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Menahem Sevdermish, Global Manager of EGL chain of labs and EGL Platinum (excluding the USA)
By: Diamond World News Service
Apr 29 2016 4:23PM
Reference: 12963  

Intro: The re-accreditation and re-standardization process are already ongoing, and we believe the re-branded EGL chain will be announced very soon, Menahem Sevdermish, Global Manager of EGL chain of labs and EGL Platinum (excluding the USA) shares with Kunjal Karaniya. Read more…

What is it all about?

The new EGL Platinum standard is be based on that originally developed by EGL's founder, Guy Margel, over four decades ago, with small modifications required by the WFDB.

In order to enter the re-accreditation process, EGL labs were required to meet a professional threshold requirement fixed by the management team. In addition, EGL representatives visited the labs' sites to ensure that the operating procedures, present equipment and staff knowledge met the anticipated EGL Platinum standards.

The qualified labs were required to send their senior gemologists to a refresher course in Israel. In the meantime, color comparison master stone sets used for color grading were sent to Israel to ensure that they were calibrated with the EGL Platinum's master set, held in Israel and based on the original standard set by Margel.

As part of the unification, all local lab reports will be replaced by one report: EGL Platinum, which will be the only legitimate EGL report issued by all EGL labs outside of North America.

All laboratories must comply and stand according to our controlling system in order to be entitled to issue the new reports. Any lab that will not meet the threshold requirements or will not obey the new standards will be closed. We have already reduced the number of laboratories and validated the rest are under strict control.

As one may see, we are working very hard to homogenize grading practices worldwide and to ensure that all the labs are using the same grading standard. At the end of the process, which will take probably a few more months, we will have a chain of labs that we will be proud of the way we were always proud of EGL.

Reasons for the re-structuring and launching of the new identity

It is practically impossible to have complete control over grading in a large lab with hundreds of gemologists and furthermore, certainly a huge challenge in a chain of labs. In past years, the late Guy Margel, EGL's founder in 1974, personally supervised all EGL chain labs. This was done by means of frequent visits to the labs, seminars and cross checking of diamonds.

After Margel passed away 4 years ago, the task of supervision the chain of labs became increasingly difficult. Therefore, the EGL owners decided to reorganize the system in which the group of laboratories is managed with the intention of maintaining global control and a homogenous grading standard as intended by Margel.

Another reason for the re-standardization is the recent decision by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) declaring that one should not accept a report with grading that differs from the accepted industry standards for color and clarity grading by more than one grade. The EGL standard, branded 'EGL Platinum', complies with the new WFDB decision.

The EGL owners chose to appoint me to stand at the head of this EGL re-organization and re-standardization efforts. They believe that I have the ability and the reputation to make it happen.
My reputation in the field of gemological labs was established after having founded in 1975 the first and longest standing lab and college in Israel which in 1981 became part of EGL chain of labs.

Since my appointment as a global manager, my team and I have traveled extensively to all EGL labs around the world, including Hong Kong, India, Belgium and South Africa. It is not an easy task when you have so many labs to preside over. Therefore, after a thorough inspection, the management team that I assembled, came up with the following method of organizing all these labs under the same 'EGL Platinum' umbrella.

What are the marketing strategies adopted and the USP?

We have changed the structure of the chain and established a new management company, which will be responsible for global advertising campaigns and media relations, as well as grading monitoring and supervision.

Our two main Unique Selling Points are the practical grading and the fast service.

The EGL reports still provide added value to the diamond trade. EGL was always closer to the European systems, which grade the colors between colorless and fancy colored diamonds in a more lenient way. This very small difference, within the WFDB grading tolerance, can be the oxygen tank for traders in the current pressured market.

EGL reports also retain the very important clarity grade of SI3 for stones below SI2 but in the top-end of the broad range of stones that the GIA considers I1.The range between SI2 and I1 is very broad and there is a need for a sub-grading within the I1. The SI3 provides a solution for the many "nice" stones of I1quality, distinguishing them from the lower I1 grades, those allowing them to become more saleable.

These advantages, together with the very fast service (from few hours to few days), makes EGL an efficient key lab for many traders within the industry.

Which all countries will it cater to?

The main markets of EGL remain North America, the Far East and Europe. The new EGL strategy plan aims to strengthen these market penetrations and expands it to new regions, such as additional locations in Europe, the Far East and Latin America countries. We also encourage the world industry, and the diamond industry in particular, to use our services and our advantages, through the EGL India branches including Mumbai, Surat, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai.

What’s ahead?

In the very near future, we are expanding the EGL network by launching several new laboratories in the Far East and in Europe. Later, we are planning to prospect other potential locations for new labs and to expand the suite of services we can offer.

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