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GIA vs. AGS vs. EGL vs. others


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19 replies to this topic

#1 headwear

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 08:50 PM

I've been reading and watching these posts for awhile. Now I have a question of my own. What's the real scoop on GIA? Is it really the best grading system? Some jewelers I've visited said it's the only grade they'll carry. Others said that EGL is actually as good or better and is easier to get reports from. Does anyone here have any information? I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

#2 highfly

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 09:08 PM

GIA is perhaps the best. But AGS is pretty good as well.

EGL and EGL-USA (they are different; confusing, I know!) come in second.

Then there's the rest: IGI and a few others.

It comes down to how stringently they grade each stone in terms of the color, clarity, etc.

#3 TheRock

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 07:42 AM

Highfly is 100% correct. Of the major labs, I personally believe that the GIA and AGS are equal in terms of consistent and accurate grading. EGL come in a distant second and the other various major labs are not worth discussing.

Don't fall in to the trap of thinking you are getting more for your money with the other lab certificates.
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#4 sparkllvr

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 08:43 PM

Basically, all labs except GIA and AGS grade a diamond more leniently. The thing to remember is: you aren't paying less for non GIA stones, you're getting less.

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#5 JamesAllen

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 08:35 AM

AGS and GIA offer the most strict accurate grade for the diamond that is being evaluated. EGL tends to be off with respect to the color grade of the diamond. EGL has also been known to be off with respect to the clarity grade as well. AGS does have the slight edge as the leading labratory, but they only currently grade round diamonds. In 2005 that will change though. GIA is a very close 2nd, but just as reliable as AGS. The great thing about GIA is that they grade rounds as well as fancy's. GIA is always the safe good recommendation, especially if you are buying a diamond "sight-unseen". Good luck...

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#6 jan

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 08:53 AM

I agree with the others on GIA and AGS. Just a note that AGS will grade fancy diamonds as well. They do the grading on stones such as the Dream cut by Hearts on Fire etc and I've sent them an octagonal hearts and arrows before myself that they graded as well. Most fancy cut stones do have the GIA lab reports though.



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#7 nightmare

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Posted 15 October 2004 - 07:32 AM

I would, however, have a little warrieness when looking at coloured stone gradings from GIA - they have a tendency to over-estimate by a fair margin in my experience..... (for example I have a GIA cert for an amethyst for gods sake, for 5K dollars! big stone, but still...)

#8 aprilbaby

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Posted 19 October 2004 - 01:38 PM

GIA all the way! AGS as well if you are looking for a round brilliant - specifically an Ideal Cut.

I've never heard of an EGL being "better" though.....you may have been dealing with a true salesman, there...

#9 jan

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 06:55 AM

for example I have a GIA cert for an amethyst for gods sake, for 5K dollars! big stone, but still...)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I have never seen GIA put a price on any of their lab reports. Don't mistake an appraisal by someone that has taken training at GIA for a GIA lab report.

Feel free to browse our website and click on the GIA link next to the stone to view what a GIA lab report really looks like.


GIA doesn't certify anything or anyone. Their reports are lab reports not certificates. Calling a lab report a "cert" is something that GIA really gets sticky about.




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#10 headwear

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 07:48 AM

Jan- your reply brought up another question I had. I was told by one jeweler that I could get a stone certified and that it would be by a GIA person. Does that mean that it's a GIA "lab report" as you said? They said the lab was here in town. Does GIA have labs in major cities? I live in Dallas.

Thanks!

#11 TheRock

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 07:51 AM

Jan is right again. Technically, GIA issue a "Diamond Grading Report" and frown upon the term "GIA Certificate", although I'm not quite sure if they could ever get the trade to adopt it and stop calling it a cert.

GIA even seems to have some confusion. If you look at this page on GIA's web site, http://www.gia.edu/m.../copyrights.cfm, they clearly state "When advertising any stone which has been to the GIA Gem Trade Laboratory, the accompanying document should be referred to as a "quality report" or "grading report," not a "certificate.""

But.... :o

If you also look on that same page, they are highlighting an excerpt on the top left from the Wall Street Journal that says "The Wall Street Journal says:
"...Every diamond should come with a grading certificate from an accredited gemological laboratory; the jewelers we talked to agree that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), an independent nonprofit organization, is the most trustworthy." :blink:

So, next time you hear or read the term GIA certified, you'll know that they really meant "Diamond Grading Report". :blink: Have a nice day!
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#12 jan

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 11:36 AM

Hi Headwear,
GIA has a lab in California and one in New York City. I would think that the jeweler you are talking to is referring to an appraisal by someone that has taken the GIA training. This is a different document entirely than a GIA lab report.




Jan
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#13 nightmare

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 08:11 AM

Sorry Jan - you're absolutely right....Rock questioned it as well - my memory failing rather than anything else....its actually AIG,not GIA....acronyms eh?!

#14 barry

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 02:48 PM

GIA and AGS are considered the top labs for their strict color/clarity grading, consistency, and accuracy They do not "certify" a diamond only report the characteristics.

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#15 hermann

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 11:42 PM

bump
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#16 barry

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Posted 26 December 2004 - 10:07 AM

2005 should be a very good year for consumers looking to purchase diamonds.

GIA is coming out with their revised Report (mid-2005) which will show a Cut grade for the diamond (Round Brilliants, only at this time).
The revised GIA Report is based on a combination of computer modeling and close to 70,000 human observations.

AGS, which has expanded their definition of the AGS- Triple-0 to now include an additional 37% of round brilliant diamonds, is also coming out with a revised report.
Theirs is based on ray-tracing theory.

Stay tuned.

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#17 nails

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 11:45 AM

i don't sell diamonds. colored gems. some of the guys on 47th street tell me that egl usa in ny is getting tougher on their grading. moving in line with GIA eventually, it appears.

my limited experience with them is the clairty grade and cut will be the same. color will be one grade in sellers favor

#18 diamondsbylauren

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 12:32 PM

Hi Nails,
It is quite a futile excersice trying to form a linear grading system for comapnaies that are all over the board.
NO ONE can match GIA for consistency.

#19 Frey

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 07:45 PM

I have read and believe the same, however my concern is in evaluating 2 stones one graded by GIA and one by EGL. If only the grading reports were switched I would not have a problem. Size is only .02 difference and they are both supposedly G in color and Ideal Cut. Although I noticed 1 had an extra facet so I don't know how it could be considered Ideal aside from figures in the cut.

The issue I find is inclusion rating (which is simply personal desire rather than rating per say) and polish/sym. EGL as expected rated a stone EX/EX GIA G/VG
The difference in cost is only about $200. If I trusted the EGL rating I would likely lean that way. The problem is judging which could be the inferior stone and how much a rating could be off from EGL.

If you simply consider a simple example of lets say you have 2 stones of same size and shape one rated VS1 Ex/Ex one VS2 G/VG how much a difference in price should one expect?

I guess it is just how comfortable one feels with an EGL rating and then confirming the choice with an independent review and hope you made the right decision.

#20 denverappraiser

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 11:48 AM

Itís not unusual for dealers to send EGL stones to GIA and visa versa. The exact same stone, with the exact same reported grading will bring as much as 5% more with a GIA or AGS report than with an EGL report. This can easily make up for the additional cost associated with getting a stone re-examined by GIA. An EGL report thatís a few grades higher will have the same effect and will similarly justify a second examination.

The new cut grading from GIA adds to this. A stone that GIA calls Poor or Fair in the cut grade will be expected to sell at a discount for this reason and the dealer might decide to send it to EGL even if it gets the same color and clarity rating in order to avoid this. A stone where GIA can be expected to call the cut Excellent might end up at their lab in the hopes of getting this distinction, even if they might get a higher rating elsewhere.

This works for AGS-Diamond Quality Documentís too. They have a cut grade that theoretically goes from 0-10 with 0 being the best. In practice, it goes from 0-2.

0 means Ideal (according to AGS definitions)
1 means that the dealer thought it would be ideal cut but they missed for some reason.
2 means that the dealer thought it would be ideal cut and they were stupid.
3-10 means that the dealer should have either ordered a DQR (an AGS report that doesnít list a cut grade) or that they should have sent the stone to a different lab entirely.

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