Vintage Jewelry Certification

While shopping for vintage jewelry, you will sometimes see mention of certifications or certified gemstones or diamonds. What does this mean? Who certifies stones and why? Should you have your own jewelry certified, or is this only something sellers do?

Different from appraisal, the purpose of gemstone or diamond certification is to determine the authenticity of the stone itself. When a Topazery vintage jewelry piece comes with a certified diamond or gemstone, this is noted in the gemmological report that displays below the enlarged photos.

Who Performs the Certification?

An inspection of the gemstone or diamond is performed by a professional gemologist in a laboratory. After the inspection is complete, the gemologist creates a report that certifies the authenticity of the gem.

Gemstone Certification Organizations

Several independent organizations offer a variety of reports on gemstones, such as the Gemological Institute of America, European Gemological Laboratory USA, and the American Gem Society.

You may send a gemstone or diamond to any one of these organizations and purchase one or several types of reports. Most laboratories require that you send a loose stone so will need to find a reputable jeweler to remove the stone from the setting (and then replace it when the stone has been certified).

After inspection, the gemologist will produce a report including information such as color, cut, clarity, and carat weight (the Four Cs), whether the gem is natural or synthetic, and whether the gemstone has been treated in some way, perhaps by heat or chemicals.

Reports are created by these gemological institutions, rather than dealers, because they are impartial entities. They provide reliable documentation of the characteristics of your stone. What they do not do is certify the value of the gem. To learn this, you'll need to seek out a certified appraiser who will assess the monetary value of the jewel.

Getting Your Jewelry Certified

Some retailers of vintage jewelry may include certificates with the jewelry they sell to verify the authenticity of the stones in a piece. You'll want to look for certificates from independent organizations rather than ones issued from the retailer.

An unscrupulous dealer could falsify their own certificates, but independent reports typically have safety features, such as holograms, to prevent falsification. Some reports include laser engraving so a gemologist could match a microscopic number inside the gem to the report, confirming the information in the certificate.

Why Get Certification?

Having your vintage jewels certified isn't really necessary. However, it may bring you peace of mind to know your prized family heirloom is authentic and not just storied costume jewelry.

Should you decide to sell or auction your jewelry, having certification documents to accompany it may help you fetch a higher price. In addition, if your jewelry has a less common gemstone, certification can prove its authenticity to a potential buyer.

Certification may also help you obtain the appropriate amount of insurance for your vintage jewelry.

Have a look through our hand-selected collection of vintage jewelry for a little something extraordinary.

Top of page