Diamond Grading Report
Some vendors send a diamond to 2 or 3 different labs then sell the stone with the report that makes it cost the most. However the ‘market’ prices labs too, e.g. a diamond with a GIA report usually sells for more than one with the same reported grade from EGL. On-line listings show this. But if you are shopping in stores you should factor in the lower prices these ‘soft report’ diamonds often trade at.
See Pricescope Grading Survey
GIA grading reports are the most common listed on the web (about 3/4’s of all listings)
AGS Diamond Quality reports are popular with Pricescoper’s buying ‘unseen’ because that lab has a better cut grade system for rounds and a few other shapes.
IGI is the biggest lab by quantity. Most IGI graded stones are sold in stores.
EGL is also a big lab and was a global franchise until the slightly stricter American EGL split away. Currently EGL is going through a controversy with RapNet. Click here to read more on “RapNet to Stop Listing EGL Grading Reports”
HRD is a respected Belgian institution in Antwerp – a big trading center for rough and polished diamonds. HRD reports are more common in Europe and Asia.
Grading reports include these features below (the bold ones are in the Quick and Easy tutorial):
A unique report number
Some labs offer perspex sealed reports which helps stop mix-ups but limits testing and viewing options.
There are hundreds of smaller and specialty labs, and independent appraisal services. Some provide useful extra information as a comfort or ‘point of sale’ support in addition to a report from one of the major labs above. There are far too many to list, but here are some examples.
Some stores, like Tiffany & Co. operate their own labs, or have other labs brand their grading reports. IGI and others provide a service like this for branded cuts.
GIA Diamond Grading Report (2006-Present).
Click & mouse over for a cool demo
IGI and EGL are like large statewide universities.
GIA is Ivy League, and AGS is like the MIT rocket-science program.
A polisher or manufacturer sends each diamond (student) to the place it will get the best grade (earn more $).
The good to average go to the large universities (IGI/EGL).
The better ones are sent to the Ivy League (GIA / HRD) and a few nerds go to MIT (AGS).
Drop outs end up in a ‘program’ at a chain store or Joe’s Bar & Grading Lab.
This fun analogy underplays complex factors such as a cutters specialty and client base and a dealers target market.