Gemology is the study of natural and artificial minerals and gemstones as they relate to their use in jewelry. The science arose in the late 19th century, as markets for fine jewelry expanded to a commercial scale, requiring a standardized language and practice of grading and communicating gemstone quality that all parties can rely on. The first truly professional accreditation in gemology came from the Gemological Association of Great Britain, founded in 1908. Robert Shipley, who in 1929 was the first American to graduate the course, went on to establish the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in 1931. Since then GIA has grown to become the largest and best recognized gemological institution, a diamond grade from GIA is considered to be the most authoritative in the business.
GIA has made an enormous number of advancements in gemology throughout its history, pioneering technology from spectroscopic detection of synthetic and treated stones to the simple jeweler’s loupe. But their single greatest contribution is the standardized language of diamond grading, which is used by everyone in the industry – including other grading institutions. Known as the Four C’s (Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat weight), these are the 4 metrics which determine a diamond’s quality and market value.
We’re proud to announce that Oceanside Jewelers is now a GIA recognized diamond dealer. Because we trust the precision, clarity, and dependability of GIA’s grading system, including our GIA graduate gemologist on staff, we carry a large selection of GIA stones on hand available for order.
Buying a diamond is a complicated process to the uninitiated, but no grading house makes understanding diamond quality more straightforward and transparent than GIA. If you’re just starting to search for a stone, take a look at these interactive graphics that explain the 4 C’s in detail. And if you want to compare stones in person, call or stop by the store and let our GIA trained staff show you exactly what you’re looking for in a diamond!