Take Care When Choosing Diamonds For Your Engagement Ring
Every diamond is unique, with the quality and value defined according to the 4 Cs: carat, colour, clarity and cut. When selecting the diamonds for your engagement ring or wedding bands, it is so important to work with a jeweller whom you can trust – as was recently highlighted in reports of diamond grading concerns.
I am a member of the Jewellers Association of Australia, with 13 years’ industry experience. But even so, I think it’s important that my clients know that I only supply diamonds that are certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), HRD Antwerp, Diamond Certification Laboratory of Australia (DCLA) and International Gemological Institute (IGI).
European Gemological Laboratory (EGL)
The recent media attention has centred around another diamond certification service, European Gemological Laboratory (EGL), which is based in Israel, and which has eight offices worldwide. EGL is currently the target of lawsuits in the US after claims of “over-grading” diamonds – i.e. certifying diamonds as being of better quality than they actually are.
The series of lawsuits were brought by several customers of Genesis Diamonds, a retailer in Nashville in the USA, who claim to have purchased overpriced diamonds certified by EGL. In one instance, a customer paid $US135,000 for two stones rated by EGL as “excellent” and “very good” cuts. Another appraisal, however, valued the stones at just $US22,500 and rated them as “very good” and “good”.
In a recent move, diamond trading platform RapNet announced it would no longer be listing grading reports from EGL from October 1, 2014, citing concerns regarding the “confusion and inconsistency” of EGL’s reports plus the service’s misrepresentation of GIA terminology as reasons for its stance.
Gemstone and jewellery trading network Polygon quickly followed RapNet’s lead, ceasing the listing of certificates from EGL from September 17, 2014.
The JAA in Australia
Here in Australia, the JAA has announced it will be working with the National Industry Advisory Council to develop a list of “suitable” diamond grading laboratories, a move that has been considered for some time but has been given priority following RapNet’s decision.
Under the JAA Code of Conduct, jewellers must issue their customers with grading certificates from “reputable” laboratories for any diamond purchase of one carat or more. JAA Code of Conduct chair, Colin Pocklington, revealed in a recent interview that the association had received several consumer complaints about EGL certificates in recent years.
Many such issues stem from the fact that there is no “official” standard for diamond certification. Most widely accepted are the gradings set by the GIA, established in 1931, and the oldest of the major gemological grading services.
The GIA set the grading system for colour, size, clarity and other factors and its terminology became the standard in the industry, used by all grading services today.
The grading services, however, often differ on what each term actually represents, which can result in significant differences in the grades given to individual stones.
Confusing? Sure is!
Which is why, when choosing diamonds for engagement rings or other special custom-made jewellery pieces, you need to rely on a highly qualified, honest and reputable jeweller whom you can trust – not just a shop assistant.
At Michael Arthur Diamonds you will only find diamonds that have been certified by the most highly respected diamond grading laboratories, including the Gemological Institute of America. I work closely with each of my clients to ensure they select the finest diamonds (that fit with their budget) when designing their engagement rings or any other custom-made piece.
You can be assured of the quality of any loose diamonds you purchase from me, and I encourage you to be involved in the entire process of ring design and construction – from selecting that special stone to the completion of a one-off, artisan piece you will always treasure.
From engagement rings to any custom-made jewellery, here at Michael Arthur Diamonds only the best will do.
I’d enjoy discussing your ideas for the engagement ring you have in mind, and working with you to bring your idea to life. Simply call me on 02 9798 3232 to arrange an obligation-free appointment.