Difference in Diamond Certs - Does it matter? Jessop's says YES!

Posted on: July 10, 2013

Jessop’s study of EGL diamond reports that have come in to our San Diego store and our American Gem Society accredited gem lab for appraisals showed that time after time EGL reports are not accurate. They always ‘upgrade’ the quality grades. This gives a customer the illusion of a better diamond for the price compared to an accurately graded diamond by GIA or AGS.
Unlike the GIA and AGS, The EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) is a for-profit organization.  Not coincidentally EGL is consistently 'loose' in grading compared to the GIA or AGS.

EGL vs GIA
Jessop’s sells only diamonds certified by GIA and AGS.
The GIA’s “I1″ grade covers a wide range of inclusions.  There are some “I1″ clarity diamonds that just barely miss an “SI2″, and there are some that are not even close to an “SI2” as they are too heavily included.
EGL solved some marketing problems for diamond dealers (but not for consumers).  Their certs are cheaper, they are quick, they offer pre-certs, and they invented a new in-between clarity grade of “SI3.”
This explains why EGL has become widely used by diamond merchants, but the fact remains that as a consumer you have to be extremely careful buying an EGL graded diamond.  If I had to estimate the average “upgrade” received from EGL for an identical diamond versus the GIA, I would estimate 2.5 upgrades either from color or clarity or both.  For example, if the GIA would grade a diamond an “I” color and “SI2″ clarity, receiving an “H” color and “SI1” clarity would be considered two upgrades (one color + one clarity).  But if that same diamond received a “G” color and “SI1” clarity, it would be considered three upgrades (two color + one clarity). Just today we saw a 1.70 ct EGL grade of SI1 clarity, D color. Our grade of that diamond was I1 clarity, F color.

The entire diamond market is aware of this, of course, and therefore EGL graded diamonds sell at a significant discount when compared to diamonds of equivalent grades certified by the GIA.
To note the different EGL locations are all separately run businesses. So the grading can vary widely from each of their offices- with overseas labs being the very worst in accuracy. Also diamond cutters will almost never send their nice I1s to GIA.  They will send them to EGL to receive either an SI2 or SI3 clarity grade in the EGL system. Remember GIA and AGS do not have a grade for SI2 or SI3- only I1. These  I1 grades are, afterall, diamonds with eye visible inclusions whether EGL calls them S12 or SI3.  

Bottom line is, don’t buy an EGL certified diamond.  No matter how “cheap” it seems to you compared to GIA or AGS certified diamonds.  This is because that exact diamond will be graded as a higher quality than what GIA or AGS would give the same diamond.
Remember Jessop’s sells only diamonds certified by GIA and AGS. And remember our motto - Diamonds and Integrity Since 1982.
 

Learn more from AGS:  http://www.agslab.com/index.php  

     and GIA:  http://www.gia.edu/gem-lab

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