GIA certified diamond

In 2021, the global production of diamonds reached 120 million carats, an 11.9% increase over 2020’s rates. The slump in the diamond industry caused the COVID-19 pandemic has started to rebound.

You’ve heard the quote “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” often attributed to the famous 50’s blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe. You’ve probably also seen diamonds for sale with a GIA certification label. But just what is a GIA-certified diamond?

In this post, we’ll cover the finer points of what makes a GIA-certified diamond a smart choice for you. If you want to know about the benefits of a GIA-certified diamond, keep reading below to discover more information.

What Does GIA Stand For?

The GIA is the Gemological Institute of America, or, GIA for short. The Gemological Institute of America is an independent and nonprofit organization located in Carlsbad, California.

Founded in 1931, its aim is to provide education and research into gemology, especially relating to diamonds. Today, the GIA spans the globe with 11 campuses across 13 countries. It also has 4 research centers and 9 laboratories.

The GIA seeks to protect buyers and sellers of diamonds. They do this by creating and maintaining the diamond industry standards for evaluating and determining the overall quality of gemstones for use in jewelry designs like engagement rings.

The Gemological Institute of America offers research and educational programs into all aspects of jewelry and gemstones. Its two most notable programs offered are diamond grading and gem identification. Because of their extensive knowledge and experts in all areas of gemological study, they have become a top leader in the diamond industry.

In 1953, the GIA developed an international diamond grading system. It also created a system for determining a diamond’s price and overall quality, known as the 4 C’s. Diamonds meeting the criteria set forth by the GIA receive a Gemological Institute of America certificate.

Thanks to the 4 C’s, this system is now a standard around the world for assessing a diamond’s grade and value. Now we’ll delve further into the 4 C’s and what they mean for diamond grading. 543

What Are the 4 C’s of Diamond Grading?

If you’re unfamiliar with the terminology of diamond grading, it can be confusing. The 4 C’s can help you narrow down your diamond options and find the best diamond for your budget and quality specifications.

The 4 C’s of diamond grading are:

  • Cut
  • Color
  • Clarity
  • Carat

The GIA uses these 4 categories in their process of evaluating diamonds and other gemstones. Let’s explore what these mean and the qualifications necessary to receive a GIA certificate.


A diamond’s cut doesn’t refer to its stone shape, although there are some cuts that can change a diamond’s overall shape. Cut specifically applies to forming a rough diamond to create a faceted surface. The number of facets on a diamond’s surface also determines its dimension and reflective properties.

The proper diamond cut can influence the proportions, polish, and symmetry. Cut is a major aspect of contributing to a diamond’s total beauty. The right diamond cut allows more light to pass through and reflect.

The most popular cut of a diamond is the brilliant cut, which is well-suited for round and oval diamonds. They contains 58 facets for the ultimate sparkle since it catches and reflects the light from every angle.

A step cut is a variation of gemstone cut that creates a large mirrorlike flat faceted table on the top with rows of cuts on the side of the stone. These cuts look like stairs or steps from above that go down into the bottom of the diamond (culet).

Step cuts are popular with Emerald, Asscher, and Baguette-shaped stones. An Emerald cut has 58 facets with 25 on the crown (top), 8 on the girdle (middle), and 25 facets on the pavilion (bottom).

A mixed cut uses a combination of both brilliant and step cuts. They can have step cuts on the crown (top) and brilliant cuts on the pavilion. Or they can contain brilliant cuts on the crown portion and step cuts on the pavilion region.


While there are dazzling colored diamonds available, diamond color on the GIA 4 C’s refers to the amount of brown or yellow coloring they contain. A more desirable GIA-certified diamond contains little to no coloring. The most expensive diamonds rate as completely colorless.

The diamond color scale rates a diamond’s coloring on an alphabetical scale from D-Z. The ratings are as follows:

  • D, E, F- Colorless
  • G, H, I, J- Near Colorless
  • K, L, M- Faint
  • N, O, P, Q, R- Very Light
  • S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z- Light

The GIA diamond color grading scale is the standard of the diamond industry.


No diamond in the world is absolutely perfect on its own. Diamonds have certain flaws, called blemishes or inclusions. A GIA-certified diamond focuses on the utmost quality of clarity.

The GIA grading system takes into consideration elements like the size, position, type, texture, color, and quantity of any properties that are visible within a diamond using 10× magnification.

The clarity grading scale established by the GIA falls into 11 grades under 6 main categories. These categories are:

  • Flawless (FL) – No visible inclusions or blemishes are visible under 10× magnification
  • Internally Flawless (IF) – Visible blemishes only but no inclusions when viewed under 10× magnification
  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) – Small inclusions that are difficult to see under 10× magnification
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) – Minor inclusions that may be difficult or somewhat easy to see under 10x magnification
  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) – Inclusions are more noticeable under 10x magnification
  • Included (I1, I2, and I3) – Obvious inclusions that affect a diamond’s brilliance and transparency are viewable under 10× magnification

While Flawless diamonds are rare, the higher the clarity grading a GIA-certified diamond receives, the more value it will have. Internally Flawless is the most popular since it has the best combination of price and appearance.


Carat and Karat are not interchangeable when grading diamonds. Karat is the system for rating gold purity while carat relates to the overall size and weight of a diamond or other gemstone.

One carat of a diamond is equal to 0.2 grams or 200 milligrams. A larger carat diamond will be worth more than one with a smaller carat weight. The carat weight of a diamond, when combined with the clarity, cut, and color of a diamond all factor into a diamond‘s total worth.

What Is On a GIA Report?

A GIA certificate report takes multiple features and attributes into consideration when determining the overall value of your diamond. In addition to the 4 C’s, a GIA report is a full summary of the diamond’s specs.

The GIA’s gemologists examine every aspect of the diamond to assign a total grade. A standard GIA certificate contains 21 different areas of reporting information. The GIA only issues the Diamond Grading Report for loose natural diamonds weighing 0.15 carats or more.

Date and Report Number

Every GIA certificate lists the date the diamond was examined by the GIA. They also contain a GIA report number, a unique number that applies only to a specific diamond that is registered in GIA’s global database.

Shape and Cutting Style

The GIA report displays an outline of the diamond’s shape. It also denotes the cutting style and pattern of the facet arrangement, such as round brilliant.

Diamond Measurements

The information in the report also details the diamond dimensions in mm. These are listed as “minimum diameter – maximum diameter x depth” for round diamonds. For fancy-shaped diamonds, they are listed as “length x width x depth”.

Carat Weight

The total diamond weight in carats. It is rounded to the nearest hundredth of a carat. One carat represents ¹⁄5 of a gram.

Color Grade

The absence of diamond color, on a scale of D-Z from colorless to light yellow or brown. These are compared to the GIA Master Color Comparison Diamonds. If a“*” symbol appears next to the color grade, this indicates the detection of a color treatment.

Clarity Grade

As stated above, clarity is the absence of inclusions and blemishes. Graded on a scale from Flawless to Included based on the characteristics that are visible under 10x magnification.

The GIA Diamond Grading Report includes an assessment along with a plotted diagram of its clarity characteristics. As well as a graphic representation of the diamond’s proportions.

Cut Grade

The cut grade applies to standard, D-to-Z color, round brilliant diamonds. It incorporates the areas of the design, craftsmanship, and face-up appearance. This area is graded on a scale from Excellent to Poor.


The polish applies to the smoothness of the diamond’s surface. This is also assessed on a scale ranging from Excellent to Poor.


Symmetry pertains to the symmetrical design of the diamond’s shape and outline, as well as the alignment and placement of its facets. Also assessed on a scale ranging from Excellent to Poor.


Fluorescence in diamonds relates to the color and strength of the diamond when exposed to a long-wave ultraviolet light. A fluorescence description of “none” will represent a range of fluorescence as Indiscernible to Very Faint.

Larger and more expensive D-F color-rated diamonds displaying no fluorescence are even more valuable.

Inscriptions and Comments

Inscriptions list any personal engraving text, symbols, or logos on the diamond. This section will also note the unique GIA report number inscribed on the diamond’s girdle.

The comments section denotes any additional features or identifying characteristics not mentioned elsewhere in the report. If any diamond treatment is detected, like color treatment or laser drilling, it will be listed here.

Proportion Diagram and Plotted Diagram

The proportion diagram is a graphic profile representing the diamond’s actual size proportions.

The plotted diagram approximates the cutting style and shape of the diamond. Symbols on the diagram indicate the approximate size, type, position, or nature of any clarity characteristics.

Key to Symbols

This section lists any characteristics and symbols that are shown on the plotting diagram. If there are none present, this section will be blank.

GIA Color Scale

The GIA Color Scale illustrates the GIA Color grades. It also displays their positions on the GIA Diamond Color Grading System.

GIA Clarity Scale

The GIA Clarity Scale depicts the GIA Clarity grades. It indicates their relative positions within the GIA Diamond Clarity Grading System.

GIA Cut Scale

The GIA Cut Scale showcases the GIA Cut grades as well as their relative position in the GIA Diamond Cut Grading System. This is available for standard round brilliant cut diamonds in the D-Z color range and Flawless-I3 clarity range.

Security Features

Securing features include watermarks, holograms, two-dimensional barcodes, microprinting, security screens, and sheet numbering. These features act as a safeguard for maintaining report integrity and facilitating document authentication.

QR Code

A QR code is a two-dimensional barcode. When this code is scanned with a smartphone or QR code reader, it verifies and displays data on the report with the GIA database.

What Are the Benefits of a GIA-Certified Diamond?

A GIA-certified diamond undergoes a rigorous examination by trained and experienced gemologists. A GIA-certified diamond report tells you about all of the unique features of your diamond. Every distinct aspect of your diamond is listed on the GIA certificate, so you will know exactly what you are buying.

With a GIA-certified diamond, you’ll know that your diamond is a natural diamond and you’ll get what you pay for. You can also easily compare different stones due to the consistent grading scale.

In addition to these benefits, you’ll also get added security features. Since each GIA-certified diamond has its own ID number laser engraved onto its surface, this makes it easier to track if the diamond is ever lost or stolen. It also protects against fraud since you’re able to search and verify a true GIA-certified diamond against the GIA’s extensive database.

A diamond is both a symbol of love and a solid investment. You want to know that you’re getting the best diamond for your money. Buying a GIA-certified diamond ensures a high quality and value.

Buy Your Quality GIA-Certified Diamond at Finer Custom Jewelry

Your wedding and engagement rings hold special meaning. They are an everlasting expression of your devotion to your partner.

Choosing a GIA-certified diamond gives you peace of mind knowing your diamond meets the highest GIA quality standards. You can find a wide selection of beautiful GIA-certified diamonds at Finer Custom Jewelry.

Finer Custom Jewelry has 3 locations to serve you in Dallas and Houston, TX, and Scottsdale, AZ. We even do remote consultations online. With 30 years of experience, we can help you find the right diamond for your engagement ring.

Contact us today to book your appointment for a jewelry consultation.


Our Happy Customers

Finer Custom Jewelry
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Harmony GreenHarmony Green
23:13 01 Apr 24
Shimon is absolutely amazing at what he does and such a pleasure to work with. We had a custom wedding band made to complement my center stone and the design is quite unique. My fiancé was very apprehensive and worried about not going with a classic wedding band but we both couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! Going to be hard not to wear this for the next few months! 😅
Dylan KuchanDylan Kuchan
21:42 19 Mar 24
Shimon was absolutely amazing. He not only was professional and courteous, but was understanding of my questions and made my visits very easy. Would highly recommend his services at Finer Custom Jewelry.
Alana VAlana V
22:15 18 Mar 24
We had a wonderful experience creating a custom engagment ring with Shimon. Shimon took the time to truly show us our options and helped shape our vision throughout the process.Shimon did a phenomenal job finding the perfect unique stone including similar stone options so we felt confident in our choice. It was such a fun process exploring our options and designing the perfect ring. Shimon is truly a master of his craft!
Ena DuriezEna Duriez
19:48 18 Mar 24
I absolutely love their jewelry, they have beautiful pieces. Highly recommend 👍
Monica J HairMonica J Hair
19:50 15 Mar 24
I had a custom bracelet made by Shimon and his team. From start to finish the process couldn’t have been more seamless. Genuinely a pleasure to work with Finer Custom Jewelry
Steven TocciSteven Tocci
02:32 07 Mar 24
Just got a new watch and needed a link removed. I found this store on Google and decided to stop in and see if they could help. Shimon doesn’t typically do watches, but he didn’t hesitate to stop what he was doing to help me. He took the time out of his day to help me and wouldn’t accept any payment. You can tell he takes extreme pride in his work and he will do whatever it takes to help his customers. I will absolutely be coming back and using him in the future!
Pamela SpearsPamela Spears
21:21 12 Feb 24
Shimon was very helpful, grand place finer jewelry sales. Would definitely recommend to everyone. Will definitely be back to this location
John HuntJohn Hunt
17:59 23 Jan 24
Great experience! Shimon helped me get a salt & pepper engagement ring. He understood exactly what I was looking for and the finished product greatly exceeded my expectations. Highly recommended!!
Sara TurnbullSara Turnbull
22:30 22 Jan 24
Shimon cleaned my wedding ring for me and made it look better than new. I couldn’t stop looking at it in the sun! I had forgotten its potential to shine like that. And Monica was a great help as well, they have an amazing and dedicated team 💍
01:24 05 Jan 24
My fiancé and I cannot say enough about Shimon and Finer Custom Jewelry. I had an heirloom ring from my mom, and two bands that I wanted to use to create a very specific ring, the ring of my dreams. After a lot of research, we found Shimon. Throughout the entire process, he was incredible. From our very first meeting where we went over my vision, to the final product. I feel so lucky to have found such a caring and talented jeweler. You can tell he takes such pride in his work, as he should because it is truly flawless. I would recommend Shimon to anyone I know. We are so thankful to have him to make our forever ring so incredibly special. It exceeded all our expectations and then some.
Laura VargasLaura Vargas
20:26 30 Dec 23
My fiance and I had a fantastic experience going through Finer Custom Jewelry for our wedding bands. Shimon and Monica both worked to create our dream rings within our budget. Would definitely recommend if you are looking for affordable, high quality, fast, and wonderful service.
Jacquie LymanJacquie Lyman
04:17 28 Dec 23
10/10 would recommend Finer Jewelery! I needed a repair on my wedding ring, and also wanted my engagement ring and wedding band soldered together. The service was incredible and the communication was as promised. Shimon is so kind and warm and friendly! My ring came back looking brand new!
Paige DimakosPaige Dimakos
23:15 04 Oct 23
Wonderful experience and customer service. Look forward to working with Shimon in the future.
Homa NikoHoma Niko
22:23 26 Sep 23
It was very nice meeting Shimon, he was very helpful on pricing my sister's ring. Very understanding and knowledgeable on jewelry. Thank you so much Shimon.
Kyle RootKyle Root
20:13 21 Sep 23
Shimon is a great guy super knowledgeable and I will definitely be coming to him again for my jewelry needs.
Lauren Van GyselLauren Van Gysel
18:18 18 Sep 23
Shimone was SO helpful and accommodating when I was selling jewelry! 10/10 experience and will be back!! :)
Roman MendezRoman Mendez
22:55 06 Sep 23
Great place. Shimon really helped me get a great offer on my diamond bracelet
Matthew RamirezMatthew Ramirez
18:25 01 Sep 23
Shimone was a pleasure to work with. He was both reasonable and fair when it came to selling a ring that I had been sitting on for a while. I would highly recommend Finer Custom Jewelry if you’re looking to sell any pieces. Shimone will treat you well.
denise drakedenise drake
22:23 29 Aug 23
Great experience working with Shimon. He had expert ideas about how to manage some antique jewelry and was super and helping us find the right rings!
Pure Air Service AZPure Air Service AZ
18:36 29 Aug 23
Thank you Shimon for your patience with me.I called finer custom jewelry to find a diamond ring to Propose my girlfriend and Shimon was really helpful and profesional.Really recommend.She said yessssss 😊
17:17 29 Aug 23
This place is absolutely amazing. The Jeweler Shimon did a wonderful job when pricing and inspecting the jewelry I brought in for sale. Extremely knowledgeable and very personable. recommend everyone comes here!!
Shelby KarrelsShelby Karrels
23:14 21 Aug 23
My experience with Finer Curation Jewelry was nothing short of phenomenal. Buying, selling, and creating custom jewelry can be a stressful and pressuring experience. However, from the moment I walked into Finer Custom Jewelry, I felt like a valued client. Shimon was patient, knowledgeable, and made the process so much easier than I had expected. If you are looking for a jeweler you can trust, you will find them here!
Sarah KanitschSarah Kanitsch
18:35 15 Aug 23
Amazing service! Helped immediately with the ring I had. Wonderful guy!!
Shane CsiszarShane Csiszar
23:49 07 Aug 23
Shimon was a pleasure to work with! Made the process very easy and enjoyable. We picked a beautiful emerald diamond, and I could not be happier with the quality of his work! I highly recommend Finer Jewelry!
Lauryn ScusselLauryn Scussel
03:27 20 Jul 23
Thanks to Shimon I was able to give my mom her dream Mother’s ring. It was done quickly and efficiently with great communication and a stunning product. A great company for your custom jewelry needs!!
Ryan BerryRyan Berry
17:19 11 Jul 23
Shimon was great to work with. We made a custom ring exactly how I drew it and my fianceé loved it. Will definitely come back for my ring!
Lisa HilchieLisa Hilchie
20:37 09 Jul 23
Shimon was very kind and professional. He responded quickly to my initial email, worked with my schedule to make an appointment, and took the time to answer any questions I had. I'm very happy with my decision to go to him.
Eli Garcia (ELI)Eli Garcia (ELI)
18:32 26 Jun 23
Ring came out perfect my Fiancé loved it, it fit perfect, I’d highly recommend this jeweler, also Shimon was very communicative and gave updates on the ring every chance he had, couldn’t have had a better experience.
Michael NedlerMichael Nedler
00:17 19 Jun 23
I had a big wedding anniversary coming and wanted to do something special for my wife. A friend suggested Finer so I contacted them. What a wonderful experience...Shimon led me through the process of picking an amazing diamonds as well as the perfect ring. My wife couldn't have been happier and I felt like a hero. I feel like a got an incredible ring for the money and will be back for the next occasion!
Arianna DohertyArianna Doherty
16:51 14 Jun 23
I needed to get two rings appraised and the process was easy and convenient. Shimon was able to meet with me the same week and got me the written appraisals within 3 days. I did not need to leave the items with him as some other jewelers require. I'm very pleased with the ease of working with Shimon.
Kayla ThurberKayla Thurber
02:32 16 Mar 23
I would give Shimon at Finer Custom Jewelry 10 stars if I could! He created an entirely custom ring for my fiancé just based on one Google image photo that she provided me. Before working with Shimon, I assumed I would not be able to afford a custom ring, but I was able to choose everything for the ring and stay perfectly within my budget. It was a very personal experience to create this ring and I felt heard by Shimon the entire time. (He even texted me to congratulate me on my engagement!) And he produced the most wonderful, amazing ring that will last for a lifetime! One final note: as a woman proposing to another woman, I was nervous to be judged when purchasing a non-traditional engagement ring. Shimon made me feel SO comfortable and validated. I could not recommend his services enough.
Daniel GoldbergDaniel Goldberg
00:55 03 Mar 23
My entire experience with Shimon was incredible start to finish. I came in with just an idea of what I wanted for an engagement ring. He took the time to explain the different options, settings and styles that would match my idea. Needless to say, the ring turned out beautifully and she loved it. Most importantly, Shimon was honest and fair. We will definitely be going back for all of our future needs.
Sarah RisiSarah Risi
18:47 14 Feb 23
Shimon helped me elevate my engagement diamond to a beautiful channel set band with my birthstone sapphires. I couldn’t be happier with the quality of his work!
Kyle BelskiKyle Belski
23:50 07 Feb 23
Shimon is the man! He took the time to help us design my fiancé’s ring just the way she wanted it. She now gets compliments on her ring on a daily basis. Shimon also got us a high quality diamond at a more than fair price. I recommend Finer Jewelry for all of your jewelry needs!
Aalia FuellerAalia Fueller
19:49 07 Feb 23
I’ve been working with Shimon for a year. I had all my mother’s diamonds reset. He helped me recreate a ring setting that joined my mom and dads diamonds so I have them with me at all times. He repaired many pieces and restrung my mom’s pearls. He’s a true professional and an amazing person. He and his wife have created an awesome business.If you want to design your own piece or buy one, Finer Jewelry is the place to go!
Lena GonzalezLena Gonzalez
17:10 25 Jun 22
Thank you to Shimon for this amazing diamond ring!! If you’re struggling looking for a jeweler in Arizona, you have to choose Finer Jewelry! He was very attentive to what I wanted and made me feel listened to throughout the entire process. He was truly a pleasure to work with, I could not recommend him enough!
Dania KassabDania Kassab
18:43 09 Jun 22
I’ve been looking for a yellow diamond ring for a while now and I’m so glad I foundation Finer Jewelry!!! Shimon showed me a variety of diamonds and made sure I was in love with the specific stone and shade of the diamond. Shimon made sure to educate me on my purchase which I really appreciated because I honestly didn’t know much about diamonds before meeting with him. I could not be more obsessed with this ring, so thank you so much Shimon for helping me find my dream ring!!!
Ashley BoldAshley Bold
07:24 29 Jan 22
If you are looking for a jeweler in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area, look no further. As we began shopping for an engagement ring we went to a number of different jewelers in the area but no one offered the same level of customer service as Shimon at Finer Jewelry! He was so helpful and caring throughout the entire process of designing my dream ring. I get so many compliments on my ring and it’s all thanks to Finer Jewelry!!
22:48 24 Dec 21
I was gifted diamonds from my mother and both grandmother’s wedding rings and I wanted to make my own wedding ring with them. I was able to schedule an appointment the following day and began working on the ring design. They were so thorough in making sure the fit and design was just right by making 3D imaging and wax molds for you to see before the ring is actually made. The whole process took about a month from start to finish and you can’t beat the price! I’m beyond happy with what they made for me. It’s truly something special.
18:36 14 Dec 21
After sharing our diamond CCC wish list with Shimon we sat back and waited. Shimon took us seriously and carefully watched the exchanges for "our stone". He found us a nearly flawless diamond that presented 30% larger than its weight! We then asked Shimon to craft a setting that required specially cut supplemental diamonds. Shimon's relationships with diamond cutters and his goldsmith made it possible for him to deliver our dream setting with our own "hope" diamond! Shimon is personable, very fun to work with and completely transparent. He and his stones are priceless!
Deanna HuntDeanna Hunt
17:35 04 Nov 21
Amazing experience. My favorite diamond jeweler in Scottsdale. A custom experience, fair prices, honest, top quality. What more can I say!
Candace HagermanCandace Hagerman
00:03 08 Sep 21
Shimon did an amazing job understanding what I wanted in my ring. After picking out my main stone he found two that perfectly coordinated. It turned out so much more than I hoped. Will definitely recommend and return.
Robbie BurtonRobbie Burton
23:20 03 Aug 21
I found the staff to be more than happy to assist in the design and creation of a true family heirloom. The process of collaboration with this jeweler was such a joy. Me and my family will treasure this for a lifetime. Thank you so much. A truly happy customer.