How do Jewelers Rate Diamonds?

By: vgevge

We began our search by entering 'diamond ratings' into the search box. The results led us to online gift retailers, where we quickly found a useful page on on the '4 C's' of diamond evaluation: color, clarity, cut, and carat.

From that document, we got the sense that the most reputable ratings are performed by independent laboratories such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the European Gemological Laboratory (EGL). We returned to search engines and searched on the names of these groups. We found both listed under the Gemology - Organizations category.

A visit to the Gemological Institute of America site left us a little disappointed. They seemed to offer a great deal of information on their course offerings, but little in the way of reference material.



The EGL site was also underwhelming. Still, if you find yourself coming across EGL or GIA reports in the course of your diamond hunting, it's probably a good idea to familiarize yourself with these organizations.

Ultimately unsatified with the results of our search, we decided to browse more. Happily, before long we found a nice site that offers information on the 5 C's (they added 'cost'), diamond shapes, 'How to Buy a Diamond,' and 'How to Read a Diamond Certificate.'

Even though diamonds can only be authenticated by certified gemologists, you can do some self-test too when you are browsing jewelry. These tests do not require special tools. Here they are:

  • If the diamond is loose, try putting it over a printed paper. If the gem is a true diamond, you will not be able to read anything that was printed on the paper through the diamond. This is because diamonds refract so much light, that they block out everything else that are beneath them.
  • Because diamonds are excellent conductors of heat, you can try breathing on the surface of the diamond and see if it fogs up. You should not see any moisture on the diamond.
  • The specks, ridges and facets of a diamond can give away its true authenticity. A real diamond does have inclusions, which are basically bits of minerals crushed into the stone as it formed in the earth.

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