Which Diamond Grading Lab Is The Best?
If you own a diamond or are thinking about buying one, you may have noticed that many diamonds have grading reports or certificates. But what are these and why do they matter? And since no two diamond grading labs are alike, which diamond grading lab is the best? Keep reading as our expert gemologists explain which diamond grading lab is the best, how other popular labs compare, the benefits of knowing diamond grades and how to get a price for your diamond.
Get the answers to the following questions:
- What are diamond grading labs?
- Which diamond grading lab is the best?
- Diamond grading laboratories ranked
- Why do diamond grading labs differ?
- Why are diamond grading laboratories helpful?
- How to get a price for your diamond
What Are Diamond Grading Labs?
Diamond grading laboratories are third party, independent diamond grading entities. They issue diamond certificates which describe the characteristics and quality of a diamond. Each diamond grading lab will use different criteria and have different diamond grading standards.
Which Diamond Grading Lab Is The Best?
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is widely recognized as the leading and most trusted diamond grading lab in the industry. A charitable, non-profit organisation, the GIA has achieved this reputation by remaining exceptionally consistent and accurate in its gradings. Not only does the GIA provide the most precise diamond grades, they revolutionized the world’s understanding of diamonds and continue to develop new methods and technology to further our understanding of precious stones.
The History Of The GIA
During the 1920’s jeweler Robert M. Shipley realized that he and other jewelers in America lacked an in-depth understanding of diamonds and precious stones. At this time, jewelers used broad and inconsistent terms to discuss the quality of diamonds, such as “water” or “river” to describe colorless diamonds. After traveling to Europe and taking gemology courses, Shipley returned to America to launch an introductory gemology course. In 1931, Shipley founded the GIA to provide formal and consistent gemological training. Shipley and his team developed fundamental tools such as the 10x jeweler’s loupe and first gemological microscope.
The next GIA president, Richard T. Liddicoat, continued to enrich the public’s understanding of diamonds when he introduced the standardized GIA diamond grading system in 1953. This grading system was known as the 4C’s and identified a diamond’s color grade, cut grade, clarity grade and carat weight. Many students wanted a system where they could submit their diamond grading worksheets, and later the diamonds themselves, for independent assessment. This led to the GIA launching their official diamond grading reports in 1955.
The GIA continued to set the diamond grading standard and develop advanced ground-breaking gemological tools. These include as a device that can differentiate between natural and treated diamonds and a lighting technique to make inclusions more easily visible when viewed under a microscope. Today, aspiring gemologists and industry veterans rely on the GIA as an educational resource thanks to the lab’s continuous study of gemology, comprehensive gemological education and library of extensive gemological resources.
Diamond Grading Laboratories Ranked
There are countless diamond grading laboratories across the world. Below we have listed and ranked the most popular diamond grading labs, from the most to the least accurate and reliable in their gradings:
- GIA – Gemological Institute of America
- AGS – American Gemological Society
- HRD – Diamond High Council (Hoge Raad voor Diamant in Dutch)
- IGI – International Gemological Institute
- EGL USA – European Gemological Laboratory
- EGL Europe – European Gemological Laboratory
Why Do Diamond Grading Labs Differ?
If you submit the same diamond to several diamond grading laboratories for evaluation you will likely receive different diamond grades. This happens because all diamond grading laboratories have different standards making certain labs stricter or more generous in their grading than others. For example, one lab may say that your diamond has a D color grade while another says that it has a G color grade.
Just what separates a great diamond grading laboratory from an adequate laboratory? An excellent diamond grading laboratory, such as the GIA, is remarkably accurate and consistent when grading diamonds. Every diamond at the GIA is assessed by multiple expert gemologists to ensure that grading is always accurate and meets the GIA’s rigorous standards. Some grading laboratories, however, have been known to inflate diamond grades making for unreliable diamond certificates.
Why Are Diamond Grading Laboratories Helpful?
Diamond grading laboratories provide diamond grading certificates which are a key part of both buying and selling diamonds. These detail both the characteristics and quality of your diamond and, importantly, confirm whether a stone is in fact a natural diamond. All of which will determine the value of a diamond.
Information included on a diamond certificate will vary, as will the accuracy of the grades, but thanks to the efforts of the GIA, the 4 C’s are now the industry standard and feature on all diamond certificates. Other information that may feature includes: symmetry, fluorescence, depth, a map of any inclusions in the stone etc.
If you lost or never received a diamond grading report, don’t worry. Certain jewelry stores keep their customer’s diamond’s information on record. And some diamond labs laser inscribe report numbers on their diamonds which can be seen under a jeweler’s loupe. If neither option works, you can meet with a local jeweler to get a rough idea of your diamond’s characteristics.
How To Get A Price For Your Diamond
The best way to get a price quote for your diamond or diamond jewelry is to consult the diamond experts. Simply complete our online form with information on your diamond to receive your bespoke price quote today. To get a final price, you can either schedule an appointment at one of our offices or send in your diamond with our free, fully insured, trackable and overnight shipping label. We will notify you of your diamond’s safe arrival at our office the following day and calculate a competitive price based on the current second-hand diamond market. Your dedicated client manager will then contact you with a final offer and explanation of how we came to that price. You can accept payment by wire or check, or request your stone returned at no cost. Our service is always free and there is no obligation to sell.
WP Diamonds was founded to make selling diamonds a fast, safe and simple process. Our stress-free selling process can take as little as 24 hours and has earned us an A+ rating with the BBB as well as hundreds of outstanding reviews. We firmly believe that the process of selling should be as enjoyable as the process of buying. As such we pride ourselves on offering a discreet, high-end experience, unparalleled customer service and transparent prices.
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