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GIA vs IGI (my Robbins Brothers experience)

jtrend

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2015
Messages
19
I just bought a diamond engagement ring from Robbins Brothers, which only carries IGI certificates. Before you go bashing, I would like to just clarify the "GIA vs IGI" debate to anyone who is confused about it. This comes after hours and hours of online researching and phone calls.

#1: It depends where you shop

Yes, Robbins Brother's only sells IGI diamonds. However, they have a very selective filter; Their built in policy requires them to reject 9 out of 10 diamonds, so what you see in their store is the top 10% of the equally-graded selection. If it is indeed true that GIA diamonds are better than IGI, then the diamonds you buy from Robbins Brothers are very very very close, if not as good or maybe even better than the GIA equivalent. Very few mall stores or large chains go through this rigorous selection process. In those cases, you might end up with the "bottom of the barrel" type of selection and indeed an IGI diamond might look inferior to GIA, where an IGA grade is 1, 2, or 3 below the GIA grade. When people say that IGI is not as good as GIA/AGS, they are forgetting that it depends where you shop.


#2: There is no actual proof
Other than the reputation that GIA carries and what everyone seems to say online, including "professionals," there is no actual proof that GIA diamonds look better than IGI with the same specs. Yes, the IGI grades at a higher volume but they also have wayyy more labs around the world than GIA, so of course they're going to go through more volume. Just because something is mass produced does not make it an inferior. Just as equally, just because something is done on a smaller scale doesn't make it any better.

Finally, try to find a picture of 2 diamonds online with the same specs, one graded by IGI and the other by GIA. You really can't...


#3: It doesn't matter anyway!
Holding a GIA certificate in your hand might be more important if you're planning to sell the diamond eventually (again, only because people *think* they're worth more), but in most cases, you or your loved one never will sell it. So for that reason, debating between GIA vs IGI is of no practical value. A diamond should be shine brilliantly and look clear. If you choose a diamond that does this, then IGI or GIA just doesn't matter anyway.

More on Robbins Brothers:
Overall, my experience at Robbins Brothers was great. The store manager spent 5 hours working with me finding exactly what I wanted. They have a complete lounge and diamond laboratory in their store. Not pushy at all. The diamond was well worth it even if I didn't get a great "deal." (And let's face it, who does get a good deal on a diamond anyway? Nobody really...) I would never buy from online like Blue Nile simply because you don't know what you're getting, who you're dealing with. Paying the price for a brick and mortar store is well worth it. Please let me know if you have any questions, thanks for reading!
 

LLJsmom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
12,242
You sound very positive that you had a great experience with a brick and mortar store. That is awesome for you. It also sounds like you love your stone. Congratulations! (I'm not gonna touch the GIA and IGI comparison.)
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
23,878
HI:

Except fortheemboldedlargefontgigwhichotherwisewouldreadlikearunonsentence..you "sound" very happy.

Enjoy your ring. Or did you buy a cert?

cheers--Sharon
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
31,792
jtrend|1448328133|3953356 said:
I just bought a diamond engagement ring from Robbins Brothers, which only carries IGI certificates. Before you go bashing, I would like to just clarify the "GIA vs IGI" debate to anyone who is confused about it. This comes after hours and hours of online researching and phone calls.

#1: It depends where you shop

Yes, Robbins Brother's only sells IGI diamonds. However, they have a very selective filter; Their built in policy requires them to reject 9 out of 10 diamonds, so what you see in their store is the top 10% of the equally-graded selection. If it is indeed true that GIA diamonds are better than IGI, then the diamonds you buy from Robbins Brothers are very very very close, if not as good or maybe even better than the GIA equivalent. Very few mall stores or large chains go through this rigorous selection process. In those cases, you might end up with the "bottom of the barrel" type of selection and indeed an IGI diamond might look inferior to GIA, where an IGA grade is 1, 2, or 3 below the GIA grade. When people say that IGI is not as good as GIA/AGS, they are forgetting that it depends where you shop.


#2: There is no actual proof
Other than the reputation that GIA carries and what everyone seems to say online, including "professionals," there is no actual proof that GIA diamonds look better than IGI with the same specs. Yes, the IGI grades at a higher volume but they also have wayyy more labs around the world than GIA, so of course they're going to go through more volume. Just because something is mass produced does not make it an inferior. Just as equally, just because something is done on a smaller scale doesn't make it any better.

Finally, try to find a picture of 2 diamonds online with the same specs, one graded by IGI and the other by GIA. You really can't...


#3: It doesn't matter anyway!
Holding a GIA certificate in your hand might be more important if you're planning to sell the diamond eventually (again, only because people *think* they're worth more), but in most cases, you or your loved one never will sell it. So for that reason, debating between GIA vs IGI is of no practical value. A diamond should be shine brilliantly and look clear. If you choose a diamond that does this, then IGI or GIA just doesn't matter anyway.

More on Robbins Brothers:
Overall, my experience at Robbins Brothers was great. The store manager spent 5 hours working with me finding exactly what I wanted. They have a complete lounge and diamond laboratory in their store. Not pushy at all. The diamond was well worth it even if I didn't get a great "deal." (And let's face it, who does get a good deal on a diamond anyway? Nobody really...) I would never buy from online like Blue Nile simply because you don't know what you're getting, who you're dealing with. Paying the price for a brick and mortar store is well worth it. Please let me know if you have any questions, thanks for reading!

There are no words ... just ...



Or ...

screen_shot_2015-11-23_at_5.png

screen_shot_2015-11-23_at_0.png
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
33,852
jtrend|1448328133|3953356 said:
More on Robbins Brothers:
Overall, my experience at Robbins Brothers was great. The store manager spent 5 hours working with me finding exactly what I wanted. They have a complete lounge and diamond laboratory in their store. Not pushy at all. The diamond was well worth it even if I didn't get a great "deal." (And let's face it, who does get a good deal on a diamond anyway? Nobody really...) I would never buy from online like Blue Nile simply because you don't know what you're getting, who you're dealing with. Paying the price for a brick and mortar store is well worth it. Please let me know if you have any questions, thanks for reading!
If your IGI stone is equal to GIA then the stone would have gone to GIA lab in the first place... :rolleyes: :wall:
 

motownmama

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 9, 2008
Messages
8,110
Well...... a chain B&M is a choice, and you are obviously comfortable with that.
To suggest one can't get an awesome product online from a trustworthy vendor, with FULL and complete knowledge of what you're getting sounds ridiculous, and frankly antiquated.
That being said, buying an ER is an exciting experience, and it sounds like it played out really well for you. That's terrific. I'd love to see a picture of your ring and congratulations on getting engaged - will it happen for the holidays?
 

gregchang35

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
3,406
Congratulations on your E ring.

Enjoy it. Would love to see pics of it, as we all do.

disclaimer: You already know what kind of a crowd that you are dealing with and those are the comments that i would assume that you knew you were going to get.

Be that as it may buying and getting that E ring is an awesome experience. ENJOY the fruits of your research.
 

sharonyanddave

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 27, 2015
Messages
78
jtrend|1448328133|3953356 said:
I just bought a diamond engagement ring from Robbins Brothers, which only carries IGI certificates. Before you go bashing, I would like to just clarify the "GIA vs IGI" debate to anyone who is confused about it. This comes after hours and hours of online researching and phone calls.

#1: It depends where you shop

Yes, Robbins Brother's only sells IGI diamonds. However, they have a very selective filter; Their built in policy requires them to reject 9 out of 10 diamonds, so what you see in their store is the top 10% of the equally-graded selection. If it is indeed true that GIA diamonds are better than IGI, then the diamonds you buy from Robbins Brothers are very very very close, if not as good or maybe even better than the GIA equivalent. Very few mall stores or large chains go through this rigorous selection process. In those cases, you might end up with the "bottom of the barrel" type of selection and indeed an IGI diamond might look inferior to GIA, where an IGA grade is 1, 2, or 3 below the GIA grade. When people say that IGI is not as good as GIA/AGS, they are forgetting that it depends where you shop.


#2: There is no actual proof
Other than the reputation that GIA carries and what everyone seems to say online, including "professionals," there is no actual proof that GIA diamonds look better than IGI with the same specs. Yes, the IGI grades at a higher volume but they also have wayyy more labs around the world than GIA, so of course they're going to go through more volume. Just because something is mass produced does not make it an inferior. Just as equally, just because something is done on a smaller scale doesn't make it any better.

Finally, try to find a picture of 2 diamonds online with the same specs, one graded by IGI and the other by GIA. You really can't...


#3: It doesn't matter anyway!
Holding a GIA certificate in your hand might be more important if you're planning to sell the diamond eventually (again, only because people *think* they're worth more), but in most cases, you or your loved one never will sell it. So for that reason, debating between GIA vs IGI is of no practical value. A diamond should be shine brilliantly and look clear. If you choose a diamond that does this, then IGI or GIA just doesn't matter anyway.

More on Robbins Brothers:
Overall, my experience at Robbins Brothers was great. The store manager spent 5 hours working with me finding exactly what I wanted. They have a complete lounge and diamond laboratory in their store. Not pushy at all. The diamond was well worth it even if I didn't get a great "deal." (And let's face it, who does get a good deal on a diamond anyway? Nobody really...) I would never buy from online like Blue Nile simply because you don't know what you're getting, who you're dealing with. Paying the price for a brick and mortar store is well worth it. Please let me know if you have any questions, thanks for reading!

Well there is a sucker born everyday and you are validating your purchase so hard I doubt it matters what anyone says to you. I highly doubt the thought would cross your mind to have your diamond graded by GIAL and then see what you would have paid for the same specs online.

Best case you paid a fair price for what you bought, but that is highly unlikely given you bought at Robbins Brothers based on an IGI report. It has nothing to do with the visual beauty of the diamond, the grading paper just sets the price(mostly based on rarity) not the beauty of any given diamond.
 

sonnyjane

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
2,476
Highly doubt Jtrend is a legitimate poster... Conserve your typing strength :)
 

ChristineRose

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
926
Please consider doing the following:

Post pics of your stone.

Post your IGI certificate.

Post your receipt--block out any personal info of course!

Send your diamond to GIA. Fee schedule here.. It's about $100.

It will take some time to get it back.

You'll be out $100. Of course you may want to talk to Robbins Brothers about why you had to pay $100 of YOUR money to get the information you now have.

On the other hand, maybe you've just confirmed that IGI vs. GIA doesn't matter. Maybe Pricescopers can donate a couple of bucks each to cover your cost in thanks for the education. Note sure about the forum rules here.
 

sharonyanddave

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 27, 2015
Messages
78
ChristineRose|1448380607|3953569 said:
Please consider doing the following:

Post pics of your stone.

Post your IGI certificate.

Post your receipt--block out any personal info of course!

Send your diamond to GIA. Fee schedule here.. It's about $100.

It will take some time to get it back.

You'll be out $100. Of course you may want to talk to Robbins Brothers about why you had to pay $100 of YOUR money to get the information you now have.

On the other hand, maybe you've just confirmed that IGI vs. GIA doesn't matter. Maybe Pricescopers can donate a couple of bucks each to cover your cost in thanks for the education. Note sure about the forum rules here.

Like me you are genuinely interested in this topic, It would seem from past testing by Garry H depending on which IGI lab they can be on par with GIA or a bit softer and it is inconsistent.

But don't feed the troll this thread should be closed.
 

ChristineRose

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
926
sharonyanddave|1448382516|3953580 said:
Like me you are genuinely interested in this topic, It would seem from past testing by Garry H depending on which IGI lab they can be on par with GIA or a bit softer and it is inconsistent.

But don't feed the troll this thread should be closed.

I think the survey you are thinking of may be this one: https://www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamond-grading/survey-method

It was done in 2004 and did not use IGI.

Rapaport did a more recent survey and found the IGI certs were pretty close. But they didn't send IGI large quantities of lower-end stones, which is the reality of IGI.

My impression is that IGI is not really dishonest in the way EGL is/was, but that most of their certs weren't even comparable to the GIA certs. They do finished jewelry for example, and lab diamonds. For high color/clarity stones, the IGI certs are pretty close, but nobody sends their best stones to IGI. Hence in the situation described by the OP--buying a lovely but less than flawless/colorless stone from a mall jeweler--IGI is throwing money away.

There's certainly something to be said for buying in person and not over the net, but the chain jewelers are not the way to go about it. It's sort of like buying a Kia from someone who's telling you it's a Ford and comparing the prices to a Mercedes--except that you can make a good case that the real word difference between the Ford and the Mercedes is too small to measure.
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
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Messages
9,052
Diamonds do not start out with lab documents. The lab was chosen. By whom and why?
Obviously your jeweler is a big player and them along with their suppliers made a deliberate decision to stock and sell ONLY IGI. They know the issues. These are highly trained and well-connected folks. Why choose IGI? I’ve never managed to get a straight answer to this and it’s always obfuscated. It’s not that they don’t know, it’s that they aren’t saying.

For example. They’re faster. They’re cheaper (a little bit). They’re more agreeable to work with. They have more labs in more places so shipping is a lot less troublesome. They have a greater variety of report formats. All of this is true, but none of it is what people are looking for. GIA branding sells faster and for more money. If those were the differences, IGI wouldn’t have a single customer. Money wins every time.

Here're a few reasons that actually WOULD trump that reasoning to use GIA.

Grade inflation. That gets discussed here a lot so I won’t go into it beyond listing the issue. Grades affect price and yeah, price matters to a lot of people.

Different scales. IGI doesn’t use the same scales even for such fundamental things as clarity and cutting. That’s two of the big 4. Minor things also change like the treatment of fluorescence, GIA’s somewhat goofy definition of Old European cuts, and the IGI scale for hearts and arrows. One of the reasons labs get chosen is because people want to use, or avoid certain scales.

Different methodology. GIA, for example, will not grade a mounted stone. IGI will. There’s something to be said for both positions, but it can make a huge difference.

Less competition. GIA pretty much owns the online shopping category these days. It’s become generic and nearly every jeweler has faced a client holding a GIA report that they downloaded from somewhere and who wants to press for a better price because of it. IGI has much more presence in traditional sorts of stores. Using IGI, or any of an assortment of other brands, helps mitigate this. This is amplified by the variety of different report formats they offer.
 

alamana

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Messages
195
jtrend|1448328133|3953356 said:
(And let's face it, who does get a good deal on a diamond anyway? Nobody really...)

I got a good deal on a gorgeous diamond. Online.
 

PintoBean

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Messages
6,584
Whatever you buy, you should take it to an INDEPENDENT appraiser for evaluation.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
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Is it just my perspective or does jtrend's post sound like an advertisement? His/her only post and it just sounds weird. Apologies if I am wrong but my gut is telling me otherwise. Anyway I would trust GIA over IGI any day.
 

gregchang35

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Joined
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Messages
3,406
missy|1448450946|3953976 said:
Is it just my perspective or does jtrend's post sound like an advertisement? His/her only post and it just sounds weird. Apologies if I am wrong but my gut is telling me otherwise. Anyway I would trust GIA over IGI any day.

Me thinks you could be onto something here....
 

oldminer

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6,643
It is true that all diamond grading documents are opinions recorded on paper after a diamond has been examined. The methodology and expertise of each laboratory is different. The expectations of their customers is often different and the grading scales are usually not identical even if they appear to be so.

All retailers who buy and sell diamonds reject an extremely high percentage of diamonds their buyers are given to examine. 9 out of 10 may be close to the norm for any buyer, not something extraordinary, but it may be true. Maybe only 1 out of 10 IGI reprts is the best they can accept :angryfire:

A strong retailer can make a very good sales pitch that really makes their case. That is neither good or bad. They must make their case in order to sell you what they offer. Their decision to sell IGI graded diamonds might be a response to the on-line sellers offering so many GIA graded diamonds. Such an approach helps to prevent direct comparison of like kinds in a way that a consumer would find extremely difficult to overcome. Not a bad selling strategy if you make it stick. You seem to be one of those who bought the story. If it works for you and you love the diamond, then what else matters? Not much when you are in love and not worried about buying the diamond anymore.

By posting on Pricescope you must have known by the tone and words of your posting that the audience here is sold on GIA and AGS graded diamonds. You won't succeed with any argument on Pricescope about the equality of any other lab reports. For you, IGI was a good choice, but for nearly everyone reading this, there remains a doubt about the GIA grading results of any diamond without a GIA report. You can live with the doubt while the majority here feel they can give thier best trust to AGS or GIA. That's what makes the process very individualistic.
 

Dancing Fire

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missy|1448450946|3953976 said:
Is it just my perspective or does jtrend's post sound like an advertisement? His/her only post and it just sounds weird. Apologies if I am wrong but my gut is telling me otherwise. Anyway I would trust GIA over IGI any day.
This is the wrong forum to advertise Robbins Brother and IGI diamonds... :lol:
 

kenny

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missy|1448450946|3953976 said:
Is it just my perspective or does jtrend's post sound like an advertisement?

It's possible, but I doubt it.
Note the dimwitted 'reasoning' offered in the post.
People running a company cannot be that ... uhm ... IQ-challenged, or have the brain development of the typical 11-year old. :nono:

But the suggestion that the OP is a shill for Robbing Brothers reminds me of that 1985-1992 Coke Classic/New Coke/Coke II debacle.
When Donald Keough, president of The Coca-Cola Company, heard speculation the whole thing was a marketing ploy he offered a brilliant retort:

"The company intentionally changed the formula, hoping consumers would be upset with the company, and demand the original formula to return, which in turn would cause sales to spike.[1] Keough answered this speculation by saying "We're not that dumb, and we're not that smart".[1][59]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Coke
 

AprilBaby

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Enjoy your unknown diamond!
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
33,852
I think the OP ran back to Robbins Brothers to get a refund... :lol:
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
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sonnyjane|1448513526|3954290 said:
Dancing Fire|1448511562|3954281 said:
I think the OP ran back to Robbins Brothers to get a refund... :lol:

You mean a paycheck...
Nahhh, no paycheck for him since this thread did more damage than good... ;))
 
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