Holiday shoppers are giving diamonds an overwhelming YES. And it’s not just bejeweled engagement rings that are getting people to say ‘I do’. Recent studies indicate that women plan to buy more diamonds for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and “just because”.

If you or your partner is dreaming of a diamond for the holidays, then allow GIA to provide knowledge and insight into the diamond 4Cs: Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight. Select the perfect diamond jewelry as a gift (or for yourself) with the GIA Holiday Shopping Guide. It’s time to turn window-shopping into diamond shopping.

Diamond Color

Colorless diamonds are valued by…you guessed it,  their degree of colorlessness. The less color, the higher the value. Diamond color grading is a sophisticated process. Be sure you understand the GIA D-to-Z Color Scale, as this is the worldwide standard for describing the subtle differences in diamond color that can affect quality and value.  A GIA Diamond Grading Report will contain an impartial assessment of a diamond’s color, in addition to the other diamond 4Cs  which taken together, will describe the overall quality of the diamond. This information allows you to make a confident choice when selecting jewelry to check off of your holiday wish list.

Diamond Clarity

Clarity, or the relative absence of inclusions and blemishes, is another factor that affects value. Internationally recognized, the GIA Clarity Scale  describes diamond clarity on a range from Flawless (FL) to Included (I1, I2, I3), with a total of 11 specific grades. GIA graders evaluate clarity using 10x magnification under tightly controlled lighting conditions, which provides the most accurate and consistent assessment possible. An expert assessment of clarity, and all of the diamond 4Cs, will ensure an impressive gift of quality.

Diamond Cut

The way a diamond is  cut is crucial in determining its overall appearance.  And of all the diamond 4Cs, cut is probably the most complex factor to evaluate. In determining a cut grade,  GIA graders look at seven components: brightness, fire, scintillation, weight ratio, durability, polish, and symmetry. They then assign a l GIA Cut Grade ranging from Excellent to Poor.  If you want to be sure about the beauty and overall appeal of the diamond you’re considering, then take the time to learn more about the GIA Cut Scale, and how diamond cut is evaluated.

Diamond Carat Weight

Just because a diamond weighs more does not mean it will necessarily be worth more. However, there is typically a correlation between diamond carat weight and price. Carat weight is precisely measured. To determine carats, the diamond is weighed using an extremely accurate electronic micro-balance that captures the weight to the precise fifth decimal place (the nearest ten-thousandth of a carat),. The measurement is then rounded to two decimal places, and this is how carat weight is reported on a GIA Diamond Grading Report. A diamond’s size is always an important consideration, both from an aesthetic and budgetary point of view.  But remember, bigger does not always equate with better quality, and  that’s why it’s important to factor in all the diamond’s 4Cs in your final purchase decision.

Have we said how important it is to know  the 4Cs of diamond quality  when you’re buying a diamond?  You can have 4Cs diamond tips right at your finger tips all through your holiday shopping, just by downloading GIA’s 4Cs app, available on the iPhone®, iPad®, and AndroidTM. The app also includes a “Diamond Wish List” feature, where you can photograph, store, and review information on diamonds you are considering for purchase, and verify the data of any GIA report you may encounter along the way. This is an especially useful tool while in stores shopping for a gift.

As the leading source of knowledge in gems and jewelry, GIA can help you answer crucial questions about diamonds before, during, and after the holiday purchasing period. Enjoy your diamond holiday shopping experience!