All About the GIA

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Ever heard of the Four Cs of diamonds? If you enjoy your jewelry and diamonds, you probably have. The Four Cs are cut, clarity, color, and carat weight, and they’re considered today to be the standard against which all diamonds are rated and evaluated. The Four Cs haven’t been around forever though. In fact, they were developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), back in1953.

This hasn’t been the GIA’s only contribution to the world world of gems and precious jewels however. The GIA was founded in 1931 by a successful jeweler named Robert M. Shipley. At the time, the jewel industry was hardly standardized, and many jewelers were poorly trained about what was supposed to be their profession. Realizing this lack of structure, Shipley decided to introduce an organization with the mission of creating standards by which to evaluate all gemstones. With these standards, buyers and sellers would ultimately be better protected in the sale and purchase of gemstones.

After setting up the first GIA laboratory in Los Angeles in 1931, the GIA began offering courses and certifications to professional jewelers. In particular, the GIA offered the professional designation of “Certified Gemologist” to those who successfully completed courses. This served not only to protect buyers and sellers in the process of buying and selling jewels, but also gave a new legitimacy to the science of gemology.

The GIA has continued to provide services to the world of gemology throughout the years, including the introduction of some very useful standards, such as the Four Cs, and even different tools to benefit the profession of gemology. Some of the early tools developed by the GIA less than ten years its inception included both a jeweler’s loupe, which is used for inspecting gems, and the world’s first gemological microscope. In later years and up to the present, the GIA has produced systems and grading standards to identify and evaluate synthetic gems as opposed to their real counterparts. They continue to create standards and technologies to better the world of gemology and to aid professional gemologists in their careers today.

About the Author: Jules Lawrence Profile Picture
thoroughly enjoys spending time researching and writing about diamonds, jewelry and pop culture! When she isn't hard at work writing blog posts for The Diamond Lining, she spends her time wither with an absolutely adorable Mini Golder Retriever: Jake, and her husband: Mr. Julia Lawrence.
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