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Learning Center

Diamond Education Center
The 5Cs of Diamonds
Diamond Shapes
Round Princess Emerald Radiant Oval Marquise Cushion Pear Asscher Heart

Diamond Information

The clarity of a diamond refers to how clear, or "clean" the diamond is. The more "clean" the diamond, the higher the price. Most diamonds have "imperfections" in them. The clarity scale is a measure of the severity of those imperfections or "inclusions" as it is known in the trade.

For example, a deep break in a diamond which is not that visible when you look at the stone face-up, could sometimes have a greater impact on the clarity of a stone, than a small black crystal which you can see very clearly face-up.

The following is the GIA Diamond clarity-scale:
These stones have no imperfections inside or on the outside of the stone under the magnification of a loupe of 10 power.

IF-Internally Flawless
These stones have no inclusions under a loupe with a 10 power magnification.

VVS1,VVS2-Very Very Slightly Imperfect
These stones have very small inclusions which are very  difficult to see under a loupe with a 10 power magnification.

VS1,VS2-Very Slightly Imperfect
These stones have small inclusions which are slightly difficult to difficult to see under a loupe with a 10 power magnification.

SI1,SI2-Slightly Imperfect
These stones have inclusions which are fairly easy to see under a loupe with a 10 power magnification, or visible to the naked eye.

These stones have inclusions which range from eye visible to very easily seen to the naked eye.

Here is a table summarizing clarity grades:
Clarity FL IF VVS1 VVS2 VS1 VS2 SI2 SI3 I1 I2 I3
Scale Flawless Internally Flawless Very Very Slightly Imperfect Very Slightly Imperfect Slightly Imperfect Imperfect

The color of a diamond has the second biggest impact on its price, after carat weight. Did you know that diamonds come in every color of the rainbow?

When discussing the topic of color in diamonds, you need to differentiate between mostly "colorless" diamonds and "fancy color" diamonds.

Grading "colorless" diamonds involves deciding how closely a stone's bodycolor approaches colorlessness. Most diamonds have at least a trace of yellow or brown bodycolor. The reason colorlessness is most highly valued is that diamonds in these ranges act like prisms, separating white light passing through it into a wide spectrum of colors. The more transparent the diamond, the wider the spectrum of colors. Chemical "impurities" in the diamond will filter out some of the colors which in turn reduces the "fire" effect when light bounces back out of the diamond and into your eyes. Other than "fancy colors". colorless diamonds tend to be more valuable. Rare colors such as blue, pink, purple, or red tend to be very expensive...and very beautiful.

If a diamond does not have enough color to be called fancy, then it is graded in a scale of colors ranging from Colorless to Light Yellow, "D" through "Z". A diamond with a "D" color is considered to be colorless. If the color is more intense than "Z", it is considered fancy. A fancy yellow diamond fetches a higher price than a light yellow diamond.

The Laboratories only grade diamonds which are unmounted, or "loose", and they do so under special light. Once a loose diamond is mounted on a ring, even the trained professional cannot always tell the difference between, say a "D" color and an "E" or "F" color diamond!

Color D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Fancy
Scale Colorless Near Colorless Faint Yellow Very Light Yellow <------Light Yellow------> Color
How much does "color" affect cost?
Let's take a typical diamond through different color grades and see how it can affect cost. Let's start with a 1.00 carat diamond of K color and VS1 clarity. If you move up to an H color, you will pay approximately an extra $1,700 per carat. Move up to F color, the increase will be approximately $1,100 per carat. Improve the color to D and the increase will be approximately $900 per carat.


The size of a diamond has the biggest impact on its price. The metric carat, which equals 0.20 gram, is the standard unit of weight for diamonds and most other gems. If other factors are equal, the more a stone weighs, the more valuable it will be. Gemological laboratories measure carat weight when the diamond is loose (unmounted). While it is possible to estimate the weight of a mounted diamond, the lab uses ultra sensitive scales to achieve an exact weight, measured 3 decimal places, although the third decimal place is not usually mentioned at the retail level.

Here are several ways to express 1 carat:
  • 1 ct.
  • 200 milligrams
  • 100 points
  • 4 grainer (not often used in retail environment)
1/5 gram

Prices of diamonds are expressed in the trade as a price per carat. When we say that the Carat Weight has the biggest impact on the price of a diamond, not only is that true for the overall price of the stone, it is also true for the unit price per carat. That's why a 2 carat diamond is more than double the price of a 1 carat diamond.


Diamond "A" = 0.25 carats and costs $1,000 per carat $1,000 x 0.25ct = $250/stone.
Diamond "B" = 0.50 carats and costs $1,250 per carat. $1,250 x 0.50ct = $625/stone.

It is important to understand that when you compare two diamonds of the same shape, the one having a larger carat weight does not always translate to the larger looking stone. Dimensions play an important role in the diamond's appearance. Large tables may reduce the brilliance of a Round Brilliant Cut, however they also do make a diamond appear larger than it is. Some people are more concerned with the "loss of beauty" while others are happy that their diamond seems "bigger". Another aspect in how a diamond is cut can affect the size appearance. If the Diamond's "girdle" is too wide, this can make a stone with a higher carat weight look smaller with no benefit to its appearance. That is because the diameter of the diamond is widest at the girdle and "hiding" weight there does not significantly alter the behavior of the light entering the diamond. Keep in mind that finger size is an important consideration as well. Small fingers will make a diamond appear larger. It is very common for people to disregard the other C's in favour of getting the biggest possible stone they have budgeted for. Although Size Does Matter, we feel it is just as important for the quality of the stone to be great. Some people may feel it is more impressive to wear a 2 carat diamond than a 1 carat diamond. But that's not necessarily true. A Ferrari may not be as big a car as an Oldsmobile, but most would consider it more impressive. What's most important if you are buying a Diamond for someone else, is that you know what their preference is.

How "big" is a carat?
Here's a simple trick to "understand" the meaning of a carat in realistic terms. Simply take a ruler and look at the table below. These are some approximate, sample carat-weight to diameter-widths for popular sizes.

0.25ct. ~ 4.1 mm
0.50 ct. ~ 5.2 mm
0.75 ct. ~ 5.9 mm
1.00 ct. ~ 6.5 mm

How much does "carat weight" affect cost?
The effect of all the different properties of diamond on cost is discussed in more detail in the cost section. For carat weight, let's take a typical Diamond through different carat weights to see by how much it increases in price.

A diamond of G color and SI1 clarity will be in one category of prices when it is between 0.50 - 0.69 carats. When you take that same quality Diamond and increase the size to the next price category, which is the 0.70 - 0.89 carat range, the price increase will be approximately $1,100 per carat (as of the date this was written). Increase to the 0.90 - 0.99 carat range, and the price increase will be approximately another $800 per carat. Increase to 1.00 - 1.49 carat range and the increase will be approximately another $800 per carat. If you increase to the 1.50 - 1.99 carat range, the price increase will be approximately $1,200 per carat.


The cut of a Diamond is the only property which is totally dependent on man. Although often overlooked, cut is actually one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing your diamond. A Diamond cutter analyzes the rough diamond, and has to determine how to extract the most beauty and most profit out of the rough stone.

Cut refers to not only the shape of the diamond, but its proportions and finish, factors which determine the sparkle of the diamond. It is possible to take the same stone, and depending on which method the cutter decides to use, to either cut it into the most beautiful stone it can be despite heavy weight loss and perhaps lower monetary value. Or else, he can cut a stone to its maximum weight and monetary value, but lose some "brilliance" and "sparkle".

You see, even if you have two equal polished diamonds, both the same carat size, both the same color, both the same clarity, they may look completely different. How? There are many different shapes and facets in a diamond. The weight can be distributed in different parts of the stone.

The goal in terms of extracting the greatest beauty from a Diamond, is to have light enter a Diamond, disperse the light as it bounces inside, thereby producing the different colors and sparkly effect, finally returning as much light to the eye as possible.
According to conventional wisdom, the proportions shown at the top of this page are the best for maximum light return. The 2-dimensional illustration below shows the theoretical path a ray of light will take through an ideal-cut Diamond. wellcut.gif (1520 bytes). As you can see, the rays of light entering the Diamond, reflect back to the eye. But it is possible for a diamond cutter to extract more weight out of the diamond by increasing the diameter of the stone. This will make the stone too shallow, and light may escape from the side of the stone, as shown here...shallow1.gif (1325 bytes) or leak out of the bottom of the stone, like here...shallow2.gif (1239 bytes) Another side-effect of cutting this way is that it makes the stone appear larger.
However, the fact that it appears larger than it is does not make it a better stone. If you compare a shallow stone to a well-cut stone, you will see the difference in how the well-cut stone "lights up".   By the same token, it is common to see the opposite problem. A stone which is cut too deep will "leak out light" in much the same way as the shallow stone. Here are two illustrations . . .

1) deep1.gif (1275 bytes) and 2) deep2.gif (1385 bytes)

This is not to say that a shallow or deep stone is a sign of a poor, or "low-quality" diamond cutter. Sometimes the shape of the rough diamond makes it impractical to cut a stone closer to "ideal" proportions without losing significant weight. But it is important to note the "light leakage" which will result from this cut.

One final note about cut. In the years since we've put up these tutorials, much has changed in how cut is perceived and marketed. A serious push was made to introduce systems of cut evaluation. There are many proponents of these new systems, however the technology behind it is not very impressive nor scientific. Computer simulations that do not take into consideration many of the variables that affect light return are being used as the basis of new cut grades by the gem labs. They do not compare to having an expert looking at a cut and judging it with the naked eye. And more importantly, cut is more subjective than the other "c"'s. While there is a clear reason to prefer the rarer 2 carat diamond to a 1 carat diamond, or a clear preference for a D color over a G color, some people prefer diamonds to be cut different ways. Some like bigger tables. Some find different proportions more pleasing. Some prefer fire over brilliance and vice versa.

According to GIA:

A polished diamond´s beauty lies in its complex relationship with light: how light strikes the surface, how much enters the diamond, and how, and in what form light returns to your eye.

The result is a display of three attributes. Brightness is the combination of all white light reflecting from the surface and interior of a diamond. Fire is the colored flashes that can be seen in a diamond. Scintillation describes the sparkle of light you see in a diamond, and the overall pattern of bright and dark areas when you look at a diamond face-up.

A polished diamond's proportions affect its light performance, which in turn affects its beauty and overall appeal. Diamonds with good proportions optimize the interaction with light, and have good brilliance, fire, and scintillation. The Design (weight ratio, durability) and Craftsmanship (polish, symmetry) of a diamond also affect its cut quality, and are considered in determining a diamond's GIA Cut Grade.

Can you see from these sentences alone what the problems are? For example, brightness is white light. Which by definition takes away from Fire which results from Dispersion. How much Brightness is preferable to Fire? It's all so nebulous. The number of variables are too great to measure all this.
In the exuberance to bring a definitive cut grade to the end consumer, something has been lost along the way. Our advice to you is to ignore the official cut grades and judge the cut by how your eye finds it pleasing or not.


The most important "C" you have to think about is COST. You've probably heard the "salary guideline" of spending about two months salary on a diamond engagement ring. While it may be helpful to know what the industry is suggesting, that is probably not the best way to decide how much to spend on an engagement ring. If you earn $30,000 a month, you can probably save 4 months salary easier than someone who is earning $1,000 a month can save 1 month's salary. And it's important to know what your fiance thinks of the matter. Every person has their own preference and communication in this matter is important.

How much does each "c" affect cost?
Let's take a typical Diamond and change the various properties to see how it affects the price:


A diamond of G color and SI1 clarity will be in one category of prices when it is between 0.50 - 0.69 carats. In other words, the "per carat" price will be the same for a G/SI1 diamond of 0.52ct as it would be for a G/SI1 diamond of 0.63ct. If you know the per carat price, you simply multiply it by the carat weight. When you take that same quality Diamond and increase the size to the next price category, which is the 0.70 - 0.89 carat range, the price increase will be approximately $1,100 per carat. Increase to the 0.90 - 0.99 carat range and the price increase will be approximately another $800 per carat. Increase to 1.00 - 1.49 carat range, and the increase will be approximately another $800 per carat. Increase the carat weight to the 1.50 - 1.99 carat range, and the price increase will be approximately $1,200 per carat.


Let's start with a 1.00 carat diamond of K color and VS1 clarity. If you move up to an H color, you will pay approximately an extra $1,700 per carat. Move up to F color, the increase will be approximately $1,100 per carat. Improve the color to D and the increase will be approximately $900 per carat.


Let's start with a 1.00 carat Diamond of G color and SI1 clarity. If you move up to a VS1, you will pay approximately an extra $1000 per carat. Move up to VVS1, the increase will be approximately $700 per carat. Improve the clarity to IF and the increase will be approximately $700 per carat.


Cut is a bit more complicated and depends on various factors, like the quality of diamond you are considering. Ideal cuts are generally much more expensive than the others. But it needs to be judged on a case by case basis. Pricing Terminology in the Diamond Business
The price of Loose Diamonds in the wholesale market is stated in Dollars (Pesos, Dineros, Shekel, Italian Lira...) per Carat. This figure is multiplied by the number (or fraction) of carats being bought.

Example 1:
Jeweler buys 40 carats worth of diamonds from dealer at $2,000.00 per carat =
$2,000 X 40 carats = $80,000 (for 40 carats-worth of stones).

Example 2:
Consumer buys 0.50 carat Diamond from Jeweler at $3,000.00 per carat =
$3,000 X 0.50 carats = $1,500 (for 1 stone).
Sometimes Jewelers will quote to retail customers a per carat price or sometimes they will quote a price per stone. So a 0.50 ct. diamond can be quoted as $3,000.00 per carat, which comes to 0.50 x $3,000.00 = $1,500.00 for the diamond, or it can simply stated as $1,500.00 per stone. When buying a piece of Jewelry which may contain one or more type of gem, the price will always be per piece.

Total Weight

When you see "T.W.", or "Total Weight", it will refer to the total carat weight, per gem type (at least they should and usually do break it down by gem-type). So a ring with emeralds and sapphires and diamonds could say:

Example 3:
Emerald t.w. = 0.25 cts., Sapphires t.w. = 0.31 cts., Diamonds t.w. = 0.75 cts.
This refers only to the weight as measured when the gems are loose and unmounted. It has nothing to do with the number of gems contained in the Jewelry. The above example could mean there were 5 emeralds, 7 sapphires and 50 diamonds as easily as it could mean that there were 2 emeralds, 2 sapphires and 2 diamonds.

Quick Carat Cost Question:
Which would be more valuable? 100 diamonds with a t.w. (total weight) of a carat? Or 2 diamonds with t.w. of a carat?
Two diamonds!
Why? Because "carat", which is the Second C, is more valuable the bigger it is. One diamond of 1 carat is worth more than 2 Diamonds of 1 carat.

Diamond Shapes


Rounds are the most popular shape that diamonds are cut into. It is also the most brilliant of all the cuts. You may have heard of a term called "Ideal Cut". This term refers to the attempt to cut a diamond into the best proportions to achieve maximum brilliance. The following is a breakdown of what is considered "Ideal Cut" in round brilliants according to "American Ideal / Tolkowsky" and the "European Ideal Cut" (Proportions are given relative to the girdle diameter):

"Ideal Cut" for Rounds
  American Ideal /
European Ideal
Total Depth 58.7 - 62.3% 60.0 - 61.1%
Table Diameter 53.0 - 58.0% 57.5%
Girdle Thickness medium
slightly thick
very thin
Culet Size none
Crown Angles 34.3º to 34.7º 34.5º
Pavilion Depth 43.1% 43.1%
Finish very good
Crown Height 16.2% 16.2%
Be aware that there is a premium for purchasing "Ideal Cuts", and they are more rare in the market. Cutting to "Ideal" generally entails losing more weight from the rough diamond than regular proportions.

There are 58 facets in a Round Brilliant Cut including the culet. On the Crown or upper part of the Diamond, these consist of 1 table facet, 8 bezel facets, 8 star facets, and 16 upper girdle facets for a total of 33. On the pavilion, or bottom part of the diamond, there are 16 lower girdle facets, 8 pavilion main facets and 1 culet.

Rounds are the most expensive cuts, and with good reason. It is usually possible to retain more weight from a Rough (unpolished) Diamond if it is cut into a Fancy shape than if it is cut to a Round.

Plot diagram for Round Brilliant Cuts:
This is the plot diagram that labs use to grade round diamonds:


The Princess Cut is relatively new. It is a very attractive cut. Some people like the Princess because it is rectangular and yet has some of the sparkle of a Round brilliant cut.

What to watch out for:
Shape appeal. Judge the attractiveness of the shape by looking at the girdle outline with the unaided eye. Do you find it pleasing? Are the sides even? Watch out for girdles which are too thin, because it is more prone to chipping.


The Emerald Cut is rectangular with cut corners. It is a step cut as opposed to a brilliant cut. The facets are broad with flat planes resembling the steps of a stair. That's why it is reffered to as a "step" cut. Unlike the Marquise brilliant, there is no bow-tie effect on an Emerald cut.

What to watch out for:
It is better to go for higher quality Emeralds, because both inclusions and lower color are more noticeable in Emeralds than in other cuts.


The Radiant Cut has 70 facets and is known for its cut corners. This cut has the class and elegance of an emerald cut without sacrificing the brilliance of a Round Brilliant Cut. Radiants look very good when adorned with baguettes or round side stones.

What to watch out for:
Shape appeal is paramount in Radiant Cuts.


The Oval Shaped Brilliant is very similar to a Round except it is elliptical. It was invented by Lazare Kaplan in the early 1960s. The Oval brilliant usually has 56 facets. "Shape Appeal" is very important with Oval brilliants.

What to watch out for:
Shape appeal. Uneven shoulders, high shoulders. A poor cut in an Oval shape is most often detectable by the "bow-tie effect" which is judged by the unaided eye.


The name "Marquise" came from a legend of the Marquise of Pompadour that the Sun King wanted a Diamond to be polished into the shape of the mouth of the Marquise! The typical Marquise Brilliant contains 56 facets.

What to watch out for:
A poor cut in Marquise is most often detectable by the "bow-tie effect" which is judged by the unaided eye.


Cushion cut diamonds are also known as "pillow cut" or "candlelight". Those names come from having been around so long that they were originally viewed by candlelight rather than the modern light bulb. The Cushion is a unique cut in an antique style similar to an Old Mine or Oval cut. Cushions feature rounded corners and larger facets. Their shape varies from square to rectangular. Choose the shape appeal based on your preference.

What to watch out for:
Due to the large facets, just as with Emerald cuts, lower clarity diamonds stick out for cushion cuts, so if you choose this shape, make sure you get a high clarity diamond. You may not pick out the inclusion right away if you are not used to looking at diamonds, so be sure to look at the plot and try to identify the inclusions you see in the plot on the diamond itself.


The Pear Shaped Brilliant is a combination of a Round brilliant and a Marquise cut. Pendants looks very nice set with a Pear shape as do earrings, due to the "Teardrop" shape.

What to watch out for:
A poor cut in a Pear shape is most often detectable by the "bow-tie effect" which is judged by the unaided eye.


Fancy shapes are less expensive than Rounds. There is one quality which can affect the cost of a Fancy Shape yet never appear on a Certificate and that is "Shape Appeal". You don't need to be a gemologist to know if a Heart Shape has an appealing look to it. The lobes of the Heart may look completely different on one stone than another and yet you wouldn't necessarily be able to determine that from the measurements of the Stones. The best way to judge shape appeal is to look at the stone's girdle outline without a Loupe, and decide if it's attractive to you. Another thing to look for in Fancy Shapes is that the Diamond has a nice length to width ratio.

The Asscher Cut is a modified version of the Emerald Cut. It is more brilliant, has a smaller table, deeper pavilion and bigger step facets. The Asscher has been around since 1902 but really started to become fashionable after it was featured in Sex and the City.


The Heart Shaped Brilliant bears some similarity to the Pear Shape, except that there is a cleft at the top. In fact, often the reason cutters may choose a Heart shape over a Pear may be that the Rough Diamond contained an inclusion located in the cleft. The skill of the cutter can make a great difference in the beauty of this cut. The "Shape Appeal" is especially important with Hearts.

What to watch out for:
Shape appeal. Make sure the overall girdle outline is attractive. The lobes should be even and well defined. The cleft should be polished to ensure maximum brilliance. The Heart also has the bow-tie effect.

How To Buy Diamond

There are a great many things to know about Diamonds and the Diamond Industry. By reading books and the information available on the Internet, you can learn a lot, but that still doesn't help you much in physically grading a Diamond or going through the Diamond buying process. Nonetheless, if you know the right things you can have better success rate in buying a Diamond for a fair price. Here is a shortlist of the things you need to know.

Diamond Buyer's Checklist
Learn as much as you can about Diamonds. Unless you feel that Dollar Bills are like so much paper, there are several thousand motivations to "know your stuff" about Diamonds. 1. Learn as much as you can about Diamonds. Unless you feel that Dollar Bills are like so much paper, there are several thousand motivations to "know your stuff" about Diamonds.

Decide and write down, in order of importance, which of the 5C's are most important to you: Cost, Carat, Color, Clarity or Cut. Once you know what you are looking for, physically visit jewelry stores. Identify a jeweler who is willing to spend some time with you showing you diamonds. Look at as many diamonds as you can that match your specs and budget. Make sure when comparing prices that you compare apples to apples. This can be more difficult than it sounds. For example, sometimes relatively minor differences in cut/proportions can have an impact on a stone's price and beauty. Most importantly, do NOT compare the price of a certified Diamond with the price of a Diamond which is not certified, or is only certified by an unknown Laboratory. You may be in for a surprise because the quality asserted by a no name lab may not match the quality asserted at a reputable lab. Which would translate into paying more money for something that is less than you thought it was.

Always ask for a certificate. There are several Independent Laboratories out there. The most well-known is GIA, the Gemological Institute of America. GIA has done a great service by providing the public with a metric to compare Diamonds and by extension Diamond prices from different suppliers / jewelers / dealers. AGS (American Gem Society) follows the guidelines set by the GIA when they issue their certificate, as do all reputable labs. Nonetheless, if you don't know the rules of the game, even a lab report may not help you. For example, as mentioned in one of our articles, you should be aware of the difference between an appraisal by a G.G. (GIA Gemologist) as opposed to a report issued by GIA GTL (Gem Trade Lab). Many people believe they have a GIA-backed report when in fact all they have is a report written by a graduate of the school, which is a different branch of the organization.

The Rapaport Diamond Report (Rap Sheet). There is a standard report of Diamond Prices known as the Rap Sheet. This officially lists high wholesale diamond prices in the NY market. The reality is that usually wholesalers speak to each other about prices in terms of the percentage discount to the Rap Sheet. How much of a discount to Rap? It really depends on the quality of Diamond you are looking for. On the wholesale market, Diamonds of some qualities are sold at a deeper discount to Rap than other qualities. There are market fluctuations which change according to supply and demand. The best way to know prices for the specific Diamond you are looking for is to shop around for a Certified Diamond of a quality range you desire, within your budget.

Don't pay a premium for one of the C's only to turn around and get low quality in another C. While there are exceptions to this rule, for example if you are getting a great price, why would you pay a premium for a branded ideal cut diamond and then get a low color or clarity? Save some money on the brand name and upgrade the other C(s).

Is it safe to buy a Diamond on the Internet? Definitely. When this tutorial was first written, there were many caveats. But these days there are so many choices and jewelers with a good track record, that you can watch the process as other consumers purchase and get a pretty good idea of what to expect. Also, just because you found a good supplier on the Internet, it doesn't mean you can't make an effort to visit them in person. Of course sometimes distances make it impractical.

The best advice for an Internet purchase is:
  • Select a reputable jeweler
  • Choose a Diamond that carries a GIA report
  • Make sure you can work with the return policy
  • Have an independent appraiser picked out who will verify that the Diamond matches the certificate.
One important warning about selecting an appraiser. Make sure the appraiser is not closely tied financially or openly associated with other vendors nor one that sells jewelry themselves. They may just try to make you feel bad about the purchase in order to get a commission or sale for themselves. Since most of the business an appraiser gets comes from referrals by jewelers, many appraisers consider the jeweler a better "customer" than you who are actually cutting them a check. The sad economics of appraising causes a conflict of interest far more often than you might expect.

What Is The SI3 Clarity?

The GIA Diamond clarity-scale refers to how clean, or free of imperfections a Diamond is. The GIA standard for the clarity scale consists of: FL, IF, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, ???, I1, I2, I3 So what is the SI3?

The SI3 was born out of the desire of the Diamond Industry to incorporate an extra grade to identify Diamonds in the lower range of the clarity scale. Many complained that there is too wide a gap between the SI2 and the I1 grade. Why not offer an SI3 grade to bridge the gap?
After EGL - Los Angeles (European Gemological Laboratory) started to issue the SI3 grade, even the Rapaport Diamond Report, or the Rap Sheet as it's known in the trade, added SI3 to its price list. For those who are unfamiliar with the Rap sheet, it is the definitive (but no longer only) price guide for Diamonds. It is used widely by the wholesale as well as retail industry.

Some say the SI3 is a good idea, others say it is a bad idea. We feel that it can be a good idea if implemented properly. The problem with the SI3 today is that GIA, the largest and most widely accepted Gem Laboratory in the world, does not recognize SI3 grades. Bill Boyajian, President of GIA, wrote the following letter to Jewelers´ Circular Keystone JCK Magazine in May 2002:

"We have studied the SI3 suggestion at various times over the years, and yet again recently when proposed and adopted in principle by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses. However, GIA still concludes there is no reason to change our long-standing and universally accepted diamond grading system."

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