If you are a diamond connoisseur, you’d know that diamond grading is as important as its look and sparkle are.
Hence, diamonds shouldn’t be purchased without diamond certification. International Gemological Institute (IGI) and Gemological Institute of America (GIA) are among the two most recognised diamond grading organizations across the world that grade all types of diamonds — mined and lab grown diamonds.
In Europe, there’s one more diamond grading organization that is recognised all across Europe — HRD.
In this article, we tell you all about HRD, its history, and whether it is a reliable grading entity. Read on!
Hoge Raad voor Diamant (HRD) is a diamond grading organization, established in 1973, headquartered in Belgium. In Europe, the High Council for Diamonds is the next best alternative to GIA. The HRD supports the High Council for Diamonds. It has, over the years, transformed into a research center that has the permission to certify diamonds.
HRD diamond certificates include five different types of reports. It offers laser inscription for mined diamonds and is required on lab grown diamonds. HRD provides diamond screening, grading, inscribing and sealing. It does not provide diamond valuations or appraisals.
Similar to IGI and GIA certificates, the HRD diamond report includes grading of the 4 Cs of diamonds — cut, clarity of diamonds, color, and carat of diamonds. In addition, it also includes fluorescence, finish, polish, symmetry, light reflection, proportion, and the overall aesthetic of the diamond.
The scale used to grade diamonds by HRD ranges from Excellent to Fair, with Fair being the lowest classification.
Diamond color is rated based on colourlessness or whiteness. The HRD diamond certification grades diamond color on the scale of D to Z, D being the most colorless and Z being stones with a yellowish hue. The color difference of two adjacent color diamonds cannot be assessed via the naked eye. And hence, it’s important to grade them professionally.
Diamond clarity is measured on the scale from Loupe Clean (flawless) to P3 (imperfect). This grading is based on the number, size, brightness, and location of the internal and external characteristics.
Carat is the weight of the diamond in relation to its size. Carat diamond grading is standard across all methods of diamond grading entities, including HRD. Diamond’s carat weight is measured with the help of scales. It is noted up to the fifth decimal.
To grade diamond cut, HRD measures key factors, such as:
There are two documents that validate diamonds graded by HRD:
1. HRD diamond certificate: It includes clarity diamond grading, cut, color, and carat diamond grading.
2. HRD diamond identification report: It includes a graphic representation and usually is for small diamonds that are less than 1 carat.
Diamond experts are of the opinion that HRD diamond grading cannot be compared to the high levels of professionalism of GIA and IGI. HRD diamond certification is prone to inconsistent practices, which results in overpricing of the diamonds.
Compared to GIA’s methods, HRD’s specialists look for consensus from other grading organizations and use complicated equipment. Besides, HRD is known to favor diamond dealers. In comparison, GIA keeps the consumers’ interest at the center of their grading process.
Owing to the above reasons, diamond experts suggest it is better to consider diamond grading certification from the more reputed and recognized organizations such as GIA and IGI rather than HRD diamond certification.
While HRD certification is well known in Europe, diamond experts have often pointed at flaws and inconsistencies in the HRD diamond grading methods and intentions. Even though HRD has worked hard to be considered as a recognized diamond grading organization, experts suggest it fails to keep the end consumers’ interest in its process, and rather supports diamond dealers’ interests.
However, if you want to get your diamonds graded, you could easily do so. HRD invites customers to get their diamonds graded via an online form. It also provides additional services such as laser inscription, sealing, and other services for diamonds as well as jewelry.
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