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Is Any Certificate Better than No Certificate ?

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Equator

Rough_Rock
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Hi ! I am just curious... Provided that the stone in question doesn''t seem to raise any red flags (i.e. blobs of carbon on a vs1 that we can see without a loupe), is a certificate by any (even unheard of) labs better than stones that have no certificate at all ?

TIA
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 3/14/2009 4:50:49 AM
Author:Equator
Hi ! I am just curious... Provided that the stone in question doesn't seem to raise any red flags (i.e. blobs of carbon on a vs1 that we can see without a loupe), is a certificate by any (even unheard of) labs better than stones that have no certificate at all ?

TIA
I don't think so, if a diamond is graded by an obscure lab and the resultant grading is deemed wildly inaccurate by an independant expert then that report is little use IMO. In which case I would consider an ungraded diamond by a trusted expert if they stated the colour and clarity and the other aspects were what I wanted and was paying for - IF I was absolutely sure I would not want to ever try to sell or trade in the diamond, without a good grading report it is next to impossible.

However this is a very unlikely scenario for me as I always look for diamonds with a reliable grading report.
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
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The purpose of the lab exam is so that you can know some facts about the stone on which to base a decision. A report from a lab, well known or not, that is inconsistent or unreliable doesn’t provide this. ‘Some guy said it’s a VS2’ is not helpful information any more than that ‘some guy said it’s worth $10,000,000’. To the extent that writing it on a piece of paper and calling it ‘certified’ encourages you to rely on this opinion as somehow meaningful, makes it worth less than zero. If it''s laminated you can''t even recycle the paper.


Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

MissGotRocks

Super_Ideal_Rock
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12,620
Think of it as a report card. Everyone gets one but not everyone''s is something to rave about. It''s what the cert contains that''s more important than just having a one!
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
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6,441
Never trust all certiiiificates as being equal. However, many certifiactes have some degree of credibility and international standing. A cert from HRD is a good example of a credible document. It is not identical to GIUA, but is not a problematic report for many of us. EGL-USA has made great strides in becoming more GIA-like in recent times, but a lab can''t be more stringent than GIA or it will suffer economic disaster. One can''t simply duplicate GIA or AGS results as they are a bit subjective. GCAL, now back under Don Palmieri''s leadership, is anothe example of a smaller lab with great credibility potential.

Any cert has to be examined individually for accuracy and credibility. Mistakes are made even at the highest levels. Of course, there are lunatic fringe labs too which deserve nothing but the worst comments. So, be careful.
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 3/14/2009 8:10:55 AM
Author: denverappraiser
The purpose of the lab exam is so that you can know some facts about the stone on which to base a decision. A report from a lab, well known or not, that is inconsistent or unreliable doesn’t provide this. ‘Some guy said it’s a VS2’ is not helpful information any more than that ‘some guy said it’s worth $10,000,000’. To the extent that writing it on a piece of paper and calling it ‘certified’ encourages you to rely on this opinion as somehow meaningful, makes it worth less than zero. If it''s laminated you can''t even recycle the paper.


Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

Modified Brilliant

Brilliant_Rock
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Date: 3/14/2009 9:34:07 AM
Author: oldminer
Never trust all certiiiificates as being equal. However, many certifiactes have some degree of credibility and international standing. A cert from HRD is a good example of a credible document. It is not identical to GIUA, but is not a problematic report for many of us. EGL-USA has made great strides in becoming more GIA-like in recent times, but a lab can't be more stringent than GIA or it will suffer economic disaster. One can't simply duplicate GIA or AGS results as they are a bit subjective. GCAL, now back under Don Palmieri's leadership, is anothe example of a smaller lab with great credibility potential.

Any cert has to be examined individually for accuracy and credibility. Mistakes are made even at the highest levels. Of course, there are lunatic fringe labs too which deserve nothing but the worst comments. So, be careful.
Great term!
I've got a file folder full of those documents which were created on another planet (the lunatic fringe planet).

www.metrojewelryappraisers.com
 

purrfectpear

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2008
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4,079
Is any diploma better than no diploma?

The answer would be no, right? You really can''t compare a diploma from an accredited univerity to a diploma "mill" that just prints out their own paper.

Same thing IMO.
 

Equator

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
97
Thanks for the responses, experts.... I guess in this day and age, just about anyone can make their own website and print out a card.


What about what someone mentioned as a third tier, and second tier labs ?
 

AmicusDye

Rough_Rock
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Jan 24, 2009
Messages
15
Grading reports are an interesting topic because its a little more complicated than most people think it is.

For instance, most people believe GIA is the gold standard. In fact, it's pretty universally accepted it is. When you read someone state that a diamond "is graded as a G, but really its an H," they are usually saying that if the GIA had graded it, it would have been an "H." This is because the GIA has essentially determined the parameters for color and clarity, and everyone else is a good or bad mimic of their approach. As you might guess, under this paradigm, that means the GIA is always right...a pretty good gig if you're the GIA.

With that said, AGSL is also considered a very strong lab, meaning they are generally viewed as being as stringent and as consistent as GIA. Additionally, they have carved out a niche for being extremely adroit at judging cut. Diamonds sent to get an AGS report are often some of the best cut...if the stone gets the AGS000 grade (which now means ideal cut, ideal symmetry, and ideal polish), it carries a premium on the market. Of the large labs, these two are considered king.

An exmaple of a secondary lab would be EGL-USA. They are considered "secondary" because they are not generally considered as strict, or as consistent, especially when it comes to color and clarity. This does not mean that it does not get good stones to grade, it does get its share of beautiful stones. But you have to understand their market position....(Okay, here comes and opinion)....the nice folks at EGL-USA are caught in a tough position, they know the GIA standard, but they are also aware that the stones they grade come at a discount to GIA. So, if they toughen up their standards too much/too soon, they won't get the business they used to because the people selling the stones would rather get the same grade from GIA or AGS and sell it for more. Therefor (...here comes another opinion), if you decide to buy an EGL-USA stone, its a pretty good guess that the grade on color and clarity will be 1-2 grades better in those categories than it would be if it had gone to GIA or AGS. Based on that, run the numbers and find out if you are still getting a good deal. In some cases you still are, in others, you won't.

Tertiary labs are usually considered EGL and IGI. Most people think they are a banana republics with monkeys on the bench. Fair? Probably not, but that is the general perception.

In the end, it comes down to authority. If you believe the grading report you have is right, well then, bully for you. Most people don't think about this until they take it to their local PS-approved independant appraiser and get a different grade then what the cert says. At that point, they have to decide which "authority" they beleive in more. This happens because there is no governmental body that has created a clear set of standards for grading to be enforced by the FTC. If there were, things would be much easier for consumers, but don't expect that anytime soon. BTW, if there were, it would hurt the GIA because the "the standards" would be universal, not theirs.

Okay, i'm going to get off the soap box....
 
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