AGS Lab to Resume Grading Lab-Grown Diamonds

American Gem Society’s (AGS) grading lab will again evaluate laboratory-grown diamonds, a service it began in 2012 and then stopped in 2013 due to a lack of business.

The new AGS Laboratories lab-grown reports are the product of more than a year of research, development, and consultation with its board. For the moment, they will be available only in digital form on the lab’s Only My Diamond platform.

“We just saw there was a need for a different type of report, where we clearly articulate what a laboratory-grown diamond is,” says Jason Quick, executive director of AGS Laboratories. “We wanted to provide full transparency.”

The reports will include a note on the method used to grow the diamond, whether it’s HPHT (high pressure, high temperature) or CVD (chemical vapor deposition), along with consumer-friendly explanations of those methods.

Unlike GIA, AGS is using the standard scale to grade the diamonds but is adding the designation “LG.” So a VS2 will be called “LG-VS2.”

The report includes a note: “It is important to note that the color and clarity grades do not reflect the rarity of the laboratory-grown diamond, but rather the quality and consistency of the manufacturing process.”

Explains Quick: “Even most graders can’t tell the different between a D, E, and F with their naked eye, but there’s a difference in rarity, so we have those grades. We wanted to draw attention to the fact that here these grades means something different.”

It will also offer its standard AGS cut grade scale, with the top rating of AGS Ideal.

All graded diamonds will receive two non-optional two girdle inscriptions. One will say “laboratory-grown”; and the other will say “laboratory-grown” and be accompanied by the AGS report number.

The reports will also look different than its standard reports, so they can’t be confused with the natural diamond reports, and the words laboratory-grown appear at least 10 times on the report, Quick says.

(Image courtesy of the American Gem Society)

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