GCAL Offers ‘Zero Tolerance’ Grading Guarantees

Gem Certification Assurance & Lab said Wednesday that it is now offering what it calls a “zero tolerance” guarantee on all of its diamond grading certificates.

GCAL said the new guarantee is one of the key elements of the consumer-oriented grading services offered as a matter of policy in the grading divisions of Collectors Universe, GCAL’s parent company.

The GCAL guarantee allows that at any time during the two years following the GCAL diamond certification, a consumer may submit the diamond for a challenge. If the diamond is identified as the original diamond certified by GCAL with no damage, treatment, or re-polishing, or re-cutting, and the weight or quality rating is determined by GCAL to be lower than the weight or quality rating on the original certificate, then GCAL will reimburse the difference in retail market value between a diamond with the original weight and quality and the newly established weight or quality. Other details apply and may be obtained on the GCAL website

“Because we obtain consistent and accurate results using our consensus expert grading, excellent research facility, patented Gemprint technology, and diamond profile light performance, we are making this ‘zero tolerance’ consumer guarantee available to any retail customer anywhere in the world,” said GCAL President, Don Palmieri. “We intend to make buying a diamond a positive and safe experience for the consumer so we can help the retailer obtain more of the luxury buying dollar in the marketplace.”

The GCAL “Zero Tolerance” Consumer Guarantee ensures the accuracy of the cut, color, and clarity grades and the carat weight assigned to GCAL certified diamonds, Palmieri said. The cut grade is assigned using the GCAL Cut Grading Standard (for round diamonds) and a hybrid method for other cuts. The color grade is assigned by matching to the GCAL Master Color Diamond Precision Sets. The clarity grade is assigned by consensus of the GCAL expert gemologists with the oversight of Lab Directors Dan Gillen and Halina Kaban. The carat weight is established with state-of-the-art equipment that measure and weigh the stone.

GCAL has offered a money back guarantee within certain grading tolerances since its inception. In February, Palmieri said the marketing director of a large retail jewelry chain asked him about the GCAL guarantee and the tolerance allowed for grading errors.

Palmieri said that discussion caused him to seek a review of grading tolerances with Collecttors Universe. After the review, he said he decided that the time was right to offer a “zero tolereance” guarantee.

“Last fiscal year, our parent company had four divisions offering a similar guarantee and certified $1.7 billion in high-value assets while paying approximately $391,000 under those guarantees,” Palmieri said. “We expect to be accurate and consistent, but we also know that there is a process to remove any possible inaccuracies from the marketplace so that every buyer can have confidence in the quality of the diamond carrying a GCAL diamond grading certificate.”