Tips and Tricks

Why 4CS of a Diamonds Matter


Is it live or is it Memorex? Back in the 70’s and 80’s a company named Memorex did a famous commercial with a well known singer by the name of Ella Fitzgerald. Ella would have a wine glass next to her and when she hit a certain high note, the glass would shatter. Now shattering a glass with a human voice was nothing new. What was different in this case was Ella’s voice was recorded on a Memorex audio cassette. Memorex's claim was that their proprietary cassette tape duplicated a human voice perfectly. You could literally close your eyes and listen to a live voice and a recorded one and not be able to tell the difference.

In a similar way, you could read a Laboratory Grading Certificate utilizing the 4CS (color, cut, clarity, carat) and be able to judge the quality and value of a diamond without it being in your possession. Thousands of diamonds are traded all over the world every day based solely on a Certified Lab Report.

The 4C's Create Credibility

Before the founder of GIA (Gemological Institute of America) Robert Shipley came along in the early 20th century, diamonds did not have a standardized method of determining quality and value. This was a problem because diamonds became increasingly more expensive in larger sizes (over one carat). Before the 4C's, diamonds were given arbitrary descriptions like good or excellent. These subjective descriptions were disturbing and embarrassing to Shipley.

After GIA, under Shipley’s leadership, developed the 4C's in 1949, the diamond and jewelry industry could now confidently market diamonds based on solid gemological science instead of subjectivity. This was a huge win for the consumer. They could confidently purchase a diamond especially one with a gemological certification.

The 4C's Are An Educational Tool


Shipley was a man on a mission. He wanted everyone involved in the diamond and jewelry business to be better trained. Today, GIA is recognized worldwide as the premier gemological training ground for jewelers and gemologists. The 4C's have evolved into one of the foundational educational tools in gemology and the jewelry industry. Shipley was a master educator and communicator. His ability to take a complicated subject (diamond grading) and condense it into a simple formula using alliteration was amazing.

The 4C's Are A Marketing Tool


Ask anyone who has ever shopped for a diamond ring about the 4C's. Most of them have at least heard of it or can even recite them to you. In one sense you could call the 4C's a brand. It has become the most recognizable and efficient way for a layman to quickly grasp the differences in a diamond’s quality and value.

The 4C's Protect The Public


Now that jewelers and gemologists have a standardized formula to grade a diamond, the consumer can be confident in their buying decisions. With the invention of modern gemological equipment, identifying and grading diamonds protect the public from scammers. Diamond testers separate genuine diamonds from synthetics and imitations. Microscopes identify natural inclusions along with cut and polish. Diamond gauges measure proportions and angles. All of these tools and others I did not mention are used in determining the 4C's. A diamond certificate ensures that a team of professional gemologists have evaluated the diamond utilizing all of the modern gemological tools available. When a diamond is certified, it is assigned a number that is lasered into the girdle and can be seen with a microscope or jeweler’s loop. As the commercial for a famous steakhouse proclaims, “you can’t fake steak”, when utilizing the 4C's of diamond grading it can be stated, “you can’t fake a diamond grade”!

Just like a Memorex audio tape could accurately copy and identify an individual’s human voice, the 4C's of diamond grading can identify and verify a diamond’s authenticity and grade!

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