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Diamond Grading Process at AGSL: New Series by Bryan Boyne

coati

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Bryan Boyne discusses the consumer benefits of laboratory graded diamonds in this first installment of a new series written in collaboration with the American Gem Society Laboratories.

Part One: Laboratory Graded Diamonds – What are the benefits for the consumer?

In the internet age consumers expect to know the details of their purchases more intimately, especially the significant ones. In-depth and comprehensive information is more accessible to the consumer today than ever before. Informed diamond shoppers understand that certain characteristics that might not be obvious to the casual shopper may in fact be significant in terms of value and performance. These factors are revealed in high quality laboratory reports. Moreover, laboratory grading provides expert, unbiased, third-party evaluation that is not vested in the sale of the diamond.
Thanks to Bryan Boyne and Alethea Inns, C.G., Director of Diamond Grading at AGSL, for their contributions.

**Stay tuned for the next installments, which will be linked in this thread, as Bryan explains the diamond grading process at AGSL.
 

Karl_K

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Re: Consumer Benefits of Lab Graded Diamonds by Bryan Boyne

I would have liked to have seen the following covered:

A Lab report is the OPINION of trained diamond grader(s), grading according to the standards of that lab.
There are no legally defined grading standards that labs are required to grade to.
This leads to labs having different standards for the same grade than another lab.
GIA and AGSL are considered the most accurate and consistent labs and grade to similar standards.
However they do make errors in their opinions at times.

1 grade difference in OPINION in any category is considered to be acceptable as a difference in opinion even in the best labs and diamond graders using the same standards.
Then you have labs using different standards which can be 4 or more grades off on color and clarity comparing to GIA/AGLS grading for the same grade.
 

Karl_K

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Re: Consumer Benefits of Lab Graded Diamonds by Bryan Boyne

"hi-tech synthetics of today are difficult to conclusively identify even by most jewelers and gemologists. Definitive tests can only be performed at laboratories with highly sophisticated and expensive equipment and specially trained gemologists who can read and interpret the data from these tests. "

There are many tools for this hitting the market after the latest scare one is expected to cost $200 and be available soon.
How well it works and how easy it will be to use has not been determined.

This likely came out while the article was being edited and reviewed so at the time it was likely accurate.
 

Christina...

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Re: Consumer Benefits of Lab Graded Diamonds by Bryan Boyne

Karl_K|1340306571|3221198 said:
I would have liked to have seen the following covered:

A Lab report is the OPINION of trained diamond grader(s), grading according to the standards of that lab.
There are no legally defined grading standards that labs are required to grade to.
This leads to labs having different standards for the same grade than another lab.
GIA and AGSL are considered the most accurate and consistent labs and grade to similar standards.
However they do make errors in their opinions at times.

1 grade difference in OPINION in any category is considered to be acceptable as a difference in opinion even in the best labs and diamond graders using the same standards.
Then you have labs using different standards which can be 4 or more grades off on color and clarity comparing to GIA/AGLS grading for the same grade.

Super important point. I'm glad you pointed this out for those who may be confused by this. Thanks Karl!
 

coati

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Re: Consumer Benefits of Lab Graded Diamonds by Bryan Boyne

Karl_K|1340306895|3221205 said:
"hi-tech synthetics of today are difficult to conclusively identify even by most jewelers and gemologists. Definitive tests can only be performed at laboratories with highly sophisticated and expensive equipment and specially trained gemologists who can read and interpret the data from these tests. "

There are many tools for this hitting the market after the latest scare one is expected to cost $200 and be available soon.
How well it works and how easy it will be to use has not been determined.

This likely came out while the article was being edited and reviewed so at the time it was likely accurate.
re--the bolded. Bingo. Especially if you are talking about the $199 DiamaPen developed by Diamond Services Ltd. HK.

From the press release:

The DiamaPen employs the 405 nm wavelength for the operation of its laser beam. J. Kuzi, owner and CEO of EGL Asia who tested the DiamaPen, said that due to the high-power output of the laser beam, anyone handling the laser pen will need to wear special safety glasses.

"We have conducted a series of tests both on synthetic diamonds produced by means of the classic HPHT methods, as well as on CVD diamonds produced by Gemesis," Kuzi said "The detection of fancy yellow synthetics is the easiest and fastest job for the DiamaPen. The procedure takes a bit longer for colorless CVD synthetics, but in all cases the testing results are consistent and highly satisfactory. While this new device is not a replacement for a full-scale identification run in a gemological laboratory, it is and will be an important tool for those working in the diamond industry and trade," Kuzi concluded.

Until there are more developments with handheld synthetic detectors, the labs provide the most thorough methods of detection.
 

Texas Leaguer

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Re: Consumer Benefits of Lab Graded Diamonds by Bryan Boyne

Karl,
Valid points to be sure. Just to let you know, this first article is obviously very basic and is primarily aimed at new visitors to the forum. We are producing a series that will get into greater detail about specific functions and procedures at the lab. As the series expands it should become more interesting to the more seasoned consumers. We hope that even pro-sumers will learn a few things from some of them!

As an outgrowth of the articles discussion can take place that can go in many directions, and the ideas and opinions in those discussions will be helpful to the community by helping to illuminate issues related to the subject matter.

Thanks for tuning in!
 

Christina...

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Re: Consumer Benefits of Lab Graded Diamonds by Bryan Boyne

I think it's a great idea. There was talk not too long ago about the need for a sticky that answered a lot of the questions that get asked over and over again on RT, this sounds like it will be a great one to be able link for other newbies. Thanks Bryan! =)
 

Texas Leaguer

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Re: Consumer Benefits of Lab Graded Diamonds by Bryan Boyne

Thanks for the encouragement Christina. We are going to try to make it helpful and useful to a broad range of forum visitors. I can say that despite having been in the business for 35 years, I am learning quite a few things in this process. So, I would think some others might too!
 

Modified Brilliant

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Re: Consumer Benefits of Lab Graded Diamonds by Bryan Boyne

Good start for this new series in collaboration with AGS.

Important information for newbies and a refresher for oldies.

Thank you !
 

Texas Leaguer

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Re: Consumer Benefits of Lab Graded Diamonds by Bryan Boyne

Thanks Jeff. It was good to see you at the Pricescope GTG in Las Vegas. I'm sorry we didn't have a chance to visit. Next time!
 

coati

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Re: Consumer Benefits of Lab Graded Diamonds by Bryan Boyne

Join us for Bryan Boyne's 2nd installment of the AGSL diamond grading series.

Part Two: Diamond Laboratory Process- Basic Functions and Procedures

In this article we will discuss take-in procedures and the preliminary tests to validate receipt of a diamond before it enters the grading environment, the ethical need for and process of “anonymizing” the diamond before grading, and the various aspects of grading that will be conducted before a report is issued. Different labs have different practices and we will be focusing specifically on those conducted at the American Gem Society Laboratories. In later installments in the series we will delve more deeply into individual grading practices at the lab.
Thanks to Bryan Boyne and Dennis Mette, Operations Director of AGSL, for their contributions.
 

Karl_K

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Re: Consumer Benefits of Lab Graded Diamonds by Bryan Boyne

This is getting very interesting.
This may be covered in other installments but I have a few questions.
Has AGS done a study of the colorimeter vs the final grade and are they willing to comment on it?
(It is understandable if they can't comment on it)

What happens if the graders disagree on a grade?

AGS in my opinion is the best lab for grading fancies, do they give their graders training on grading fancies?

I think that many people would like to read what it takes to be a grader for AGS and what their job is like.
Requirements for being hired, continuing education, vision tests, what a typical day is like, etc.

Thanks!!!
 

Texas Leaguer

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Re: Diamond Grading Process at AGSL: New Series by Bryan Boy

Good questions Karl. I will do my best to address them in the grading installments. AGSL is very forthcoming and interested in illuminating their services and functions for the pricescope community. I think we will all learn many things through the series. As you suggest, there may be areas where they need to be more circumspect and we will have to respect that.

Thanks for your input. It will make things more interesting and lead to areas of exploration down the line that we may otherwise not have visited.
 

Karl_K

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Re: Diamond Grading Process at AGSL: New Series by Bryan Boy

Texas Leaguer|1340820723|3224520 said:
Good questions Karl. I will do my best to address them in the grading installments. AGSL is very forthcoming and interested in illuminating their services and functions for the pricescope community. I think we will all learn many things through the series. As you suggest, there may be areas where they need to be more circumspect and we will have to respect that.

Thanks for your input. It will make things more interesting and lead to areas of exploration down the line that we may otherwise not have visited.
Thanks!
I think the last part about the graders would be really awesome!
What diamond nut hasn't day dreamed about playing with diamonds all day and getting paid for it? :}
 

Christina...

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Re: Diamond Grading Process at AGSL: New Series by Bryan Boy

Karl_K|1340897238|3225131 said:
Texas Leaguer|1340820723|3224520 said:
Good questions Karl. I will do my best to address them in the grading installments. AGSL is very forthcoming and interested in illuminating their services and functions for the pricescope community. I think we will all learn many things through the series. As you suggest, there may be areas where they need to be more circumspect and we will have to respect that.

Thanks for your input. It will make things more interesting and lead to areas of exploration down the line that we may otherwise not have visited.
Thanks!
I think the last part about the graders would be really awesome!
What diamond nut hasn't day dreamed about playing with diamonds all day and getting paid for it? :}
...and do they offer apprenticeships, because, I'll look at diamonds all day for free! :naughty:
 

coati

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Re: Consumer Benefits of Lab Graded Diamonds by Bryan Boyne

Learn about diamond color grading in Bryan Boyne's third installment of the AGSL series.

Part Three: AGS Laboratories - Color Grading of Diamonds

A diamond’s color (or lack thereof) is a critical aspect in determining its market value. Grading the color is therefore a crucial part of the laboratory certification process. The following article will illuminate the various steps and considerations in performing color grading at the AGSL.
Thanks to Bryan Boyne and Alethea Inns, C.G., Director of Diamond Grading at AGSL.
 

Karl_K

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Re: Diamond Grading Process at AGSL: New Series by Bryan Boy

kewl!
The information that they are trained to grade fancies is interesting and one question I had above.

One question I have is what is done if 2 graders disagree on a grade?
 

Karl_K

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Re: Diamond Grading Process at AGSL: New Series by Bryan Boy

This is something consumers need to know so I am quoting it here to draw attention to it:
"Given the number of variables that must be controlled for, it is generally understood that there is a gemological tolerance of one color grade possible between even the top labs such as GIA and AGSL."

This is often stated that one grade difference between 2 graders is considered an acceptable difference of opinion by the trade.
 

oryan_dunn

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Re: Diamond Grading Process at AGSL: New Series by Bryan Boy

Is this series done, or are more articles planned? They're very interesting, and they seem to elude that more articles would show up, but it's been a while now.
 

coati

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Re: Diamond Grading Process at AGSL: New Series by Bryan Boy

oryan_dunn|1352156223|3299364 said:
Is this series done, or are more articles planned? They're very interesting, and they seem to elude that more articles would show up, but it's been a while now.
The next article is in progress and should be published in the near future. Thanks for your patience.
 

Texas Leaguer

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Re: Diamond Grading Process at AGSL: New Series by Bryan Boy

Apologies for the delay. The next article, which is in progress, is on clarity grading. I believe the article will be informative and probably stimulate some discussion. I know I have learned some things and gained new insights into some of the challenges in this aspect of diamond grading. Look for it to be posted over the next week.
 

coati

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Re: Consumer Benefits of Lab Graded Diamonds by Bryan Boyne

Check out the fourth installment on diamond clarity grading at AGSL.

Part Four: AGS Laboratories - Clarity Grading of Diamonds

Diamond clarity grading involves assessing how readily visible the inclusions are in a diamond and accounting for an extensive list of potential variables including the size, number, type, location, and relief of its inclusions. At the American Gem Society Laboratories (AGSL), clarity grading begins once color grading is completed.
 

Karl_K

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Re: Diamond Grading Process at AGSL: New Series by Bryan Boy

Thank you for answering my question:
"Clarity grading at the AGSL is always performed by at least two graders. Disagreement between graders will escalate the review to a senior grader. Large stones are graded by at least three graders. "

More later.
 

Karl_K

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Re: Diamond Grading Process at AGSL: New Series by Bryan Boy

Clarity grading is a practiced skill. Graders are typically trained for 3 months before being put into provisionary production. They are watched carefully for another 3 months before they are considered preliminary graders or “prelims”. At AGSL skills assessment is done on a case-by-case basis. On average it takes a grader about a year to become proficient and an additional year to really develop the necessary speed and confidence. Very gifted graders can develop their ability in a year or less, and are usually promoted to “double” fairly quickly.
“prelims” and double are not defined.
Will this be covered in later installments?
 

Texas Leaguer

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Re: Diamond Grading Process at AGSL: New Series by Bryan Boy

Karl_K|1357853117|3352451 said:
Clarity grading is a practiced skill. Graders are typically trained for 3 months before being put into provisionary production. They are watched carefully for another 3 months before they are considered preliminary graders or “prelims”. At AGSL skills assessment is done on a case-by-case basis. On average it takes a grader about a year to become proficient and an additional year to really develop the necessary speed and confidence. Very gifted graders can develop their ability in a year or less, and are usually promoted to “double” fairly quickly.
“prelims” and double are not defined.
Will this be covered in later installments?
Karl,
Thanks for the question. Alethea puts it this way:

A “prelim” is a Preliminary Grader – the first person to grade the stone. A “double” is a Double Check Grader, or the second person to look at the stone and verify the Preliminary Grader’s work.
 

Karl_K

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Re: Diamond Grading Process at AGSL: New Series by Bryan Boy

Texas Leaguer|1357926664|3353134 said:
Karl,
Thanks for the question. Alethea puts it this way:

A “prelim” is a Preliminary Grader – the first person to grade the stone. A “double” is a Double Check Grader, or the second person to look at the stone and verify the Preliminary Grader’s work.
Thanks!!!!
 

coati

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Re: Diamond Grading Process at AGSL: New Series by Bryan Boy

Hi all,

We just published Bryan Boyne's next installment on diamond grading at AGS Laboratories.

AGS Laboratories - Diamond Cut Grading: The Princess Cut

*The following article provides an overview of the American Gem Society Laboratories approach to cut grading of princess diamonds, and was written in collaboration with the AGSL. Special thanks to Peter Yantzer in providing information and insight, Rachel Stark for providing graphics, and to Alethea Inns and Jason Quick for their encouragement and support.

This article will focus on the particular issues involved in light performance grading specific to princess cut diamonds. We will delve more deeply into the underpinnings of the AGS light performance based cut grading system and the round brilliant in a future article. For a look at the peer reviewed science behind the AGS system that was years in the making you can refer to the landmark study which appeared in 2007 in the journal Optical Engineering, entitled “Evaluation of Brilliance, Fire, and Scintillation in Round Brilliant Gemstones." Foundational work on the project was published in Optics and Photonics News in April of 2003 entitled “The Optical Design of Gemstones."
Special thanks to Bryan Boyne and AGSL for this contribution to the Pricescope Journal.
 

Tekate

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Re: Diamond Grading Process at AGSL: New Series by Bryan Boy

This is a great article.. I am not a fan of princess, just preference, but my sister in law is a princessnut.. so I sent the pointer to her.. thank you so much for taking the time to do this.

:clap: :clap:
 

Texas Leaguer

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Re: Diamond Grading Process at AGSL: New Series by Bryan Boy

Tekate|1409316585|3741295 said:
This is a great article.. I am not a fan of princess, just preference, but my sister in law is a princessnut.. so I sent the pointer to her.. thank you so much for taking the time to do this.

:clap: :clap:
Thank you for the compliment Tekate, and thank you for passing the link on. I hope your sister in law finds the info useful.
 

MelisendeDiamonds

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Re: Diamond Grading Process at AGSL: New Series by Bryan Boy

Texas Leaguer|1409321925|3741376 said:
Tekate|1409316585|3741295 said:
This is a great article.. I am not a fan of princess, just preference, but my sister in law is a princessnut.. so I sent the pointer to her.. thank you so much for taking the time to do this.

:clap: :clap:
Thank you for the compliment Tekate, and thank you for passing the link on. I hope your sister in law finds the info useful.
I have to echo what Tekate said Bryan well done article, you are raising the bar for the level of technical detail and explanations for a pricescope article. It is one of the best I have read in quite a while.

I would however kindly request that you add references and footnotes to the article. I would like to know the sources of the information, whether they be private communications with senior lab members, published work from AGSL or work done by Whiteflash I think it is prudent to cite your sources in each paragraph and the figures it lends credibility.

In any case well done submission I thank you it was very informative.
 
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