As a consumer you don’t want to have to worry about which lab is grading your diamond more “leniently”, but you should and it could make a difference of thousands of dollars. There’s been much discussion in recent months in the jewelry industry about stores that sell lenient graded stones and those stores who carry stones that are graded by labs that hold the highest standard in grading.
According to Daniel Gordon on his blog post titled; Diamond Shopping Tips
Even a difference of one grade can have a huge financial impact. So know this: All labs are not created equal. When you shop, demand GIA or AGS only. Also know how to read the entire certificate. When all you know is the shape, color, clarity and carat weight, it’s like going to buy a car and knowing the body color, if it’s automatic or manual shift and if it’s a two or four door vehicle. You have to know what is under the hood. First level the playing field by narrowing your search to the two accurate grading labs I mentionedn, GIA and AGS.
This post has information you must read before you go out to buy a diamond it’s important to understand the difference in labs and how they grade diamonds. While we do carry some EGL certified diamonds we never ever sell them as the certificate says. What do I mean by this in our store we have an GIA GG (Graduate Gemologist) and a GIA Diamond Grader every stone that comes to us if not graded by GIA is re-graded in our store according to GIA standards. We down grade them before we buy them from our vendors if they want to sell them to us then the paper the diamond might have is just that to us a worthless price of paper. After giving them the proper grade sometimes a two clarity down-grade and one to two color down-grade. We then offer them the price we will take it for if they agree and all do because they know the same thing we do the certificate from some of these labs is worthless. Then and only then will we buy and sell one of these diamonds customers are told the right grade of the diamond.
Over the years we lost our share of diamond sales until we decided to take the bull by the horns and explain to each customer that comes in to buy a diamond the facts about these lenient graded stones. When you think you are paying less and in truth you are paying more. We explain what we do in our store we tell them about GIA and the internet in the store helps with this. It’s very hard to do business when you are trying to sell a true something for a higher price as opposed to an untrue something at a lower price. Over the years and with the help of the internet and other jewelers who have had enough people are starting to understand.
A diamond’s price is based on its 4Cs, then a lab’s decision on a grade impacts the diamond’s price. An unscrupulous seller may offer an uninformed buyer a diamond graded, for example, H/SI2 by most labs as a better color or clarity diamond with a gemological certificate from a lenient lab, or even an “internal lab.” With a better grading comes a higher price. Source: Instore Magazine
Here’s a video that can give you even more information.