GIA lab versus other labs

posted 1 year ago in Rings
Post # 2
Member
325 posts
Helper bee

Depends how much you care about the quality of a diamond. 

Post # 3
Member
725 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2020

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marimita :  I think it’s worth it if you want to know for sure what color diamond you’re getting.  If you go with another lab, just know the stone might be 1-3 color grades lower than they say.  So if you want a colorless diamond and you’re buying an IGI certified diamond, I wouldn’t go under a D because it could really be an F or G.  Or if you don’t want to go lower than a GIA I, I wouldn’t go lower than a IGI F or G.  AGS has been shown to grade about one color grade lower than GIA.  An AGS H might be closer to a GIA I.  

I think there are issue with clarity grading for IGI, too, so I’d stick in the VVS range with them.  

Post # 4
Member
8997 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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marimita :  for me it isn’t important. My husband’s family are jewelers and are able to verify the quality of a stone themselves (therefore not getting ripped off) and I trust their judgment. Plus I don’t plan on reselling any of my diamonds so all that matters is that I think they are pretty.  If you aren’t able to view the stone in person and you don’t have a trusted, knowledgeable person helping you though I’d go GIA. 

Post # 5
Member
1460 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

My lab diamond is IGI certified and everyone made a big stink about it when we bought it.  It’s true that they CAN be looser on their ratings of diamonds, but I’ve had my stone inspected by a number of professional jewelers and all of them have said they would grade my diamond exactly the same.  One even said he would have gone one step better in clarity than what IGI gave for my stone.  So I think there’s some merit to people being cautious about grading organizations, I don’t think they’re scammy or as terrible as people often say.

Post # 6
Member
8997 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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hickoryhills :  yes! I don’t even have a copy of my certificate, it’s just referenced as EGL on the insurance appraisal. I’ve had people legit stop me in the street to tell me how stunning my stone is and whenever I bring it for a cleaning at one of my local jewelers they also comment on how nice it is. Maybe that’s because it’s an emerald cut and you can’t really hide imperfections in a step-cut? 

Post # 7
Member
1952 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

I have two GIA certified diamonds and love the peace of mind that I get knowing that I got the clarity and color I wanted (one is an F colorless and one is a U-V light yellow). I believe GIA is best for color and clarity but AGS has stricter cut quality standards! (Not saying that a GIA excellent or very good cut can’t be beautiful, but you have to really see them in person as there’s apparently more variation than AGS)

Post # 8
Member
725 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2020

Yeah, I totally second AGS being best for cut.  GIA ex ex ex CAN be excellent, but not always.  Sometimes it can be very bad, so you have to do further research.

Post # 9
Member
1460 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

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LilliV :  Same!  I have strangers stop me all the time and say they’ve never seen a diamond so stunning. 

I’ve also handled loose stones for a long time and have designed several of my own pieces, so I feel like I have a really good eye for color and clarity.  My stone was exactly what I expected it to be.  Not to mention, I know lot of people who got GIA certified stones online who were very disappointed in their stones, and I’ve seen articles that talk about how IGI is improved greatly from the past.  So they may have been too loose before, but I don’t believe they are now.

Post # 10
Member
513 posts
Busy bee

Definitely GIA ExExEx at a minimum (and the parameters for truly top performing diamonds are further limited within ExExEx) or AGS 000 (and for AGS I would go up in color since they *may* be a bit loose on color grading).  All other labs grade loosely in comparison, as noted by others, and diamonds graded by other labs may even be treated or enhanced, rendering them much less valuable and more likely to have durability issues.  I wouldn’t consider a diamond graded by any other lab besides GIA or AGS unless it was for some random, inexpensive piece of jewelry with no sentimental value and it was a huge savings (but based on what I’ve seen, the cost savings isn’t even a significant amount).  So IMO, totally worth it.  

Post # 11
Member
7454 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

I would only buy AGS or GIA. They cost more because you can trust them  (though double check the cut from GIA). Sometimes other labs are accurate but sometimes they aren’t. And jewelers will often send lower quality stones to other labs knowing they will likely get a generous rating. Not worth the risk. 

Post # 12
Member
576 posts
Busy bee

GIA doesn’t grade lab diamonds, so if you have a lab diamond, the grading report will come from IGI. If you have a natural diamond, just know that every lab would grade it slightly differently. It doesn’t mean any of them are scamming you, it’s just rare that they would all agree on every aspect of diamond cut, color, and clarity.

Post # 13
Member
513 posts
Busy bee

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cypresstree85 :  GIA does grade lab diamonds.  Their reports on lab diamonds are currently more general and not as detailed as their mined diamond reports, but my understanding is that is changing in the next few months and their lab diamond reports will include more detail.

https://www.gia.edu/gem-lab-service/synthetic-diamond

Post # 14
Member
9479 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

My engagement ring’s Tiffany graded, which is considered more or less equivalent with AGS/GIA. I also If I were in the market for a new diamond, I’d stick with those certs.

That said, I have my mother’s loose diamond which has no paperwork whatsoever. All I know is the carat weight (1.13, she only remembers because 13 is her lucky number) and that it’s about 6.6mm because a jeweler measured it when I went in looking for a setting. I’m super curious what its color/clarity specs are, but not curious enough to pay for any certification, so I’ll just enjoy it for what it is 🙂

Post # 15
Member
576 posts
Busy bee

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vestedbee :  Ah, that’s interesting. At the time I got my lab diamond (about 8 months ago), it was only IGI. In any case, I’ve never noticed any issues.

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