In the American Diamond Market, most diamond grading certificates are from one of three laboratories; the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the American Gemological Society (AGSL or AGS), or the International Gemological Institute (IGI). Though in 2022, AGSL merged with GIA, and as such, AGS is no longer offering new grading services.
Several other laboratories offer diamond grading, though with less renown in the US. Some examples of other diamond grading certifications that you may see are the Gem Certification & Assurance Lab (GCAL), Hoge Raad voor Diamant (HRD Antwerp), Gemological Science International (GSI), and European Grading Laboratories (EGL), among others.
At PriceScope, it is important to us that our members are informed and prepared to make the most educated decisions when buying and collecting diamonds.
In this article, we will be reviewing the EGL diamond grading reports.
Want to shop for diamonds with confidence? Join us at PriceScope for reliable, in-depth, and accurate diamond grading information. You can make an informed decision and buy the right diamond at the right price.
The History of EGL
Founded in 1974 in Belgium, The European Grading Laboratories (EGL) claims to be the world’s largest independent network of gemological laboratories. European Grading Laboratories (EGL) has created several regionally based networks that can provide their certification. EGL India, EGL South Africa, EGL Platinum (Isreal), EGL Korea, EGL USA, and potentially more.
EGL Color Grading
There are many claims from diamond experts that EGL grades color too generously. Accuracy is vital in diamond grading, and the belief that EGL is grading inaccurately diminishes faith in EGL certifications.
EGL Cut Grading
As noted with diamond color grading, EGL has scored diamond cut too generously. When listing a diamond as an Ideal Cut, the value diminishes if it only rates as Good with GIA. You may pay less for the diamond, but it could be an inferior stone.
Pay to Play
There is an unfortunate element of pay-to-play occurring with EGL grading. After a diamond is reviewed, the diamond dealers are shown the grade; if they don’t like it, they are not required to pay for the certificate. This practice incentivizes an erroneously high-quality report.
Help narrow your search for round diamonds only based on potential light return, fire, scintillation, and spread based on the round proportion specifications from a grading report using Holloway Cut Advisor (HCA) tool.
EGL Grading Controversy
Due to the unreliability of the certification process, RapNet (the gold standard in diamond grading) banned diamonds that solely carry an EGL certificate. In addition, the US branch of EGL attempted to get non-US EGL certificates prohibited by the US Bureau of Customs and Border Protection.
Diamond Shopping with Confidence
Due to the earlier listed issues, we cannot suggest buying diamonds with only EGL certificates. We cannot claim to know if your grading experience would mirror those that proved to be inaccurate. Other labs have proven more consistent, and we encourage you to use a lab you can trust.
GIA Certified Diamonds at PriceScope
AGS Certified Diamonds at PriceScope
IGI Certified Diamonds at PriceScope
Do you want to learn more about diamond cut quality, color grading, and other significant factors that determine a diamond's value? Join PriceScope to access our expert-guided forums, articles, and discussions.