Calvins Fine Jewelry


Once a diamond is cut and polished, it is graded on its qualities and given a formal report. This is also known as a diamond certificate. For obvious reasons, the diamond certificate helps determine a diamond’s value. Because grading is done by eye, the certificate is only an educated opinion.

With that being said, not all diamond labs are considered the same when it comes to the strictness of grading standards. What does that mean? It means some labs have more consistency than others. It’s general jeweler knowledge that the “diamond industry” prices international diamond certificates lower than American graded diamonds because of the stringency issues. That’s why we have made the choice to only offer American graded diamonds, from labs under US jurisdiction.

Is it really that big of deal? It is according to one lab, who took its international counterpart to court in order stop those certificates from entering the market. Click here to read some of the story.

Which American labs do we trust?

GIA (Gemological Institute of America) A jewelry and gemology institute since the 1930s, the GIA’s mission has been to set and maintain gemstone and diamond evaluation standards industry-wide. In the 1940s and 1950s, GIA developed the now industry wide International Diamond Grading System, the Four Cs (cut, clarity, color, and carat weight), and continues today to engage the industry and consumers alike with education and practical research.

AGS (American Gem Society) Around the time Robert M. Shipley founded the GIA in the 1930s, he also began a trade organization to protect and educate diamond consumers – the AGS. They now own grading laboratories, and in the spirit of the founder, hold its members to a stringent code of ethics for store affiliates. We are a member of AGS and adhere to these higher standards.

EGL USA (European Gemological Laboratory of the USA) This lab stands strong in today’s gem industry. Upholding gemstone certifications with over 35 years’ experience, the network of United States gemstone laboratories finds its roots within the original European Gemological Laboratory network, started in the mid-1970s. They determine gem authenticity with unbiased, technological advance. As one of the oldest gemological institutions, EGL USA dedicates its resources – the spirit of its resolve, its members – to providing such assurances worldwide. And it’s one of the sole networks of laboratories with the means, and national jurisdiction, to do so in the United States.

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