Do Diamonds Have Serial Numbers and What Do They Mean?

Wondering if all diamonds have serial numbers?

You're in the right place. In this article, I'll answer the top questions asked about diamonds with serial numbers like:

do diamonds have serial numbers
  • What are diamond serial numbers for?
  • Does my diamond need a serial number?
  • Which diamonds don’t have serial numbers?

What Are Diamond Serial Numbers For?

Sometimes when you buy a loose diamond or diamond ring, it can have a series of numbers and letters engraved on it. They can even have messages and small symbols as well.

A diamond's serial number is a type of laser inscription. A laser inscription can help you verify the diamond has the same diamond grades shown on the grading report. Having a serial number inscription ensures that you're paying the right price for the grade displayed on its diamond certificate. Basically, makes sure you're not getting ripped off for lower grades.

However, you should realize that not grading laboratories are created equal. We recommend only buying natural diamonds graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the American Gem Society (AGS).

For lab grown diamonds, we recommend buying grading reports from the GIA, AGS, IGI, and GCAL laboratories.

How to Find Your Diamond's Serial Number

If your diamond has a serial number, it will be on the girdle (edge) of the diamond. You won't be able to see the micro laser inscription with the naked eye, so no worries about it messing up your diamond's clarity or brilliance.

To find the serial number on your diamond's girdle, you'll probably need a laser inscription viewer or to take it to your local jeweler to verify the number on the stone with a viewer or gem microscope.

Mall jewelers like Kay and Zales have the ability to read off a diamond inscription using their Gemscope. They may let your see it as well. you need a trained eye to see the inscription, so it might take a little adjusting to see it yourself.

Most often times, a diamond's serial number is actually its report number as stated on the diamond certificate. Usually, it will have the initials of the gemological lab engraved, as followed by the report number.

Do all Diamonds Have Serial Numbers?

Not all diamonds have serial numbers. A diamond with a serial number means it has gone through the diamond certification process through a grading laboratory.

A diamond with a serial number can be a mined diamond or a lab grown diamond.

If a diamond has an inscription, don't automatically assume it's a serial numbers. Many places offer custom laser inscription messages on their diamonds that aren't related to serial numbers and grading report numbers.

Certified Diamonds

A lot of people think that all certified diamonds have serial numbers. This isn't the case. In the United States, the GIA is the only grading authority that inscribes all their diamonds and can be purchased as such.

There are a few gemological labs in both the United States and other countries that will also inscribe a report number on your stone if you request it. This is an additional cost to you. Each grading laboratory will have its own pricing depending on your diamond certifying authority.

You can request a similar inscription to a GIA inscription at the following reputable gemological laboratories:

Non-Certified Diamonds

Stones without certifications do not have a serial number. They may have a kind of inscription, but not a serial number. A serial number is a report number, which you can't have without a diamond grading report.

In general, we don't recommend buying loose diamonds or engagement rings without a diamond certificate from a reputable lab, like the GIA or AGS. Online, you won't run into many engagement ring retailers that don't offer certified diamonds.

If you purchase an engagement ring from Kay or Zales, you'll find that most of their rings aren't certified. Many of them are cluster settings. Diamonds with smaller carat weight don't have serial numbers, so you shouldn't expect those to be certified. Pre-set engagement rings are more likely to be uncertified than loose diamonds.

Does an Engagement Ring with a Serial Number Cost More?

If you purchase a GIA certified diamond engagement ring, it may be slightly higher costing than one similarly to graded from another lab. However, you shouldn't notice a huge difference in cost.

For example, both of these loose diamonds come from one of our favorite retailers, James Allen. James Allen sells both GIA certified and IGI certified diamonds, though we recommend only buying the GIA certified natural diamonds. Here's a price comparison between the two similarly graded diamonds:

IGI Diamond
GIA Diamond

That being said, if you go to purchase wedding jewelry with a GIA certificate from a Kays store, you're likely to pay double the cost. An uncertified solitaire diamond ring from Kay compared to their price for a GIA certified diamond is outrageous.

Yes, diamonds with GIA inscriptions and serial numbers will always cost more than diamonds without any type of certificate. However, we believe that diamond certification is absolutely necessary for any loose diamond. It assures you the clarity, cut, carat weight, and color grades are exactly what they're being told.

Purchasing a diamond with a serial number from a GIA laser inscription is a great investment into your diamond as well, as it also brings up the value. Though diamonds don't have a huge resale value, you tend to get more from places if you have the details annotated on a certificate.

Can I Get A Serial Number Put on my Diamond?

Many people choose to buy their engagement rings in-store at a mall retailer like Kay or Zales. Most of the time, they're uncertified engagement rings with no serial numbers. Maybe that's you. And that's okay. This info just isn't for future buyers of engagement rings and loose stones.

You can send your loose stone (needs to be separated from the ring mount) to become a GIA certified diamond and receive a GIA laser inscription with your report number on it. A GIA diamond expert will use the grading system to determine the 4Cs of your loose diamond. Your diamond will receive a report number on the diamond certificate as well as the gia laser inscription on the outer edge of the girdle.

The GIA isn't the only grading laboratory that can do this. For a cost, you can have the AGS and IGI diamond graded and request they put the number inscription on your diamond before returning it.

Conclusion

Serial numbers are a great benefit to have inscribed on your diamond. While they're not on all diamonds, all GIA certified diamonds have serial numbers. Not all diamonds with grading reports will have a serial number. Many labs will inscribe your diamond with a serial number if you want to, for a cost. The GIA automatically does this for you, at no additional cost.

We don't recommend buying uncertified diamonds, because they don't show the same transparency between retailer and buyer. For natural diamonds, we recommend only buying GIA or AGS certified diamonds. The AGS doesn't automatically put the report number on the polished diamond, but you can request it after purchasing.

Serial numbers are great for extra security and peace of mind, in addition to jewelry insurance. However, they're not a necessity unless you feel it is. It's easier to find out if its been stolen if you've lost it. But aside from that, it doesn't determine the overall quality of your diamond. An AGS certified diamond is still exceptional without a serial number, so don't let that deter you.


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