number on a diamond is a laser inscription that the GIA uses to pinpoint authentic diamonds that they have graded. This laser inscription is often applied to the edge of the stone, with the GIA’s report number appearing on it.
The laser inscription provides you, the buyer, with a unique way of linking the precious stone to the received GIA report. The GIA laser inscription is usually found running on the diamond’s girdle, specifically between the upper crown facet and the lower pavilion facet, on the thinner edge that separates the lower bit from the upper section of your diamond.
Which Diamonds Have Serial Numbers?
Diamonds with serial numbers are real diamonds whose characteristics regarding the carat weight, cut, color, and clarity have been certified. These are also the gems that come with certification documents.
Therefore, if you purchase a diamond with serial numbers and a certificate, the certificate will have your name on it after you buy it. And in case of theft, it should be easier to recover the gems.
While we’re at it, the gems with serial numbers would be the ones purchased from reputable jewelers – usually those who sell gemstones that have been certified by the GIA.
Learn More: How Do I Get My Rough Diamond Certified?
Why Is The Serial Number Important?
The main reason why you should purchase a diamond that has a serial number is that the GIA laser inscription acts as a crucial identification feature that gives you peace of mind when you purchase the diamond.
With many fake diamonds or even illegally obtained diamonds, also known as blood diamonds, coming to the market today, the laser inscribed serial numbers can verify that you’ve bought an authentic gem.
Another reason why you should generally buy a diamond with a serial number is that diamond merchants, as well jewelry producers and retailers, handle huge volumes of certified diamonds that weigh less than 1 carat. And some of the stones pass as “authentic” even when they’re not.
The other reasons why it’s so crucial for your precious stone to have a serial number are:
- The certification through the serial number is an important feature that validates the details of your stone by certifying its color, carat weight, clarity, and cut.
- The certification will identify you as the actual and genuine buyer and the owner of the stone – and that will allow you to recover your diamond if it ever gets stolen.
- This certification is important when you decide to sell your diamond because it means that there is going to be a chain of custody. The diamond would be easy to sell due to you having proof of ownership and genuine certification.
Tips For Reading The Laser Inscription On Your Diamond
While the laser inscription on the precious stone allows you to verify that the diamond is genuine and protects your interests, it often takes a trained eye to locate the serial number and decipher it.
The inscription on the diamonds is microscopic. That means that it won’t be visible to the naked eye, and you would need a loupe to see the inscription. Keep in mind that the serial number needs to fit in a minimal area on the diamond’s girdle, and it mustn’t affect the diamond’s appearance.
Generally, you might have on hand a 10x loupe, but it doesn’t have the power you need. For a clear and accurate view, you need a microscope that has 20x magnification power.
It’s going to take a bit of time for you to view the serial number.
However, as long as the serial numbers aren’t too faint, you should be able to see it under 20x magnification. On the other hand, you would probably struggle to read the entire number with a 10x loupe.
Learn More: What Does LC Mean In Diamond?
In addition, as a jeweler, you’d have to invest in some tools to provide the best customer service and be sure that you’re selling only authentic pieces of jewelry. In this case, we recommend you purchase a laser inscription viewer.
Laser inscription viewer is a powerful tool that allows you to see the serial number on the gem. This tool comes with an adjustable magnifying glass that rests at the end of the arm that glides around the stone’s edge, making it easier for you to scan the diamond and the inscription.
As with other tools, it takes some time for you to learn how to operate with the laser inscription viewer. But after you master it, the serial numbers are going to be much easier to read.
Gemological microscopes are rather expensive, and that kind of microscope would be overkill if you aren’t a professional jeweler; a digital one would do the job for you.
A digital microscope is a much more affordable option, and it works just fine. The best part about it is that it connects to your smartphone, and the serial number of the stone will be displayed on it.
The Process Of Inscribing
The process of inscribing a serial number onto a diamond is considered to be simple. However, it still takes state-of-the-art equipment and an experienced craftsman to complete the task.
The history of laser inscription goes back to the 1970s when scientists found that laser beams could burn out diamond inclusions. In 1983, they developed a laser engraving system that could mark a diamond with a footprint, what we call today a serial number.
The first part of inscribing a diamond requires assessing the stone and finding the perfect spot of the girdle to engrave a serial number. After that, a delicate and precise laser beam is used to inscribe the GIA report number on the stone’s girdle.
The inscription doesn’t affect the diamond’s quality or light performance. It’s completely invisible to the naked eye and can only be seen by special equipment.
Diamond laser inscription is also used to write customized personal messages on diamonds that weigh 0.18 carats or more.
Types Of Diamond Laser Inscription
There are two types of diamond laser inscription – hot and cold.
The hot laser inscription is typically used on low-end gems during the manufacturing process for the purpose of branding. This method can change the color and clarity grade of a diamond – and can even damage the stone.
The cold laser inscription doesn’t impact the diamond’s color and clarity grade nor its light performance. It’s considered permanent and can only be removed by a professional diamond cutter.
Unlike the hot laser inscription, the cold one uses the latest technology that provides exceptional control during the inscription process without damaging the gem. This method will never chip or fracture the stone because it has no thermal effect on the inscribed diamond.
The cold method is used by all major international grading labs such as GIA, AGS, IGI, and HRD.
Advice For Buying With A GIA Laser Inscription
If you purchase a GIA-certified, laser inscribed stone, consider the following information:
- While in-store, make sure your retailer has a viewer so that you can see this critical feature of the stone. Many buyers don’t require this information, but some may enjoy the reassurance of seeing the inscription.
- If you decide to buy a GIA-certified diamond engagement ring that has a laser inscription, speak to your jeweler about positioning the stone so that the serial number remains visible even when the diamond is set in the ring.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s cover frequently asked questions regarding diamond serial numbers.
Does A Serial Number Decrease The Value?
Just like it doesn’t impact the diamond’s appearance, the serial number doesn’t decrease the gem’s value. Since the serial number engraved on the diamond’s girdle is microscopic, you won’t see it with the naked eye.
As a matter of fact, serial numbers can actually increase the value of your stone, since you’ll be able to prove to potential future buyers that your diamond has been graded and certified by the GIA.
Can I Sell A Diamond Without Certificate?
As we already mentioned, you can find the diamond’s serial number on its certificate. When you purchase a diamond, the most reputable jewelers will provide you with this oh-so-crucial piece of paper.
Diamond’s certificate detail carat weight, clarity, cut, and color, among other gem characteristics.
The GIA isn’t the only organization that grades and certifies diamonds. Other organizations such as AGS and HRD have their certification processes, too.
That said, the certification and serial numbers from any reputable organization will be enough to prove your claims about the diamond’s worth.
But here’s the thing: Not all diamonds come with certificates. If you want to sell a gem without a certificate, you can. But bear in mind, without it, you may find that the value of your gem decreases – by a lot.
Related Read: Can You Get a Diamond Certified After Purchase?
Can Diamonds Be Traced?
Serial numbers don’t just help law enforcement representatives find your diamond after it’s been stolen. You can use the serial number of your diamond to discover the exact location where your stone was mined from initially.
In this sense, diamonds with serial numbers are relatively easy to trace. A number of diamonds are mined or sold unethically. Also known as conflict diamonds, diamonds that find their way to new owners from war zones are illegitimate.
That means that they haven’t been registered with the GIA and that the official bodies can track their history back to some form of conflict.
Consumers won’t get in trouble for buying an illegitimate diamond as long as they’re unaware of the events that brought the stone into the country.
Understanding the intricacies of the diamond industry can sometimes be challenging, huh?
Do diamonds have serial numbers? The answer is:
Yes, diamonds that are graded and certified by the GIA or any other reputable organization have serial numbers. Serial numbers serve the purpose of verifying that the diamond you purchased is certified and authentic.
In addition, if your diamond ever gets stolen, it can be recovered with the help of the serial number. And If you decide to sell your diamond, the serial number can prove that your diamond’s worth and authenticity, thus increasing the chances of selling it – as well as increasing its value.
Related Read: Which Brand Is The Best For A Diamond Ring?