Study Diamonds at GIA

Diploma Program

Graduate Diamonds Diploma Program

This diploma program explores the GIA diamond grading methods to assess the 4Cs of Diamond Quality – Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat weight – and how they affect diamond value. Students use professional diamond grading equipment for the purposes of examining a diamond’s quality characteristics to grade and identify diamonds. Coursework also includes creating plotting diagrams; determining fluorescence; and detecting treated diamonds, laboratory-grown diamonds and diamond simulants. Other topics covered include the effect of fluorescence on diamond body color; the role cut plays in the marketplace; and important sectors of the diamond industry, including dealers, cutters and manufacturers.

How to Earn: Full-Time On Campus or Distance Education

Duration: 7 instructional weeks

What You Earn: Graduate Diamonds Diploma

Ideal For: Industry professionals and individuals who want a career in the diamond industry, including the skills and knowledge to grade diamonds. Completing the Graduate Diamonds program is required to earn the GIA Graduate Gemologist diploma.

Full-Time Program

Diamond Essentials

A comprehensive, multi-week, on-campus program covering the technical expertise needed to grade, buy, and sell diamonds.

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Jewelry simulation or rendering are nothing new, but they are getting increased traction as online jewelry shopping gets a bigger and bigger market share. Rendering enables jewelers to create simulations for many products, and has several clear advantages: Bigger stock, and significant saving in both time and money.


What is Rendering?


3D rendering is a three-dimensional computer graphics process which enables to automatically convert 2D models to 3D models that look realistic.


The computerized process enables to create a simulation of any object, from homes to bridges, as well as products that do not yet exist. You could, for instance, simulate a non-existent building into a neighborhood, simulate a non-existent highway system in its surroundings, and even see how a certain ring would look on your finger – without ever touching it.


Rendering gold Rings jewelry
Credit: Diana Rafael


Rendering in Jewelry


The jewelry business has quickly taken to renderings. Rendering is highly effective in the design process, and enables jewelers to create models in 2D or 3D, and then produce realistic images of the piece from every angle with every type of gem or diamond, and in gold of every color. Jewelers can also choose the background of the image, including its color and texture. The entire process can be done in a few hours.


Advantages of Rendering


When creating jewelry collections, jewelry companies or designers use pricey raw materials. The jewel’s journey, from the design process to its purchase by the end client, is a long and expensive one. So, instead of creating a model out of gold and precious stones, photograph it and offer to sell it online, jewelers can now create previews of their jewelry designs by rendering, thereby saving hundreds of dollars in costs. Rendering enables them to create, for instance, a model of a piece made of

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Diamonds & Diamond Grading

IMG - 4cs graphic 161526 636x358

The Diamond and Diamond Grading eLearning course brings to life the skills needed to grade the color, clarity and cut of diamonds through video, graphics, images and text. 

Key topics include: 

  • The influence of color, clarity, cut and carat on diamond value
  • Determining proportions and estimating weight
  • Diamond treatments, simulants, and laboratory-grown diamonds
  • Fluorescence and its effect on body color
  • The role cut plays in the marketplace, including fancy cuts
  • The technical knowledge needed to make effective buying and selling decisions

The course also covers:

  • GIA Diamond Grading Reports — how to read and explain them
  • Segments of the diamond industry beyond retail — dealing, cutting, manufacturing
  • Diamond formation and key properties
  • Special challenges of grading mounted diamonds and grading estimation techniques

The final exam is online, closed book and proctored; see the Education Catalog for details.

Try a complementary lesson for this course

View the Online Education Credential Requirements Chart

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24 best places to buy affordable fine jewelry in 2023

From braided rings and chunky hoops to gemstone necklaces and tennis bracelets, the best affordable jewelry brands on the market provide timeless, multi-generational pieces that we’re heart-eyed over.

But, the price in the fine jewelry area can be daunting at times, especially when ordering online. Let’s face it — after a while, stock images of rose gold, sterling silver and diamonds all look the same.

After consulting with a gemologist to roundup the best engagement rings to buy online, we realized while diamonds are great and all (in fact, they’re a girl’s best friend), there are so many other dainty, paperclip-inspired and colorful options waiting for you to add them to your e-shopping cart.

So, we did the research for you, tried out some pieces and corralled the best affordable fine jewelry brands to shop from online. From Mejuri’s minimalist gold to PDPAOLA’s unique finds, your next bracelet, necklace, ring or pair of earrings is waiting for you.

Click to jump to a specific retailer:

The best dainty jewelry brand

Gold choker and matching bracelet with butterfly and initial charm, stacked gold rings and gold huggies
Adina Jewels

About the brand: A NYC-based retailer, founded by Adina and named ‘Adina’s Jewels’ after her late grandmother, after she decided to go big or go home with her hobby of designing and curating jewelry. She’s been “determined to offer a unique line of trendsetting jewelry, at a reasonable cost, to fashionistas all around the world.”

I’ve heard of Adina’s Jewels all over social media and a standout is definitely their Pavé Butterfly Initial Choker. Get it with your partner’s initial and the piece instantly turns into something sentimental and special.

The brand’s 14K Fine Gold Jewelry collection, in particular, features pieces from $250 to $1,500, with the brand also

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Buy Lab-Created Diamonds | Allurez

Our easy to use search is a great way to specify the exact traits you are looking for so that you can buy loose diamonds quickly and easily. Whether you are looking to create the perfect engagement ring, or simply want to design an elegant accessory, you will find the perfect stone for your taste and budget. You can save money by finding your own diamond, rather than simply going with whatever a retailer shows you. In addition, you will be better prepared to create jewelry of your own design that will match your vision perfectly.

There are many factors that can help narrow down the list of potential diamonds for you. The most immediate and likely most important trait for most people is carat. This is the weight of the stone on a scale, and is the main contributing factor in its overall size. Sorting by your ideal carat and price will help you find a great starting point for your search. From there, you can decide what other qualities you are most interested in.

The cut of a particular stone largely refers to its ability to reflect light and give off that signature shine we all love. A better cut grade will signify a diamond that has better proportions and finish and will be more luminous. Color is a grade scale that varies between completely colorless and a distinct yellow. Stones that are truly completely colorless are very rare, and very expensive as well. Find a balance between the color you want and the price you are willing to pay, as stones will go up in price the closer they are to colorless. Clarity is the last major trait to help narrow down your search. This refers to imperfections or markings in the stone that could reduce its

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Laboratory-Grown Diamond Reports & Services

Lab-Grown LGDR Report Mockup

Laboratory-Grown Diamond Report

Full 4Cs assessment with a plotted clarity diagram, and an assessment of growth type and post-growth treatment. The laboratory-grown diamond’s girdle is laser inscribed with the term “Laboratory-Grown” and its GIA report number. For loose, laboratory-grown D-to-Z color diamonds, weighing 0.15 carats or more. Digital-only report.​

View Sample Report

Laboratory-Grown Report Dossier Mockup

Laboratory-Grown Diamond Report – Dossier

Full 4Cs assessment. The laboratory-grown diamond’s girdle is laser inscribed with the term “Laboratory-Grown” and its GIA report number. For loose, laboratory-grown D-to-Z color diamonds, weighing 0.15 – 3.99 carats. Digital-only report.​

View Sample Report

Laboratory-Grown Report Color Mockup

Laboratory-Grown Colored Diamond Report

Full quality assessment and a plotted clarity diagram, and an assessment of growth type and post-growth treatment. The laboratory-grown diamond’s girdle is laser inscribed with the term “Laboratory-Grown” and its GIA report number. For loose, laboratory-grown colored diamonds, weighing 0.15 carats or more. Digital-only report.​

View Sample Report

Laboratory-Grown Report Color ID Mockup

Laboratory-Grown Colored Diamond Report – Color Identification

Describes specifications for color and color distribution, and an assessment of growth type and post-growth treatment. The laboratory-grown diamond’s girdle is laser inscribed with the term “Laboratory-Grown” and its GIA report number. For loose, laboratory-grown colored diamonds, weighing 0.15 carats or more. Digital-only report.​

View Sample Report

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Diamond Cuts and Diamond Shapes

When it comes to diamonds, most consumers tend to use the words ‘cut’ and ‘shape’ interchangeably. However, for diamond professionals, there is a big difference. Diamond ‘shape’ refers to the outline of the stone – which can be round, oval, princess, etc. Diamond’s ‘cut’ refers to the arrangement of a stone’s facets. With this in mind, a diamond’s ‘shapes’ can be faceted or ‘cut’ in a variety of ways.

The most common facet arrangement, known as the brilliant cut, is applied to many shapes. It consists of 57 or 58 facets, depending on if a culet facet is included. In a brilliant cut, there will be one octagonal table (or top flat surface) of the diamond, 16 kite‐shaped facets and 40 triangular shaped facets. An optional small octagonal facet at the culet is the 58th cut.

Diamond Shapes

Diamonds can be purchased in a wide variety of shapes and cuts. While there are plenty of interesting shapes to be found, diamonds are frequently purchased in the ten most popular cut shapes:

Diamond Shapes - Round

The round shaped diamond is the most popular, and is often used as a solitaire in engagement rings, earrings, or pendants. According to The Knot, an engagement and wedding planning website, roughly 53% of engagement ring center stones are round. The cut style known as the round brilliant has been around since the 1700s, but has been modified over the years. The angles seen in today’s modern round brilliant were designed to enhance the diamond’s fire and brilliance, and were first suggested by Henry Morse of Boston in the 1860’s. These cuts were further enhanced by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919, and finally, in 2005, a scientific way to help cutters plan and predict the cut quality of round brilliant cut diamonds was introduced by the GIA.

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Blood Diamonds

It’s been 15 years since the global effort to ban conflict diamonds began. But the industry is still tainted by conflict and misery

Photograph by Lynsey Addario for TIMECongolese miners working one of the thousands of artisanal mines that cover the country

Max Rodriguez knows exactly how he is going to propose marriage to his long-term boyfriend, Michael Loper. He has booked a romantic bed-and-­breakfast. He has found, using Google Earth, a secluded garden where he plans to take Loper for a sunset walk. The only thing that troubles him is the issue of the ring. Rodriguez has heard about how diamonds fuel distant conflicts, about the miserable conditions of the miners who wrest the stones from the earth, and he worries. The 34-year-old slips on a gold signet-style ring in the 12th-floor showroom of Vale Jewelry in New York City’s diamond district. “I don’t want a symbol of our union to also be associated with chaos and controversy and pain,” says Rodriguez.

To Mbuyi Mwanza, a 15-year-old who spends his days shoveling and sifting gravel in small artisanal mines in southwest Democratic Republic of Congo, diamonds symbolize something much more immediate: the opportunity to eat. Mining work is grueling, and he is plagued by backaches, but that is nothing compared with the pain of seeing his family go hungry. His father is blind; his mother abandoned them several years ago. It’s been three months since Mwanza last found a diamond, and his debts—for food, for medicine for his father—are piling up. A large stone, maybe a carat, could earn him $100, he says, enough to let him dream about going back to school, after dropping out at 12 to go to the mines—the only work available in

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15 diamond jewelry gifts for women for Valentine’s Day at every budget

Three rows of beautiful silver rings in jewelry storage box case. Valentine's day gifts

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, shop our picks for diamond jewelry at every budget. (Getty Images)

When it comes to Valentine’s Day gift ideas, you can never go wrong with jewelry. Whether that’s shopping for your wife, girlfriend or as a special treat for yourself, jewelry is always a solid idea.

Diamonds are often first choice when it comes to splurging for a special occasion, but they can be a pricey investment. Luckily, with lab-grown diamonds surging in popularity, the covetable stone has gotten more affordable over recent years.

In case you’re on the hunt for a gift idea that’s sure to impress this Valentine’s Day, scroll through to shop our top picks for the best diamond jewelry at every price point.

Diamond jewelry under $250

Diamond Pearl Studs. Image via Mejuri.

Diamond Pearl Studs. Image via Mejuri.

Until Feb. 7, save 15 per cent on a range of Mejuri jewelry, including this set of stunning pearl and diamond studs.

$212 $250 at Mejuri

Petite Diamond Fizz Ring. Image via Catbird.

Petite Diamond Fizz Ring. Image via Catbird.

For lovers of dainty jewelry, this diamond ring adds the tiniest hint of sparkle to your stack.

$221 at Catbird

Solid Gold Diamond Starlight Studs. Image via Local Eclectic.

Solid Gold Diamond Starlight Studs. Image via Local Eclectic.

With a celestial-inspired design, these eye-catching diamond studs are a fun addition to your collection of everyday jewelry.

$210 at Local Eclectic

Concerto .10 CT Diamond and Sterling Silver Locket Necklace. Image via The Bay.

Concerto .10 CT Diamond and Sterling Silver Locket Necklace. Image via The Bay.

Take advantage of Valentine’s Day savings and snag this heart pendant necklace on sale at The Bay for 30 per cent off.

$224 $330 at The Bay

Jillian’s Mini-Heart Diamond Ring. Image via Paris Jewellers.

Jillian’s Mini-Heart Diamond Ring. Image via Paris Jewellers.

Designed in collaboration with Jillian Harris, this everyday stacking ring is crafted in solid 10kt gold and features an ethically sourced diamond.

$235 at Paris Jewellers

Diamond jewelry under $500

Riva Diamond Medium Hoop Earrings. Image via Monica Vinader.

Riva Diamond Medium Hoop Earrings.

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