Tag Archives: diamond grading

A Diamond’s Journey from the Mine to a Finger


The story of your diamond (or that diamond you were eyeing online a minute ago) began 3.3 billion years ago and 100 miles below the Earth. That’s right, your diamond is older—like, way, way older—than the T. Rex. In addition to being beautiful, it’s ancient.

The process of its journey to its current state of existence also involved a volcano, a laser, a girdler, a blocker, a brillianteer, a boiling session in a vat of acid, a painstaking beauty contest, several sheets of paperwork, and, let’s face it, many, many marketing dollars.

When the Earth decided to make diamonds, it required a few things: a temperature of 1,700 – 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit, 650,000 – 870,000 pounds of pressure per square inch, a carbon source, and a cozy spot in the Earth’s mantle.
Continue reading A Diamond’s Journey from the Mine to a Finger

Just Hire More Graders!


Guest post by Dan Gillen 

For as long as I can remember I have heard the Diamond Trade say ”Just hire more diamond graders”  The truth is it’s not that easy and not the full remedy to the long turnaround time.  Why do I know this? I know this because I had a career in a diamond lab.

First, let’s talk about the” Just hire more graders”.  New graders are not available for the picking they have to be trained to diamond grade.  Even those that come out of the GIA ‘s GG program do not know how to grade as a laboratory diamond grader.  Back in the mid 80’s I along with others helped produce a formal training program.  I spent almost three years training newly hired trainee diamond graders.  I sat with no more than ten at a time but six to eight was more ideal.  We spent three months, eight hours a day learning every aspect of grading.  From microscope usage and louping ability to polish, symmetry, plotting, clarity assigning, girdle thickness, culet size and so on.  The trainees graded diamonds that were submitted by clients and had already been graded by the regular graders, thus holding them up for return, for at least a week, unbeknownst to the client.  After three of training the trainees that made it this far were now allowed to be within the lab population and were known as preliminary graders.  Continue reading Just Hire More Graders!

How Carat Weight Affects Diamond Price



Sometimes life just isn’t fair.  This applies to relationship savviness, athletic prowess, work place politics and…diamonds.

The primary properties which dictate a diamond’s worth are slightly subjective.  One gemologist may categorize a diamond’s clarity as VS-1 (very slightly included 1) and another may say that same diamond is VS-2.  This seemingly small discrepancy in grading can actually have a quite an impact on the diamond’s value.  The same goes for a diamond’s cut and color; both of these are determined by (the albeit expert) eye of a human.  Hence, there can be a disagreement from one diamond professional to the next if a diamond is K or J in color, or if its cut is ideal or not. Continue reading How Carat Weight Affects Diamond Price