Diamond Education

The GIa 4 C's

Understanding the GIA. 4 C’s of Diamonds Shopping

Beauty and Its Beholder
The GIA 4Cs provide a way to objectively compare and evaluate diamonds, but number alone can’t describe a diamond’s mysterious and captivating beauty – for that, you’ll have to visit Barry’s Estate Jewelry to see one for yourself.

GIA Diamond Grading Reports

The GIA Grading Report includes an assessment of the 4C’s – color, clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight – along with a plotted diagram of its clarity characteristics and a graphic representation of the diamond’s proportions. GIA issues the Diamond Grading Report for loose falling in the D-to-Z color race, the report also includes a GIA Cut grade.

The Diamond Dossier is not issued for synthetics, stimulants, mounted diamonds, diamonds that have undergone unstable treatments such as fracture filling or coating, or diamonds that have been HPHT processed. Any evidence of the treatment is prominently disclosed in the report.


The GIA Color Scale extends from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown).

Although many people think of gem quality diamonds as colorless, truly colorless diamonds are actually very rare. Most diamonds used in jewelry are nearly colorless with tints of yellow or brown.

Color grades are determined by comparing each diamond to a master set. Each letter grade represents a range of color and is a measure of how noticeable a color is.

Fluorescence Some diamonds can emit a visible light when exposed to ultraviolet radiation, but fluorescence is not a factor in deterring color or clarity grades. However, a description of its strength and color is provided on GIA Reports as an addition identifying characteristic.


The GIA Clarity Scale includes eleven clarity grades ranging from Flawless to I.

Because diamonds form under tremendous heat and pressure, it is extremely rate to find a diamond that lacks any internal and external characteristics. These characteristics are a by-product of its formation and help gemologists separate natural diamonds from synthetics and simulants, and identify individual stones.


The GIA Cut Scale ranges rom Excellent to Poor.

A polished diamond’s beauty lies in ins complex relationship with light. The magnificent display you see is made up of three attributes: Brightness is the combination of all white light reflecting from the surface and interior of a diamond. Fire describes the “flares” of color emitted from a diamond. Scintillation describes the pattern of light and dark areas and the sparkle you see when the diamond, the light, or the observer moves.

A diamond’s proportions affect its light performance which in turn affects its beauty and overall real. Diamonds with fine proportions, symmetry, and polish optimize their interaction with light, and have increased brightness, fire, and scintillation.

GIA assesses these factors for standard round brilliant diamonds in the D-to-Z color range.

Carat (Weight)

One carat equals 200 milligrams in weight.

For diamonds under one carat, each carat is divided into 100 points – similar to pennies in a dollar. 0.75 ct. = 75 points, 1/2 ct. = 50 points.