There are companies whose sole purpose is the accurate
evaluation of a diamonds color and clarity for quality and pricing. The differences
in the laboratories and the role they play in the assessment of a diamond can be quite
confusing at times. Here we have listed the different labs and the services they provide.
Natalia's Diamonds employs an independent appraisal laboratory to assess the
overall quality and approximate retail replacement value on our engagement rings as a courtesy to our customers.
The nature of this appraisal is for the customer's individual insurance coverage needs. We offer this appraisal
with the purchase of any engagement ring with center diamond from Natalia's Diamonds; mountings purchased from
us and set with a center diamond bought from another retailer are not subject to a complimentary appraisal.
Under no circumstances is Natalia's Diamonds to be held responsible for any errors on the appraisal report or
liable to any damages as a result of an errant report. Typographical and/or any other errors in information on
a report are not a condition of return for any refund. Lost or missing appraisal reports are subject to a
replacement fee at the customers expense in accordance with the price schedule of the issuing laboratory,
the choice of issuing laboratory for replacement reports is at the discretion of Natalia's Diamonds and may
differ from the laboratory of original issue.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
Founded in 1939 by Robert Shipley and Richard Liddecoat the
Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has been recognized
as the leading authority in gemology and the advancement of gem education
for both the diamond trade and the public consumer. The GIA began issuing it's diamond grading
reports for the jewelry industry helping make a more uniform way of describing a diamond's quality
which can be communicated in a manner all gemologists and jewelry professionals could understand and
convey to their customers.
In recent years the GIA report has become a highly sought after addition to one's diamond purchase,
and this demand has subsequently resulted in a higher price for diamonds that are accompanied by a
GIA report. The GIA diamond grading report is not an appraisal since there is no dollar value included
on the printed copy and the GIA itself makes no representation as to the price of any diamond it has
graded. The services provided by the Gemological Institute of America are open only to people actively
involved in the diamond trade and the only service offered to the public is verification as to a report's accuracy.
The European Gemological Laboratory (EGL)
The European Gemological Laboratory opened in Antwerp,
Belgium in 1974 and in New York City, New York in 1977 offering similar services as the GIA but also offering to grade
diamonds that were smaller than one carat since the GIA was not grading those sizes at the time. EGL
introduced the SI-3 clarity in 1997 to cover what they felt was a "grey area" between the SI-2 and I-1
clarities in the original GIA grading system.
The EGL report is similar to the GIA report in many ways,
and the services are more open to private consumers including verbal consultation services where consumers
can meet with a gemologist when grading a diamond. Included with an EGL report is a valued appraisal from
a subsidiary corporation for the consumer's insurance needs. Since the higher demand for GIA certified
diamonds has driven these prices up EGL certified diamonds have become a more cost effective alternative
for a report that the widely considered by the jewelry and insurance industries as comparable to the GIA grading report.
Independent Appraisal Laboratories
There are several appraisal companies who assess the quality and value of a
jewelry item for insurance and identification purpose. Since both the GIA and EGL certificates do not indicate
a market value, the need for a valuation report becomes necessary to determine the replacement value and this
is what insurance companies require. An appraisal report should include a detailed description of a jewelry
item along with a current market value determined by known pricing guidelines. In the event a diamond does
not have a GIA or EGL report, the appraisal report as determined by an accredited gemologist then becomes
the diamonds color and clarity report provided the appraiser has verifiable gemological credentials.
An independent appraiser should not be engaged in the business of buying
and selling jewelry or diamonds, adding to their credibility. Due to the fact diamonds tend to increase
their value over time, it's a good practice to have your jewelry reexamined by a professional appraiser
every few years to ensure that proper insurance coverage value is always maintained.