Of the five worldwide laboratories that certify diamonds, two are the best known – the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the European Gemological Laboratory (EGL). GIA was the first to create the 4Cs of diamond quality, and it’s now the universal method for assessing the quality of all diamonds. However, you may be surprised to learn that the grading standards used by the GIA and EGL vary.
At The Diamond Reserve, we believe the best way to make sure every one of our customers is satisfied with their diamond purchase is by providing certification from a reputable lab. For us, there’s no question that the best lab is GIA. GIA labs are staffed by professional gemologists who specialize in diamond grading and offer an impartial judgment of the characteristics and quality of each diamond they certify.
If you’re wondering if it really matters that you choose GIA certified diamonds over EGL certified diamonds, the answer is yes! Here are 5 reasons why we believe buying an EGL-certified diamond is a mistake.
- EGL is normally far more lenient with its grading. In fact, there can be as many as six grades of difference in color or clarity!
- EGL certified diamonds tend to be of lesser quality – sometimes up to two color grades and one clarity grade lower – but are graded equally to GIA certified diamonds.
- EGL is far less consistent than GIA, so the same diamond color that GIA reliably grades G or H could be an E, F, G, H, I, or J at EGL, leaving you to decide which it is just by looking at it.
- EGL’s grading standards vary among locations, while GIA certified loose diamonds are graded using consistently strict standards at the various GIA locations.
- An EGL certified diamond will be less expensive than one similarly graded by the GIA. But is the price difference worth the lesser quality?
Unfortunately, some people in the diamond trade use third-party diamond grading reports overstating the color and clarity of the diamonds they sell. From dealers to retailers, an entire industry has emerged based on EGL over-grading. It’s so serious that in 2014, RapNet, the diamond trading network of the Rapaport Group, delisted EGL diamond reports. That’s why we believe consumers can best protect themselves by buying GIA certified diamonds and avoiding those sellers who deal in EGL diamonds.
Majority of World-Famous Diamonds GIA Certified
Some of the world’s most famous diamonds, including the Hope Diamond and Pink Star Diamond have been certified by the GIA. At The Diamond Reserve, we strongly suggest choosing a GIA certified diamond over one that has been certified by the EGL. We believe GIA certified diamonds are more valuable and provide you with more confidence in the diamond you are buying. So insist on a GIA certified diamond. You’ll be happy you did for years to come.