How to Read the GIA Laser Inscription on Your Diamond

GIA laser inscription on diamond

What is a GIA laser inscription?

Diamonds accompanied by GIA Diamond Dossiers® typically feature a micro-laser inscription applied to the edge of the diamond. The GIA report number appears microscopically engraved on the outer edge (girdle) of the diamond. This gives buyers a unique way of linking their GIA report to the physical diamond. Enter this number into GIA’s website and hey-presto – you have an electronic copy of your diamond grading report.

Where to find the girdle of a diamond

The girdle of your diamond runs around the outer edge between the upper crown facets and the lower pavilion facets. It is basically the thin outer edge, separating the upper part of the diamond from the lower section. The outer edge will appear as a polished, faceted or bruted (matt) surface on which the number will be microscopically lasered.

A GIA laser inscription gives the consumer greater confidence when purchasing a diamond. Retailers should use this as a further selling point since not all laboratories laser mark diamonds in this way. The inscription is permanently registered in GIA’s archive database.

The GIA inscription is invisible to the naked eye and difficult to see under 10x magnification to the untrained eye. Buyers who purchase without consultation are likely to be unaware of the presence of the inscription.

BRAND NEW SERVICE!! we now offer the option to have customised wording lasered on the girdle of your diamond. Please inquire for more information on this bespoke service. Please note this service is only available on diamonds sourced via Serendipity Diamonds. 

Buying a Certified Diamond Before Choosing the Engagement Ring Design

Ahead of choosing the ring design, we can provide any GIA certified diamond housed within a ring clip and presented in the same way as an engagement ring. 

Why is the GIA laser inscription useful?

Diamond merchants, jewellery retailers and manufacturers handle a large volume of certified diamonds weighing below 1 carat.

Retailers often source selections of similar diamonds to show before a sale. These diamonds often vary so slightly that they appear identical to the inexperienced eye. Similar diamonds are more easily mixed up, so having a system for checking diamonds back into their respective parcels is extremely important.

Example. When a retailer shows three diamonds – all 0.50cts in weight – graded D colour VS1 clarity, E colour VVS2 clarity and D colour VVS1 clarity, the GIA inscription allows accurate identification of each diamond. Near identical diamonds are less likely to be confused or mixed-up.

The problem with GIA laser inscriptions

We have already touched upon the microscopic size of the laser inscription. This is a big problem for many people who don’t have the knack or trained eye whilst using a 10x loupe. Manufacturers, retailers and consumers need to be able to view their inscription but the size makes this an arduous task. The inscription size needs to be microscopic to fit discreetly onto the girdle and to ensure the beauty of the diamond is unaffected.

What is the best magnification to view a diamond inscription?

Based on the magnification of the viewer we sell (see below) the magnification is 20x. It will always take a little time for set-up to view the inscription but provided the number is not too feint, it should be clearly visible at this magnification. For most people, a standard diamond loupe (10x) will struggle to provide enough magnification to read the full number.

Useful tools for viewing the GIA laser inscription

GIA laser inscription viewer

Purchase the GIA laser inscription viewer from our shop

Recent review of the GIA inscription reader available in the Serendipity Diamonds shop

Recent review of the GIA inscription reader emailed to us from our client in the US

If you would like to make viewing easier, we would recommend the Laser inscription viewer.  This handy well-constructed device has been built for a diamond that is held within a ring mount or ring clip. An adjustable magnifying glass rests at the end of an arm which glides effortlessly around the outer edge of the diamond allowing the user to scan for the GIA inscription. Once found, the lens can be adjusted for a clear view of the GIA number. It will take the user a little time to become acquainted with the viewer but by using this instrument, the inscription will be readable.

As an added bonus, the viewer includes a hearts & arrows viewer for loose diamonds concealed within the body of the scope. (Shown here alongside the inscription viewer.)

Digital Micrsocopes for reading GIA inscriptions

Gemmological microscopes tend to be expensive. Furthermore, they are overkill in this situation unless you are a professional jeweller. We looked around to see if there were any new devices around the £20 – £30 mark that might be suitable. The following looked very good for the price, and convenient, especially since it connects to a smartphone.

Digital microscope viewer that might work well to view an inscription

This affordable microscope connects to a smartphone and could provide a way to capture the inscription image. 

Advice for purchasing with a GIA laser inscription

If you purchase a GIA certified, laser inscribed diamond, consider the following advice.

1. In-store – ensure that your retailer has a viewer so that you can see this important feature of the diamond. Many buyers do not require this level of detail, but some clients enjoy the reassurance of seeing their inscription.

2. If you decide upon a GIA certified diamond engagement ring with laser inscription, speak to your jeweller about positioning the diamond so that the inscription remains visible when the diamond has been set into the ring.

On a final note, if you are looking for a specific GIA certified diamond, we feature an extensive catalogue of GIA certified diamonds on our website as part of our loose diamond service – some even feature traceability back to the mine of origin. (See our GIA CanadaMark range or contact about traceable diamonds or for help on sourcing the perfect diamond.)

Other types of serial numbers appearing on certified diamonds

GIA inscriptions are not the only number appearing on diamonds. Additional serial numbers accompany other types of diamond. At Serendipity Diamonds we specialise in being able to supply diamonds that are traceable back to the very mine from where they originated.

View available diamonds and get GIA report copies and video in just 2 clicks. Contact us with your choice of diamond you wish to purchase. 


CanadaMark Inscriptions on diamonds

The following image shows the “Canadamark” serial number that accompanies the diamond from rough to polished stone. Look closely and you can also see the GIA number reflected from the opposite girdle. Contact us if you would like us to source a diamond with traceability back to the mine. Please note that all of our CanadaMark diamonds include the laser inscribed GIA number and CanadaMark number.

Laser Inscribed Diamond Copyright Serendipity Diamonds


Please ask us about fully traceable CanadaMark diamonds available at Serendipity Diamonds.

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Mark Johnson

About Mark Johnson

Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website.

Mark Johnson

About Mark Johnson

Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website.