When it comes to diamonds, one of the most important aspects are the type of certification they have. There are several different types of diamond certifications, seven to be exact. And, each of these certifications carries a different definition for what the diamond is worth, how rare it is, and so on.
Here are the seven different types of diamond certificates:
GIA - The Gemological Institute of America: Known as one of the most highly-rated diamond certification and verification reports in the industry. The GIA is a non-profit organization, and is heavily focused on the research and education of gems and jewelry.
GCAL - Gem Certification and Assurance Lab: GCAL is the highest, and most premium diamond certifications available within the diamond industry. What makes them unique is that they have a zero-tolerance policy on all of their grading certificates.
AGS - American Gem Society: A close competitor of the GIA, the AGS is a membership organization comprised of jewelers, suppliers, appraisers, and traders. What sets AGS apart from other certifications is that they have developed their own standards for grading diamonds, and they have a very strong reputation in the diamond industry.
HRD - Antwerp World Diamond Center: Founded in 1973, HRD represents the Belgian diamond industry, with Belgium being one of the main centers for diamond trading and supply. HRD follows grading systems set by the International Diamond Council, and offers reliable and well-respected certifications, similar to that of the GIA.
IGI - International Gemological Institute: One of the key centers of the diamond business, the IGI has one of the largest labs in the world, as well as several branches throughout the world. Headquartered in Antwerp, the IGI is unfortunately not as well-respected as the GIA or AGS, since the IGI tends to have inconsistencies in their results.
GSI - Gemological Science International: Dealing primarily with mass merchandise for larger chain stores, the GSI is known for grading faster than both the GIA and AGS. The GSI is on the same par with IGI in terms of grading standards, which is one step lower than both the GIA and AGS.
EGL - European Gemological Laboratory: Previously known for having significant shares in the diamond grading industry, the EGL has lost much of its credibility, and is now not a very reputable grading certification.Currently, the EGL is reorganizing and restructuring their concept reports, in order to improve in the future.