The Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
Headquartered in New York, the GIA was established in 1931 as a non-profit educational resource for the gem and jewelry industry.
The Institute aims to provide the industry and the public with an independent, objective opinion regarding the quality of the diamond and as an unbiased arbitrator of standards in diamond grading to secure the public’s trust.
Every stone submitted for certification is meticulously checked by numerous professionals to ensure maximum accuracy and grading consistency for client protection.
GIA was responsible for developing the first internationally accepted Diamond Grading System with unbiased opinions of the quality of polished diamonds by applying uniform criteria to their grading.
It also introduced the first diamond report in setting the standard for diamond quality documentation around the world.
Types of certificates issued by the GIA
GIA Diamond Grading Report
Documents the carat weight, clarity, color, polishing and symmetry (and for Round Brilliant cuts, a cut grade) grade of diamonds, as well as its exact measurements.
GIA Diamond Dossier
Issued for diamonds weighing less than 1 carat.
GIA Colored Diamond Identification and Origin Report
Describes color grade and color origin (i.e. natural or treated) of colored diamonds of any size. A full-color image may also be requested as an additional service.
The American Gem Society (AGS)
Found in 1934 by GIA founder Robert M. Shipley, the AGS is a trade association of retail jewelers, independent appraisers, suppliers, and selective industry members.
Members are held to a high code of ethics with an emphasis on consumer protection and education.
The Society is based in Las Vegas, Nevada, along with the affiliated American Gem Society Laboratories (AGSL) (founded in 1996) and the American Gem Society Advanced Instruments Division (founded in 2004).
The Society trains and certifies jewelers, gemologists, and jewelry appraisers.
Diamond grading is the specialty of the American Gem Society Laboratories, and the Society has developed its cut, color, and clarity standards.
Types of certificates issued by the AGS
AGSL Diamond Quality Document
A document is evaluating the color, clarity, carat weight, and cut of a diamond, including a detailed diagram plotting the diamond’s proportions and illustrating any present inclusions.
AGSL Diamond Quality Report
A report detailing the cut, color, clarity, and carat weight of diamonds in both AGS and GIA terminology.
The Diamond High Council – Hoge Raad Voor Diamante (HRD)
Founded in 1976 to meet the growing demand for reliable diamond certificates, the HRD is a non-profit organization at the service of the Belgian diamond trade and industry.
Since its foundation in 1976, the HRD Certificates Laboratory has expanded into one of the largest diamond certification labs in the world.
It maintains an excellent reputation for both quality and objectivity.
Each diamond is examined independently by several experts with very sophisticated machinery, such as spectrophotometers, Dia-Mention systems, and cathode luminescence apparatus to ensure a high level of reliability.
Types of certificates issued by the HRD
HRD Diamond Certificate
A certificate detailing the shape, measurements, carat weight, clarity, fluorescence, color, and finish grades of a diamond as well as a plotted diagram.
HRD Diamond Identification Report
A simpler version of the diamond certificate detailing the same characteristics as above but without a plotted diagram.
HRD Diamond Color Certificate
A certificate is outlining the color description, origin, and luminescence of fancy colored stones.
The International Gemological Institute (IGI)
One of the leading gemological institutions in the world, the IGI was established in 1975 in Antwerp, with a sister laboratory in New York, and has since become the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute renowned for its quality services, extensive experience and expertise.
What originally began with just three staff members has expanded to over 250 professionals dedicated to an exceptional standard of excellence in Antwerp, New York, Bangkok, Mumbai, and Tokyo.
The IGI issues more than 400,000 reports per year.
Thousands of jewelers, retail stores, insurance companies, internet sales organizations, catalog companies, accounting and securities firms, and consumers rely on the IGI reports.
International Gemological Information, a division of IGI, was established in New York in 1981, as a source for unbiased appraisals of gems and jewelry.
Like its parent company, IGI Information is independent of all commercial sales organizations and does not trade in diamonds or precious stones.
Therefore IGI Information can provide objective and accurate appraisals and identification reports, alongside appraisal updates and estimates in case of damage.
Types of certificates issued by IGI
IGI Diamond Report
A detailed analysis of the stone's characteristics, including carat weight, color, clarity, polish and symmetry, and proportions. A diamond diagram with plotted clarity characteristics is also included.
IGI Diamond ID
A passport-sized document that contains the same detailed information as the Diamond Report, without the plotted diagram. This report is also available in a more compact credit card size.
IGI Hearts and Arrows Diamond Report
A report rating optical symmetry.
The European Gemological Laboratory United States of America (EGL USA)
The EGL USA is owned and governed by a different entity to other EGLs and is one of the world’s premier independent gemological labs.
It has been offering services to the excellent jewelry trade and consumers for over 25 years.
The EGL USA group is comprised of four North American labs based in New York, Los Angeles, Vancouver, and Toronto.
Types of certificates offered by the EGL USA
EGL USA Diamond Certificate
A certificate evaluating the color, clarity, carat weight, and cut of a diamond, includes a detailed diagram plotting the diamond’s proportions and illustrating any present inclusions.
EGL USA Diamond Analysis Report
A cut grade certificate issued for round stones only.
EGL USA Colored Diamond Analysis Report
This is exclusive to EGL USA and is the most popular document for colored diamonds.
EGL USA Colored Diamond Origin Report
A comprehensive document outlining the details and origins of colored diamonds.
EGL USA Colored Diamond Analysis Report
A more compact version of the Diamond Certificate, created especially for the trade.
The European Gemological Laboratory (EGL)
Founded over thirty years ago in Belgium, the EGL is committed to protecting the integrity of the jewelry trade and fuelling public interest through applied science, education, innovation, and exceptional services.
The EGL has an international presence with laboratories based in Antwerp (1973), Johannesburg (1980), London (1981), Paris (1981), Tel Aviv (1982), Istanbul (1990), Seoul (1990), Mumbai (2003) and Cape Town (2007).
It is sometimes referred to therefore as 'EGL Worldwide' or 'EGL International': The same standards apply to all these labs but differ from EGL USA.
The EGL is accredited with introducing new approaches to diamond grading, the practice of certifying diamonds measuring less than one carat in weight, and establishing the 'SI3' diamond clarity designation.
Types of certificates offered by the EGL
The EGL Diamond Certificate Report
A certificate is evaluating the color, clarity, carat weight, and cut of a diamond, including a detailed diagram plotting the diamond’s proportions and illustrating any present inclusions.
EGL Mini Certificate
A more compact version of the Diamond Certificate Report.
The most compact of EGL certificates, this details the information as in other EGL certificates on a credit card type of document.