About Diamonds

Origin of the Diamond 4Cs

4Cs of Diamond QualityEvery diamond is a miracle of time and place and chance. Like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike.

Until the middle of the twentieth century, there was no agreed-upon standard by which diamonds could be judged. GIA created the first, and now globally accepted standard for describing diamonds: Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight. Today, the 4Cs of Diamond Quality is the universal method for assessing the quality of any diamond, anywhere in the world.

The creation of the Diamond 4Cs meant two very important things: diamond quality could be communicated in a universal language, and diamond customers could now know exactly what they were about to purchase.

About GIA

GIA is the Largest, Most Respected Nonprofit Source of Gemological Knowledge in the World. GIA exists to connect people to the understanding of gems. As a long-standing scientific authority, GIA is not only a unique source for diamond knowledge, its grading reports inspire confidence wherever they appear.

GIA Carlsbad Headquaters
GIA’s commitment to protecting diamond buyers inspired the Institute to create the 4Cs and the International Diamond Grading System™. These methods are the universal benchmarks by which all diamonds are judged. As the birthplace of these standards, and with its investment in continued gemological research, GIA’s authority is unequaled.

The world’s most respected retailers, museums, auction houses and private collectors rely on the expertise of GIA graders to assess, grade and verify their gems. They recognize the importance of complete, unbiased, scientific information in gem assessment, and absolutely trust GIA to provide it.

Diamond Care

Diamonds are remarkably durable, resist scratching (except by other diamonds) and maintain their brilliance over time. But diamonds aren’t indestructible. They can be chipped by a sharp blow, become loose or lost in a weakened setting, or be damaged by contact with other diamonds. Wear diamond jewelry with care. Store it in padded boxes or soft bags separate from other jewelry. Clean your jewelry by wiping it with a lint-free cloth or with warm water, mild soap and a soft toothbrush, or by dipping it briefly in a commercial cleaning solution. Have your diamond jewelry periodically cleaned and its setting examined by a professional jeweler to maintain its beauty and integrity over time.

Caring for your Diamond

Why Ask for a GIA Grading Report?

GIA Diamond Grading ReportHouses have deeds. Vehicles have titles and registration. It only makes sense that you have similar documentation for something as precious as your diamond purchase.

A diamond grading report isn’t an appraisal. It is the scientific blueprint of a stone’s exact quality characteristics. A GIA Diamond Grading Report is your assurance that your diamond is a natural diamond, with clear disclosure of any treatment to enhance color or clarity. The report provides the kind of clear evidence that is vital to a confident purchase.

GIA is a research and educational institute and does not sell diamonds, nor represent the sellers of diamonds. Instead, GIA acts as an independent, impartial entity for assessing and delivering comprehensive gem information.

A GIA Diamond Grading Report™ not only provides expert analysis of carat, color, cut and clarity, it also contains a plotting diagram that clearly shows a diamond’s inclusions. All GIA reports contain security features such as a hologram, security screen and microprint lines that prevent them from being forged or duplicated.

Gem owners around the world have sought out GIA reports because of their scrupulous and impartial evaluation. Diamond merchants recognize that stones bearing GIA reports have instant credibility in the marketplace.

The Original Source for Diamond Grading

Before GIA created the 4Cs of diamond quality and the International Diamond Grading System™, there were as many ways to describe diamonds as there were methods for evaluating their quality.

Then in the 1940s and 50’s, GIA transformed the way diamonds were bought and sold by doing three things:

Creating a common language for diamonds. The diamond 4Cs and the GIA International Diamond Grading System™ provide a consistent way to describe a diamond’s characteristics.

Establishing the methods and best practices used to grade diamonds.

Issuing the first GIA Diamond Grading Report, as a way to consistently and accurately communicate grading results.

GIA’s innovations have been adopted universally. In every corner of the world, virtually every diamond is described using the language GIA developed.

Purchasing a Diamond: Additional Considerations

 Diamond TreatmentsGiven the rarity and value of diamonds, it’s not surprising that some would seek ways to enhance or replicate their beauty. In recent years, diamond treatments, simulated diamonds,
and laboratory-grown or synthetic diamonds have become more common, more advanced, and harder to detect. 

While treatments can increase a stone’s Color or Clarity, the presence of such enhancements may affect the diamond’s value – particularly if the price reflects its appearance after treatment.

Buyers have a right to know for certain whether a stone is natural, a diamond simulant or a diamond created in a lab, and whether or not the stone has been treated to enhance its appearance.

A GIA Diamond Grading Report provides buyers with the ultimate assurance that they’re getting exactly what they pay for.

The GIA Diamond Grading Report contains scientifically determined information on diamond shape, Clarity, Color, Cut, Carat weight, proportions and finish. It also identifies any known treatments. Other reports from other entities have since made their way into the marketplace, but GIA is recognized as the original and unrivaled source for accuracy and integrity in diamond grading.

The GIA Diamond Dossier® is a more concise, compact version of the GIA Diamond Grading Report and is available for diamonds that weigh between 0.15 and 1.99 carats.

As an added security measure, GIA also offers optional laser inscription with its reports (included with the Diamond Dossier) where the diamond’s report number is inscribed on the diamond’s girdle. GIA can also inscribe customized messages, dates, text, and symbols that not only personalize a diamond, but allow for easy identification.