Tell Us More

Share a bit more information with us
to finalize your Free Quote request.

You are looking for information regarding:

2 to 10+ carat
Round Diamond
Country
United States Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Chinese Taipei Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d'Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic East Timor Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea Korea, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea (South) Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People's Democratic Republic Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palestinian Territory, Occupied Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Republic of China Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Serbia and Montenegro Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Minor Outlying Islands Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe

May 2008

With the profit margins on GIA-certified stones being further squeezed between the price list and certificates, some dealers are going to other labs for grading. Sometimes they will send the same diamond to a few labs and see where they get the “best” deal.

Unfortunately, most other labs do not have the same high standards as GIA. Yet most consumers are not aware of this. They don’t know that the standards for grading nomenclature is not universal. (They have tried to standardize them and it’s never worked.) They don’t know that one diamond can have three different certificates.

And that’s the problem. By watering down the standards, and calling an I an H, and a highly included stone “slightly included,” the consumer is getting the bad end of stick. It is like calling a peso a dollar. There’s nothing wrong with a peso. It is just not a dollar. People must know what they are getting.

Labs protect themselves by putting legal language on the back of their documents. The GIA’s report says: “This Report is not a guarantee, valuation or appraisal and GIA Laboratory has made no representation or warranty regarding this Report.” The AGS report has similar language, and the EGL report says: “Since diamond grading is not an exact science, this report represents only the best professional opinion of this company. EGL is in no case responsible for differences which could occur by repeated expertise and/or use of other standards, norms, methods, or criteria other than chosen by EGL.”

That legal language is put there for the protection of the lab. But most consumers don’t read what the legal warnings on the back on the reports, as they don’t read most other kinds of “fine print.”

Because the consumer doesn’t know these differences, they are vulnerable to phony “deals.” The price difference between grades can be as much as 30 to 45%. Yet diamonds with very “generous” certificates are regularly sold on places like ebay and online, and consumers buy them sight unseen. And many are, quite frankly, not getting what they paid for. We are not saying the GIA is infallible (see the story on page six.) Or that people shouldn’t use other labs. But the disparity in the labs proves the limits of the so-called “commoditization” of diamonds.

When even the big grading labs say diamond grading is not an exact science, it is clear that diamonds that cannot be traded and bought sight unseen. There are limits to buying and selling by grades of numbers and letters.

We predict, in this tough economy, there will be more people opting for non-GIA-certed stones, just as they will likely start opting for non-branded diamonds.

But the consumer must be made aware, and has a right to know, whether or not the seller has examined the stone before it is sent to them, and whether the stone meets the minimum standards of color and clarity.

The consumer that just buys with a click of a mouse based on a piece of paper without the advice of a trained professional with years in the business is getting a the kind of bargain that can best be called “fool’s gold.” Only by having the diamond examined by a trained experienced expert can the consumer know they are truly getting what they paid for.

Related Articles

New Diamond engagement ring for Michelle Obama?
Blog Archive

New Diamond engagement ring for Michelle Obama?

Lesedi La Rona cut, first 60 gems unveiled
Blog Archive

Lesedi La Rona cut, first 60 gems unveiled

Blue diamond prices rise above pink and yellow diamonds
Blog Archive

Blue diamond prices rise above pink and yellow diamonds

WhatsApp chat