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From the experts

Diamond mug shots

By Layla R | Apr 25, 2019

That clarity plot is terrifying!

Your driver’s license photo is not supposed to be flattering. Neither is your diamond's grading report. And online grading report PDFs can seem more like mug shots. Here's why.

The whole purpose of your driver’s license photo is identification. That's also the purpose of a diamond grading report. The graders note and plot what they see at 10X magnification so other professional gemologists can verify the same characteristics in the same relative places, also at 10X magnification.

Much worse online

Online report PDFs make those clarity plots look hideous. I’m not kidding. They're worse than driver's license photos. They’re like MUG shots. But me telling you all that doesn’t help very much, does it? If you are shopping online it’s the online report PDFs you’ll be dealing with.

So here’s an illustration to set your mind at ease.

Look at this diamond!

Gorgeous, clean… you have to squint and stare to find the inclusions! And this is magnified hugely on your screen. Far more than 10X.

Now compare the diamond to its lab reports below, both of them. The online report PDF on the left is really, truly a mug shot. The scan of the actual printed report on the right is more like a driver’s license photo. Can you believe these reports represent that same diamond?

Full online PDF  |  Full printed report scan


  • Different font sizes
  • Different colors
  • Exaggerated plotting 

Why are they different?

Because the online PDFs are computer renderings of a more sophisticated document. They're generated with a different font. They use web-colors only. And they cannot replicate the delicate job the laboratory graders did on the actual AGS platinum report, which costs a lot of money to print. When looking online it’s shocking to have soft inclusions jump out at us like that, and we’re experienced. No wonder normal shoppers get scared.

Keeping it real

Compare the diamond's real photo to the reports again. Hard to believe, right? That’s why it’s important to remember to treat the lab report as gemological identification. Use it as a tool to inform your evaluation of the diamond. But not as the primary selection or rejection tool. You cannot judge how clean a diamond is from a report. And even photos and videos are hugely magnified. Most diamonds are only 6-8 mm wide. Put a ruler up to the screen and see what I mean.

It gets even better. With our Crafted by Infinity diamonds you can be confident about clarity, knowing every one meets our published eye-clean standard. They will also have the beautiful purity and transparency Crafted by Infinity is known for, thanks to a rigorous and special crystal selection process. You can read more about that here.

One more thing

AGS reports include ASET imprints. Those imprints are computer-generated from a non-contact scan. The scans are not perfect. They have a possible error of 0.1 - 0.2 degrees on each of 57 measurements taken. So you sometimes see little errors in the renderings. Rest assured, the actual Crafted by Infinity diamond will always be perfectly cut. It's what they do, every time. Here's the CGI from the report above, next to the diamond's actual ASET photo.

Good news

Everything gets better with reality. Any memory of that angry online MUG shot, errr, I mean online PDF :) goes away as soon as you open the professional laminated report and hold it in your own hands. It’s still like a driver’s license photo, but you’ll be happily surprised at the delicate touch and detail of the real AGS platinum grading report. 

Best of all, look at the diamond! Crafted by Infinity has vetted, selected and crafted you a beautiful masterpiece. I promise, when you start taking dozens of pics and videos to share it won’t be the grading report you’re photographing.

You can get ready to immediately upload glorious images to your Instagram - your Crafted by Infinity diamond is social media ready!

Layla R

Layla R

Layla R became addicted to jewelry participating on the world's #1 online diamond and jewelry advice forum. With over 40,000 posts under the consumer user-name Gypsy she's helped countless people navigate their first diamond purchases. Many jewelry companies pursued her over the years but she waited for the opportunity to join the team at HP Diamonds; because her consumer experience here reflected her own ethics, quality standards and strongly valued transparency. Layla has been happily helping shoppers find their dream jewelry here since January of 2018.

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