The last time the International Gem & Jewelry Show was highlighted in Santa Monica, offers ranged from $5 to $5000 of diamonds and jewels from all around the world. The plan is for Pasadena to host the gathering in July of 2021 at the Pasadena Convention Center with guidelines for strict COVID-19 protocols.
As the first direct-to-consumer jewelry show, the International Gem & Jewelry Show, or InterGem, brings together top designers, vendors, and gemologists all under one roof for people to shop and educate the grades, types, and styles popular in the diamond and jewelry market.
Billed as “the largest exhibitions of gems, minerals, and jewelry from all over the world,” the InterGem has been hosting shows since 1967.
The admission price is an affordable $6 per person, with discounts available for teachers and classes and exhibits that discuss the various grades of gems from renowned GIA members to educate you on selecting the best diamond for your budget.
The GIA or Gemological Institute of America originated in 1931 as a non-profit organization dedicated to defining and educating gems’ quality for wholesale and consumer purchase. GIA’s classification of gems has become the world standard to evaluate the diamond’s value (and other gems).
How GIA Classifies A Gem
In the 1940s, the GIA created their standard known as the “4C’s” to determine a diamond’s quality and value. Understanding the 4C’s should help you as a consumer find the right diamond and design the best ring for every occasion. Read on to learn about the 4C’s.
The Cut: How a diamond sparkles and shines is based on a large part of the diamond’s cut. The ranking process for evaluating a diamond’s cut is based on the appearance, broken into three categories and four remaining categories.
Three criteria evaluate the appearance, brightness – the total light reflected by the diamond, fire – the refraction of light into colors on the spectrum, and scintillation – the shades of dark and light within the diamond as light is reflected.
The remaining four categories are related to the diamond’s craftsmanship, and design and those are weight ratio, durability, polish, and symmetry.
Clarity: Every diamond has unique birthmarks related to the type of pressure required to make the diamond. A diamond’s clarity then is based on the lack of these birthmarks affecting the appearance as light is reflected in the gem. The more rare and thus more valuable diamond has fewer imperfections than others.
Color: Diamonds have a color scale and range listed in order from D to Z. The more color to a diamond, the lesser value. It’s the clear, colorless diamond that is extremely valuable. D is the colorless stone, while Z has a yellow or brown color and is less pure.
Carat Weight: The weight of the gem is in metric carats. A carat is equal to 0.2 grams, and a carat is rated from 1-100. Don’t confuse carat weights with Karat, the measurement of purity for gold. Diamonds value is also related to weight, and the weight is treated down to the hundredths and thousandths in some instances.
The types of stones and how each one is unique is one of the great takeaways from the InterGem Convention and Show, letting visitors interact with vendors and gemologists from all around the world.
In addition to traditional diamonds, some alternatives look and feel like conventional diamonds but are synthetically manufactured in a lab. These are known as lab-grown diamonds or lab-created diamonds.
Lab-Created Diamonds As An Alternative
As opposed to traditional gems, lab grown diamonds are developed and processed in a lab-type setting. The benefits of these artificial gems are that they can be designed to have fewer impurities than standard diamonds, are easier to produce, and can be more affordable.
Benefits to lab-created diamonds are:
- Greater purity and better quality of the stone
- Environmentally safer and sustainable
- Guaranteed safe origins making them ethical purchases
And don’t worry, the GIA does evaluate these synthetic diamonds but considers them with different criteria than standard diamonds. While the GIA diamond report will assess the clarity, color, and cut of the diamonds, they do not determine carat weight as part of their grading system for lab-gen diamonds.