Before purchasing a diamond, it is important to ensure it has been certified by a credible gemological organisation. Both the Gemological Institute of America and the European Gemological Laboratory are credible organisations known worldwide for grading and certifying diamonds. Both organisations offer similar diamond certification reports; however, there are a few differences between the organisations when it comes to diamond value and grading standards.
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The GIA in a non-profit institute, established in 1931. The purpose of the GIA is to protect purchasers of gemstones through education and research and determine the quality of diamonds through certification. The GIA is an international organisation with world headquarters located in Carlsbad, California.
The EGL is an international company that also focuses on gemstone certification, education and research. The company is privately owned and was originally founded as part of an international network in Europe in 1974. The EGL USA division was founded in 1977 with locations in New York, California and Canada.
The GIA diamond report grades shape, measurements, weight, depth percentage, table percentage, girdle thickness, cutlet size, polish, symmetry, clarity grade, colour grade, fluorescence, internal and external inclusions and adds comments about the diamond.
The EGL diamond report offers a more detailed report grading all of the above, plus the crown angle and pavilion angle of a diamond.
The EGL is regarded by some jewellers as offering more lenient grading standards, while the GIA is regarded as offering more strict grading standards when reporting the quality of diamonds. In other words, while the GIA tends to give borderline diamonds lower grades, the EGL tends to give borderline diamonds higher grades.
Because jewellers consider the EGL to have less strict grading standards than the GIA, diamonds graded by the EGL are typically valued somewhat lower than diamonds graded by the GIA and can usually be purchased at a lower cost. For instance, a diamond with an EGL certification that has the same exact clarity, cut and colour as a diamond with a GIA certification, will typically be less expensive.
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