Buying diamonds comes with mixed feelings of excitement and fear. You want to invest in the highest-quality stone you can afford. But as a buyer, you can never be too sure about the integrity and value of the diamond you intend to purchase. And nowadays, it’s hard to take dealers at their word either. What you need is a written guarantee that the stone has been carefully analyzed and professionally graded by a reputable lab. And that’s what GCAL offers.
The Gem Certification & Assurance Lab is one of the most reputable third-party diamond grading labs out there. The GCAL certification is an assurance that as a buyer, you’re investing in a stone whose value and cost correlate. The primary mission of GCAL is to analyze and test diamonds. After that, grade them and issue consistent reports depending on the gems’ overall quality.
The lab continually forges and maintains high standards in diamond grading and certification. Diamond grading reports by GCAL labs are consistent and valid. That’s because the lab is an independent entity. Therefore, their processes aren’t subject to undue influence.
The History of GCAL and the Sanctity of Their Reports
The history of GCAL dates back to 1978 when Dr. Phillip W. West and Dr. Mannie D. Paine opened up a 2,500 square-foot lab in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At that time, the lab was known as West-Paine Laboratories. Efforts from like-minded gemologists saw West-Pain Laboratories rise in both reputation and scale. And in 2000, GCAL was officially established in New York City. From there on, GCAL has been on a consistent growth trajectory, expanding into the 22,000 square feet giant entity we know of it today.
GCAL is widely known for its expertise in gem analysis, with special interests in diamond grading and certification. It’s the only gemological lab to guarantee their clarity and color grades. Besides gem testing, this analytical lab conducts all kinds of environmental testing procedures. GCAL analytical testing processes encompasses both organic and inorganic, as well as radio chemistry and numerous other specialty testing techniques — all in a bid to uncover the level of contaminants in various products.
As you may expect, the lab employs cutting-edge technology to ensure its findings have the least error margins. GCAL presently employs over 70 scientists. Each of these brings a different level of experience and expertise to the firm. It doesn’t matter the size or magnitude of a project. GCAL is always happy to take it up.
GCAL grading reports are generally consistent with those of other reputable firms, such as the GIA and AGS. Such reports are often as detailed as possible. Not only do they draw attention to a diamond’s Four Cs. The reports also go a notch higher by investigating other aspects of the stone. You’ll uncover the finer details, such as the diamond’s actual size relative to the size that the report indicates. That is often illustrated in a proportion diagram noting the actual size and specific dimensions of the stone.
And for authenticity purposes, GCAL reports usually feature close-up shots of laser inscriptions on the diamond.
How GCAL Works
As we’ve already mentioned, GCAL employs cutting-edge technology in all its diamond grading processes. To ensure maximum accuracy while still avoiding conflicts of interest, the lab works in partnership with independent and internationally recognized laboratories. Each diamond you present at the GCAL labs is independently evaluated. And it should be, as every stone is unique in its own way.
The process begins by analyzing gems based on the Four Cs – color, cut, clarity, and carat weight. It then proceeds to examine the finer details, such as the polish and fluorescence. All that happens by the aid of microscopes and other equipment that are scientifically designed for accuracy and consistency. The final stage involves issuing a report based on the individual attributes of the diamond. The report will also feature a visual map pointing out any inclusions that the evaluators uncovered in the diamond.
For trackability and reference purposes, GCAL evaluators assign a unique identification number to their reports. And for an extra layer of security, the technicians may add a microscopic inscription on your gem. You need not worry, as these inscriptions don’t mar the quality of the stone. In most cases, evaluators consult their clients on the kind of inscriptions they desire. For instance, you might have them inscribe a company logo, image, or a short slogan on the diamond.
Management and Organization Structure
The GCAL’s management team consists of the company’s CEO and Operations Manager, as well as a Technical Services Director and an IT Director. Not to mention other departments like sales and marketing. The company strives to foster a synergic relationship among all team members. It doesn’t matter the position you hold. You must abide by the team philosophy and adhere to the set standards. That ensures the company’s goals of accurate and consistent gem grading are always met.
GCAL’s history of excellence is evidenced by the many state certifications the lab enjoys. For instance, it boasts a 541380 certification by the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS). Besides, the lab maintains Dod, ELAP, NELAP, and ISO 17025 certifications. It’s also one of the few gems grading labs that perform the ILM-CLP and OLM methodologies.
What Keeps GCAL Going?
GCAL maintains a single-facility business model. That not only eases management work. It also ensures that all the set objectives are met. Operating a single-facility model has numerous other advantages, as enumerated below;
1. It offers clients the peace of mind knowing all their samples are handled in one location. You don’t need to worry about any inconveniences that would normally result from paperwork,error, shipping, or extra points of contact.
The fact that samples are handled in one location also simplifies the Chain of Custody, thereby minimizing the risks of error.
2. The single-facility model makes it possible for GCAL to manage their clients’ needs, queries, and concerns in real-time. You can work directly with project managers to expedite the grading process.
The gem evaluators are always willing to listen and factor in their clients’ inputs. While they strive to deliver quality services, GCAL is also keen to understand their customers’ requirements.
By and large, the lab endeavors to respond to your concerns with integrity and a sense of urgency. Above all, keeping your best interests at heart.
3. Lastly, the model ensures consistency when reporting across all parameters. That’s because all the testing and grading equipment is similar. Besides, the facility also uses similar Electronic Data Deliverable formats. Therefore, it reduces the conveniences you’d otherwise encounter when working with multiple-site gem labs.
When it comes to diamond grading, nothing matters more than the consistency of the issued reports. But finding a lab that offers reliable reports is akin to looking for a needle in a haystack. Thankfully, you don’t have to look any further. Entrust GCAL labs with any project and watch them deliver.