While EGL International admits it grades color differently than other labs, it says its faceup evaluations are more relatable to consumers.
“EGL International has a more practical and realistic approach to grading, particularly as it relates to grading color,” managing partner and CEO Guy D. Benhamou said in a statement. “We put a great deal of emphasis on grading the color of the diamond faceup because that is how a diamond is seen when it is worn, whereas other labs attribute most of the color grade to the facedown position.”
The Tel Aviv, Israel–based lab further denied charges—which aired on a Nashville TV station and in a court case with New York City lab EGL USA—that it has lower grading standards.
Regarding the two-part Nashville TV exposé, which focused on local store Genesis Diamonds, Benhamou said: “It would be highly unfair if the stones in the Genesis Diamonds jewelry pieces were taken out of their jewelry settings to be graded as loose stones, when we graded them as mounting permits.”
He further argued that diamond grading often varies.
“It is well known that since gemology is not an exact science, the same diamond sent to several gem labs could produce different grading results,” he said. “That does not mean that any of the diamond labs made a mistake, it is simply in the nature of the business. Any diamond grader and lab will tell you that.”
He noted that many jewelers prefer his reports because they cost less.
“One of the advantages of our certificate is that it does not automatically inflate the price of a diamond as compared to some other certificate,” he said. “It’s well known that a certificate is a type of packaging for a diamond, and some packages, because of a brand name, cost much more while in fact this is not justified. So, the very same diamond graded identically by EGL and another well-known lab would be more competitively priced with an EGL certificate…. This is why our certificates are appreciated and very much in demand.”
He further added his lab works to International Standards Organization (ISO) criteria; is a holder of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) mark; has advanced equipment to screen synthetics; and has, during its 20 years of operation, won a reputation for “complete honesty, excellence, and creativity.”
Benhamou’s statement, which was also distributed to other industry news sources, took issue with JCKonline’s reporting, claiming it “was untrue that EGL had been contacted for comment on the case by the TV station as claimed in an article that appeared on JCKonline.” While JCK’s blog post did report that “EGL International did not respond to a request for comment,” that was referring to JCK, not to the news station.
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