Diamonds have been used as gemstones since antiquity.
Today, they are the gem of choice for decorative jewelry
of all types.
Beginning around 1900, those who were involved
in the gem industry called gemologists developed methods of
describing or grading diamonds based on the characteristics most important
to their value as a gem. In time, four
of these characteristics took prominence and became known as the four C's:
carat, clarity, color and cut.
There are three major non-profit gemological
associations that "certify" diamonds:
Gemological Institute of America
(GIA) - One of the first laboratories to issue modern
diamond reports - held in
high regard by gemologists for its consistent and conservative
American Gemological Society
(AGS) Not as widely recognized nor as old as the GIA,
but regardless having an
- excellent reputation
Diamond High Council (HRD) - Official certification laboratory of the Belgian diamond
industry - ISO 9002
certified - Very popular in Europe where its reports are recognized as legal
The four C's are used today by consumers to select
the diamond that is just right for them.
The Four C's:
Carat weight) | Clarity | Color , and Cut