(Closed) Diamond Ladies– EGL USA vs GIA?

posted 7 years ago in Rings
Post # 3
92 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

When shopping for diamonds we were told to go with GIA because they have a stricker grading scale. So if I were to find an H, SI2 from GIA, it would be graded closer to an F, VS2 with EGL. So even though on paper the EGL looks better, it is really only because they have looser grading criteria. So, GIA is supposedly better and more accurate. EGL diamonds have been cheaper at the stores that I have gone to. Although, I personally look at the diamond rather than the cetificate since I am not buying it to make profit.

Post # 6
1993 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Fiance noticed when shopping online that EGL tended to be a lot cheaper than GIA, and after he talked to a few online companies, and also went to a local jeweler that he eventually ended up getting my ring from,  he found that the general concensus was this:  EGL is typically at least one-two shades off in color off, and at least one mark off for the other C’s.  So he was told that GIA has the highest standards, and if you want to be sure, then go GIA.  Especially when ordering online, sight unseen.  If you want to make sure the diamond is at least a J in color for instance, then order an H in EGL…He also said that the local jeweler had about 8 diamonds brought in for him to look at after he gave them his parameters (he wanted J color, VS1, brilliant cut) and he said there was a significant difference between the couple of EGLs, and the GIAs.  That visit made him pretty adamant that just to protect his investment and know that he got what he paid for, he only wanted to buy GIA.

I definitely think that you can find a fabulous EGL in person….You just have to look at diamonds.  But to order online, for example to get the best deal, Fiance said that he found the only way to know exactly what you’ll end up with is to go GIA b/c they’re the strictest.

Post # 7
234 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

My Fi is a jeweler and uses both EGL and GIA.  as mentioned, EGL is cheaper, and is less strict.  but you gotta look at them in person.  even with a GIA, just because it says one thing online, doesn’t mean it’s going to look like that in person.  For example, take an SI1 – on paper, sounds not so hot; but in person – it can look amazing.  My friend got an E SI1 (borderline SI2) but that thing sparkles like nobody’s business, and there are no imperfections.  My Fiance thinks it was likely certified wrong…even with GIA it happens.  


So look in person, and if you order online – make sure you can return it. And remember – you get what you pay for.  (but keep in mind, wholesale is usually 50% of retail…so use that as your basis of what’s a good deal…meaning $15K 1c at Tiffanys, is at least half that wholesale).  (I have a friend who ordered a 2c for $2k offline..he returned it immediately….um, duh, there is no way that can be a good idea). 

Post # 8
1370 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

EGL is a joke. My first stone was EGL graded as a VS2, but when the jeweler resized the ring, they turned it and there was a big carbon spot that was very visible. The jeweler even tried to talk me out of complaining by showing me a grading chart (I’ve worked in jewelry before so I know what I was talking about) and they eventually gave me another stone.

The stone I have now is GIA graded. It’s an I2, but it’s very sparkly and you cannot see any inclusions from the top and have to look really hard on the side to see anything. Once I was jipped my that jewelry store and felt lied to by EGL, I’ll only use GIA certification. Also, GIA grades the stone out of the setting and I think EGL does it while the ring is set.

Post # 9
1747 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I work in the business and GIA is held in a much higher regard. You need an honest appraisal of the stone and Gia will get you just that. Don’t skimp on this pArticular element, in my opinion.

Post # 11
1137 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Yep – I agree – only buy EGL if you can see it. Mine is actually EGL, but we picked it out in a store, while traveling internationally. I wasn’t sure at first, but really, if it’s cheaper, and looks just as nice, I’m not that concerned.

Post # 13
2792 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

EGL is really too generous with their gradings. I previously had a diamond graded by EGL and was shocked when I went to get it appraised. EGL was off by at least a couple grades on each one of the C’s. Not reputable at all.

And yes, higher grading = more money for the seller. Be careful.

Post # 14
2788 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

@LaviniaRose2013: your not going to save a grand in the long run though.

Toss both certifications out the window a second and bear with me here.  You have a stone, with it’s own inherent properties.  It is cut a certain way, it is colored a certain way, it may or may not have inclusions.  If you take the stone and bring it to an appraiser, they will point out and show you these birthmarks of the stone.  That is the stone, no matter what.  And in my experience, the appraiser doesn’t even look at the certificate until after they’ve carefully reviewed and inspected the diamond.

What the certifications are, are snap shots of your stone.   You want the snap shot to match the stone exactly.  However, because EGL has a reputation for being a looser grading systemt, it is ‘easier’ for them to grade the diamond better.  You aren’t buying a better diamond, you are buying a certifcation that says it is a better diamond.  To me, that is a huge difference.  Because, you are right, no one is going to say, was your diamond graded by GIA/EGL.  However, you don’t want to buy (and pay) for a diamond that says it is G, IF, excellent cut, when it is really a I SI, good cut.

ETA – I’m really not trying to sound condescending, so please don’t take it that way! I just really would hate for anyone to pay for something they aren’t actually getting. 

Post # 16
1557 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@LaviniaRose2013: For diamonds the most stringent & reputable grading is done by GIA. From what I have learned from jewelers is that GIA does not “inflate their grading” per say. For instance what GIA would consider I in color, EGL and IGI may consider as much as 2-3 grades higher. I would definitely get a GIA graded diamond.

Another thing to make sure to consider is the girdle and table percentage. For table percentage each cut has its own “sweet spot”, meaning that you get the biggest looking diamond for the carat size. My emerald cut has a table of 68% which means it has a lot facing up making it look bigger. But you have to be careful not to sacrifice on the depth b/c thats what allows the light to reflect and create all the sparklies, my emie is ideal for the best of both worlds (though I can’t remember the depth percentage of the top of my head). My emerald cut with a 68% table sparkles brillantly, while a princess cut with the same table and depth would not sparkle as much b/c in order for that that cut to be made it has a lot of weight at the bottom of the diamond, meaning it faces up smaller, if that makes sense.

Also girdle is important especially if you are going to have a higher/cathedral setting where more of the diamonds edges are exposed b/c the girdle is where the diamond is most likely to chip, I believe medium to slightly thick is ideal & will keep your diamond in the most durable shape.

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