In the dazzling world of diamonds, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) stands as a standard of authority and trust. Founded by Robert M. Shipley in 1931, the GIA has been the guiding light for jewelers and gemologists worldwide. In 1953, Robert introduced a revolutionary concept that forever transformed the diamond industry - the 4Cs.
The 4Cs, which stand for Carat, Clarity, Color, and Cut, are the cornerstone of diamond grading. These four essential attributes provide a standardized and objective way to evaluate and price diamonds, whether they are mined from the depths of the Earth or grown in a laboratory. This introduction marked a turning point in the industry, bringing much-needed clarity and consistency to the diamond market.
For many decades, the GIA focused solely on grading mined diamonds, setting the gold standard for quality assessment. It wasn't until 2007 that the GIA extended its expertise to lab grown diamonds, recognizing their growing presence and importance in the market. And then, in the landmark year 2020, the GIA took a giant leap by applying the same rigorous grading standards to both mined and lab created diamonds, ensuring that consumers could make informed choices regardless of the diamond's origin.
In this blog, we will explore how the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has applied its grading standards to lab diamonds, ensuring consistent assessment and quality evaluation. Let us understand the diamond grades of these diamonds through its 4Cs.
Lab grown diamonds are available in both fancy-colored and transparent varieties.
Transparent Diamonds: As per the GIA diamond color grades, a diamond of any color is graded on a scale of D to Z. This scale gives a report of how transparent a diamond is. The higher the grade of the stone, the more transparent the diamond is.
· The grades D, E, and F, fall within the category of colorless category. Stones with a D grade are completely transparent, whereas E and F-grade stones are less transparent than D.
· Stones with G and J grades come under the near-colorless category. They appear colorless except when they are put under observation.
· Stones with K, L, and M grades come under the faint or “lightly tinted” category. When mounted in yellow or rose gold, these stones often appear colorless or "set white."
· Stones have a stronger yellow or brown tint in the Very Light (N through R) and Light (S through Z) categories.
Read more about - Diamond Color Scale Guide
Fancy-colored diamonds: For colored stones, lab diamonds are graded based on tone, hue, and saturation.
· Hue represents the color that is dominant in the stone.
· Tone represents the relative lightness and darkness of the gemstone.
· Saturation speaks about the intensity of the stone’s color.
As per the lab grown diamond guide, the cut of the stone is very important as it influences its overall beauty. An essential aspect of the diamond's cut is its proportions, angles, fire, brilliance, and finishing.
The grades on which the diamond cut is graded are – Ideal, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor. Even if two lab diamonds belong to the exact grade, their cut may differ.
It is essential to understand the 4Cs facts of lab grown diamonds so that you pay the right price for your investment. You should review the diamond's cut and seek advice from an expert, as its cut plays such an important role in its beauty.
A diamond clarity grade represents how transparent and clean a diamond is from inclusions and blemishes.
Let's simplify and explore the GIA clarity grading system-
· Flawless - FL
· Internally Flawless – IF is 100% eye clean.
· Very, Very Slightly Included 1 – VVS1 is 99% eye clean.
· Very, Very Slightly Included 2 – VVS2 is 99% eye clean.
· Very Slightly Included 1 – VS1 is 95% eye clean.
· Very Slightly Included 2 – VS2 is 85% eye clean.
· Slightly Included 1 – SI1 is 50% eye clean.
· Slightly Included 2 – SI2 is 15% eye clean.
· Inclusions 1 – I1 is 1% eye clean.
· Inclusions 2 – I2 is 0% eye clean.
Inclusions and blemishes in diamonds can interfere with the passage of light depending on their location, size, and darkness. The brilliant sparkle and beauty of the gemstone are dulled when there is an obstruction in the passage of light, thus taking away all the beauty of the brilliant cut.
In the world of lab grown diamonds, carat is a key factor to consider. It's important to understand that the carat actually represents the weight of the diamond, not its physical size. For many consumers, carat weight is a significant consideration when choosing a diamond. Lab-created diamonds are available in a range of carat weights, making it possible to find one that suits your preferences and budget.
CVD diamonds, for example, typically fall within the carat weight range of 6 to 9 carats. These diamonds offer an attractive option for those looking for larger, eye-catching stones with all the benefits of sustainability that lab-grown diamonds provide.
Understanding the 4Cs - Carat, Clarity, Color, and Cut - is essential when navigating the world of lab grown diamonds. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has played a pivotal role in establishing standardized grading criteria for both lab created and natural diamonds, ensuring transparency and reliability in the market.
With the right knowledge and the GIA's lab grown diamond buying guide, you can make an informed decision, finding the perfect diamond that aligns with your preferences and budget while embracing the brilliance of this eco-friendly gem.