But the best diamonds nearly always are GIA. As nonsensical as it sounds, the two are not mutually exclusive. Let’s say a lucky miner finds a huge, D colored diamond. They source the absolute best cutter to polish the rough into a jaw dropping diamond (or several). Then that diamond goes off to an ultra luxury jeweler, or straight to one of the big auction houses for sale. You can bet the hammer price of that diamond that it’s got a GIA certificate. Why? Because when you’re dealing with perfection, you want the be all end all of diamond graders stating with certainty and authority that it is, in fact, perfect. And that’s why a Type II-A D-Flawless diamond almost always has a GIA certificate.
On the other hand though, just because a diamond has a GIA certificate, doesn’t make it great. Rather, it means it has an honest and reputable certificate with grades that accurately reflect its characteristics. For example, let’s look at these two fancy colored diamonds…
One is EGL certified, still a very reputable grading lab, but not quite as consistent as GIA. Can you guess which one? hint: it’s the fabulous one. This 2.62 carat yellow diamond engagement ring is a gorgeous Fancy Light – Fancy Yellow color, and SI1 in clarity, as stated by its EGL report.
The pendant, on the other hand, is certified by GIA as I2 in clarity and Fancy Yellow in color. Clearly (includedly?), its cloudy internal characteristics detract from the beauty of its rich color. It’s still a pretty diamond for a pendant, or earrings but it might not make the most ideal center stone for an engagement ring.
So, what does a GIA certificate mean? It means that you are getting precisely what you’re paying for (as long as your jeweler is reputable and gives you a fair price). GIA is renowned for its expert grading labs and gemologists like Richard, our on-staff GG. EGL is probably the next most reputable lab, and the diamonds they certify certainly aren’t any less beautiful than GIA’s. It’s just that GIA is more universally accepted as fact – a diamond sent to GIA in NYC will get the same grade as it would in California. EGL isn’t always as consistent.
This post is a perfect example of how being well-versed in smart diamond buying can save you money. In this example, the EGL stone is clearly the prettier diamond, but its certificate shaves down the price – a GIA certificate with the same grades would make this ring more valuable and therefore more expensive.