Difference Between EGL and GIA (With Table)

Buying and owning a diamond involves a hefty amount of paperwork to go with it. An important aspect is to get the piece of diamond graded for quality. EGL and GIA are labs that provide certifications for this purpose. Running a diamond through either of the two is a way to ensure that the material is legitimate.

EGL vs GIA

The difference between EGL and GIA is that EGL stands for European Gemological Laboratories which is an independent organization known to be a tad bit lenient when it comes to diamond grading whereas GIA stands for Gemological Institute of America which is an independent non-profit organization known for its strict and rigorous grading criteria.

EGL was established in the year 1974. It is primarily a European network but also has branches in other countries such as EGL India, EGL USA, EGL Israel, and EGL South Africa. However, the grades can vary from lab to lab, as some of them are known to overestimate the quality of a diamond piece in terms of its colour and cut.

Meanwhile, GIA was founded in 1931 and had a fully functional grading system laid out by the year 1953. Even though there are many branches across the world, they are known to function as one unit. Unlike the former, GIA has strict and rigorous grading practices that ensure that the diamond is graded correctly.

Comparison Table Between EGL and GIA

Parameters of ComparisonEGLGIA
Full formEGL stands for European Gemological Laboratories.GIA stands for Gemological Institute of America.
EstablishmentIt was established in 1947.It was founded in 1931 and was functional by 1953.
NatureIt is an independent profit-making organization.It is an independent non-profit organization.
CertificationIt is known to be inconsistent and overestimate diamond quality.It is known to have a strict and rigorous grading system.
Replacement ValueIt always provides customers with information of replacement value.It does not provide customers with information on replacement value.
PricingA diamond with an EGL report does not cost much.A diamond with a GIA report is relatively expensive.

What is EGL?

European Gemological Laboratories (EGL) is a profit-making independent organization that was established in 1974. Since then, many branches of the organization have been opened in different countries across the world. One of the most popular among them is EGL USA, which is known to be relatively rigorous as compared to other branches.

Many reviews on its grading process claim that the lab inflates the grade which results in the customer overestimating the quality of a diamond. Due to this, he gets an overpriced product that is not really up to the standard.

An example of such a case is that when it comes to colour grading, EGL is known to provide a much higher grade as compared to others for the same piece of diamond. If the piece gets a D grade for colour at EGL, the same piece will get an F grade for colour at GIA. The same goes with cut grading, which is often misrepresented.

Regardless, EGL Europe claims that if a diamond dealer is not happy with the grading, he can get a certificate for free. This means that by giving out higher grades, they have more chances of making a profit out of it. The company even issues a quote on the replacement value of the diamond for every customer. However, these certifications do not cost much.

What is GIA?

Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is a non-profit independent organization that was founded in 1931 and was fully functional by 1953. It has several branches across the world which act as one unit. The company is known to issue grading reports that are scientific and unbiased. For this reason, getting a GIA certificate is a great way to test the authenticity of a diamond piece.

The reports that are issued for a diamond by GIA have a detailed description of weight, measurements, colour, and cut. These reports even tell the buyers if the diamond has undergone any kind of treatment. However, unlike EGL, GIA does not provide a quote on the diamond’s replacement value.

It must be noted that GIA does not mine or trade with diamonds. Neither does it deal with its valuation process. The organization steers clear of all commercial interests and solely works on providing diamond quality assessments. Due to this, the cost of getting a certificate is much higher as compared to other organizations.

Regardless, GIA is the world’s most reputable organization in the diamond assessment industry. It is known to have strict and rigorous grading processes that represents the characteristics of the diamond correctly.

Main Differences Between EGL and GIA

  1. EGL stands for European Gemological Laboratories whereas GIA stands for Gemological Institute of America.
  2. EGL was established in 1947 whereas GIA was founded in 1931 and was functional by 1953.
  3. EGL is an independent profit-making organization whereas GIA is an independent non-profit organization.
  4. EGL is known to be inconsistent and overestimate diamond quality whereas GIA is known to have a strict and rigorous grading system.
  5. EGL always provides customers with information on replacement value whereas GIA does not provide customers with information on replacement value.
  6. A diamond with an EGL report does not cost much whereas A diamond with a GIA report is relatively expensive.

Conclusion

EGL and GIA are two different organizations that provide certifications for the authenticity of a diamond. However, they have different assessment processes. While EGL is known to be lenient and overestimate the grade of a diamond, GIA is known to be strict, rigorous, scientific, and unbiased.

It may be in retrospect to this that getting an EGL certificate costs much lesser than getting a GIA certificate. Moreover, a diamond with an EGL certificate is known to cost much lesser than the latter. Regardless, it is always better to get a GIA certificate as it is much more reliable. It helps the customer make an informed purchase.

References

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00036846.2014.884707
  2. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/gjicl46&section=13
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