Diamond certification can certainly be a confusing topic! EGL, GIA, UGL, AGSL. Some diamonds are certified, some aren't. What is the reasoning behind all this? Well, antique and vintage engagement rings are a bit different than modern rings so the certification process can be a bit different! Below are the answers to our most common questions on certification!
1. Why are some diamonds GIA certified and some diamonds are EGL certified?
The GIA is a third party non-profit diamond grading institute and is the most reputable in the industry. They have the most accurate grading consistently. However, the GIA only grades loose diamonds. "Loose" means out of the setting. Modern diamonds are originally sold as loose stones and then a setting is later chosen for them so getting certification on them is fairly simple. With antique and vintage rings, the rings generally come as a fully assembled piece with the diamond being artfully set and worn for decades. Unless the vintage ring comes with a certificate (which most do not since the GIA became poplar around the 1940s and most of these rings were made prior to the 30s) this then means that the diamond would have to be removed from the setting to submit to the GIA for certification and put back in upon completion. Sometimes this is a fairly simple process (for a skilled jeweler) such as in the ring below:
The above ring has 4 prongs that can be loosened in order to remove the diamond from the setting WITHOUT compromising the integrity of the ring. However, there are some settings that are more intricate and removing the diamond could damage the ring such as with the Eze ring below:
Removing the diamond would require cutting the bezel (metal that surrounds and secures the diamond in place) which could damage the bezel and potentially destroy the delicate work all around it. These would then have to be repaired upon resetting the diamond and it may never be quite the same, or worse, ruined for good. It is best to try not to interrupt these 100+ year old masterpieces and this is where the EGL or the GAL comes in.
The EGL and the GAL will grade the stones while they are still in the setting. They use calculation methods to determine the size (carat) of the diamond, they approximate the color and give a two letter grade range, and they give an approximate clarity. The specs on a diamond will never be exact unless it is out of the setting, but the EGL and the GAL can give close approximations for mounted diamonds so that you can have peace of mind that the it is fairly close to what they claim.
Many people find that the EGL grades a bit better in color than what the stone actually is. For example, they may say that a stone is K-L color when the stone is really M color. We would agree with this and we account for the discrepancy in our pricing. But, to us, it is more important to maintain the antique integrity of the ring than to know the exact color of the diamond and this is why we use the EGL for more intricate and delicate rings.
2. Do you sell GIA diamonds?
Any diamond can be GIA certified, so yes, we do sell GIA diamonds. As mentioned previously, some diamonds we are not willing to take out of the setting to get a GIA certification but we will GIA certify any that are possible! If you really want a GIA certificate on a certain ring, you can Contact Us to see if it can be done! Otherwise, we are willing to get an EGL/GAL certificate on ANY ring!
3. I am interested in a ring that is not certified but I would really like to have some certification. Can you certify this?
We are willing to certify ANY ring! As mentioned above, any ring can be certified by the EGL or GAL and some can be GIA certified. Contact Us if you would like a certain ring certified!
We hope we answered some of your questions but let us know if you have any others!