Gemological Lab Certifications

GIA Versus HRD, IGL, EGL, IGI

When you are shopping for a piece of diamond jewelry, the grading report is an important document that helps you understand what you are buying. Among other uses, a grading report (certificate) from a reliable gemological lab also acts as a security screen against treated and synthetic diamonds.

Thanks to a series of tests and scientific analysis performed on the diamond during the grading process, it is possible for gemologists to detect the presence of artificial treatments in color or clarity. In short, a grading report not only provides you with a scientific blueprint of the diamond’s properties and characteristics, it also attests to the diamond’s authenticity.

Not all laboratories are created equal. For a consumer, the most important thing is for you to understand the differences between the various gemological institutes. You see, each lab uses its own grading system and nomenclature. As a result, a report from one institute may have shown different results from a report issued by another lab for the same diamond.

Let’s examine the differences between 6 of the most major gemological labs in the world – GIA, AGS, IGL, EGL, IGI and HRD.

GIA, the Gemological Institute of America, is the leading gemological laboratory in the world. It is the industry’s most trusted and most widely used service. Headquartered in Carlsbad, California, GIA has offices in many cities around the world, employing more than 1400 scientists, educators and certified diamond graders.

Besides gem grading and certification, GIA also provides educational services and carries out intensive research work to keep up with fast changing technologies in the gemological field.

Typically, clarity and color grades of EGL/IGL/IGI/HRD diamonds are off by at least 1 rating if the same diamond was to be graded by GIA or AGS instead. For example, a diamond graded to be G color by IGL/HRD might probably be graded as an H color by GIA/AGS. The same goes for diamond clarity grading.

Its not right to say "purchase a GIA certified only", because every diamond is unique and some diamonds are better to other diamonds with the same color/clarity grade, for example an SI1 clarity diamond can be closer to the SI2 but still got an SI1 rating, and another SI1 clarity diamond is closer to the VS2 but it got an SI1 clarity grade, both got an SI1 clarity by GIA but one is significantly better than the other one, in those cases many diamond dealers send the better ones to the one of the top 3 gemological laboratories (after the GIA/AGS): EGL, IGL, IGI, HRD in order to get a VS2 clarity grade (an example, for the diamond mentioned above).

When it comes to the high clarity ones VS+ I agree, but when it comes to the lower clarity diamonds I think that buying a diamond with a certificate by one of the top 6 gemological laboratories is good as long as you are aware of the grading difference and paying a lower price compared to a similar stone certified by GIA. When you are purchasing a diamond certified by one of the top 4 gemological laboratories after GIA and AGS it should be because on of the following reasons:

1. You would like to make the diamond more appealing to your woman.

2. You would like to get the biggest diamond for your budget,  the good diamonds that would get an I1 clarity grade by the GIA you usually won't find them with a GIA certificate because the diamond dealers will get certified by either IGI, HRD, IGL or EGL in order to get an SI2 clarity grade, because these diamonds are usually better looking than most of the I1 clarity diamonds and its simply not fair to give them an I1 with such a great look in the naked eye, for these type of diamonds that are not good enough to be graded at SI2 by the GIA but giving them an I1 would not be fair, the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) invented the SI3 clarity in their certificates but most diamond dealers/jewelers prefer to get an SI2 for these type of diamonds by one of the top gemological laboratories after the GIA/AGS: IGI, HRD, IGL and EGL So when you are buying a diamond that is certified by one of the gemological laboratories mentioned above, make sure you are understanding the difference in grading and make sure that you are paying the right price for the diamond(lower price compared to a similar stone certified by GIA)  as a result you are getting an incredible value for your money, the biggest diamond for your budget that looks beautiful in the naked eye in order to make your future wife happy which is the most important, and she can tell to who ever ask that its an SI2 clarity instead of saying an I1 (if it was graded by GIA) so basically we are getting those diamonds certified by IGL,EGL, IGI, HRD in order to make it more appealing for your future wife (some jewelers doing it in order to get more money for it so if you are buying elsewhere – make sure you are paying the right price! When you are buying at benzdiamonds.com you can rest assure that you are buying it at the lowest price as all of our diamonds are under our "Best price guarantee") but we, Benz Diamonds, selling it at the same price as if it was graded at I1 by GIA and usually even at a lower price, first because we are diamond manufacturers so we are capable to sell the diamonds at lower prices than a retail store because we sell the loose diamonds to the retail stores and they are selling to you, the consumers, second for us it doesn't matter if we sell it as an I1 GIA or SI2 (IGL,HRD,IGI,EGL)we are just helping our customers to make their purchases more appealing for the wives in order to make your wives happy and we're honored to be a part of such a big moment in your life.