A Guide to HRD Diamond Certification

HRD Antwerp was born out of The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), a private foundation established in 1973 known as the Hoge Raad voor Diamant (HRD) or Diamond High Council. This collaboration between the Belgian government and the diamond industry was restructured in 2007 and split into two different entities; the AWDC and HRD Antwerp. As the official representative of the diamond community, the AWDC is designed to promote business in the rough and polished diamonds as well as diamond manufacturing, by organizing B2B initiatives. HRD Antwerp branched off to become a leading authority in diamond certification.
Serving primarily the trade, HRD requires registration and the filing of company credentials in order to obtain their services. There is also a form for a private client to submit for service. HRD is a well respected lab that is much better known in Europe than in other parts of the world. To learn more, read our article about the other top diamond certification labs.
Exquisite Half Round Solitaire Engagement Ring
Exquisite Half Round Solitaire Engagement Ring

HRD Diamond Reports

HRD logo
In terms of total dollars impacted by their operations the most important function any gemological laboratory performs is diamond screening and grading. HRD has no less than five different diamond reports, and can be ordered with company logo and branding. Laser inscription is offered on natural diamonds and is required on any lab grown diamonds.
Valuations (appraisals) are not provided on HRD reports- services are confined to screening, grading, inscribing, and sealing. Here’s an overview of the features of each HRD diamond report.

HRD Natural Diamond Report

This is the HRD full report on a natural, mined diamond. It encompasses all of the 4 Cs; color, clarity, carat weight and cut grade (rounds). The document also reports on fluorescence and has a clarity plot identifying the key internal and external features.
HRD has been providing an overall cut grade on rounds since 2009. Their system is parameter based with pre-defined proportion sets, much like GIA and other similar systems. This is a less sophisticated cut quality analysis compared to the light performance based cut grading of AGS Labs.
Hearts and arrows (optical precision) testing can also be ordered as an add-on to an HRD report. It is not clear what the exact criteria is that HRD uses to determine if a diamond qualifies as hearts and arrows in their system.
HRD Natural Diamond Report
HRD Natural Diamond Report

HRD Natural Diamond Identification Report

This is a slightly scaled back version of the full report, comparable to the GIA Dossier. The report is intended for smaller diamonds (under 1 carat) and features all of the same metrics except it does not contain a stone plot.
HRD Natural Diamond Identification Report
HRD Natural Diamond Identification Report (Compact)

HRD Lab Grown Diamond Report

Every diamond is screened for synthetics. Laboratory grown diamonds that are disclosed by the submitter will be issued this report and the diamond Inscribed with LAB GROWN on the girdle. The 4 Cs are detailed in a similar fashion to the natural diamond report, though the yellow color of the lab grown diamond report immediately distinguishes it.
HRD Lab-Grown Diamond Report
HRD Lab-Grown Diamond Report

HRD Natural Colored Diamond Report

Natural fancy colored diamonds receive this report. It assigns a color grade and details the measurements and clarity similarly to the natural diamond report. However, there is no cut grade assigned. Most fancy color diamonds are cut into fancy shapes such as cushion and radiant. It is expected for the cutter to take some liberties with cut parameters to get the best color result as fancy color material tends to be rarer than diamonds in the normal color ranges, and color is the main value determiner.
HRD Natural Fancy Color Diamond Report
HRD Natural Fancy Color Diamond Report

HRD Treated Diamond Grading Report

All diamonds submitted to HRD are screened both for synthetics and for treatments. A natural diamond that is determined to be treated receives this report. HTHP (high temperature high pressure) treatment is capable of permanently whitening a diamond. This artificial improvement of the color is revealed by this report, but a color grade is not assigned. The other 3 Cs are detailed in a similar manner to the full report. The diamond in inscribed with HTHP TREATED.
HRD Treated Diamond Report
HRD Treated Diamond Report

HRD ID Cards

HRD provides another type of scaled down report called the ID Card. These reports are very compact with a holder for the diamond integrated into the card itself. There are actually ID cards available. The basic is geared for diamonds under 0.30ct and does not include cut information. The ID Card “Plus” has polish and symmetry grades included, and the ID Card Pro includes technical information about the diamonds cut quality.
HRD Natural Diamond ID Card
HRD Natural Diamond ID Card

HRD Prelimary Examinations

A preliminary examination is also offered. This is essentially a consult prior to ordering a report that reveals basic info of the diamond; color, clarity, weight, dimensions, fluorescence and of course, the results of screening for synthetics and treatments.

HRD Diamond Screening Services

Screening for synthetics is a major service provided to the trade by HRD, including screening large quantities of diamond melee very quickly with advanced detection devices. While all major labs screen for synthetics, HRD has taken on the screening of large volumes of diamonds of all sizes and has become a leader in this important area of gemological testing.

HRD Jewelry Reports

HRD offers a variety of reports on finished jewelry for both natural and lab grown diamond in a range of formats similar to the diamond report options, from full reports to scaled down compact and “Card” reports. Details regarding the metal, setting type, numbers of diamonds and estimated sizes and weights are provided, as well as approximate quality ranges. Colored gemstones such as sapphires, rubies and emeralds will also be identified in HRD jewelry reports.
HRD Natural Diamond Jewelry Report
HRD Natural Diamond Jewelry Report (Compact)
HRD Synthetic Diamond Jewelry Card Report
HRD Synthetic Diamond Jewelry Card Report

HRD Education

Training of diamond professionals is an important part of what HRD is all about. They offer a variety of courses on polished diamonds and jewelry.

Polished Diamonds

Students learn the intricacies of the 4 cs and can become HRD Certified Diamond Graders by passing this course and the Diamond Grading practical course.

Rough Diamonds

This course is designed to train students to sort and grade rough diamonds and is a gateway to working in the diamond manufacturing industry as a sorter or diamond buyer.


Learn gem identification and the properties of colored gemstones. There are two levels, basic and advanced. Students passing the advanced level course are awarded the HRD Gemologist diploma.

Jewelry Design

Students in the HRD Jewelry Design program learn the mechanics of bringing their artistic ideas to reality in this two part course. Passing the advance level course can be a springboard to a career in fine jewelry design.

Gemology Workshops

HRD also hosts workshops for students on a variety of topics including advanced diamond studies and colored gemstones. Learn about diamond spectroscopy, synthetic and fancy colored diamonds, or in-depth study of Rubies, Emeralds and Sapphires.
Workshops are generally from 1-5 days in length.

Special Notes

HRD Colored Gemstone Reporting

Although HRD has an education program covering colored gemstones, it appears that the lab does not offer ID or grading services for loose gems. Presumably they do utilize their full set of skills and equipment to identify and assess colored gemstones within the jewelry items they issue reports on.

HRD Equipment sales

At one time HRD was a provider of equipment for diamond manufacturing. At the time of this writing that side of their business appears to have discontinued.

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