Faqs About Diamond Earrings And The 4 C's

Posted on: 16 September 2022


Is there a difference between graded diamonds and other gemstones? You're in the market for new diamond earrings and want to make the best purchase possible. Before you buy, take a look at what you need to know about diamond grading and your options.

Who Grades Diamonds?

Diamond grading doesn't happen in schools. Instead, this is a highly technical process authored and administered by the GIA experts, researchers, graders, and gemologists. 

What Does GIA Stand For?

GIA is an acronym for the Gemological Institute of America. For nearly one century, GIA has helped consumers to make the best gemstone choices possible. This industry leader is an authority on diamonds, colored gemstones, and pearls. The specialists and scientists of GIA use the organization's rigorous standards to grade diamonds.

How Does GIA Certify Diamonds?

Technically GIA doesn't certify diamonds. But the Institute does grade the stones. This process includes an assessment of the four C's—cut, clarity, color, and carat. Along with GIA's graders, the Institute's gemologists may also review specific aspects of a diamond to provide additional information. The experts review the diamond until the graders and gemologists reach one opinion or consensus. 

What Are the Four C's?

The four C's provide a structured grading guide that spells out what gemologists should look for in a diamond. Each "C" is a way to assess the diamond's quality. Together, the four C's create a picture of the diamond that can help buyers to choose the best investment for their money. Each "C" stands for:

  • Cut. Even though this "C" may seem like it refers to the shape, it doesn't. Cut is an assessment of how the diamond's facets interact with light and create brightness, fire, and scintillation. 

  • Clarity. Clarity is the absence of inclusions. According to the GIA, clarity includes 11 different types of possible grades.

  • Color. GIA grades colors on a D to Z scale. D diamonds have no color, while Z diamonds have the most noticeable hues. Pink, brown, yellow, and other outside-of-the-norm (non-clear) diamonds are considered fancy-color and not rated on the D to Z scale.

  • Carat. Carat refers to the weight of the diamond. One metric carat equals 200 milligrams. Carats are divided into points—with one carat equaling 100 points.

While top grades in all four "C" areas are desirable, you may have additional wants or needs in a diamond. Along with the grading, you'll also need to decide whether you want simple stud diamond earrings for sale, dramatic drop diamond earrings, or another design. 

For more information about diamond earrings, contact a local jewler.