We are committed to providing our customers with quality diamonds at exceptional value. Washington Diamond does not recommend or sell EGL-certified diamonds. EGL standards are less consistent and do not accurately denote diamond characteristics to our standards.
Instead, we offer GIA-certified loose diamonds which are graded with the strictest standards and greatest accuracy of any gem lab. GIA-certified diamonds offer a better total value to consumers because they are graded more accurately, allowing you to make an informed comparison and select the best true value.
WHAT DO GRADING LABORATORIES DO?
Gem laboratories are independent authorities that produce grading reports for individual diamonds or gemstones. Their report helps dealers and consumers assess quality differences within a framework that is standardized, recognized, and respected.
Gem laboratories try to produce a grading report that is scientific in nature (describing weights and measurements), but some aspects of their work involve subjective assessments. Their subjective assessment of color, clarity, and cut is where EGL-certified diamonds vary the most from GIA-certified diamonds.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EGL AND GIA CERTIFICATIONS?
EGL stands for the European Gemological Laboratory. There are now two parts. EGL USA is based in New York with labs in New York, Los Angeles, Vancouver, and Toronto. EGL International is based in Israel. The two organizations have some friction between each other. The EGL USA has legal proceedings against EGL International. Although we feel EGL USA offers a more accurate grading report than EGL International, we don't feel that either are your best choice for accuracy or value. We cannot recall an incident where the customer did better by buying an EGL-graded diamond instead of a diamond graded by GIA.
The Gemological Institute of America. GIA, is the world's foremost authority on diamond and gemstone grading. Most labs use the same grading nomenclature for color and clarity and other characteristics but differ in what each grade represents. An SI1 clarity diamond as graded by EGL may look quite a bit worse than an SI1 clarity diamond graded by GIA, for example. Getting a lab report is better than an ungraded diamond, however we feel that for identification, retention of value, accuracy and peace of mind, GIA is the best.
HOW DO EGL AND GIA-CERTIFIED DIAMONDS DIFFER?
There is a general impression in our industry that EGL-certified diamonds do not compare favorably with GIA-certified diamonds and on average look worse than the stated quality. Our testing has demonstrated to our satisfaction that this general impression is valid.
We will not offer our customers EGL-certified diamonds for this reason. Sometimes, EGL-certified diamonds with the same stated color and clarity grades as GIA certified diamonds are sold at a lower price because they would in fact receive lower grades on the GIA scale.