What Does It Mean When Diamonds Are GIA Graded?

Are you ready to begin a new exciting chapter of your love story? Holey moley, engagement time comes with a lot of things to think about. Finding a perfect diamond engagement ring is one of your important decisions. Once you start the search, you can get confused about GIA graded diamond rings, a variety of designs, diamond shapes, carat weights, and prices.

According to the Knot 2019 Jewelry & Engagement Study, the national average cost of an engagement ring in 2019 was $5,900. Quality and price go hand in hand. So, you need to pay attention to details, particularly to diamond’s identity and quality characteristics. Make your diamond engagement ring worth the investment.

Among a wide range of diamonds, it’s easy to purchase a fake. In order to avoid this, you should ask a jeweler for the grading report, in which you can see information about the GIA grading diamond in the ring. 

Here you’ll learn about the GIA, the 4Cs of diamond quality, and the GIA Diamond Grading Reports. Also, you’ll learn why it’s important to acquire GIA Grading Reportified diamond rings. Knowing more about diamond grading you’ll be able to make a more informed choice when you’re buying an engagement ring. 

What is the GIA?

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is an independent, non-profit organization that researches gemstones, provides professional gem education, and sets standards of diamond quality. 

Established in 1931, the GIA is the leading gemological organization in the world and the best-known in the US. It has 8 campuses, 4 research centers, and 11 grading laboratories worldwide.

The GIA has actively supported the science of gemology and engaged in research. The institute has developed technologies to determine authentic gems and simulants accurately. In 1953 the GIA created its International Diamond Grading System and determined the 4Cs of diamond quality.

Along with American Gem Society Laboratories (AGSL), the GIA is a consumer-facing laboratory. It forms consumer confidence and protects buyers and sellers of gemstones from bad quality gems. In comparison with other profit laboratories based around the representation of dealers, GIA laboratory helps and educates consumers.

Also, the GIA offers several training programs and courses. Graduates get knowledge about gemology, diamonds and colored stones and their grading. After completing one of the programs, they receive the diplomas and can work as professional jewelers.

The Process of GIA Grading Diamonds? 

Cutters and dealers from all over the world submit diamonds for GIA Grading Reportification. Gemologists and expert diamond graders assess the diamonds and issue reports on their quality characteristics. 

GIA iD100 – distinguishes natural diamonds from laboratory-grown (HPHT and CVD) diamonds and diamond simulants.

The diamonds don’t include any initials, company names, logos, or other personal information. It ensures an objective assessment. Then, each diamond is assigned its tracking numbers (for identifying it during the grading process) and put in a transparent storage case.

The diamonds are examined by trained gemologists (at least, two specialists), who have comprehensive knowledge about diamonds and grading process. The diamonds are being assessed until the experts come to a consensus. Then, one of the GIA senior managers does a value core check.

4Cs of Diamond Quality

The 4 main quality attributes of the diamond are:

  • color
  • clarity (purity)
  • cut
  • carat weight

You can determine a diamond's beauty and quality by these criteria. Each of the C’s has its own grading scale, so it is possible to evaluate a diamond accurately. 

The 4Cs is the global system for specifying the quality of any diamonds. So people can communicate about diamonds in a universal language. Moreover, customers can be more aware of the diamond in their jewelry thanks to the 4Cs.

Color. The diamond’s color is specified by using a set of master stones. The set is a row of stones arranged from D to Z, where each stone represents the standard for a certain color grade.

The grader moves the diamond down the line of the set and determines its place in the color grade spectrum. Then, the diamond is observed under special UV lighting to check its fluorescence.

Every diamond is evaluated by several experts, which are unaware of the opinions of each other. The grading environment is usually neutral grey or white. When graders come to an agreement, a color grade is assigned to the diamond. 

Clarity. A diamond is viewed with 10x magnification to grade and by several graders. The specialist inspects the diamonds to determine its clarity characteristics and marks of any treatments. Also, one of the experts validates information about the diamond’s weight and measurement.

20x-40x Jewelry Stereo Gem Microscope from BoliOptics
20x-40x Jewelry Stereo Gem Microscope from BoliOptics

Then, a grader plots the data about clarity, polish, and symmetry on the diagram. There the size, position, and nature of clarity features of the diamond are indicated. Also, he or she assigns characteristics of the thickness of the diamond’s culet and girdle. When graders reach a consensus, they finalize grading results and the process is completed.

Cut. GIA determines quality grade only for round brilliant diamonds after the color and clarity grading processes. Graders assess the diamond’s proportions, facet angles, polish, and symmetry according to the GIA cut grade. Also, they evaluate its brightness, fire, and scintillations to make a final assessment of the diamond’s cut quality. 

Carat weight. Experts use accurate and professional devices by grading the diamonds. They determine the diamond’s weight using the scale of an electronic micro-balance device. Also, they assess measurements, facet angles, and proportions of the diamonds with the help of an optical scanning appliance. 

In the Engage app, you will discover a wide range of GIA and AGS Graded Reports diamond engagement rings. It’s easy to connect the app to your or your partner’s Pinterest account and view Engage’s suggestions.

GIA Reports 

When the diamond is examined, GIA experts create a diamond grading report. It’s an official document, where you can find a full assessment of the particular qualities of the diamond. The GIA offers 5 different Reports, such as:

  • Diamond Grading Report
  • Diamond Origin Report
  • Diamond Dossier Report
  • Diamond eReport
  • Diamond Focus Report

The Diamond Grading Report. The GIA laboratory issues this report for loose, natural diamonds in the D-to-Z color range and in weight 0.15 carats and up. It presents grading results of the analysis of the diamond’s 4Cs, a unique GIA Report Number, and diamond’s dimensions. Also, here you can find out a graphical representation of the diamond’s proportions and clarity characteristics. Moreover, the report also includes detailed GIA scales, so that you can understand the grading results correctly. 

The Diamond Origin Report. This report is for treated or untreated color diamonds weighing 0.15 and up carats. It includes the same data as the GIA Diamond Grading Report, but also information about the country of origin. This document is available only for eligible diamonds that were analyzed by GIA experts before polishing. 

The Diamond Dossier Report. This report is issued for loose, natural diamonds with D-to-Z untreated color and in weight range 0.15 – 1.99 carats. Here you can view the results of grading, information about polish, symmetry, and fluorescence. Also, the proportions of the diamond and GIA scales are presented in the report. 

The Diamond eReport. This report is for loose, natural diamonds in D-to-Z untreated color range and that weigh 0.15 – 2.99 carats. It is available in a digital format. The report includes characteristics of the diamonds by 4Cs and an image of the diamond in a high resolution (to highlight its particular characteristics such as shape, faceting, and clarity). It doesn’t include laser inscription as standard, but you can request it at the time of servicing. 

The GIA Diamond Focus Report. This report is for loose, natural D-to-Z untreated color diamonds weighing 0.15 – 0.29 carats. It shows information about the diamond assessed by 4Cs. You can see the results in a digital format or on GIA Report Check.

Non-Profit vs. For-Profit Labs

While purchasing diamonds take into account that not all labs use the same standards. The GIA and the AGS are both non-profit labs and do not benefit from  their gemological opinions. All other labs are for-profit labs and their clients rely upon the highest gemological outcomes to enhance the value of the diamonds or gems submitted to the labs.

A for-profit lab may consult with the economic owner of the diamond to discuss the outcome prior to a final analysis. The non-profit labs perform blind evaluations and the graders, as well as the back-in systems control management systems never identify the owner of a gem. It’s also important to mention that lab reports are Grading Reports and don’t attest to value, only quality standards. 


There are two important things to remember about the GIA Grading Reports:

  1. Lab Reports are “Grading Reports” and not “Certs or Certificate”. They do not attest to value, only quality standards.

  2. Not all labs use the same standards. The GIA (Gemological Institute of America and the AGS (American Gemological Society) are both non-profit labs and do not benefit from  their gemological opinions. ALL other labs are for-profit labs and their clients rely upon the highest gemological outcomes to enhance the value of the diamonds or gems submitted to their labs.

    A for-profit lab may consult with the economic owner of the diamond to discuss the outcome prior to a final analysis. The non-profit labs perform blind evaluations and the graders, as well as the back-in control management systems never identify the owner of a gem.

By the way, JCK Magazine states that 53% of brides rely on Pinterest for ring design research and inspiration.