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GIA and GSA - Differ?

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Meraj

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 7, 2003
Messages
73
What is the difference between GIA and AGS? Is one better than the other?
 

optimized

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 28, 2002
Messages
306
Hi Meraj,

Your question is a pretty common one among new members to the forums. I'll see if I can give a brief rundown...

First of all, it's safe to say that GIA and AGS have the two most highly respected labs in the US. In fact, they were both started by the same man, Robert Shipley (GIA in 1931 and AGS in 1934). Though currently unaffiliated with each other, throughout their histories both organizations have had impacts on the world of gemology and they both continue to conduct research and set policies that help shape the industry. While their organizations' missions are slightly different, the net result for consumers is that both organizations help assure the stability and trustworthiness of the gemstone and jewelry industries.

Today, both organizations are considered to have impeccable standards and are considered "trustworthy" in their grading of diamonds and gemstones, but they each have slightly different strengths. As "the final word" in matters of diamonds and gemology, GIA ranks as the single greatest authority in the world today. When the GIA takes a stand on something or makes a statement, the industry listens. The GIA established the first definitive diamond grading system, and virtually all systems of grading diamonds that are in use today are either directly based on the GIA systems (color D-Z, clarity F-I3, etc.) or at least acknowledge their equivalences to the GIA scales.

The AGS enjoys quite a nice reputation as well, and is certainly a respected body within the world of gemology. While younger than the GIA by a few years, AGS standards are generally considered no less stringent and their reports are trusted by the industry right alongside GIA documents. While they have taken some steps that the GIA has thus far eschewed (such as developing cut grades that they include on their reports), these practices are not universally appreciated within the industry. While "AGS 0" stones (the best grade) are typically quite stunning, many professionals here also note that it's possible to find diamonds within the AGS 0 parameters that are not what we would really consider "ideal cut." That shouldn't dissuade anyone from trusting AGS reports, but perhaps should make one consider the individual angles and proportions for themselves rather than relying on the AGS rating alone.

Which segues nicely into perhaps the greatest factor that currently sets AGS documents apart from their GIA counterparts (and makes them quite popular with many of the "cut geeks" here on Pricescope), which is their forward-thinking inclusion of more detailed proportion information than GIA documents provide. While GIA documents include basic proportion information such as overall dimensions, table percentage, total depth percentage and culet size, AGS documents go a step further by providing a diagram that includes crown/pavilion angles and crown/pavilion percentages. This information can be quite useful in pre-screening diamonds before seeing them in person, and AGS documents come through on that count.

In the end, I think you'll find that documents from either of these venerable institutions are confidently trusted by almost anyone within the industry. Many a respected professional around here will recommend choosing a diamond with either GIA or AGS reports and will do so without doubts. That is perhaps the greatest endorsement we could ask for.

You may want to take a few minutes to check out their respective websites. As far as websites go, the GIA site is far more informative, but both have information that may be of interest to you.





-Tim

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Meraj

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 7, 2003
Messages
73
Wow, thank you for the detailed info. It was very informative. I'll go to the sites you mentioned and read some more.
 
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