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Egl Vs Gia


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Hah!

 

If only there was an easy conversion chart this whole issue would be no problem at all.

 

Converting grades from the various EGL’s to GIA is not like converting metric to American measurements with some adjustment factor. It’s more like comparing a rubber yardstick with a rubber meterstick and wondering which one is closest to the ‘truth’. With enough of the right data this could be done but one of the key variables needed to make sense of the information would be the elasticity of the sticks. Without it, you're dead in the water.

 

Neil

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello everyone. I did a search online for "GIA vs EGL", "GIA vs AGS" etc and this thread popped up. Some of you may know me, some of you not. I've come to respect a lot of people on these forums and so I hope it's OK if I add my meager 2c to this discussion and I invite all of you to check out these results I conducted.

 

I started with an EGL-Israel diamond, had it graded by GIA, then AGS, then EGL-NY. I was even lucky enough to get a copy of EGL's new light performance report before anyone else as well. I'll let the results of my little "study" speak for itself:

EGL-Israel vs. GIA-Carlsbad vs. AGS vs. EGLUSA-NY

 

I'm really not here to sell anyone anything. I would just love to get feedback from those in the industry regarding these results, especially Barry, John and Neil... 3 guys I have a lot of respect for.

 

Kindest Regards,

Yosef

Edited by Adylon
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For the most part I agree with your conclusions but I don’t think your study supports it. Observations on a single stone, or even a dozen stones is not sufficient to really document a pattern, especially if you’r not careful to control your outside variables.

 

I have seen stones sent to both GIA and EGL-USA that have come back 4 grades different. 2 grades is fairly common. This too isn’t really a fair test. A dealer will send it to GIA and, if they like it they’ll keep it. If they don’t like what GIA had to say, they ask me what I think EGL will call it. If I think they’ll grade it higher they send it in, otherwise keep it. If EGL call it a better grade, they discard the GIA document, if they call it the same they ignore EGL. This is hardly a random survey of either lab’s available services and it’s patently unfair to EGL because it tends to ignore their accuracies and amplifies their mistakes. I’ve seen the same game played between AGS and GIA although the objective is generally to maximize the apparent cut grade. I don’t recall anyone doing it with all 3.

 

The EGL-360 product sounds interesting. I don’t know anything about it. Do you have any idea what it’s measuring and how they measure it? That looks somewhat like a knockoff of the BrillianceScope only without the royalty, which sounds like the beginnings of a legal hassle for EGL-USA. It’ll be interesting to see what this is when they make it available. What did this service cost?

 

Neil

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Hi Neil,

 

I don't have deep enough pockets to conduct a proper analysis of say 200 diamonds at 4 labs, at an average of say $70 each that would be $56,000... kind of a lot to justify satisfying one's curiosity. :P I never claimed this to be proof of anything really. I just wanted people to see there are variations and surprises and what they could potentially be, and try to explain why. I don't know many dealers that buy 100 loose diamonds at a time and negotiate price sight unseen, usually we look at them one by one and negotiate price. So when selecting one diamond whether it be a consumer or a dealer, averages and prejudices simply don't apply. This is why I'm a firm believer of grade the diamond not the lab and that you should always work with someone you trust.

 

The 360 light report for this stone cost me $61.20 + $23.00 shipping ($61.20=$60 p/c x1.02cts). The nice thing will be of course having these available in all 4 EGL USA offices (NY, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver) so if you happen to work in any of those metro areas one can avoid the shipping by dropping off and picking up thus avoiding all the shipping costs, hassles, insurance and delays.

 

I personally can not justify sending anything to GIA anymore unless a customer requests it. Waiting over a month to get the stone back, and shipping it, etc... it's a big hassle. For me I'll send everything to AGS or drop off to EGLUSA-LA, why complicate my life?

 

The reports should be available to the trade in 2-3 weeks in NY and about 2 months in LA, not sure about the Canadian offices.

 

I have asked the EGL people a series of technical questions and I should have some formal answers the end of this week.

 

I think this is a great product for those stones that don't make AGS's top 000 grade due to various technicalities (ie. having very good or excellent polish/symmetry instead of ideal). Consumers can still have faith they're getting a premium cut diamond without seeing 3 zeros. I actually thought EGL's analysis was pretty strict considering AGS gave it a parametric grade of 0/10 and a light performance of 2/10 and then dinged it some more for the symmetry/polish.

 

GIA sent me a letter (I'm sure everyone got it) basically apologizing for their lack of quick turn around, saying they've hired an outside consulting firm to overhaul their processing, etc. Really there's no reason for them to hold on to the stone for 5-6 weeks to grade it. AGS is really agressively promoting the fact they have a quick turn around time, and now so is EGLUSA, and hopefully GIA will step up their products/service, I see lots of good things happening in the future and some good healthy competition. It will be nice to have 3 major reputable labs again here in North America instead of just 1.

 

 

Yosef

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I agree, EGL-USA is a very customer friendly company. They work fast, they're less expensive, they respond to questions and they're friendly about the whole thing. It really offsets the whole 'non profit center of the universe' attitude thing going on over at GIA. I wish them only the best although they do have quit a bit of inertia to overcome from some bad decisions they've made. Have you ever seen one of their 'Gem ID cards'?

 

GIA's brand presence is shrinking amid massive competition and it'll only be a matter of time before they lose their foothold entirely if they don't become more responsive to their clients needs. They pretty much invented the 'certificate' business and they continue to be minting money out of it but there are tons of examples of industries where the first one in the business can't survive in the long term. PanAm airlines comes to mind.

 

By the way, PGS in Chicago is a pretty good lab too.

 

Neil

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As Yogi would say, it's deja-vu all over again.

 

You can't conclude anything from one sample stone, not even 17 sample stones, so why even bring it up and cook up some smoke and confuse consumers coming to this Forum?

 

GIA is still #1 in consumer recognition and trust and I'm sure they have every intention of maintaining that. Turn around times will shorten and be competitive to EGL and AGS.

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Hey Barry I'm very sorry you feel that way. I'm really not here to confuse anyone. Really I'm more interested in discussing this with people like you and Neil to see if any of these results surprised you and if so why. All I did was lay out my own data, it was not biased or fixed in any, I hope you agree.

 

Everyone is free to interpret as they see fit, I certainly do not think GIA grades softer then AGS or EGLUSA even though that's what it seems like in this case. All this proves more or less, is that when scrutinizing 1 diamond, everyone has their own opinion even different labs, and opinions always vary. Just like parametric grading... averages and assumptions, etc can aid you in selecting a diamond, but this should never be a subsitite for analyzing a diamond yourself and to dismiss all diamonds graded by Lab X just because of percieved averages or assumptions is really not fair. Someone who is judging a diamond based on averages or assumptions rather then personal observation or second opinion is doing their customer a disservice. Why not just be honest and upfront with consumers, present all the facts and different options out there them and let them decide?

 

I 100% agree with you on the GIA recognition factor but one should never rest on their laurels which I believe GIA is guilty of. And dealers should always seek the best quality AND value for their customer regardless of the paper associated with the diamond.

 

BTW: I am a big fan of your diamondvues.com website, keep up the good work.

 

Kindest Regards,

Yosef

Edited by Adylon
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I think the issue, like most, depends on your market. For internet dealers the paperwork is critical. The whole spiel must begin with the fact that their stone looks better on paper than their competitors’. B&M stores have some of the same issue but to a far lesser degree. They start out by showing the actual stone, then the paper. This reversal is important I think. ‘Look at this wonderful stone, and it’s “certified†a VS2!†The brand on the cert takes second fiddle. For an internet vendor a shopper is far more likely to summarily dismiss a non-GIA/AGS stone as simply not worth considering even before they actually look at it. They’ve lost the argument even before they get the opportunity to point out that a particular stone is accurately graded (or not). Sensible merchants in this market simply don’t buy such stones because they don’t want to be put in that position. The result is that accurate EGL stones end up in the hands of quality retailers who buy and sell them on the merits of the stone exactly as you describe and crap EGL’s end up in the hands of dealers who sell on the strength of the report. This specifically includes the big shared internet lists. The consumers of the former put their confidence in the retailer and barely remember the brand of lab. The stones quietly sell through to a satisfied owner. What’s left is a rather high profile listing of the same poorly graded stones available at hundreds of different dealers where they remain until some sucker buys them. From a shopper’s perspective, this creates a tremendous magnifying affect on the misgraded stones. Only one customer sees the best while thousands see the worst. Who’s surprised that it’s an uphill battle for EGL-USA to build a reputation?

 

Neil

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I really think it the Diamond Lab Grading Report goes beyond the target market, Neil.

 

It is a matter of whom do you trust?

 

The simple indisputable fact is that GIA has the well-deserved reputation as being the most accurate, stringent, and consistent diamond grading lab extant. Their "brand" name is built on a solid foundation of excellence and consumers recognize this. So does the Diamond Trade who send their important stones to GIA for color/clarity grading. The fact is that EGL and IGI are not on the same level as GIA. Consumers don't want to worry as to whether the EGL or IGI graded diamond they're looking at is the one that has been correctly graded.

 

This level of achieved excellence by GIA in diamond grading as well as being the foremost organization into the research of Gems, Gemology, and Consumer Education strongly resonates with Consumers and the Trade.

 

In our Industry, unfortunately, there are stories of Consumers being flim-flammed by unscrupulous vendors and winding up paying more money for less diamond. Finding a trustworthy diamond vendor is no small feat for an uneducated consumer looking to get honest value for his hard-earned money. Buying a diamond engagement ring is stressful enough without this added burden.

 

While not an absolute panacea, buying a GIA graded diamond carries with it the knowledge and confidence that the diamond has been accurately graded for color and clarity and elevates the consumers trust level. One important hurdle has been removed.

 

It is really amusing to see the strained attempts being made on these Internet Forums to discredit GIA with pseudo-scientific "studies" comprised of sample sizes of "1" diamond in this case and "17" diamonds in another case. Any meaningful truly scientific study in evaluating diamond grading labs will require hundreds of diamonds in a double-blind protocol.

 

If a diamond vendor truly believes that EGL or IGI "paper" is on par with GIA then show your customer the how and why and do so on the merits of the diamond itself, not by denigrating GIA.

Edited by barry
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Barry,

 

Market behavior is way more complicated than that. I don’t disagree with you that GIA offers a more trustworthy and reliable service and that shoppers are prudent in relying them over most of their competition but that obviously is not the only issue at play or there would be no need for this conversation. IGI, for example, grades far more stones than GIA despite the fact that they are newer, less well recognized as a brand and are generally agreed to be much less reliable in their reported results. Why do they have customers? It’s not all about flim-flam artists defrauding each other and their consumers; it’s about costs and perception of value. GIA’s service costs considerably more both in terms of lab fees and in terms of administrative overhead in dealing with them, mostly in the form of the time that inventory is tied up. The tradeoff is apparently not worth the costs to a fair number of people. Apparently Yosef and his customers are an example. IGI stones are mostly purchased by people who aren’t diamond connoisseurs and who value different things than you or I but that doesn’t make them wrong. Some may not understand what is being traded for what but others absolutely do. Is an EGL-VS2/G a better or worse deal than a GIA-SI1/H? That depends both on what the customer wants and what each one costs. There simply isn’t enough information provided to answer that question. How about this: What if I tell you that it’s the exact same stone at the same price from the same dealer and with the same terms? Some shoppers would choose the EGL because the description sounds better, some would choose the GIA because it’s probably more accurate. Both would go away happy and feeling like they got the best of the deal and both would be right. They are simply defining success differently.

 

Neil

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Barry, I don't disagree with anything you've said, truly. GIA has earned their reputation. The results here could have just as easily gone the other way around with GIA being more strict then AGS and EGLUSA. That's the whole point and what I'm trying to stress here. Grading is subjective and not absolute. Averages and assumptions don't apply because repeatability of grading is subject to human error and therefore each stone should be judged on it's own merits. Granted it can be argued that GIA may be more consistent and you won't hear any dispute of that from me. But so long as you have a human grading a diamond it's a subjective opinion only, backed by nothing. There is no implied gaurantee or liability associated with the lab.

 

You and Neil hit this right on the head. It all comes down to who you trust. An online consumer SHOULD trust their jeweler, appraiser, etc. It's a sad affair when they go online shopping the cheapest cert not trusting the jeweler but trusting the paper instead. Of course if they search 50,000 diamonds, sort by price and pick the cheapest there is a high probability they'll get one that's not graded accurately, cut very poorly, etc. There are lots of ugly GIA graded diamonds floating around in the market as well like >63% depth >61% table pre-2006 round reports, and GIA will grade softer from time to time as well, just like AGS and every other human graded lab because it's human nature. But when the consumer only trusts the paper, and some other paper comes along and tells them the diamond is not up to what they expected, wh can they turn to? Not the first lab that graded the diamond that's for sure. The liability always falls on the jeweler so it's the jeweler's gaurantee/word that should be trusted paramount. If you don't have a jeweler you trust, or don't have someone working on YOUR behalf to aid you in sifting through all the rubish online you're in for a world of pain.

Edited by Adylon
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Adylon;

 

You say that "The results here could have just as easily gone the other way around with GIA being more strict then AGS and EGLUSA."

 

What 'results'? :huh::P

 

One diamond does not constitute 'results'.

 

You obviously have a problem with GIA and prefer EGL, which is certainly your prerogative, but don't foist your peeve on consumers based on one diamond.

 

It is non-science, wrong, and misleads the consumer.

 

After you've done a double-blind, correct protocol study with hundreds of diamonds, we can talk.

Edited by barry
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Well sure I prefer EGLUSA over GIA because of proximity (I am in LA) and turn around time. But I have nothing against the GIA and can see why vendors in NY use them.

 

The results are OFFICIAL LAB REPORTS of one diamond Barry. I didn't bend the GIA's arm to grade it soft or the EGL's arm to grade it strict. It is what it is and they IS the results :P Again this little case study of 1 diamond proves nothing as to how GIA stacks up against EGLUSA, EGL-Israel, AGS, etc. I wish you would stop beating that drum because I am not arguing with you on that point. But it DOES prove VERY WELL that variances amoung labs exists, and that relying SOLELY on an assumption or perceived value based on paper alone is not in the consumers best interest.

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Sorry; it does nothing of the sort :P

 

The grading results of one diamond tells you nothing of consequence.

 

You said that "The results here could have just as easily gone the other way around with GIA being more strict then AGS and EGLUSA." To me this is the sound of drumbeating, which based on exactly one diamond sounds very hollow.

 

Again valid and reliable conclusions can only be drawn on a sample size of hundreds of diamonds within a framework of a correctly designed scientific protocol. Absent that, no meaningful conclusions can or should be drawn.

 

Tradespeople have already voted by sending their important diamonds to GIA for grading.

Edited by barry
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OK so be it. I didn't grade the diamonds, the labs did. If you don't like my conclusions you're not obligated to agree. I am just presenting the facts as they have been reported by the labs themselves, I had nothing to do with their end results. Everyone is free to take from it what they wish but please don't say I'm misleading anyone because that would imply deception and I've always tried to be as fair and honest as possible.

Edited by Adylon
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I can't agree more with Barry and Neil, and regarding your argument that the GIA is softer then the EGLUSA because they graded your stone a D and the EGL graded it a E, who says the reason is because they are softer maybe the reason is because the stone is really a D and the EGL made a mistake, what do you think of that.

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Thanks Neil, She wanted something very old-fashioned/hand-engraved, etc... here are some pics of the ring. don't mind the bottom discoloration of the ring, there was some wax holding it up. Also those pics don't show the true color of the center diamond in relation to the rest of the ring.

 

 

post-112762-1175018319_thumb.jpg

post-112762-1175018335_thumb.jpg

 

My wedding band is going to be a two tone platinum+18kyg tension band with a solitaire asscher cut, and some natural vivid yellow accent diamonds... but I have lots of time to work on that :P

Edited by Adylon
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Thanks Neil, She wanted something very old-fashioned/hand-engraved, etc... here are some pics of the ring. don't mind the bottom discoloration of the ring, there was some wax holding it up. Also those pics don't show the true color of the center diamond in relation to the rest of the ring.

 

 

post-112762-1175018319_thumb.jpg

post-112762-1175018335_thumb.jpg

 

My wedding band is going to be a two tone platinum+18kyg tension band with a solitaire asscher cut, and some natural vivid yellow accent diamonds... but I have lots of time to work on that :P

 

 

Wow this beautiful, what was the total cost for this.

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Wow this beautiful, what was the total cost for this.

 

Well I'm a jeweler... you want the MSRP? :huh: If I were selling the ring it would be aprox $4800 for the stone and $3000 for the ring.

 

The maker/designer was Gregorio, one of my favorite manufacturers to work with in the downtown LA jewelry district. But really the "design" is nothing unique, he just did a great job with the craftsmenship.

 

This is going to be my tension set wedding band:

post-112762-1175021453_thumb.jpg

 

On the platinum side will be 4 vivid yellow diamonds, and on the yellow side will be 4 top white diamonds. It will look very simple yet modern with a nice designer twist :P

Edited by Adylon
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