Grade Expectations: How to Choose a Diamond Lab

At some point in your career, you’re bound to encounter a gem that demands greater investigation than you can do comfortably on your own. You may come across a diamond of high color—possibly even fancy color—or an important diamond with a borderline call on the clarity grade. You’re then faced with the question of which lab to send the gem to. There are many labs in the trade, but common standards are few. So how do you go about choosing a lab? This article examines some of the trends and controversies surrounding diamond grading and discusses what distinguishes one lab from the next. Below is a list of major diamond labs, the services they provide, and their fees. In a future issue, I’ll explore issues pertaining to colored gemstone grading. Why use a lab? One reason to send a diamond to a lab is authentication. With the emergence of synthetics that can fool the average je

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