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Grading the graders

We asked the experts of Crafted by Infinity to share the extra layers of grading protection they provide, before the laboratory report is ever printed.

- Article by the principals of Crafted by Infinity

Come upstream

Board our ship for a journey most diamond buyers never experience. Wave goodbye to the world's jewelers and come upstream. Wave to all the loose diamond brokers & suppliers as we travel past them. Wave again as we pass the grading laboratories (that sunken wreck you see is EGL, but that's another story). Now look ahead and you'll see our offices in Antwerp. We'll dock and lower the gangplank - and you have arrived. You have reached the farthest upstream point. This is where the miners and producers live. This is where diamonds are born.

Our diamond 'babies'

We analyze, select and purchase our starting crystals from the miners. We do this before they are ever cut, carefully protecting our brand, with complete confidence in how our diamonds should be graded downstream. Our abilities in this are unsurpassed: Lieve Peeters, our Chief Gemologist,  is the judicial expert for the Belgian Federal Police in Antwerp, sought-after as a consultant for GIA, AGS, the FBI and Scotland Yard. There is no better diamond grader.

We spend six weeks planning and crafting our diamond 'babies.' As intimately acquainted as we become with every diamond, our authority regarding how they should be graded is more consistent than any outside organization can be.

Where will they be graded?

You must first understand that all labs make mistakes. GIA grades 100,000+ diamonds per week over nine locations, sometimes using seasonal graders. In their worst moments they're off from our assessments by 2 grades in either direction. AGS has a single location with less volume and is more consistent. They tend to swing to one side or the other in specific categories for a while, followed by an internal correction toward center. AGS also permits rechecks in both directions (explained next).

Recheck description

For a fee, producers can ask labs to ‘recheck’ grades we disagree with. Crafted by Infinity is the only producer, according to the labs, who will request that color or clarity grades be lowered (as well as raised) when we disagree. We do this to maintain absolute consistency, diamond to diamond, within our brand.

Brand integrity

AGS honors our requests to lower grades. But GIA will only raise grades on recheck. They have no mechanism to lower grades which are too high (and only Crafted by Infinity has ever asked them to do this). This is one of the reasons we rely on AGS to provide reports for our branded diamonds.

Document of authority

When all is said and done we treat the printed AGS report as the document of authority for all diamonds in the Crafted by Infinity brand.

Do we also use GIA?

We use GIA when filling unbranded orders by Far East retailers. Those diamonds do not have the layers of grading protection described above and are not included in the Crafted by Infinity brand.

Is one lab stricter than the other?

We have sent hundreds of diamonds through both labs. They are largely on par with each other, but they are also competitors. When a diamond bearing an AGS inscription goes through GIA we find them harder on that diamond than those which have no AGS inscription.

Why don't we produce our own report?

This is the choice Tiffany & Company made some years ago, in order to maintain consistency within their brand. One day we may introduce a Crafted by Infinity grading certificate. For now we continue to respect and honor the logical desire for independent documentation which supports our diamonds.

We hope the information above is educational and illuminating.

- Crafted by Infinity

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