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Difference Between EGL and GIA Diamonds

EGL  vs GIA Diamonds

There are many different laboratories that certify the quality of diamonds, but the most popular are the EGL and the GIA. EGL and GIA are two different grading certifications available for certified diamonds.

“GIA” stands for “Gemological Institute of America.” It was established in the year 1913; it is considered a leading laboratory which certifies gems. The staff working at the GIA consists of certified diamond graders, scientists, and educators. They have offices in all the main diamond cities of the world: New York, Moscow, Antwerp, Mumbai, Osaka, Hong King, Gaborone, Carlsbad, etc. The GIA developed the “Four Cs” technique of grading diamonds to the world. This system helped in standardizing the grading technique in the diamond industry. The GIA provides different services like laser inscription, educational services for consumers and diamond professionals, along with the grading service.

At GIA the grading of loose diamonds is done using very strict standards. These standards are consistent throughout all locations. The GIA certifies a diamond by carefully evaluating it by four or more experts.

Once the loose diamonds are sent to GIA labs, it takes almost 6-8 weeks for the diamonds to be returned to the seller. This causes a little bit of a problem for the seller as they have already paid for the diamonds and would like to sell them as soon as possible.
The GIA diamonds sell for 15 per cent to 20 per cent more than EGL diamonds. Some attribute it to the better quality, and some attribute it to simple economics. Because the GIA diamonds come back to the seller after certification in 6-8 weeks of buying them, the seller could have bought 3 more diamonds in that time and sold them making a profit. So when they return from the labs, they are sold for more to recoup the lost money.

“EGL” stands for “European Gemological Laboratory.” It was established in 1974. EGL International and EGL USA have headquarters in cities like: London, Paris, Mumbai, Johannesburg, etc. The EGL labs in the USA are in cities like New York, Los Angeles, etc. EGL is responsible for introducing the “S13” grading system and techniques for grading which includes diamonds less than 1 carat.

EGL standards vary among different locations. It has been seen that EGL USA has stricter standards than EGL International. The rule of thumb differentiating EGL and GIA diamonds is that EGL and GIA diamonds are of equal quality when the diamond is two color grades lower and one clarity grade lower. The advantage of this grading is EGL diamonds graded the same color and clarity are less expensive than GIA diamonds.
When the loose diamonds are sent to the EGL for certification, they are returned to the seller in two weeks’ time.


1.“GIA” stands for “Gemological Institute of America”; “EGL” stands for “European Gemological Laboratory.”
2.GIA was established in the year 1913; EGL was established in 1974.
3.The GIA developed the “Four Cs” technique of grading diamonds; the EGL is responsible for introducing the “S13” grading system.
4.GIA standards are consistent throughout all locations; EGL standards vary among EGL International and EGL USA.
5.GIA diamonds for the same grade certification as EGL are always more expensive.

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