Posted on April 07 2016
Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local Lead Generation and we’re here with Sheetal Gupta of Maharani Jewels in Vancouver, a premier jewelry provider. How are you doing today Sheetal?
Sheetal: I’m doing really well thank you so much Mark.
Mark: So we’re going to talk about the difference between GIA and EGL certification. What’s the difference and why would somebody care?
Sheetal: Thank you so much Mark for asking, I’m extremely passionate about this topic because I think it’s incredibly important that clients understand the differences between GIA and EGL certified diamonds before they invest in a diamond. So GIA stands for the Gemological Institute of America. It is the worldwide authority when it comes to diamond grading, so they’re the most reputable and the most recognized primarily for two reasons.
Firstly, they have the strictest grading standards and second, they are the most consistent in their grading. So you’ll rarely come across a GIA certified diamond that is not true to its grade, and in terms of consistency, if you were to submit a diamond into any one of GIA’s branches, the diamond would always come back as the same grade. If you submit a diamond into GIA Tokyo, GIA New York, GIA Hong Kong, the grade will always remain the same.
With regards to EGL, EGL is no where near close to being as reputable or as recognized and that’s because they have very low grading standards and they’re not at all consistent in their grading. So if you were to submit a diamond into EGL USA and submit that exact same diamond into EGL Israel the diamond would come back as a completely different grade. And the reason for this is because EGL USA and EGL Israel are actually independently owned and most clients never know that so it gets very very confusing as you’re not comparing apples to apples. So before we get into a little bit more detail as to what the discrepancies are between GIA and EGL, I want to talk a little bit more about what a certified diamond or a diamond certificate actually is.
So lets say you’re in the market for an engagement ring and your girlfriend hints at you that she would like a one carat round diamond. So you start doing your research and immediately you realize that the pricing for one carat diamonds are all over the map. You could buy a one carat diamond for a $1,000, you could buy a one carat diamond for $10,000, you could even buy a one carat diamond for $20,000. So what’s the difference between these? Many years ago, GIA created something called the four C’s of diamond grading. The four C’s stand for carat, colour, clarity and cut and combined, the four C’s help people better understand what diamond quality is. So a diamond certificate is like the blueprint of your diamond. It includes the four C’s, it also includes other information like the measurements of the diamond, the date that the report was printed, whether the diamond has fluorescents or not, it also has a little plot that will actually include the clarity characteristics of your diamond and no two certificates are the same because each certificate has to do with your particular diamond. Now GIA and EGL have very similar documents and are recording the same information on this document, but the difference is in their interpretation and their assessment of those grades. So let’s say you had a one carat diamond that GIA graded as a J colour, SI1 clarity, that same diamond at EGL USA would be a one carat H colour, VS1 clarity, EGL Israel it could be an F colour, VVS clarity. So do you see what a huge range there are for that same diamond? Like what a huge difference in quality there is and that’s just because of their differences in their interpretation.
When customers are out shopping and they come across a one carat diamond that is EGL certified that an F, VVS2 and they try to comparison shop with a GIA diamond of the same quality, well the pricing is going to be completely different because you’re not comparing apples to apples. So of course, for me, I have a problem with EGL in the way that they misrepresent diamond quality, but I think the bigger problem I have is with jeweller’s who are not taking the responsibility of educating their clients about these differences. For example, just at the end of 2014, EGL was actually taken to court and there are several lawsuits against it because of their misrepresentation of diamond quality and a lot of their labs are being shut down right now, they’re actually in the process of shutting down and I think that’s very relevant information to share with customers when they are investing in a diamond.
I find that purchasing a diamond is such magical moment. I mean, it takes a diamond hundreds of millions of years to produce just under the right amount of heat and pressure and purchasing a diamond, clients should be focused more on what that diamond symbolizes and what that diamond means for their future and shouldn’t have to be worried about being misinformed by their jeweller’s or being scammed or ripped off. And that’s why I think that it’s my responsibility as a jeweller to be very open and transparent about diamond quality and to be able to use my expertise and share that with my customers by stating the facts as well. Thank you so much Mark for allowing me to talk about this.
Mark: So, I just want to ask one question. So the reason that this certification even exists is because by I, someone who isn’t trained, would have no idea - two diamonds could be completely different in certification will look pretty much exactly the same is that right?
Sheetal: That’s right because I mean, it takes several years to be able to gain the expertise that will help you differentiate between one diamond quality and the other diamond quality. So customers are really relying on professionals, on their jeweller, to be able to help differentiate between these qualities. So when you have a piece of paper often as a customer you start relying on that paper for being truthful. So when it’s not truthful, that’s where all the confusion starts.
Mark: Great, so if you want to buy a diamond from someone you can trust, someone who is an award winning jeweller, a certified gemologist and the owner of Maharani Jewels in Vancouver go to maharanijewels.com or give her a call 604-727-0149 and Sheetal will be happy to help you. Thanks Sheetal
Sheetal: Thank you so much.
Visit www.maharanijewels.com for diamond education and information on jewelry Vancouver.