In addition to diamond certifications, the EGL also issues a condensed report on a diamond known as a consultation. In this document, only the carat weight, color grade, clarity grade and a plotting diagram is recorded. The difference between the consultation and the certification is that it does not have depth percentage, table percentage, polish and symmetry or fluorescence grades.
Many EGL certifications are accompanied by an appraisal prepared by Universal Gemological Services (UGS), an affiliate of EGL-USA. We find the appraised value on these UGS documents to be greatly inflated which explains why they are used as a marketing tool by many jewelry stores. If the “appraised value” of the diamond is shown as double what it should be, it leaves room for the retail store to inflate its price and still have it come under the inflated “appraised value.” Since most insurance companies require an appraisal for a finished piece of jewelry and not a loose diamond, these diamond appraisals are of little value to the consumer but a great marketing ploy for the retail jewelry store.
EGL Certified Diamonds wholesale at as much as 20% less than similar clarity & color AGS or GIA certified Diamonds. This reflects the diamond industry’s perception that the EGL certification does not equal the standards, accuracy and reliability of the AGS or GIA certifications. Sometimes this price difference can be utilized to find a diamond prices below its actual quality but generally the owner of the diamond recognizes the true quality of the diamond and prices it accordingly.
Diamond grading is not a science: it is a subjective skill. A recent study compared the certifications for diamonds sent to the GIA, AGS and EGL-USA laboratories. The certifications done by the EGL were found to be stricter than the GIA in clarity 35% of the time and only more generous than the GIA in 6% of the stones. For color, the EGL was stricter than the GIA in 6% of the stones and more generous in 71% of the stones.
Advice: While some of the EGL certifications are accurate with regard to measurements and clarity compared to GIA grades, we find EGL color grading often is more generous than it would be at the GIA. In other words, an EGL stone grade H color would generally be graded I color by the GIA. Some types of EGL certifications can be off up to 4 color grades. It just points out why our personal inspection is so important for every diamond, regardless of the certification.