A note about diamond lab reports that everyone should be aware of.

When you are shopping for a piece of diamond jewelry, the lab report which grades the quality of your diamond is an important document that helps you understand what you are buying. Among other uses, diamond lab reports from a reliable gemological lab also act as a security screen against treated and synthetic diamonds.

Diamond Lab reports are what drive the price. What you may not know is that all diamond grades are subjective opinions. Diamonds are graded by human eyes and therefore subject to human error. Also, No lab can accurately identify the origin of colored gemstones or diamonds to a legal standard.

A diamond sent to two different labs could come back with different grades.

modern brilliant cut diamond

Further, not all labs are created equal.

It is useful to understand the differences between the various major gemological institutes. You see, different lab have different standards and some labs outside the US are not as rigid in their training. As a result, a report from one institute may show different results from a report issued by another lab for the same diamond.

The four major gemological labs in the world are GIA, AGS, EGL, and IGI.  Alphabet soup.

GIA or Gemological Institute of America is the leading gemological lab in the world. It is the industry’s most trusted and most widely used service because it has the highest grading standards and consistency.

AGS – American Gemological Society is renowned for its scientific approach and research into diamond cut grading.  Also, AGS is known for its ethical standards and consistency in its grading system.

EGL – European Gemological Laboratory is known for pioneering diamond grading techniques for stones weighing less than a carat. It is known for the introduction of the ‘SI3’ clarity rating for diamonds.

IGI – International Gemological Institute is based in Antwerp, Belgium, and after GIA, is the 2nd most well-known lab in the world. It has locations in New York, LA and throughout Europe and Asia.

What does all this mean to you?

First, know your source. Work with a jeweler you trust and examine the stone you plan to buy carefully under the microscope, unset. Does your jeweler agree with the lab report? You will remove all stress of buying a diamond by working with a local jeweler (preferably one who does the work them selves onsite) and educating yourself about diamond grading.

Nine times out of ten buying a diamond online is NOT actually a better deal. Be sure you are comparing apples to apples.

Do not rely on a lab report alone when choosing a diamond!