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                                         FACTS ABOUT DIAMONDS

         Most diamonds are over three billion years old, two-thirds the age of the Earth. There are a few
         "youngsters," though, which are only 100 million years old.
         Most diamonds were formed more than 100 miles below the surface of the Earth, some from perhaps
         400 miles down.
         The most recent kimberlite volcano eruption was approximately 53 million years ago - just a few ticks
         of the geologic clock - but there is no reason to believe there will not be more in the future.
         Although diamonds are perceived as a white—actually colorless—gem, they come in a spectrum of
         colors; colored diamonds are called "fancies."
         India was the only known source of diamonds before the sixth century and the predominant source for
         over 2,000 years, until the mid-eighteenth century.
         Romans believed that diamonds had the power to ward off evil and wore them as talismans. They
         inherited this belief from Indian mythology.
         A law in thirteenth-century France decreed that only the king could wear diamonds.
         Diamonds were not used as gems in European jewelry until the late 13th century. They were initially
         used for such purposes as engraving other gems, such as sapphire cameos, and for drilling holes in
         hardstone beads (such beads drilled by diamonds have been dated to archaeological sites as early as
         400 BCE).
         The most recent diamond discoveries have been made in North America—in the Northwest Territories
         of Canada and in Colorado—where explorers found diamond pipes in 1990.
         Some diamonds are composed of carbon, that is recycled organic matter, previously incorporated in
         marine organisms.
         "One-hour eyeglasses" have only become possible with the use of diamond tools, which can quickly
         and accurately shape the lenses.
         Because diamonds can withstand extremely high temperatures and corrosive conditions, and because
         they are transparent to most forms of light and electromagnetic radiation, they are ideal for use as
         windows in industry and in space probes, including the 1978 Pioneer space probe to the surface of
         Every copper wire in your computer, television, and house has been shaped with a die—the device that
         squeezes wire to the desired diameter—made from diamond.
         Diamond scalpels are particularly effective because their sharp, hard edges never dull, and, because
         diamond's hydrophobic surface—its resistance to being wetted—ensures that wet tissue does not
         adhere to the blade.
         The largest rough diamond ever found was the Cullinan, 3,106 carats, discovered on January 26, 1905
         in the Premier mine of South Africa. It was cut into nine major stones, including the largest gem
         diamond, the Cullinan 1, or Star of Africa, 550.20 carats. This is mounted in the British Royal Scepter
         and housed in the Tower of London.
         In the 1950s, Gemological Institute of America developed the first internationally accepted diamond
         grading system. This system provides unbiased opinions of the quality of polished diamonds by
         applying uniform criteria to their grading.
         The GIA Gem Trade Laboratory Diamond Grading Report has become the benchmark for the
         international gem and jewelry industry, and can be found accompany diamonds worldwide.


Diamonds have been a source of fascination for centuries. They
are the hardest, the most imperishable, and the brilliant of all
precious stones. The word "diamond" comes from the Greek word
adamas, meaning "unconquerable".
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A diamond is a transparent gem made of carbon, one of the
earth's most common elements. The formation of diamonds began
very early in the earth's history, when the condensation of solid
matter into a sphere caused the centre of the planet to become
subjected to incredible extremes of temperatures and pressure.

It was these conditions that caused deposits of carbon to begin to
crystallise deep in the earth. As the earth's surface cooled,
volcanic activity forced streams of magna (liquid rock) to the
surface, carrying with it the diamond crystals. Later, the diamond-
bearing rock hardened, encasing the diamonds in vertical volcanic

But not all diamonds are found where they first came to the
surface. Subsequent erosion of the topsoils over millions of years
washed some of the diamonds into streams and rivers, and
sometimes as far away as the sea. It is highly probable that they
were first discovered in areas such as these, far away from their
original location.

The atomic structure of a diamond gives it the property of being
the hardest substance known to man, natural or synthetic. The
diamond is thousands of times harder than corundum, the next
hardest substance from which rubies and sapphires are formed.
Even after many years of constant wear, diamonds will preserve
their sharp edges and corners when most other stones will have
become worn and chipped.

However, many people expect a diamond to be unbreakable. This
is not true. A diamond's crystal structure has "hard" and "soft"
directions. A blow of sufficient force, in a very exact direction, can
crack, chip, split or even shatter a diamond.
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From myths about valleys of diamonds protected by snakes, to the
production of millions of carats in rough diamonds each year, the
history of diamonds is one of mystical power, beauty and
commercial expertise.

Early History
The first recorded history of the diamond dates back some 3,000
years to India, where it is likely that diamonds were first valued
for their ability to refract light. In those days, the diamond was
used in two ways-for decorative purposes, and as a talisman to
ward off evil or provide protection in battle.

The Dark Ages
The diamond was also used for some time as medical aid. One
anecdote, written during the Dark Ages by St Hildegarde, relates
how a diamond held in the hand while making a sign of the cross
would heal wounds and cure illnesses. Diamonds were also
ingested in the hope of curing sickness. During the early Middle
Ages, Pope Clement unsuccessfully used this treatment in a bid to
aid his recovery.

The Middle Ages
During the Middle Ages more attention was paid to the worth of
diamonds, rather than the mystical powers surrounding them. Due
to the heightened public awareness of the value of diamonds,
mine owners perpetuated myths that diamonds were poisonous.
This was to prevent the mineworkers swallowing the diamonds in
an attempt to smuggle them out of the mines.

The popularity of diamonds surged during the Middle Ages, with
the discovery of many large and famous stones in India, such as
the Koh-I-Noor and the Blue Hope. Today India maintains the
foremost diamond polishing industry in the world.
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As the Indian diamond supply dwindled, smaller finds occurred in
Borneo and Brazil, but these were not sufficient to meet the ever-
increasing demand for diamonds. The mid-nineteenth century
discovery of diamonds near the Orange River in South Africa
sparked the world's biggest diamond rush, and helped to satiate
the world's increasing appetite for diamonds.

Recent Times
During the mid-nineteenth century, diamonds were also being
discovered in eastern Australia. However, it was not until late
1970's, after seven years of earnest searching, that Australia's
alleged potential as a diamond producer was validated.

On October 2nd 1979, geologists found the Argyle pipe near Lake
Argyle: the richest diamond deposit in the world. Since then,
Argyle has become the world's largest volume producer of
diamonds, and alone is responsible for producing over a third of
the world's diamonds every year.


Pink Diamonds
The pink diamond is the world's most rare and valuable diamond.The Argyle mine is the world's
foremost source of unrivalled intense pink diamonds, producing 95% of the world's supply.
However, an extremely small proportion of Argyle Diamonds production is Pink colour, in fact less
than one tenth of 1% is classified Pink.

The legend of Argyle pink diamond has grown over the past ten years. At the 1989 Christie's
auction in New York a 3.14 carat Argyle pink sold for $1,510,000. Privately, Argyle has sold pink
diamonds for up to $1 million a carat.
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For years the white diamond was considered the world's most beautiful diamond, until the
discovery of the Argyle mine heralded the arrival of the Argyle pink diamond. Never before had
pink diamonds displaying such intense shades of colour been seen. The pink diamonds of India,
Brazil and Africa were characteristically light in colour and paled even further when placed beside
the intensely pink Argyle diamonds. The natural colour diamonds have in fact been around as long
as the classical whites but in much smaller quantities and never in great demand.

The Argyle pink diamond comes in shades ranging from delicate pastel rose to robust raspberry
and full-blooded purple-reds. The prices per carat are determined by the intensity of colour.
Argyle selects only its most vibrant pink diamonds for polishing at its head office in Perth. There,
the stones are polished in a wide range of cuts, such as round brilliant, marquise, oval and pear,
to enhance their natural beauty. Polished pink diamonds are available in the same size ranges as
traditional commercial sizes.

Once a year, Argyle Diamonds issues a special release of outstanding pink diamonds that are sold
by special bids in the international and invitation-only, Pink Diamond Tender.

White Diamonds
White diamonds are produced by mines all over the world in a wide variety of shapes and
sizes.The white diamonds recovered from the Argyle mine are particularly brilliant and of high

White diamonds with secondary pink colour

The Argyle mine also produces white diamonds with secondary pink colour that command a
higher price per carat. In an effect similar to that described of pink champagne diamonds, the
white diamond will display slight to bold flashes of pink when viewed from the top. A higher price
is commanded for pink secondary colour depending on its depth and strength, because pink is one
of the most rare colours found in diamonds.
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Champagne Diamonds
Champagne diamonds are naturally coloured diamonds that are produced in a wide range of
colours from light straw to rich cognac.

The 4C's of colour, cut, clarity and carat weight apply to coloured diamonds just as they do to
colourless diamonds except the intensity of colour, not lack of it, plays a greater part in the

Argyle Diamonds created the following scale specifically for champagne diamonds. The diamonds
are graded on a C1-C7 colour scale. C1 and C2 represent light champagne, C3 and C4 medium
champagne, and C5 and C6 dark champagne. The fancy cognac diamond is graded C7.

Pink Champagne Diamonds
Attractive champagne diamonds with secondary pink colour are also available and command a
higher price per carat than champagne diamonds. These stones display slight to bold flashes of
pink in their fire.

Argyle Pink Champagne Diamonds are available in three ranges of shades, from light pink
champagne to medium and dark pink champagne.

As pink is one of the rarest colours found in diamonds, even secondary colours demand a higher
price depending on depth and strength of colour.

Yellow Diamonds
Fancy yellow diamonds come in a broad range of shades ranging from light yellow to a rich canary

A limited quantity of fancy yellow diamonds is recovered from the Argyle mine.
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Blue Diamonds
Fancy blue diamonds are available in a wide range of shades, from the blue of the sky to a more
"steely" colour than sapphire.

Limited quantities of fancy blue diamonds are recovered from the Argyle mine.

Green Diamonds
Fancy green diamonds are also available. Usually, penetration of the colour is not very deep and is
often removed during the fashioning of the stone.

A limited quantity of fancy green diamonds is recovered from the Argyle mine.

Diamond Simulants
Cubic Zirconia
Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most commonly encountered diamond simulant. All commercial CZ is
formed in laboratories however, it is also found in nature. In both its synthetic and natural forms,
CZ is colourless but colour can be introduced. A thermal pen tester can quickly and easily detect

Synthetic moissanite
Synthetic moissanite is a new diamond simulant to join the long list of products that imitate
diamonds. Although moissanite is being marketed as a new unique, synthetic gemstone, some of
its properties are close enough to those of diamonds to lead to confusion in the trade.

Natural moissanite was first identified in a meteorite crater at the beginning of the twentieth
century however, most is produced synthetically as natural moissanite is very rare. Chemically, it
is 'silicon carbide', also known as 'carborundum', which is widely used for abrasive purposes and
for use in the electronics industry.

Synthetic moissanite is a diamond simulant like Cubic Zirconia however, it can be passed as a
diamond by the widely used thermal pen testers because it has similar thermal characteristics to
diamonds. However, it can be easily identified by other methods.


Of all the diamonds mined in the world each year, less than half are gem quality; the rest fall into two other
main categories known as near-gem quality and industrial quality diamonds.

Gem quality diamonds display a high standard of excellence in quality and are used in jewellery. The clarity of
these diamonds ranges from flawless through to visible inclusions.

Near-gem quality diamonds represent those stones of a quality between gem and industrial, that in fact can be
used as either depending on the individual stone. These stones have clarity grades ranging from visible
inclusions through to industrial.

Industrial quality diamonds are low quality or badly included stones and are suitable only for industrial use; for
example, they are used in dentist's drills and earthmoving equipment.
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Diamond Mining
Diamonds are recovered by way of pipe or alluvial mining.

Pipe Mining
Pipe mining refers to the extraction of diamonds from volcanic pipes. Typically, a very large area has to be
covered. An average of 250 tonnes of ore must be mined in order to produce a one-carat gem quality polished

In most countries, a diamond pipe mine is composed of kimberlite, or blue ground. Initially kimberlite is dug
from the surface of the pipes in rough opencast mining. Once the surface deposits have been exhausted, shafts
are sunk into the ground at the edge of the pipes, and tunnels are driven into the deeper parts of the pipes.
After the diamond-bearing rock is brought to the surface, it is then transported to a screening plant where the
diamonds are separated from the host rock.

Alluvial Mining
This process involves the extraction of diamonds from riverbeds or ocean beaches. Millions of years ago, at the
time the diamond pipes were formed, some diamonds were weathered out of the pipes and carried great
distances along rivers and even into oceans.

In order to extract these diamonds from beaches, a wall is built to hold back the surf. Up to 25 metres of sand is
bulldozed aside to reach the diamond-bearing level. Once reached, the diamond-bearing earth is removed and
transported to screening plants.

Diamond Cutting and Polishing
The history of diamond cutting and polishing has its origins in India, where it was discovered a long time ago by
Indian lapidaries that a diamond could be made to glisten simply by grinding another diamond against it.

Nowadays the diamond and its powder play an important role in the cutting and polishing of diamonds. Over
time modern machinery has replaced traditional diamond cutting tools.

Diamond cutting and polishing requires anywhere from several hours to several months to complete. During this
process, a diamond will lose on average half of its original weight.

Diamond Cutting
As every diamond is different, a stone must first be carefully examined by the cutter and then marked for
cutting. Of all the cuts, the most popular is the round brilliant because of its ability to give a stone the greatest
possible brilliance and fire with the most minimal amount of weight loss. The following cutting and polishing
procedures uses the round brilliant cut as an example.

The rough diamond is divided into two parts by sawing or cleaving. Most stones are sawn across the "grain"
(visible evidence of the diamond's crystal structure) by a paper-thin metal disc coated with diamond dust
revolving at high speed or by laser. The stones that are marked for cleaving are split along the grain by a single
blow from a steel blade.

After cleaving or sawing, the corners of the diamond are rounded off by a process known as bruting or girdling
(only round brilliant cuts require this step). The stone is cemented into a "lathe", a holder that fits on a turning
shaft. Another diamond is cemented to the end of a long rod held under the bruter's arm. As the lathe rotates,
the two diamonds are brought together and grinded to shape. Diamond dust is produced from this action and is
used in further sawing and faceting.

The brilliant now has a girdle-a sort of rim at the widest part by which it is usually set. The size or position of the
girdle should not change throughout the rest of the diamond cutting process.
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Diamond Polishing
The polishing of the diamond begins; one by one, facets will be ground on to the stone. A facet is the tiny plane
or surface that traps the light and makes a diamond sparkle. Most diamond cuts have 58 facets.

The facets are applied to the diamond on a "turntable", made of porous iron, which has been coated with
diamond dust and oil. The diamond is set into a holder and held against the turntable as it revolves at a very
high speed.

A diamond has been cut well when its facets are clean, sharp, and symmetrical, and the proportions above and
below the girdle are correct. A diamond is correctly proportioned when one-third of the total weight of the gem
is above the girdle and two thirds below. A well-cut diamond will be fiery, brilliant and beautiful.


The quality and value of diamonds are measured by four characteristics known as the 4C's. The 4C's relate to a
diamond's cut, colour, clarity and carat weight. The quality of a diamond is measured by its cut, colour and
clarity. The carat weight measures the size of the diamond. Of all the 4C's, cut is the characteristic directly
influenced by man; colour, clarity and carat weight are all dictated by nature.


A diamond in its natural, uncut state is described as a "rough diamond". Its natural appearance so resembles a
glass pebble that most people would pass it by without a second glance. It is the skill of the diamond cutter that
unlocks the brilliance for which diamonds are renowned.

If two identical diamonds are placed side by side and one is less brilliant and fiery than the other, the fault lies in
the cutting. Such a stone cannot demand as high a price as a well-cut diamond.

It is important to distinguish between cut and shape. Some of the more popular shapes of diamonds include
Round Brilliant, Oval, Marquise, Pear, Heart and Emerald. Within each of these shapes, however, it is the cut
that determines the quality of the stone. For example, most diamonds are cut with 58 facets, regardless of their

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A diamond's colour is one of the most important factors in determining its value. The nearer a white diamond is
to being absolutely colourless, the more rare and valuable it is. The graduations in colour are so subtle that
intricate international grading scales have been devised.

Diamonds are graded into categories defined by letters. The colour range from exceptional whites (categories D,
E and F) to tinted colours (categories M to Z). The best way to pinpoint a diamond's true colour is to place it
next to another diamond that has previously been graded.

There are also fancy coloured diamonds and these are graded according to their intensity of colour, not lack of
it. There are a variety of reasons for diamonds to be coloured. The most common causes, or suggested causes,
for the colours yellow, green, blue, brown and pink are described below.

          When nitrogen combines with the diamond crystals during the formation stage it causes a surplus
          electron in the bonding. This surplus electron absorbs blue light, thus giving off a yellow colour. Yellow
          diamonds also occur when aggregates of three nitrogens combine and cause surplus bond.
          The elements of boron may also be substituted within a diamond during its formation. Boron absorbs
          red light, hence in the absence of nitrogen, diamonds containing boron are blue in colour. An example
          of a diamond containing boron is the famous Blue Hope diamond. Diamonds containing boron also
          exhibit unusual electrical properties and are semi-conductive in nature. Hydrogen is another impurity
          that, in high quantities, can cause grey or blue colouring in diamonds. However, these diamonds are
          not semi-conducting.
          A vacancy in the regular lattice of atoms within a diamond results in a green colouring. Carbon atoms
          being knocked out of their regular position by other particles cause vacancies. The depth of colour
          usually extends about 2mm below the diamond's surface. At extremely high temperatures the
          vacancies can become mobile and can combine with nitrogen to form other colours such as mauve,
          orange, blue or gold.
          It has been suggested that dislocations in the regular lattice of atoms, caused by severe forces deep in
          the earth, may be responsible for the brown colouring of champagne and cognac diamonds. The
          dislocated bonds may affect the light wavelength, thus producing a diamond which is coloured, but
          which contains no impurities.
          It has also been suggested that combinations of dislocations, vacancies, and non-nitrogen impurities
          cause the much sought-after colouration in pink diamonds. However these theories are still being


 During the formation of a diamond it is possible for minute particles of non-crystallised carbon or non-diamond
crystals to be caught within the diamond. These imperfections are called inclusions and provide each individual
diamond with unique characteristics.

Inclusions may not always be visible to the naked eye, however they do interfere with the passage of light
through the diamond. Therefore the fewer inclusions a diamond has, the more valuable it is.

Like colour, clarity is also categorised using international grading scales. The categories of clarity are based upon
the number, size and position of the inclusions within the diamond. Gradings range from flawless, and internally
flawless, through very small and small inclusions, to imperfect. The clarity gradings are described as follows:
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FL      Flawless                            No internal or external blemishes when examined under a 10x
                                            microscope.Diamonds in this category cannot contain internal graining
                                            that is reflective whitish, coloured,or which significantly affects
IF      Internally Flawless                 No internal inclusions but minor surface blemishes which cannot be
                                            removed with polishing. That is, characteristics such as surface grain
                                            lines, natural and extra facets on the crown. Blemishes that can be
                                            removed by minor repolishing separate the internally flawless from the
                                            flawless grade.
VVS1    Very, Very Slightly Included        Minute inclusions, such as reflective internal graining, difficultto locate
VVS2                                        using a 10x microscope
VS1     Very Slightly Included              Small inclusions, such as small included crystals which are visible using
VS2                                         a 10x microscope.
SI1     Slightly Included                   Inclusions that can be seen easily under a 10x microscope,and may also
SI2                                         be seen with the naked eye using a white background. Inclusions in
                                            these diamonds cannot be seen through the crown of the diamond.
I1      Imperfect 1                         Inclusions can be seen with the naked eye, and are quite obvious under
                                            a 10x microscope.
I2      Imperfect 2                         Inclusions can be seen with the naked eye, and may interfere with
                                            transparency and brilliance.
I3      Imperfect 3                         Dark inclusions which are very noticeable to the naked eye, and which
                                            interfere with transparency. Diamonds in this category may contain
                                            cleavages that are likely to become worse with wear.


A carat is the unit of measure used to determine the weight of a diamond. The term "carat" is derived from the
original method of using carob tree seeds to weigh diamonds. One seed from this tree was equivalent to one

The actual weight of one carat is now established at 0.2 grams. To assist in accurately describing the weight of
diamonds each carat is divided into 100 points. Diamonds of less than one carat in weight are known as
"pointers". For example, a 0.15 carat diamond would be called a "15 pointer".

Diamonds are usually weighed prior to setting for more accurate measurements. Diamonds are priced per carat,
according to their size and quality. Although the carat weight of a diamond is indicative of its size, it is not
necessarily indicative of a diamond's quality. Therefore, where two diamonds have the same carat weight, the
one of better quality will command a higher price per carat.

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Diamonds need caring to keep them looking at their brilliant best. They should be cleaned at least once a month
to keep away the "dullness" that can be caused by skin oils, soap, cosmetics and even cooking grease. The only
substance that does not stick to a diamond is water. A clean diamond will reflect better light.

There are several ways of keeping diamond jewellery clean.

The detergent bath is performed with a small bowl of warm suds using any mild liquid detergent. Immerse
jewellery pieces in the suds and brush gently with a tooth brush. Rinse under warm running water and pat dry
with a soft, lint-free cloth.

The quick dip method uses one of the liquid jewellery care products available. Follow the instructions on the kit.

The latest jewellery-cleaning device is the sonic jewellery cleaner. It is electronically operated and comes with its
own solution and directions.

Some extra helpful hints to keep diamond jewellery looking at its best.

              It is better not to wear diamond jewellery when doing rough work or the dishes. Despite the
              durability of a diamond, it can be chipped by a hard blow along its grain.
              Take care when doing the housework, not to let diamond jewellery come into contact with
              chlorine bleach, as it won't harm the diamond but can pit or discolour the mounting.

When placing diamond jewellery in a jewellery case, be sure to wrap them individually as they can easily scratch
each other as well as other gem jewellery. Be sure to take all types of precious mounted jewellery to a jeweller
at least once a year to check for loose settings and signs of wear.


Customers when deciding to purchase diamond jewellery will often
ask whether it is a good investment. In actual fact, jewellery
should never be purchased for investment reasons, only for its
beauty. The appeal of diamonds lies in their dazzling beauty and
endurance, and their ability to provide a lasting memento of a
special occasion.

Although diamond jewellery is usually bought for emotional
reasons, the value of the diamond content will appreciate in time.
Unlike some other commodities, the prices of diamonds have
remained stable over the years. As the cost of living rises, so does
the average price of diamonds. Diamonds will purchase the same
now as they did last year, five years ago, or twenty years ago.
Diamonds have lasting value.

                                  THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WONDERING
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                                                AND KNOWING

A Guide to Understanding Diamonds and GIA Grading Reports

GIA wants you to understand exactly what you’re buying when shopping for your diamond. As creators of the

4Cs and the International Diamond Grading System™, GIA set the standards for diamond grading and has been

helping consumers make educated diamond buying decisions for over 50 years.

GIA’s D-to-Z color-grading scale, Flawless-to-I3 clarity-grading scale, and Excellent-to-Poor cut-grading scale are

all recognized by gem and jewelry professionals everywhere. And, by extension, the GIA Diamond Grading

Report, Diamond Dossier®, and Gemological Identification Report are considered to be the world’s premier

evaluations of gem quality and authenticity.

                             How did the 4Cs of Diamond Quality Come to Be?
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Because diamonds are so valuable, it’s essential for industry professionals to have a universal grading system

when comparing diamond quality. In the mid-twentieth century, GIA developed the International Diamond

Grading System™ and the 4Cs as a way to objectively compare and evaluate diamonds.

The Four Cs of diamond quality will give you a multitude of information about a diamond’s characteristics and

value, but they can’t begin to describe one elusive quality – beauty. To do that, you’ll need to experience the

diamond with your own eyes.

Carat weight is the most intuitive of the 4Cs – you expect a larger diamond to be worth more when

assigning diamond values.

Diamonds and other gemstones are weighed using metric carats with one carat weighing about the same as a

small paper clip, or 0.2 grams. Just as a dollar is divided into 100 pennies, a carat is divided into 100 points

which means that a diamond of 50 points weighs 0.50 carats. But two diamonds of equal weight can have very

different values depending on the other three characteristics of a diamond’s 4Cs: clarity, color, and cut. The

majority of diamonds used in fine jewelry weigh one carat or less.

Because even a fraction of a carat can represent a considerable difference in cost when purchasing diamonds,

exact precision is crucial. In the diamond industry, weight is measured to a thousandth of a carat and rounded

to the nearest hundredth. Each hundredth is called a point (a 0.25 ct. diamond would be called a “twenty-five
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pointer”). Diamond weights greater than one carat are expressed in carats and decimals. (For instance, a 1.08

ct. stone would be described as “one point oh eight carats,” or “one oh eight.”)

How did the carat system start?
The modern carat system started with the carob seed. Early gem traders used the small, uniform
seeds as counterweights in their balance scales. The carat is the same gram weight in every corner
of the world.

What are "magic sizes"?
Some weights are considered "magic sizes" - half carat, three-quarter carat, and carat. Visually,
there's little difference between a 0.99ct. diamond and one that weighs a full carat. But the price
differences between the two can be significant.

The Color of the diamond is all about what you can't see.

Diamonds are valued by how closely they approach colorlessness – the less color, the higher the value. Most

diamonds found in jewelry stores run from colorless to near-colorless with slight hints of yellow or brown. The

only exceptions are the fancy-color diamonds that lie outside of this range.

GIA's diamond color-grading scale is the industry’s most widely accepted grading system. The scale begins

with the letter D, representing colorless, and continues, with increasing presence of color, to the letter Z.

Diamonds are color-graded by comparing them to stones of known color under controlled lighting and precise

viewing conditions.

Many of these color distinctions are so subtle that they are invisible to the untrained eye. But these slight color

differences make a very big difference in diamond quality and price.

Why does the GIA color grading system start at D?
Before GIA universalized the D-Z Color Grading Scale, a variety of other systems were used loosely,
from A, B, and C (used without clear definition), to Arabic (0, 1, 2, 3) and Roman (I, II, III)
numbers, to descriptive terms like "gem blue" or "blue white," which are notorious for
misinterpretation. So the creators of the GIA Color Scale wanted to start fresh, without any
association with earlier systems. Thus the GIA scale starts at the letter D. Very few people still
cling to other grading systems and no other system has the clarity and universal acceptance of the
GIA scale.

Diamond Clarity refers to the absence of internal inclusions or external blemishes.
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Because they are created deep within the earth, most diamonds contain unique birthmarks called inclusions

(internal) and blemishes (external). Diamonds with very few birthmarks are rare and, of course, rarity affects a

diamond’s value. Using the International Diamond Grading System™, created by GIA, diamonds are given a

clarity grade that ranges from flawless (FL) to diamonds with more prominent inclusions (I3).

Every diamond is unique. But none are absolutely perfect even though some come close, even under 10x

magnification. Known as flawless diamonds, they are exceptionally rare. Most jewelers have never even see one.

The GIA Clarity Scale contains 11 grades, with most readily available diamonds falling into the VS or SI

categories. In determining a clarity grade, GIA considers the size, nature, position, color or relief, and quantity of

clarity characteristics visible under 10x magnification.

                  • Flawless (FL)
                       No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification

                  • Internally Flawless (IF)
                       No inclusions and only minor blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10×


                  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2)
                       Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10× magnification

                  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2)
                       Inclusions are clearly visible under 10× magnification but can be characterized as minor

                  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2)
                       Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10× magnification

                  • Imperfect (I1, I2, and I3)
                       Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance

How did the GIA Clarity Scale come to be?
Like the color scale, GIA’s clarity grading system developed because jewelers were using terms
that could be misinterpreted, such as "loupe clean," or "piqué." Today, even if you buy a diamond
somewhere else in the world, the jeweler will most likely use terms like VVS1 or SI2, even if his or
her language is French or Japanese instead of English.
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What causes inclusions?
Small crystals can become trapped in a diamond when it’s forming. Sometimes as a crystal grows it
can develop irregularities in its atomic structure.

Cut fuels the diamond’s fire, sparkle, and brilliance.

It seems miraculous that the traditional 58 tiny facets in a diamond, each precisely cut and sharply defined, may

be only two millimeters in diameter. But without this precision, a diamond wouldn’t be near as beautiful as it is.

Without a doubt, the allure of a particular diamond depends more on cut than anything else.

Though extremely difficult to analyze, the cut of a diamond has three attributes: brightness (the total light

reflected from a diamond), fire (the dispersion of light into the colors of the spectrum), and scintillation (the light

flashes – or sparkle – when a diamond moves).

An understanding of diamond cut begins with the shape of a diamond, with the standard round brilliant

dominating the majority of diamond jewelry. All other diamond shapes are known as fancy shapes or fancy cuts

and include the marquise, pear, oval, and emerald cuts. Hearts, cushions, triangles, and a variety of other new

shapes are also gaining popularity in many forms of diamond jewelry.

As a value factor, though, cut refers to a diamond’s proportions, symmetry, and polish. For example, look at a

side view of the standard round brilliant. The major components, from top to bottom, are the crown, the girdle,

and the pavilion. A round brilliant cut diamond can have either 57 or 58 facets, the 58th being a tiny flat facet at

the bottom of the pavilion, known as the culet. The large, flat facet on the top is the table. The proportions of a

diamond refer to the relationships between table size, crown angle, and pavilion depth. A wide range of

proportion combinations are possible, and these ultimately affect the stone’s synchronicity with light.
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In early 2005, GIA unveiled a diamond cut grading system for standard round brilliants in the D-to-Z color range.

This system, the product of more than 15 years of intensive research and testing, assigns an overall diamond cut

grade ranging from Excellent to Poor.

How does pavillion depth affect a diamond's cut?
The distance from the bottom of the girdle to the culet is the pavilion depth. A pavilion depth that’s
too shallow or too deep will allow light to escape from the side of the stone, or leak out of the
bottom. A well-cut diamond will direct more light through the crown.

More About Diamonds and Purchasing from a Trusted Partner

Given the rarity and value of diamonds, it’s not surprising that experimenters have long sought to replicate a

natural diamond or treat it to increase its value. Because synthetics, simulants, and treatments are becoming

more advanced and harder to detect, a GIA Diamond Grading Report is essential to know what you’re really


There is nothing inherently unethical about treating a diamond, but U.S. law requires full disclosure. GIA’s

research efforts have been critical in identifying each of the diamond treatment techniques described here and is

committed to helping the gem-buying public know exactly what they’re buying.
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Treated Diamonds

For as long as diamonds and gems have been bought and sold, people have found ways to increase their value

and make them more desirable through artificial enhancement. Diamonds are routinely subjected to treatment

processes to improve their color, clarity or both, which makes purchasing quality diamond jewelry more difficult

for the consumer.

Diamond Color Enhancement

The oldest technique to enhance a diamond’s color is to coat it. Not as common as it once was, this

sophisticated process uses ultra-thin layers of chemicals or plastics to enhance a diamond’s color. Today, most

coated diamonds are easily detectable under magnification.

Irradiation induces a permanent color change throughout the entire stone. The post–World War II atomic age

saw an influx of artificially irradiated diamonds.

HPHT stands for a High Pressure, High Temperature, a laboratory process which can be used to change the color

in some gem diamonds. In the 1990s, scientists began to experiment with ways to modify diamond color using

this technique. HPHT treatment can change the color of certain diamonds, making them colorless, pink, blue,

green, yellowish green, or yellow.

Diamond Clarity Enhancement

Two techniques for improving a diamond’s clarity are laser drilling and fracture filling. Both of these clarity

enhancements are easily detected with magnification and suitable lighting.

Laser drilling is used to remove small, dark inclusions. The laser bores a small hole into the diamond’s interior

and burns away the inclusion, leaving behind a tiny drill hole.

Fracture filling hides white areas which are called “feathers.” A glass-like substance is injected into the fracture

to make it less visible, improving the stone’s clarity by one or even two diamond quality grades. But because it is

not stable to all routine cleaning and repair techniques, the technique has been quite controversial.

Conflict Diamonds and the Kimberly Process for Diamond Certification

Diamonds are small, valuable, and easily concealed. The perfect target for smugglers. In the late 1990s, the

world learned that smuggled diamonds were funding murderous rebel armies in Angola and Sierra Leone. These

stones became known as “conflict diamonds” or “blood diamonds.” Even though the vast majority of rough

diamonds were going through legitimate channels, immediate action was needed to end the distribution of these

blood diamonds.
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In 2000, industry organizations began working with world governments, human rights groups, and the United

Nations to create the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, aimed at removing undocumented rough

diamonds from the marketplace. According to this system, all rough diamonds had to be accompanied by a

diamond certificate of origin issued by an approved agency. From that point, all the way to the consumer, it

became mandatory that each diamond be accompanied by a document confirming its legitimate pedigree.

Unfortunately, the place where a diamond is found, and the fact that they can travel hundreds of miles from

                             their true point of origin, makes it virtually impossible to know where a specific

                             diamond originated. Because GIA only reports on what it knows, it does not report

                             on point of origin.

                             The Kimberley Process took effect on January 1, 2003 and, by all accounts, it

appears to be working. With the end of civil war in Angola and Sierra Leone, peace and stability have returned to

those countries.

                                    Synthetic Diamonds

Synthetic diamonds are grown in a laboratory and have essentially the same chemical composition and crystal

structure as natural diamonds formed millions of years ago. In the last 30 years, gem quality synthetic diamonds

have been grown in Japan, South Africa, Russia, Ukraine and the United States. Synthetic diamonds are

generally produced using either High Pressure/High Temperature (HPHT) or Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).

Early attempts to synthesize diamonds date all the way back to the nineteenth century. But the process of

duplicating the extreme heat and pressure under which natural diamonds are formed was elusive. In 1955,

General Electric overcame these technological barriers and produced small, industrial-quality stones – the first

synthetic diamonds. Since then, the processes of synthesizing diamonds have gotten better and better.

Gem-quality synthetic diamonds have been available to consumers since the mid-1980s. While they represent a

small segment of the market, they are becoming more widespread and increasingly difficult to detect when

purchasing diamonds. GIA is at the forefront in meeting this challenge, giving a distinct report for synthetics so

that there is no confusion in the marketplace.

How can I tell moissanite apart from a diamond?
Synthetic moissanite is a diamond simulant with properties are much different from those of
diamond. An experienced gemologist will be able to distinguish between the two. If there is any
doubt, the stone can be sent to a qualified independent laboratory for identification. Synthetic
moissanite has a lower specific gravity than diamond and will float in methylene iodide. Under
magnification, look for the following characteristics: doubling in appearance of facet junctions and
inclusions of whitish or reflective needles.
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                                     Diamond Simulants

Unlike a synthetic diamond, which has the same chemical composition and crystal structure as a natural

diamond, simulants (also known as imitations) merely imitate the gem’s appearance. Simulants can either be

created in a factory or occur naturally.

Some of the oldest diamond imitators were made of glass, garnet and glass doublets, rhinestones, and synthetic

sapphire. But probably the most familiar simulant is the cubic zirconia. Known by the household name “CZ,” it is

nearly as brilliant, shimmering, and durable as a diamond.

In 1997, a stone called synthetic moissanite entered the market, closely resembling a diamond. It shared many

of the same optical and physical characteristics but what really invoked controversy was that it fooled the

thermal testers used to detect previous diamond simulants.

No matter how convincing it may seem, any diamond simulant will have optical or physical characteristics that

can be identified by a trained gemologist. In the case of synthetic moissanite, double refraction is a dead

giveaway. When you look through a large facet, you’ll see a doubling of facet junctions on the opposite side of

the stone.

                                     Diamond Care

Diamonds are remarkably durable, resistant to scratching except by another diamond, and maintain their brilliant

fire extremely well. These qualities make a diamond well-suited to regular wear and are perfect for engagement

and wedding rings, which are usually worn every day.

But even a diamond isn’t indestructible. It can be chipped by a sharp blow or become loose in its setting and fall

out. A diamond should be worn with care.
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Because diamonds tend to pick up grease and oils, they can become dirty with handling and should be

occasionally wiped with a lint-free cloth. Other methods for safe cleaning include warm water, mild soap, and a

soft toothbrush or a commercial cleaning solution. It is not recommended to use ultrasonic and steam cleaners.

                                    GIA Diamond Grading & Reports

GIA revolutionized the diamond industry in 1955 with its Diamond Grading Report. Based on the 4Cs of

diamonds and International Diamond Grading System™, both of which GIA created, the grading report provides

a comprehensive analysis of quality and authenticity for diamonds in the D-to-Z color range. It contains

information on diamond shape and cutting style, measurements and weight, proportions and finish along with

grades for clarity, color, and cut. In addition, it identifies any known treatments. While a number of laboratories

issue similar reports, the GIA Diamond Grading Report has earned a reputation for unrivaled accuracy and

integrity when assigning diamond grades.

For stones between 0.15 and 1.99 carats, GIA offers the Diamond Dossier® It contains the same information

found on the traditional diamond grading report but in a more compact format. As an added security measure,

the Diamond Dossier® includes a laser inscription of the identification number. A professional jeweler can

arrange to have your diamond graded.

GIA’s laser inscription service can also be used for personal messages and anniversary dates. At the client's

request, a diamond may be microscopically inscribed on its girdle with its unique GIA Report Number (referred to

as the GIA Inscription Registry), a personal message, or other text, symbols, or logos. An inscription allows for

easy identification of a diamond, a way to personalize the diamond, or serves as a form of branding for the

diamond manufacturer or retailer.

                                    Why Get a Diamond Grading Report?

Most consumer purchases of significant value come with important certified documentation. Houses have deeds.

Vehicles have titles and registration. But what about something as important as a diamond?
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A Diamond Grading Report isn’t an appraisal but a scientific blueprint of your stone’s exact qualities. GIA’s

heritage as a research and educational institution means they are trusted to provide accurate, unbiased diamond

evaluations. All GIA diamond grading reports contain a hologram, a security screen, and microprint lines as well

as other security features that exceed industry guidelines. Simply put, they’re here to help you know what you’re


The most widely used and trusted means of verifying a diamond’s quality and provide positive identification is a

Diamond Grading Report or Diamond Dossier®.

A GIA grading report provides an expert analysis of a diamond’s quality based upon the “4Cs” of diamond

grading: carat, color, cut and clarity. The GIA Diamond Grading Report also contains a plotting diagram that

clearly shows the diamond’s unique inclusions and other clarity characteristics such as inclusions. It undergoes a

technical screening process, determining its potential as a synthetic or diamond stimulant and is tested to ensure

that the color is natural. Because GIA is not affiliated with any commercial enterprise, impartial and accurate

analysis of a diamond’s quality and value is assured.

GIA employs hundreds of highly trained diamond graders, gemologists, research scientists who scrutinize the

diamonds and analyze them, depending on size, with as many as 40 pairs of eyes for each stone. GIA Laboratory

experts have graded some of the world’s most famous diamonds, including the legendary Hope Diamond (45.52

carats) and the De Beers Centenary Diamond (273.85 carats).

Why did GIA create the 4Cs?
GIA developed the International Diamond Grading System™ and the 4Cs as a universal standard by
which to objectively compare and evaluate diamonds. The Four Cs of diamond quality will give you
a multitude of information about a diamond’s characteristics and value.

How many people grade each diamond at GIA?
GIA employs hundreds of highly trained diamond graders, gemologists and research scientists who
scrutinize the diamonds and analyze them, depending on size, with as many as 40 pairs of eyes for
each stone.

                                    How to Get a GIA Diamond Grading Report

GIA only grades unmounted diamonds and the fee varies according to the diamond’s weight. For an additional

fee, the unique GIA Report Registry number can be micro-laser inscribed onto the diamond’s girdle (its thin

outer edge), providing added security to the diamond’s owner. For an extra personal touch, you can also choose

to inscribe your diamond with a personal message or a special date. This number or message is permanently

registered in GIA’s archive database.
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Diamonds weighing less than 1.99 carats can be graded with a Diamond Dossier®. This report provides the

same information as the Diamond Grading Report except for the plotting diagram. The micro-laser

inscription of the diamond’s unique GIA report number is included for each diamond receiving a Dossier at no

additional charge.

The most convenient way for the public to obtain a GIA Diamond Grading Report, a GIA Diamond Dossier®, or

to request laser inscription services from the GIA Laboratory is through a local fine jewelry retailer. Retail

jewelers are familiar with the care and handling of diamonds and jewelry, are equipped to facilitate service

arrangements, and are uniquely qualified to advise the public on the importance and interrelationship of features

discussed in a GIA grading report.

                                       Grading the Four Cs of Diamonds

Diamond Carat Weight Measurement

To determine carats, the diamond is weighed using an extremely accurate electronic micro-balance that captures

the weight to the precise fifth decimal place (the nearest ten-thousandth of a carat). An optical measuring device

is used to determine the diamond’s proportions, measurements, and facet angles. This data is uploaded into

Horizon, GIA’s computerized operations and information management system.

Grading Diamond Color

Since light source and background can have a significant impact on a diamond’s appearance, color is graded in a

standardized viewing environment against color masters. A minimum of two color graders enter their

independent evaluations into the system and depending on the agreement of these grades, and the weight and

quality of the diamond, it may be sent to additional graders who enter their own color opinions. The grade is not

determined until there is sufficient consensus.

Diamond Clarity Grade

Diamond clarity is graded under standard viewing conditions with 10x magnification. The preliminary grader

carefully examines the diamond in order to identify clarity/finish characteristics and evidence of any clarity

treatments such as fracture filling or laser drilling.

A minimum of two graders assigns their impression of the diamond’s clarity, polish, and symmetry. Next they

plot the clarity characteristics on the diagram most representative of the diamond’s shape and faceting

style, selected from a database of hundreds of digitally stored diagrams. Also during this process the stone is

screened to determine if it is synthetic.
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Diamond Cut Grading

GIA provides a cut quality grade for standard round brilliant diamonds that fall into the D-to-Z color range. To

develop their Cut Grading System, GIA performed extensive computer modeling of round brilliant diamonds over

a 15 year period and conducted more than 70,000 observations on actual stones to validate the research. This

system can now predict the cut grade for more than 38.5 million proportion sets.

GIA’s Diamond Cut Grading System assesses the diamond’s overall face-up appearance to predict the intensity

levels of brightness, fire, and scintillation (the diamond’s sparkle and interplay with light). The result is a

comprehensive Cut Grading System that accurately reflects all the critical cut factors of a round brilliant


                                    Colored Diamonds, Gemstones and Pearls

While most diamonds are in the colorless to light yellow range, some have a natural color that is deep, distinct,

and opulent. These are known as fancy-color diamonds and are often blue, brown, or pink. Unlike colorless and

near-colorless diamonds which are valued for their lack of color, fancies are valued for the intensity of their

color. Colored diamonds are a small but increasingly popular segment of the diamond market.

The physical conditions necessary to color a diamond naturally occur very seldom, making natural color

diamonds extremely rare. For every natural color diamond, there are 10,000 colorless ones that have made the

trip from the earth’s depths to its surface. It is this entirely natural process of geographical formation which

ensures that each natural color diamond is one of a kind.

The formation of natural color diamonds is a process that requires the presence of additional trace elements and

distortions to the typical diamond crystal. During the creation of a diamond, if an element interacts with its

carbon atoms, the color can change. Natural radiation and pressure on a diamond’s structure can also intensify

its color.
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Rather than emphasizing the brilliance and fire coveted in near-colorless diamonds, these stones are all about

the color intensity. The Argyle mine in Western Australia launched a massive marketing campaign some time ago

that helped change the public’s perception of these previously overlooked diamonds. The 1987 sale of the

Hancock Red, at a record auction price of $926,000 per carat, further magnified the allure of fancies.

Color Grading of Fancy Diamonds

GIA’s system for color-grading colored diamonds was developed in the mid-1950s and revamped in the mid-

1990s. The diamond color grading system expresses color using the attributes of hue (the characteristic color),

tone (the color’s relative lightness or darkness), and saturation (the strength or weakness of the color). Using

controlled viewing conditions and color comparators, the grader determines the stone’s color from one of 27

hues. The fancy grade describes the stone’s tone and saturation with romantic names like “Fancy Light,” “Fancy

Intense,” and “Fancy Vivid.”

Today, the GIA color grading system for colored diamonds is used worldwide. Many of the most famous colored

diamonds, including the Blue Hope, the Dresden Green, and the Hancock Red, have been examined by the GIA

laboratory using GIA’s color grading system.

GIA offers two types of diamond grading reports for colored diamonds. The GIA Colored Diamond Grading

Report contains the same comprehensive diamond information as the GIA Diamond Grading Report. In addition,

the GIA Colored Diamond Identification and Origin Report, known as the color-only report, gives a color grade

and the nature of the color.

Colored Gemstones

While renowned for its diamond grading expertise, the GIA Laboratory also receives a vast array of colored

gemstones for identification—and its work in this area has been equally remarkable. Over the decades, the

Institute has created a database of information on more than 100,000 individual gemstones. Using this database

and sophisticated analytical tools, GIA researchers can pinpoint a gem’s identity, and depending on the

gemstone, even it's geographic orgin. They also distinguish synthetics, simulants, and stones that have

undergone treatment. A particularly important activity involves determining the origin of color in gemstones—

whether it is natural or the result of a treatment process.

The GIA Laboratory applies the same item identification and tracking procedures to colored stone identification

as it does to diamond grading.
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Pearl Identification

Over the past 100 years, discoveries in pearl culturing have revolutionized the industry, all but completely

replacing natural pearls with cultured pearls. By the end of the 20th century, several types of cultured pearls

were being produced in an overwhelming variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.

In response, GIA sought to create a standard for pearl grading and terminology—much as it had with diamonds

in the 1950s. Its pearl-grading system, launched in 1998, was based on GIA's 7 Pearl Value Factors™: size,

shape, color, luster, surface quality, nacre quality, and matching.

Why did GIA create the 4Cs?
GIA developed the International Diamond Grading System™ and the 4Cs as a universal standard by
which to objectively compare and evaluate diamonds. The Four Cs of diamond quality will give you
a multitude of information about a diamond’s characteristics and value.

What are beryllium-diffused sapphires?
Diffusion is a treatment process that uses heat and chemicals to add an element from an external
source into a gemstone to change its color. Even the most perfect crystal has places in its lattice
where atoms are missing. These gaps are termed “vacancies.” In the case of corundum, which is
made up of aluminum and oxygen atoms, the higher the temperature, the more vacancies there
will be. The color change depends on the type of element that is diffused into the corundum, the
stone’s inherent chemical composition, and the conditions under which the diffusion process takes

A GIA Report - including the GIA Diamond Grading Report and the GIA Diamond Dossier® – represents the most

respected and impartial assessment of gemstone quality and authenticity. And that brings peace of mind when

making one of life’s important purchases.

You can learn more about the wealth of information contained in your report, by clicking on one of the links

below. And don’t forget that your retail jeweler is uniquely qualified to advise you on the importance and

interrelationship of features discussed in your GIA Report.

              GIA Gem Identification Report

Feel Confident with the GIA Diamond Buying Guide

Buying a diamond can be a significant purchase both emotionally and financially, but it doesn’t have to be

intimidating. Here are four basic steps to ensure that the journey to find the perfect diamond for you is as

pleasurable as admiring the diamond you finally select.

1. Choose your qualified diamond jeweler just like you would choose your doctor, lawyer, or any

other professional. Ideally, your jeweler is a GIA-trained Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) or Accredited Jewelry
                                                                                                      P a g e | 28

Professional (A.J.P.) and is affiliated with jewelry industry groups and professional associations such as the

American Gem Society (AGS) and American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). A knowledgeable jeweler will clearly

explain the 4Cs of diamond quality and encourage you to compare a number of diamonds that fall into your price


2. Learn the 4Cs of diamond quality, the key to a diamond’s value and subsequent price.


Diamonds are weighed in carats with one carat weighing about the same as a paper clip, or 0.2 grams. Just as a

dollar is divided into 100 pennies, a carat is divided into 100 points which means that a diamond of 50 points

weighs 0.50 carats. But two diamonds of equal weight can have very different values depending on their clarity,

color, and cut. Carat weight is the most intuitive of the 4Cs – you expect a larger diamond to be worth more.


Because they are created deep within the earth, most diamonds contain unique birthmarks called inclusions

(internal) and blemishes (external). Diamonds without these clarity characteristics are rare – and rarity translates

to higher cost when purchasing diamonds. Using the GIA Diamond Grading System, diamonds are given a clarity

grade that ranges from Flawless to Included (I3).


Colorless diamonds are extremely rare and very valuable - most are nearly colorless with yellow or brown tints.

The GIA Diamond Grading System uses letters to represent colors, beginning with D (colorless) and ending at Z

(light yellow or brown). Many of these color distinctions are so subtle that they are invisible to the untrained eye

but these slight color differences make a big difference in price.


While diamonds come in many different shapes, including round brilliants, hearts, pears , and marquises, cut has

to do with proportion and the arrangement of facets. The sheer beauty of a diamond depends on cut more than

anything else, using light to create brilliance, sparkle, and flashes of fire. The GIA Cut Scale ranges from

Excellent to Poor. GIA provides a cut quality grade for standard round brilliant diamonds that fall in the D-to-Z

color range.

3. Get your diamond reports. Insist that your diamond come with grading report or, for other gemstones, an

identification report from an independent, accredited gemological laboratory like GIA - your assurance of value,

quality, and authenticity. GIA Diamond Grading Reports are the most widely used reports in the industry and
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offers laboratory grading services and reports directly to the public. Since GIA only grades unmounted diamonds,

they recommend working with your jeweler so that your diamond is submitted correctly.

4. Keep your purchase secure. Before you surprise your love with a piece of diamond jewelry, have the piece

appraised and insured. Appraisers and insurers rely on diamond grading and identification reports to accurately

evaluate the quality and value of gems.

The GIA Laboratory can also laser-inscribe the diamond’s unique Diamond Grading Report number to provide

verification if the diamond is ever lost or stolen. Or, if you prefer, personalized messages can be inscribed. Your

local jeweler can help you with this request or you can contact GIA directly.

What is a Graduate Gemologist (G.G.)?
Created in 1931, the prestigious GIA Graduate Gemologist diploma teaches jewelers the science
and technical knowledge needed to deal with the entire spectrum of diamonds and colored stones.
The distinguished G.G. designation at the end of an individual’s name is instantly recognized
around the world as the mark of a senior professional in the jewelry industry.

What is an Accredited Jewelry Professional (A.J.P.)?
The GIA Accredited Jewelry Professional diploma is designed specifically for sales associates and
provides them essential product knowledge they need to provide customers with accurate diamond

What is a Graduate Gemologist (G.G.)?
Created in 1931, the prestigious GIA Graduate Gemologist diploma teaches jewelers the science
and technical knowledge needed to deal with the entire spectrum of diamonds and colored stones.
The distinguished G.G. designation at the end of an individual’s name is instantly recognized
around the world as the mark of a senior professional in the jewelry industry.

What is an Accredited Jewelry Professional (A.J.P.)?
The GIA Accredited Jewelry Professional diploma is designed specifically for sales associates and
provides them essential product knowledge they need to provide customers with accurate diamond

Established in 1931, GIA is the world’s largest and most respected nonprofit institute of

gemological research and learning.

GIA discovers (through GIA Research), imparts (through GIA Education), and applies (through the GIA

Laboratory and GIA Instruments) gemological knowledge to the public. With 1,200 employees, the Institute’s

scientists, diamond graders, and educators are regarded as the world's foremost authorities in gemology.
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Internationally, the Institute has distinguished itself as the preeminent source of gemological knowledge and

professionalism. The GIA Diamond Grading Report and the GIA Diamond Dossier® are considered to be the

world's premier credentials of diamond quality. Many retailers provide diamond certification, however no report

is as unbiased and complete as a GIA diamond grading report. Diamonds of all shapes and sizes are sent to the

Institute from every corner of the globe for diamond grading and analysis.

Some famous diamonds have been graded by GIA including the Hope Diamond (45.52 carats), the Steinmetz

Pink (59.60 carats), the Taylor-Burton (69.42 carats), the Allnatt (101.29 carats), the De Beers Millennium Star

(203.04 carats), the Centenary (273.85 carats), and the Incomparable (407.48 carats).

GIA is the creator of the revolutionary 4Cs of diamond value (carat, color, clarity, and cut). It is also the

birthplace of the International Diamond Grading System™. Today, GIA’s D-Z color-grading scale, Flawless–I3

clarity-grading scale and Excellent-to-Poor cut-grading scale are recognized by virtually every professional

jeweler and savvy diamond buyer in the world

                                    The Story & Mission of GIA

One man, Robert M. Shipley, had a tremendous impact in the world of gemstones in the United States. A Wichita

jeweler, Shipley traveled to Europe to study gemology in 1928. Learning from the leading experts of the day, he

returned to the U.S. in 1929 with a mission to spread gemology.

In the throes of the Great Depression, quiet but positive change began to take place in America’s world of

gemology. By age 44, Shipley created the Gemological Institute of America in Los Angeles and by that summer,

250 dedicated jewelers had enrolled in his courses. This country finally had its own institute of gemological

learning and research, a place where knowledge would be discovered and applied to ensure the public trust in

gems and jewelry.
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GIA’s mission statement says it perfectly: Ensure the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest

standards of integrity, academics, science, and professionalism through education, research, laboratory services,

and instrument development.

Diamonds: Engagement Rings Through the Ages

The engagement ring’s romantic traditions resonate throughout time. The Romans first introduced the betrothal

ring as a plain, iron hoop. Among the gentry, the iron ring was worn while indoors and replaced with the more

valuable gold band when outdoors. As early as the 4th century AD, inscriptions, elaborate or as simple as

“honey,” embellished the inside of the band. According to Macrobius, a 5th century Roman writer, the betrothal

ring was worn on the fourth finger of the left hand...

Little Black Dress Meets Little Black Gem

It’s been more than 80 years since Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, the pioneering French fashion designer, popularized

the little black dress, which has since become a wardrobe essential for women in all corners of the globe. The

LBD, as it is often called, exists in many variants, and can be worn on almost any occasion that calls for style

and elegance. Like the LBD, the little black gem – otherwise known as the LBG − is also classic, yet versatile.

The varied LBG collection consists of diamonds, pearls, opals, onyx, and other unique stones, ranging from the

most affordable to the most precious gems available...

Hot Chocolate: Fall Fashions Favor Cocoa-Colored Gems

Chocolate has found its way to the necks, arms, hands, and bodices of fashion runway models. According to

experts at GIA, educator to the global gem and jewelry industry, gemstones with warm, brown tones are heating

up. Droves of fashionistas are dipping into this latest cocoa-colored fashion trend for fall. The world’s most

influential designers in couture apparel and jewelry agree

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