Guide to Diamond & Gemstone
Certificates & Laboratories
Buying a Certified Diamond or Gemstone?
Here's a guide to help clarify the mess of
Many eBay buyer fall for "Fake", "Home-Made" or "No-Name" type of
Additionally, some gem laboratories are good for diamond grading but are poor
for gemstone grading. Others are mainly for gemstones and a few can actually
grade mounted jewelry as well.
Top Diamond Laboratories:
- GIA, EGL-USA are the 2 most prominent certified laboratories. Both can
grade gemstones as well, but they lack a bit of detail (nothing serious, but
Secondary diamond laboratories:
- EGL Israel, EGL Europe and EGL India (EGL India is the worst I've seen,
the rest are OK)
- HRD, AGS, AGL, IGI these are smaller laboratories and should be OK, but
small business means that they might sway their grading for the benefit of
the owner. Such practice has been seen in the secondary EGL labs as well,
but not as much as AGL, HRD and AGS.
Top Gemstones Laboratories:
- AGTA is an American based organization and laboratories. They are great
for all types of gemstones and their certificates are very detailed. (Grades
- GRS & Gubelin are both European laboratories, but they do not fall from
AGTA and sometimes even look more presentable with a very high end
certificate. (Grades accurately).
Secondary Gemstone Laboratories:
- GIA & EGL both grade gemstones, but they are not seen as the best at
grading gemstones. Personally I have seen and even sent gemstones to GIA,
but the information was not as detailed as I hoped it to be. Other then
that, they hit it right on the money.
- AGL is probably the worst but maybe the most reliable gemstone lab I
have ever seen.
It's run by a mean aging jeweler who many times "kills" a gemstone, so it's
bad in one sense but good in another. AGL are only good for natural
untreated gemstones this way they can not "kill" the stone.
- AGA & AGS are small laboratories, jewelers seldom use them and there is
not much info about them. Use some caution with their certification, why use
them and not AGTA or one of the European labs?
Just about anyone can make up a certificate. All you need is a camera and
a printer to start. There are tons of made & no-name certificates using
variation of the top laboratories. Many are simple scams and many should only be
considered as opinions and not certificates.
Many scammers use names that sound like the top labs. Such names can be UGA,
GL or Gemlabs etc...
Another scam certificate I have just found is USGL -
United Service Gemological Laboratory. Well, they are real in a way but sellers
get away with using them b/c they do not certify origin which means you are
buying treated stones without knowing so.
The rule is simple.....
IF IT'S NOT ONE OF THE TOP OR SECONDARY LABS, THINK TWICE AND
ASK QUESTIONS, A LOT OF QUESTIONS AND CHECK THE NAMES OF THESE LABS. OTHERWISE,
IF IN DOUBT DO WITHOUT!