Established in 1931, GIA is the world’s foremost authority on diamonds, colored stones, and pearls. A public benefit, nonprofit institute, GIA is the leading source of knowledge, standards and education in gems and jewelry. GIA’s mission is to ensure the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science and professionalism through education, research, laboratory services and instrument development.
The 4Cs are Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight. Until the middle of the twentieth century, there was no agreed upon standard by which diamonds could be judged. GIA created the first, and now globally-accepted standard for describing diamonds – the 4Cs. Today, the 4Cs of Diamond Quality and the International Diamond Grading System™, developed in the 1950s, are the universal method for assessing a diamond’s quality anywhere in the world. The creation of the 4Cs by GIA meant two very important things: diamond quality could be communicated in a universal language, and diamond customers could now know exactly what they were about to purchase.