GIA Diamond Grading – SIMPLIFIED.
As I have stated in my previous posts, it is my opinion that the GIA grading system is ridiculous. This opinion is based on the fact that there are nearly 200 possible grade combinations of color and clarity. To the human eye, under “normal life” conditions, the differentiations within the GIA grading system are like trying to characterize a woman’s beauty into 200 categories.
Most importantly, with regard to the GIA grading system one must recognize several things:
1) Just because one diamond has a “higher” GIA grade combination than another does not mean that it is a more beautiful diamond.
2) The difference between one or two grades is almost nothing at all in the overall beauty of a diamond. Think of it this way . . .there are nearly 200 possible grade combinations; therefore the difference between F/VS1 to G/VS2 is just a slight incremental difference of two grades within a universe of 200!
3) Two diamonds may be of the same grade but one may be significantly more beautiful than the other- even within the same grade!
After more than 40 years in the diamond trade in which I have dealt with many thousands of diamonds and diamond grading reports, I have established my own diamond grading system which I believe makes more sense. This grading chart is seen below:
As you can see, this grading chart contains FIVE grade parameters. They are INVESTMENT, FINE, NICE, COMMERCIAL and GARBAGE.
Any diamond that falls within the top three grades is a diamond that will be very pleasing to look at in terms of a beautiful engagement ring. It will not look yellow. It should not look cloudy or imperfect. It should have beautiful brilliance and scintillation.
It should be noted by the potential diamond buyer that, in most cases, a diamond should be evaluated on the chart above by looking at the average of the parameters. For instance, a diamond that is graded F/SI2 should be considered at the upper end of the “nice” category. Conversely, a diamond graded at F/VS2 but with a “Good” cut grade should be considered to fall within the “nice” category.
The Commercial and Garbage categories are a different story. Diamonds that fall within these categories are not nearly as beautiful – and, in some cases, are UGLY!
Is there a difference between a 1.50 carat D/Flawless round diamond that costs $45,000.00 and the 1.50 carat H/SI1 round diamond that costs $15,000.00? Yes, there is, But I can assure you that – as far as your eyes can tell when this diamond is set into a mounting, the $15,000.00 diamond should be nearly as beautiful as the $45,000.00 diamond. On the other hand, the 1.50 carat L/I2 – (which in many cases is the mall store standard!) will not be beautiful when compared to the others !
My advice to a diamond buyer is simple. Take a look at the chart above. Buy a diamond within the top three grades of the chart above. Do not make yourself crazy distinguishing between ridiculous GIA grades. It should not be that complicated. You want a beautiful diamond. You don’t need a Rolls Royce. Just avoid the junker!