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If you’re new to the world of diamonds you may be thinking to yourself, What are the 4Cs and why are they important? With no previous scale to grade diamonds, it wasn’t until the middle of the twentieth century that the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), created the first standard for describing diamonds: Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat Weight – otherwise known as the 4Cs.

Today, the 4Cs of Diamond Quality is the universal method for assessing the quality of any diamond, anywhere in the world. The creation of the Diamond 4Cs meant two very important things: diamond quality could be communicated in a universal language and diamond customers could now know exactly what they were about to purchase.

The diamond experts at Joslin’s Jewelry are here to educate and break down each of the 4Cs of Diamond Quality – beginning with color.

Diamond Color

The first of the 4Cs – color has a huge impact on the value of the diamond. The color evaluation of diamonds is based on the absence of color. Valued by how closely they approach colorlessness – the less the color of the diamond, the higher the value. GIA’s D-to-Z color-grading scale measures the degree of colorlessness by comparing a stone under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions to master each stone’s color value.

How does the GIA Grade the Color of Diamonds?

GIA’s D-to-Z color-grading scale is the most widely accepted industry standard. The scale begins with the letter D, representing colorless, and continues with increasing presence of color to the letter Z, or light yellow. Many of these color distinctions are so subtle that they are invisible to the untrained eye, but these slight distinctions make a big difference in diamond quality and price.

Why Does the GIA Color Grading System Start at D?

Before GIA developed the D-Z Color Grading Scale, a variety of other systems were loosely applied, including letters of the alphabet (A, B, and C, with multiple A’s for the best stones), Arabic (0, 1, 2, 3) and Roman (I, II, III) numerals, to descriptive terms like “gem blue” or “blue white,” which are notorious for misinterpretation. The creators of the GIA Color Scale decided to start fresh, without any association with previous systems, thus the scale begins with the letter D.

For a better understanding of diamond color grading, take a look at the video below:

At Joslin’s Jewelry, we pride ourselves for hand selecting diamonds that are the best of the best. Stop by and take a look at our quality selection of diamonds today – and don’t forget to ask for each diamond’s GIA grading!