How to Understand AGS Diamond Grading System

Recently I traveled to learn and study how the diamond grading system works. It was fascinating as I learned how they determine a diamonds value, I learned what I always thought was just guessing, I was never so wrong. Some would say traveling to a St George jeweler to learn about things like this is foolish, but if you were to ask me where the best destinations to travel are, I would say where you’re learning.

AGS or the American Gem Society was founded by Robert M. Shipley in 1934. The mission of the society is to help consumers become aware about gem grading and to place a higher standard of professional practices and business ethics in the jewelry industry. The Gemological Laboratories of AGS was established to offer up to date diamond appraisal and grading services to the jewelry making industry.

Diamond AgePhoto Credit: Steve Jurvetson

People shopping for diamonds are often faced with AGS diamond grading report while browsing around. It can be a little confusing if you have no idea what that grading reports means.

To help you understand AGS diamond grading system, it can be defined simply as the grading report given by one of the two most respected diamond grading laboratories; the other one is the GIA or the Gemological Institute of America diamond grading report.

Jewelers request for such reports in order to have the capacity to provide the appropriate information pertinent to the diamond stones that they offer for sale.

What is contained in an AGS Diamond Grading Report?

People at AGS laboratories work by reviewing each and every piece of diamond that goes into their labs and they will set up detailed reports regarding the different characteristics of each stone. AGS presents charts that show the following:

  • shape
  • measurements
  • cut
  • style
  • color
  • clarity
  • dimension
  • carat

One section of the grading report is provided for additional comments to be reported in relation to the reviewed diamond. The report is the document that lays out the fundamental details of a diamond presented in a concise and straightforward manner.

Does AGS Present Better Reports?

Since AGS came into conception it has always been compared to GIA. Many people are actually always trying to compare reports from the two laboratories. The reality is it can be a tough job trying to decide which laboratory provides more concise and perfect reports, because both laboratories work by meticulously evaluating and scrutinizing the diamonds. They also both check for every possible factor that is important for the jeweler who requested the review and for the potential client who will buy the piece of stone in a set of jewelry.

Some people maybe specific with the laboratory that reviewed a certain diamond while some may not actually care as long as they have the certification that says their diamonds are real.

If you are going to base your choice of laboratory with experience then GIA is the sure winner since it has been into diamond grading business since 1931, whereas AGS was the new comer being only doing diamond evaluation since 1996.

If you are really confused as to which diamond grading laboratory is better, you can base your choice with the results they provide. A mere mortal will find it hard to understand a report full of jewelry jargons, so, go for a report that is easier to comprehend without the need to ask the jeweler every now and then.

Another thing you can do is to review each laboratory’s techniques and try to find out which one can produce a more thorough diamond review.