By Erika Winters
Yesterday we published a news roundup outlining the recent bans of European Gemological Laboratory diamond grading reports from two major trading networks, RapNet and Polygon. RapNet has banned grading reports from all EGL branches, and Polygon has banned reports from EGL International only.
Read more about the bans: EGL Diamond Grading Report Bans: News Roundup
As Pricescope is an active diamond-education community with both consumer and trade members, we want to know what you think about the EGL report bans.
Ultimately, the onus of representing loose diamonds accurately is on the vendors who sell them. Diamond grading reports–often referred to as “certificates” or “certs”–communicate a diamond’s attributes, such as carat weight, color, clarity, and cut. But when different grading labs use different standards to assess a diamond’s characteristics, and the prices of these diamonds are subsequently affected, consumer confidence, which is the ultimate goal in this industry, goes down.
This is the issue with EGL reports. And the complaints are consistent–consistent enough for two major trading networks to ban the reports. EGL uses terminology established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), but their grades are often considered much more lenient than GIA’s. EGL USA has a better reputation than EGL International. (The labs are different, though they both use the “EGL” name. And there are other EGL-named labs internationally, which just adds to the confusion about the grading consistency.)
If you are new to laboratory diamond grading, it’s a subjective and nuanced evaluation of a diamond’s characteristics. Thousands of diamonds are graded at these labs every day, and while graders are highly trained, they are human and subject to human error.
On the Pricescope forums, we’ve seen hundreds of discussions on EGL grading vs. other labs. A common comment is that EGL USA is “ok,” while EGL International (formerly called EGL Israel) gets lower marks. And generally, Pricescope posters are comparing EGL grading with GIA or AGS Laboratory grading.
The recent bans, which come after a local news station in Nashville, Tennessee, ran a story exposing a jeweler that sold diamonds of “exaggerated quality” with accompanying EGL International reports, have us wondering what our community thinks of the bans. So please cast your vote in this poll and weigh in with your comments. We want to hear from you. For the purposes of this poll, we are focusing on EGL USA and EGL International.