The EGL (European Gemological Society) has really been the defining group in setting the standards and criteria for diamond grading. The society was founded by Guy Margel, who opened the first of the EGL’s laboratories in Antwerp, Belgium in 1973. Two laboratories were opened in the following years in Los Angeles and New York, and in the ensuing years they have been followed by sites virtually all over the globe.
Their Diamond Certificate and Diamond Consultation offers diamond buyers a detailed report on the various aspects of the grading process. Their certificates are recognized worldwide and their client base includes craftsmen, wholesalers, dealers and manufacturers. However, the EGL does not sell diamonds and works independently from any diamond sales groups. The EGL has been a leader in the area of education also. EGL recognized that although investing in certified diamonds was becoming very popular, most people had little knowledge of grading criteria, and had trouble even reading the grading certificates. To counter this problem, the EGL began the EGL College of Gemology in 1983. The Mission Statement of the EGL sums up their main purpose by saying they exist to take the guess work out of diamond buying, and to provide ongoing education.
The organization is dedicated to setting and maintaining International standards in diamond grading. The EGL recognizes that the grading of diamonds is not an exact science. Rather, it is considered an art form and an applied science, and relies very heavily on the education and training of the gemologist and a set of standards that are applied in a universal way.