Rankings of Renowned Diamond Grading Firms

An Introduction



Our Ranking

  1. GIA

  2. AGS

  3. HRD

  4. IGI

  5. EGL

GIA is generally considered the most reputable and widely recognized diamond certification organization in the world, followed by AGS, HRD, and IGI. EGL has been subject to controversy and criticism over the years, which may affect its ranking in the eyes of some buyers and industry professionals.

It is important to note that each organization has its own strengths and weaknesses, and buyers should choose a certification based on their specific needs and preferences rather than solely relying on rankings. Additionally, buyers should always ensure that the certification organization they choose is independent, reputable, and uses reliable grading standards.

Why GIA Is The Best

There are several reasons why GIA is regarded as the best diamond certification organization. Firstly, GIA is known for its strict grading standards, which are recognized worldwide as the industry standard. The organization employs highly trained gemologists who use advanced technology and rigorous grading criteria to assess a diamond’s 4Cs (cut, color, clarity, and carat weight). This ensures that diamonds certified by GIA are of the highest quality and accurately reflect their true value.

Another reason why GIA is considered the best is its commitment to research and education in the field of gemology. The organization invests heavily in research to advance the understanding of diamonds and gemstones, which in turn benefits the entire industry. GIA also provides comprehensive education and training programs for professionals in the jewelry industry, ensuring that the industry has a skilled and knowledgeable workforce.

Lastly, GIA is an independent and nonprofit organization, which means it is free from conflicts of interest and is solely dedicated to providing accurate and reliable diamond grading services. This further reinforces the credibility and trustworthiness of the organization and its certifications.

Overall, while each diamond certification organization has its own strengths and weaknesses, GIA’s strict grading standards, commitment to research and education, and independence make it widely regarded as the best diamond certification organization in the world.

Why AGS Is The Second Best

AGS is considered the second-best diamond certification organization in comparison to others due to its unique grading system, which takes into account factors such as light performance and cut quality in addition to the traditional 4Cs (carat weight, color, clarity, and cut). The AGS grading system is considered to be more stringent and accurate than other grading systems, which can result in higher-quality diamonds receiving higher grades and therefore, higher prices.

Furthermore, AGS is known for its stringent ethical standards and dedication to promoting sustainable and responsible practices in the diamond industry. AGS adheres to a strict code of ethics, which requires members to operate with integrity, honesty, and transparency. This commitment to ethical practices and responsible sourcing is highly valued by many consumers and industry professionals.

Overall, AGS is highly regarded for its detailed grading reports and unique grading system, as well as its commitment to ethical and sustainable practices in the diamond industry. These factors contribute to its reputation as the second-best diamond certification organization, after GIA, in the eyes of many buyers and industry professionals.

Why HRD Is The Third Best

Compared to other diamond certification organizations, HRD is generally considered to be on par with GIA and AGS in terms of the quality of its grading reports and the accuracy of its diamond grading. However, HRD may not be as widely recognized as GIA and AGS, particularly in some regions outside of Europe. Additionally, HRD may have slightly lower pricing than GIA and AGS, making it an attractive option for buyers looking for high-quality certification at a slightly lower cost.

Ultimately, the ranking of diamond certification organizations can vary depending on factors such as reputation, grading standards, and pricing, and it is important for buyers to do their research and consider their individual needs and preferences when selecting a certification organization.

Some Caution Is Advised with IGI & EGL Certificates

With EGL, more than with IGI.

  1. Inconsistencies in grading standards: Both IGI and EGL have faced criticism and controversy over the years due to inconsistencies in their grading standards. This has led to questions about the reliability and accuracy of their grading reports, and some buyers may be hesitant to trust these organizations for diamond certification.
  2. Lack of independence: Both IGI and EGL are for-profit organizations, which means that their grading may be influenced by their financial interests. Some critics have raised concerns that these organizations may be more lenient in their grading to please their customers and generate more business.
  3. Lower standards compared to other organizations: Compared to other top diamond certification organizations such as GIA, AGS, and HRD, IGI and EGL may have lower grading standards. This means that the grading reports issued by these organizations may not be as accurate or reliable as those issued by other organizations.
  4. Reputation concerns: EGL has faced numerous controversies over the years, including allegations of inconsistent grading and fraudulent practices. While the organization has made efforts to address these issues, the reputation concerns may still cause some buyers to be hesitant to use their services.
  5. Regional differences: It is also worth noting that the reputation and reliability of IGI and EGL may vary depending on the region. For example, EGL has a stronger presence in Europe, while IGI is more prevalent in Asia. Buyers should be aware of these regional differences when considering certification options.

Overall, while IGI and EGL are both recognized and used by some in the diamond industry, buyers should be cautious when relying solely on their grading reports and consider other options such as GIA, AGS, and HRD. It is important to do thorough research and seek out reputable certification organizations with a proven track record of accuracy and reliability.

The Pros & Cons

When it comes to certifying diamonds, the cost of certification can vary depending on the organization and the specifics of the diamond being certified. The cost of certification can also be influenced by the size, clarity, and color of the diamond, as well as the certification organization’s reputation and location.

In general, the cost of certification is typically a fraction of the diamond’s total cost. For example, the cost of GIA certification for a 1 carat diamond can range from around $150 to $200, which represents around 1-2% of the total cost of a high-quality diamond of that size. The cost of certification for smaller diamonds can be even lower in terms of percentage of the total cost.

Pros of certifying diamonds:

  • Provides an independent evaluation of the diamond’s quality and characteristics, which can help establish its value and authenticity
  • Can increase buyer confidence and trust in the seller, as certified diamonds are generally considered more reliable and trustworthy
  • Helps ensure that the buyer is getting what they paid for in terms of diamond quality and characteristics

Cons of certifying diamonds:

  • Can add additional cost to the already expensive purchase of a diamond
  • The process of certification can take time, which can delay the purchase process
  • The grading and certification standards can vary among different organizations, which can lead to confusion and inconsistency in the industry

Overall, while the cost of certification may be an added expense, it can provide many benefits to both buyers and sellers of diamonds. It is important to choose a reputable certification organization and consider the cost of certification as a small percentage of the total diamond cost in order to ensure a fair and transparent transaction.