Post # 1
I was just wondering, who cares about GIA vs EGL (vs… is there anything else similar?)?
I cared a lot more about the setting than the rock, to me the diamonds we looked at all looked pretty much the same, but I felt more secure that we were getting our money’s worth for a quality stone by going with GIA.
That being said I don’t believe anyone should look down on anyone else’s jewelry choices, I was just wondering what other bees thought 🙂
Post # 3
While I know you don’t ‘wear the certificate’ and agree that nobody should look down on anyone else’s diamonds, I try to encourage people to people to only consider GIA/AGS certified stones.
For many people (myself included), a diamond engagement ring is one of the first major purchases of their lives (other than education/housing/etc), so I think its so important to be informed and know exactly what you’re buying, something you can’t be sure of with the lower labs like EGL. It’s worse when you realize jewelers themselves know EGL grades soft, but don’t hesitate telling their customers that it’s reliable and the same as any lab.
EGL grades soft on color and clarity, but I think people forget that they have different standards on what qualifies as an ‘ideal cut’ too, the most important factor by far. Regular consumers look at the certificate, see ‘ideal cut’, then look at the diamond in store spotlighting, and assume that it can’t get any better, which is misleading. The GIA Excellent cut grade is a relatively wide category as is, with better and worse stones in the same grade (AGS is stricter with their ideal cut grade), so I don’t put much faith in EGL.
Post # 4
I cared about the GIA certificate. I always want to know what I’m getting, and it’s so easy to get ripped off.
For something relatively inexpensive (less than a few grand), I don’t really care, but for the price my ring cost, the GIA certificate was a must. Having an industry standard backing my purchase was important.
Post # 5
I’ve looked at many different certified diamonds, and even some GIA certs didn’t meet my standards of a “pretty” diamomd.
I wanted to love my diamond for how it looked, not its cert. Also, I wanted to love the way my diamond looked under the microscope. That was important to me.
Post # 6
@ladyamalthea: AGS is supposed to be as reliable as GIA.
I definitely don’t want an EGL diamond. When I see a diamond that is SI1, very good cut, and G colour, I want to know 100% that it is actually what it says it is. If an EGL is cheaper, that is because you are very possibly paying for an SI2, good cut, H coloured diamond.
Post # 7
@ladyamalthea: I chose GIA. And not because I plan to share that my diamond is graded by GIA with my friends and family (they’d probably all look at me and go “huh?!”- but after doing much research- I guess I just feel most comfortable knowing that I am likely getting what I am paying for – assuming you still shop smart and know where to go.
I have read on many forums that EGL is often “off” with thier grading, trying to pass a stone for more than it is. That being said- if the price was right and I could look at the stone under a scope before purchase- it’s not like I just wouldn’t buy an EGL stone.
I know a PP said that for something less than a few grand- she doesn’t really care. Well my stone is only a .5 carat diamond. But I still wanted to know that I was getting what we paid for. The *might* be because we origianlly purchased from Shane Co and while my diamond was actually pretty, we paid WAY too much for what we got – presumably they throw the lifetime warranty price in there- but it was BEZEL- withe a closed gallery. I mean seriously.
Post # 8
We wouldn’t consider anything other than AGS or GIA (I personally prefer AGS due to its stricter cut grading). Those certifications not only help to prevent people get ripped off when purchasing diamonds, but it gives insurance companies a better idea of what to replace missing stones with. EGL, IGI, etc grade too softly.
Post # 9
I personally wanted a modern round brilliant with a GIA/AGS certificate. It’s just a matter of “mind clean” I guess – I wanted to know that the cut, color and clarity of my stone are *exactly* what I think they are.
Post # 10
Even with all I’ve learned about diamonds (which I believe is a great deal, compared to many people), I would never be foolish enough to think that I could estimate all the aspects necessary to determine the true qualities of the diamond without the training, equipment and set-up that GIA and AGS use for their grading reports, to the point that I would wager thousands of dollars on my estimate.
There aren’t any other grading labs as strict and reliable as GIA and AGS, so I don’t see reports from those other labs as anything more than flattery of the stone. If I wanted to flatter the stone, I’m sure I could do that too, but what I count on GIA and AGS to do is to do a better job than biased jewelers and my eyes without the training and lab set-up, at accurately assessing the stone. I’ve heard that even AGS and GIA are starting to get too generous lately, and used to be stricter, and that’s too bad, but there’s no way I would trust labs I know to be biased. Jewelers are also still sending their best stones to AGS and GIA, which not only is another factor to consider as a customer, but shows that they too know that when accuracy is their strongest selling approach (vs. when there’s something to obscure with vague/unreliable flattery), GIA and AGS are where they go.
Post # 11
@ladyamalthea: meh….could have cared less. I think its important to know what you got in terms of value, because hey, you gotta insure the thing…but I certainly don’t walk around looking at other women’s hands trying to figure out if its an VVSI1 or anything…because who cares? AND, who could honestly tell?
Post # 12
I did require that my diamond was certified but i couldnt care less if my certification matches some other gemlabs standards. GIA, EGL, XYZ, doesnt matter to me. Its certified by a reputable gemologist, has a lifetime warranty, and is covered for theft on my insurance…and thats all I care about.
Post # 13
Oh, another factor with a GIA diamond is the GIA number on the girdle. There can be no disputes about swapped diamonds when the diamond not only has the exact same specs as listed on the GIA certificate, but has the number lasered right onto the girdle. Especially with VS1+, it would be much more of a hassle to be hunting around for the inclusions as your #1 indicator that it’s your diamond. It’s better to know all the features of the diamond, AND have the girdle inscribed. I’d hate to get into an argument like “No, the inclusion there wasn’t that visible before! I know every inclusion is barely visible and slightly off on the inclusion map of this questionable report (or my questionable report didn’t even come with an inclusion map), but I’m telling you it was not that visible before, and it also was slightly more to the left…this is a different stone…” “Prove it.”
I haven’t had anyone try to swap my diamond, and I hope I never do, but it still makes me feel extra reassured. Diamonds are so expensive that more protection against scammers is always a good thing.
Post # 14
Fascinating everyone! I’d never heard of AGS before. I added it to the poll 🙂
Personally Fiance and I were able to save a lot of money by buying a diamond that had been traded-in to our jeweler rather than purchased by them from a dealer, so we had a fairly limited selection. Unlike some other jewelers, ours was honest about GIA being better. For us it came down to two diamonds, one GIA and one EGL just ever-so-slightly bigger, and we went with the GIA, triple X stone 🙂
Post # 15
I work in a jewelry building that has both GIA and EGL labs. GIA has a better repuation for more strict guidelines when grading the diamond. EGL is more lenient. In my opionion, GIA is a more reputable cert.
Post # 16
I wanted GIA. I care bc I WANT to know exactly what I’m buying! And paying for