We wish we could tell you that we found any EGL certificate on one of the reputable stores we always recommend, whether it was James Allen (The ultimate shopping experience), or Blue Nile (The widest diamonds collection store), or Whiteflash (The premium quality diamonds store), but unfortunately, out of hundreds of thousands of diamonds, they have ZERO inventory of EGL.
We sure know (or have heard of) many of these labs; which are probably amateurs, however, some actually are decent and follow protocols and scientific methods in assessing/grading diamonds, but others are complete “beginners” or even scammy!
The main issue with labs like these is that if a lower quality lab (Yes, like EGL) grades a diamond with a G-color (for instance), while it’s an I or J for GIA, then you’ve purchased the wrong diamond, regardless of anything you’ve been recommended to get! You get where we’re going with this…
The above-mentioned three stores -all of them- deal with certification labs to grade their diamonds on a regular basis, not any certification lab though, only the elite:
1- GIA: Gemological Institute of America.
2- AGS: American Gemological Laboratories.
3- IGI: International Gemological Institute.
So yes, you will NEVER see an EGL graded diamond for example on these sites.
What are Certified Diamonds?
Do you know why we started this blog? To prevent you from getting ripped off! Let’s say a premeditative measure; to avoid you going through this: Buying a fake gem and paying handsomely for it just to realize (after testing) that the diamonds are fake!
Only to refresh your memory, we now know what 4Cs are, right? Cut, Color, Clarity and, Carat weight! Great! When a gem company partners with a laboratory to grade diamonds based on these four characteristics (and many others), they are considered “Certified Diamonds”.
The image you see here is a sample of a certificate that tags along with with a diamond, this certificate is issued by a grading lab (in this case GIA, the most reputable lab):
Certified diamonds should be your go-to choice when you are trying to buy quality. There are lots of fake gems out there, one has to be careful when selecting.
Also, read: Full Review of IGI & their Grading Assessment
What is EGL Diamond Certificate?
EGL stands for the “European Gemological Laboratory”. EGL started back in the 70s with many labs around the world; each with its own rules (and standards) to grade diamonds, you can safely say that it’s a “franchise” company, rather than a reputable lab.
No, cross that! Even franchise companies follow the same procedures (and standards) to the letter!
Anyway, let’s put a pin on this and get back to it in a second, shall we?
If you’re from Europe, you might have heard of EGL more than the people in the US have; since EGL is more prominent in Europe compared to the US (although it has two institutes; the EGL USA and EGL International).
EGL claims to have more than a thousand scientists and graders in all their labs around the world. The thing is that we can’t find one official resource to know more about the company. There is a website for EGL USA, another for Israel, a third for India, but not a reference one (the official website we mean?).
There is this website that claims it’s their official one, but it looks like a website from 1995, which we can’t take for granted (it doesn’t really contain any useful information anyway).
While some EGL labs are known to be better than others (like EGL NY compared to EGL Israel), still the EGL grading system as a whole is known to be less strict than GIA or AGS, these are kind of facts!
Quick Overview on EGL Diamond Grading System
We are aware of SI grades, which are SI1 & SI2, but ever heard of SI3?
That’s a grade “introduced” for the first time by EGL, a funny story actually, instead of stamping a diamond with an I1 (included) grade, which no one will ever buy, this grade was created to make it look like a higher level on the SI scale!
We never recommend going lower than SI1, seeing an inclusion with your naked eye isn’t something you would want in your stone, so why would someone need such a grade?
Simply because this grade is good for the sellers, not the buyers, check our EGL vs. GIA for details on this.
A long time ago, even before inspection tools blossomed and evolved, something that made EGL always stand out was its ability to generate a diamond certificate in less than 72 hours upon diamond submission. Of course, this put them on the map and they were considered one of the fastest jewel graders in the world!
This was considered an advantage for EGL, but does it really make sense though?
Heck no! Grading a diamond shouldn’t be that fast, it’s not just looking at it and grading it accordingly! To have a reliable certificate, diamonds must go through an extensive process of inspection by very high-quality tools (and really skilled experts), then comparing them side-by-side to known-graded diamonds in order to get a final grade.
We really doubt that would take only 72 hours! (At that time of course).
In recent years, GIA and AGS tools (and methods); that were used to inspect and analyze diamonds developed by a long shot, that made it possible for you now to get a report on the same day of submission; which wasn’t possible at the time (when EGL claimed to generate reports in 2 or 3 days)
Why There is More Than One EGL Lab?
Unlike GIA or AGS, EGL is a for-profit company that started back in 1974 in Europe, and then many other independent labs (holding the same mother company name) opened their offices in different locations.
Every lab is different from the other, and some of them are known to follow a bit stricter measures, therefore, an EGL certificate for a diamond originated from EGL Israel is much worse (and different) than a certificate originated from EGL New York for example, for the same diamond.
Generally speaking, EGL labs in NY and LA are known to be better than any other EGL lab (Europe, Israel, South Africa, India, you name it), but still, EGL certificate, in general, will give higher grades (especially in Color & Clarity) for a diamond in comparison to a GIA certificate.
Overview & Review of EGL Diamonds Labs
To be straightforward without comparing it with other labs like AGS or GIA (if it stands the comparison, to begin with), let’s just take a look at EGL website (the original one; yep, we found it), here is a screenshot for it:
First, the website reminds you of 1990’s days, it hasn’t been touched for ages (we won’t mention the awful typo on its left bottom notice, we’re not the spelling police). Second, the website last update was in 2014:
Third, they didn’t even bother to install a secured certificate (to use HTTPs), and Chrome is showing “Not Secure” as you see in the screenshot (They managed to get it for free later).
Fourth, let’s ask Google about this site:
SelectingaDiamond.com: Google, how many pages does this site have?
In a nutshell, this site has only 4 pages, whereas GIA, for example, has around 45,000 pages on their website, and AGS got 6,500 as well.
We’ve even tried this with the EGL India site, and got not-so-promising results to be honest. Moreover, out of ALL the reputable diamond labs, EGL is the only one that doesn’t have a Wikipedia page. Whaaat?
Us mentioning these remarks about their digital presence and print has absolutely nothing to do with their diamond certification process authenticity, of course, however, they sure say a thing or two about who you’re dealing with and how “professional” these labs are!
How come a certification lab has ZERO knowledge base articles about diamonds?
EGL Certificate Sample
As every other certification lab, EGL has its own certificate (or certificates as we will see below), and each one has its own layout design and details, here is a sample for a diamond full report issued by EGL USA:
And here is another report issued by EGL International, as you see, every lab has its own report style; which kinda makes it a bit harder to verify a report genuineness:
Types of EGL USA Diamond Certificates
Since USA “branch” have a little better reputation than other offices, we will take a look on different diamond grading reports they do provide at EGL USA:
- EGL USA Diamond Certificate: This is a certificate issued for analysis done on a diamond to evaluate and certify the color, clarity, carat weight, cut, and inclusions of any diamond received by their laboratory.
- EGL USA Diamond Analysis Report: This type of certificate is issued for the sake of the analysis of round diamonds only. It is also called the “Cut Grade diamond” report.
Its components include carat weight, carat grade (the FL grade, the IF grade, the VVS grade, the VS grade, the SI grade, and the I grade, color grade, cut (shape and style), cut grade, finish, fluorescence, and plotting. The report comes in different styles.
- EGL USA Colored diamond Report: This certificate is exclusive to the EGL USA. It is also considered to be the most popular certificate issued for colored diamonds. It shows the unique characteristics that can only be exhibited by a colored diamond.
- EGL USA Colored diamond origin Report: This certificate is usually a document that explains the details of the origin of colored diamonds. It includes a detailed description of the color foundations (natural, enhanced, or high pressure and high temperature (HPHT) treated.)
- EGL USA Envira diamond Report: This certificate is a report that combines the usual elements of any diamond report with a commitment to environmental and social responsibility.
It shows the sustainable environmental-friendly source of the diamond, and when applicable, its related jewelry materials. The reports are usually issued for heirlooms, reclaimed rare items, and newly mined diamonds. The report will tell if it’s conflict-free and ethically sourced.
- EGL USA 360 Diamond Report: This report is more of a technical sheet; providing information about the technical details of a diamond. It uses twelve criteria and innovative light performance evaluations. The evaluations consist of the table and depth percentage, pavilion angle, crown angle and height, culet size, girdle thickness, finish, brilliance, contrast, and radiance.
- EGL USA Lab-Grown diamond Report: This certificate is issued for man-made diamonds, also known as lab-grown diamonds or synthetic stones. Despite the fact that these diamonds have the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as natural diamonds, lab assessments will show that they are HPHT, i.e. made by high pressure and high temperature. The report includes a section under the name of “Lab-Grown identification”; which is a report from the laser inscription done on the diamonds.
- EGL USA Hearts and Arrows diamond Report: This certificate is issued for the documentation of the precise cut and unique facet pattern of hearts and arrows diamonds similar to James Allen’s TrueHearts™ and Blue Nile’s Astor collection. The document describes the signature design; a circle of hearts seen through the stone’s pavilion and arrows revealed through its crown.
Buying an EGL Certified Diamond, a Good Idea?
We feel it’s necessary to highlight that you shouldn’t have an issue with the diamond itself (regardless of which lab it has been certified by!). Meaning, a diamond certified by EGL might be an amazing one (and a real catch!), the only issue here would be how to correctly measure its characteristics properly!
If you are looking for a diamond with F or E color & VVS1 or VVS2 clarity, you can find that one with a GIA certification that costs $8,000 for example, while a diamond (with identical characteristics) in the report (not the diamond itself) that’s issued by an EGL might cost you less than $6,000.
Because the EGL one is around 2 or 3 levels (grades) lower, you might end up with a diamond with J or I color & SI1 or VS2 clarity if you send it to GIA to verify it.
Vice versa, if you want an SI1 & J color diamond, search for an EGL one with 3 levels higher, but we don’t recommend that for sure.
EGL Certified Diamonds Review Summary
After all this talk about EGL diamond certificates, we believe you have already made your decision, but to make sure we are all on the same page, some final words of wisdom would be:
NEVER buy a diamond if it’s only EGL certified.
Buying an EGL diamond is a big waste of money, you will pay much more for a diamond than what it really costs.