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Buying a diamond is a very personal experience. Diamonds can be bought to signify love, significant accomplishments, milestones in your life or that of a gift's recipient. Unlike when you buy clothing, electronics, or cars, the features of a diamond may not seem quite so obvious to you. Aside from buying a new home, choosing a diamond may rank as one of the most difficult and challenging purchases that people will make in their lifetime. Diamond quality is determined by small nuanced differences that can significantly affect the final value. Without an educated professional to explain these differences, the buyer is essentially buying the diamond 'blind', with no idea whether their choice is good or not. The more you know about your diamond jewelry, the more confident you will feel when making your diamond jewelry choices.
Diamond grading reports are a partial improvement. These reports endeavor to provide an impartial assessment of body color, the degree to which the diamond is free of internal irregularities (inclusions), and how well the diamond cutter has crafted the polished facets and proportioned the final gem. Despite all this there are still huge discrepancies in the final price!
This is the realm of the diamond professional: the Certified Gemologist who spends a lifetime studying the nuanced differences, and understanding what makes these differences in value. The challenging purchase becomes easy when you allow the professional to guide, educate and assist you in your diamond buying decision.
The good news? We provide that guidance.
The grading of diamonds for their individual quality has taken decades to develop, and has even seen revisions in the last decade. Early systems were typically used between wholesalers and retailers, and acceptance of any one system was limited. Quality standards and grading methods were not established. Two diamond grading laboratories in the US pioneered much of the grading standards and methodologies, and advanced the ability to communicate diamnd quality. Eventually the need for consumers to have trust in the grading information about diamonds led to the diamond grading reports that are commonplace today. Research into diamond quality continues with further advances in understanding the interplay of light with diamond cutting.
Watch the video below for an overview of the History of Diamond Grading put together by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
We pride ourselves in our diamond knowledge and our ability to inform your buying decision. We believe that we are facilitators for you as a diamond buyer. Diamonds of significant value are typically accompanied by third-party laboratory reports; usually from GIA or AGS.
To begin you on your diamond education journey the GIA and AGS have provided us with some resources to introduce diamond grading.
Learn more about the GIA
The GIA diamond grading system is used virtually universally and is readily understood by diamond vendors and consumers. The diamond grade is captured in the ubiquitous term 4C's. The 4C's are: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat weight. The brochure that you can download from the link below contains a summary of each C. Otherwise the links below will provide you indepth discussions on each diamond quality.
Learn more about the AGS
Where the GIA grading the system was developed to be a communication tool within the diamond trade, and was not conceived as a tool to be used with consumers, the AGS system was intentionally developed to communicate diamond quality to the buyer of diamonds. The AGS system expresses diamond grades through the use of an intuitive 0-10 number system for cut, color and clarity grading. Once you understand that 0 is the highest grade, and 10 is lowest grade, it is easy to make comparitive decisions: a '4' clarity is better than a '6' clarity.
Where the AGS really excels though, is in the assessment of diamond cut. AGS was a forerunner in researching diamond cut quality, and provides a more thorough grading evaluation of cut quality than the GIA system. The video provided below provides an introduction to the AGS grading system.
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