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denverappraiser
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Gurus,

 

What do you all think of the EGL listings here?  Obviously there are some issues in this category and two of the major players in the industry have decided to drop EGL International from their channels.  One has also dropped EGL USA.  There are 706,000 stones in the database at the moment, 51,000 are EGL graded.  That’s well under 10%.  There’s no easy way to search for the difference between EGLI and EGLUSA.  Does it matter?  The advice from every single one of the knowledgeable shoppers and industry professionals is to avoid these offers in every single case, regardless of the price or the grading claims being made.   

 

The exception with these labs is when someone is buying the stone in person and can apply their own grading or hire their own expert.  That is to say, they aren’t relying on the lab at all, they’re relying on the jeweler, their appraiser, and/or their own skills.  That works at a B&M (occasionally), but it’s rather specifically NOT the business model of the folks selling here.  People are buying stones here based on the lab paperwork and claims specifically.  People think they can game the system by converting an EGL grade by subtracting a grade or three and thereby find a bargain.  Again, all of the pros know better but the database search actually encourages it. 

 

This has been an issue in the trade for years and it’s coming to a head in the wholesale end of the trade with the platforms refusing to participate.  Is it time to do it here too?   Who is the beneficiary of having these ads included?

post-109418-0-72474500-1411476120.jpg

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I'm firmly sitting on the fence... on the one hand, it's absolutely true that EGL (EGL-I in particular) is not reliable and certainly it does not serve the interests of the consumer. On the other hand, it's not as if consumers lack advice here on what to do. The real issue is out on the street (web page), not what is in the Diamond Finder.

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How does it benefit consumers to have EGLI stones listed here?  

 

For that matter, does it even benefit the dealers? 

 

Lastly, does it even benefit diamondreview?  Dealers pay to list stones, so there's presumably a revenue bump for that, but there's also a drop in credibility that comes with it and the dealers pick and choose what they want to list anyway.  They'll just choose something else.  The vast majority of visitors to the site don't ask a single question on the forum.  They may or may not read prior discussions about this but I suspect most don't (and those who do, don't buy EGLs from the dealers).  

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Does it benefit consumers? Well, finding (for example) a 3 carat L-N GIA is harder than finding a 3 carat H-J EGL. Not that all the H-J EGL are GIA L-N, but a fair few are*, and there are consumers that don't mind light yellow as long as it's big and cheap enough. Many dealers are not willing to get a GIA L-N, so they don't. In the short term, it's not to the benefit of the consumer NOT to have these EGL stones. In the longer term, with a bit of luck (and a lot of good will), both consumers and dealers can be educated that there is nothing wrong with L-N.

 

So in the long term, no, I don't think having EGL particularly benefits consumers; I don't think it hurts them either. Here. On the street (or on the Wild West Web), different story, unless consumers can be bothered to inform themselves before they buy - however we do see quite a few cases where they haven't (and usually come to rue it).

 

Does it benefit the dealers? I don't know, but it depends on whether the EGL-graded stones sell. When (rarely) we have an EGL-graded stone, we regrade it in-house (or with a GIA report if it's "important" enough), and it doesn't sell any slower than the other stones. I have never checked if the inventory of EGL stones on the Finder turns around as much as the rest, but I don't have any reason to think it doesn't.

 

Does it benefit DR? Again, at the moment it's in the "interest" of some consumers to have access to certain stones that carry an EGL report; it's in the interest of dealers to sell them. DR caters to both audiences, so it's in its interests to have those stones here. Is this the right moment to take an "ethical" stance like Rapnet and decide to say "EGL? No, thank you"? Maybe. In the long run it certainly is, but now? I honestly don't know. Which is why I said I'm firmly sitting on the fence.

 

The other question that comes to mind is "what shall be done with IGI, HRD, GSL and what have you?" Many of them are no "better" than EGL.

 

* Case in point:

r5514-cushion-diamond-n.jpg

 

Came to us with this:

r5514-cushion-diamond-EGL.jpg

 

Was sold a couple of weeks ago with this:

R5514-cert-1.jpg

Edited by davidelevi
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They already do it.  There are 5, and only 5, acceptable labs if you want to list stones here. GIA, AGS, EGLUSA, EGL International and IGI.   Excluded labs include HRD, PGS, GCAL and a host of others.  I understand, of course, that it’s necessary to have standards but the standards, frankly, look arbritrary.  In practice there are only 4 that can be specifically searched.  In order to see and IGI stone the searcher needs to choose it from a list of ALL.

That's a really interesting stone.  Pretty too.  

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Fair point; I usually don't search for "other labs" here (and I remember coming across HRD on the "old style" Finder), but if labs such as HRD are excluded then I agree on the arbitrariness of the selection, and I for one would vote for a change.

 

Re: the cushion: thanks. I agree, it's very nice - which is why it sold within 2 weeks of being put up for sale. It's also demonstrating nicely that "EGL report" does not equal "poorly looking diamond". ;)

Edited by davidelevi
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Sorry to chime in on this discussion so late. It's been on my to-do since you posted it, Neil.

 

I am totally on the fence on the EGL issue. I think the core issue is the difference between EGL-I, EGL-USA, etc. In my opinion, they really goofed up with the trademarks, giving totally different labs essentially the same name. To make matters worse, when Diamond Review receives stone listings from vendors, we typically don't have any way of distinguishing which EGL they come from, hence why we only allow the generic "EGL" for all EGLs, which admittedly leads to even more confusion.

 

I mean seriously, how confusing is the self-contradictory "EGL-USA" name?!?!!!!

 

The reason I hesitate to remove all of the EGL stones from this site at this time, is because of the industry's heavy current investment in EGL certs. There are lots and lots of EGL-certed stones out there, and I for one can't get behind the notion of forcing everyone to re-certify their entire inventories, just so they can list them here or elsewhere. Maybe Martin Rapaport can, we'll see :-). If the industry moves away from EGL certs, then Diamond Review will follow suit. For now, it's too soon to tell what will happen. My guess is that the EGLs will wake up, fix the confusing trademark problems, and then we can move right along to other issues.

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In the new system at Rapaport, Both EGL's are now grouped into the category of 'other'.  Naturally, it's now I giant piece of that category.  As far as I can tell there's no easy way to separate the two without looking at the report.  Polygon still lists EGLUSA as a specific lab and EGLI is part of 'uncertified'.  

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