February 15

What Is GIA Diamond? | Who Gives This Rating to Gem Stones?


Author: David Kopelman

GIA diamond is a popular term you'll often hear in jewelry shops selling rings, necklaces, and other jewelry. Simply, it means that GIA has graded the diamond. A common term that may come up when dealing with one, is the 4 C's. The grading facility has several systems used to grade gemstones. The 4 C’s represent color, clarity, carat weight, and cut. 

Key Takeaways

  • GIA diamond is a graded diamond that has all characteristics of the stone.
  • Each diamond graded by GIA contains a unique ID.
  • The most trusted grader when it comes to diamonds is The Gemological Institute of America
  • GIA diamonds are not a type but those that have been graded.

Grading helps find the correct value of diamonds depending on the diamond shape and quality. Also, GIA's method applies to both lab-created diamonds and natural diamonds.

A report helps you know the quality of the diamond you're buying and its value. Diamond grading is also essential because it gives you more information about what you're paying for. We’ve discussed more on the topic below

What is GIA Diamond?

The acronym GIA stands for Gemological Institute of America, established by Robert M. Shipley in 1931. The facility is a public, non-profit institute that is a huge source of education on gems. 

The facility also provides information when it comes to standardization regarding gems and jewelry. GIA in a diamond means the organization has established quality for the diamond using the 4 C's.

GIA operates as an independent grading service provider that doesn’t make, mine, buy, sell, trade, or value diamonds. The institution works independently to produce an unbiased GIA diamond grading report.

A GIA diamond grading report has several characteristics of your diamond besides the 4Cs. GIA-graded diamonds contain documents containing a GIA diamond certificate and the grading report. 

You will also find many jewelers using terms such as certified diamonds, which refer to the same thing(GIA diamonds). However, GIA doesn't certify diamonds; they grade a diamond on its unique features through strict examination in their labs.

What Do the 4 C’s Mean According to GIA?

The 4 C's signify the four primary diamond quality assessments in generating GIA diamond reports. Here's a detailed explanation:

  1. Carat weight grade: It precisely measures the weight and proportions through a scanning device.
  2. Clarity grade: The step involves examining the diamond for finish and clarity characteristics. It establishes a diamond's symmetry, clarity, and polish. Clarity grading passes through more than one grader. Each  shows an independent report.
  3. Color grade: Color grading involves stones arranged from D to Z, each representing a color grade that graders use to determine the color of a particular diamond.
  4. Cut grade: It establishes a diamond's fire, brightness, and scintillation.
round cut diamond

Are GIA Diamonds Worth More?

GIA diamonds have more value than other diamonds in the market because they have proof of quality. Nonetheless, GIA-certified diamonds only have a slight price difference from the rest. The real value of a diamond depends on its quality, GIA only grades and provides a quality report.

Is It Worth It to Buy a GIA-certified Diamond?

Yes, it is worth it to buy a GIA-certified diamond because it indicates what you're buying. Compared to other diamond reports, GIA's is the most accurate.

GIA is the leading diamond grader in the industry. Also, they have written materials that you can follow to grade, buy & sell, price, and compare different diamond costs. A GIA-certified diamond report is the most accurate when it comes to grading.

GIA-certified diamonds give you peace of mind since the institution has taken time to grade the diamond and produce a quality report. The report gives you diamond qualities in black and white making it easier to know details about your diamond.

GIA certificate and diamonds in the vintage frame

Here are more reasons why it is worth it to buy GIA-certified diamonds:

  1. Credit

GIA-certified diamonds are carefully examined in labs considered the most credible for valuable stones. They have experts who understand diamonds in and out. Most of their projections come true, which has earned the institute a lot of trust in grading diamonds.

  1. Detail - Oriented

When you purchase a GIA-certified diamond, you get information about the 4C's of the diamond. You'll also get additional information about all its grading details, including flaws present in the piece of jewelry. Flaws include pits, diamond inclusions, and poor facet cuts present in the diamond.

  1. Uniqueness

GIA treats every jewel uniquely. Gemstones have impurities concentrated in different areas making each piece have its properties. A diamond with its report means that the institute gave special attention to the jewel.

  1. Security

It is common knowledge that you can forge jewelry certificates. A GIA diamond certification is more challenging because of the security features available throughout the certification process. At the same time, the institution allocates each diamond a unique ID before issuing a stamped certificate from the issued lab.

GIA logo and diamonds in four squares

What Does A GIA Certification Mean?

When a diamond has a GIA certification, it means it has gone through a thorough grading process to obtain a GIA diamond report. To certify diamonds, you must get a grading report from trusted institutes such as GIA.

Diamonds with less weight have a different report commonly known as a GIA diamond dossier. It is a report given for diamonds weighing less than a carat. Information you'll find  includes:

  • Report number
  • Weight
  • Dimensions
  • Color Grade
  • Depth(round diamonds) or Width(Fancy shapes).

Is Every Diamond a GIA One?

No, not all diamonds are GIA diamonds. Because of its reputation, most of them pass through the institution for grading. There are many GIA-graded diamonds in the market, making it seem like each crystal is from the gemological institute.

You should confirm which institution certified your diamond from the store. For GIA diamonds, you should obtain the GIA diamond report, which contains all details on your diamond. 

The 4 C's, the report also includes the unique number. You can use it to access GIA's online database to verify the grading report and see additional details. You can also access a diamond e-report from the database which is a soft copy of the actual report.

GIA numbers closeup and diamond jewelry

How Does GIA Ensure Objectivity When Grading Diamonds?

GIA needs to follow robust procedures to ensure objective analysis to provide accurate reports. When the diamond arrives at the laboratory, the lab issues a tracking number for the whole grading process. 

The facility places the diamond in a transparent case with no names, logos, initials, or details referencing the owner. It helps graders to avoid favoritism when issuing reports.

The tracking department monitors the grading process electronically through surveillance equipment. The process is efficient and smart so that the department can locate the diamond at all times.

After each grading step, the inventory control department takes the diamond before handing it over to the next step. It ensures that the distribution of the diamond to graders is random. Objectivity plays a considerable role in establishing credible diamond grading reports.


What Other Institutions Grade Diamonds?

Other than GIA, there are two other known institutions; International Gemological Institute and Diamond High Council. However, GIA has the highest ratings when it comes to diamond grading. IGI and HRD have several cases of inaccurate classifications.

How Do I Read a GIA Diamond Grading Report?

You should read a GIA diamond grading report through the diagrams and figures that explain a diamond's characteristics. GIA grades diamonds and establishes their attributes according to the 4 C's. For color, there are D-F, G-J, K-M, N-R, and S-Z, which signify different color codes.

Can You Trace a GIA Diamond?

Yes, you can trace a GIA diamond through its inscribed numbers, usually the unique ID. GIA contains a record of all the certified stones, which includes the contact details of the associated person who brought them to the labs. 

Do I Really Need to Get a Diamond Graded?

For precious jewelry like wedding and engagement rings, you should own a graded one. You might also need a GIA-graded diamond to access the diamond's characteristics. When you have one, you're sure that it is natural because of the detailed research on a particular piece.

About the Author:

David Kopelman

In every article I write, I share my experience as a GIA Graduated Gemologist so that you learn everything about diamonds and other precious stones.

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