Endless talk of all things sparkly.

Diamond Grading Lab at GIA Carlsbad, CA


My trip to the Carlsbad campus to take my Diamond Grading Lab class at GIA was so much fun! It included five long & intense days of learning, applying, looking at diamonds and studying. The class was the largest GIA had ever taught at once–which meant we got to use a brand new classroom that was equipped with about 40 lab desks. The above picture shows about 1/4 of our class–this was taken on a Friday afternoon, after our diamond tests were complete, and everyone was exhausted!


Monday through Thursday we learned different aspects of grading diamonds, with each new concept followed by immediate application using real diamonds.  On Friday we took a 2-stone grading test, where we had to get a 75% or above to pass.  

We learned how to grade brightness, pattern, and fire the first day. Mathematical formulas were used to figure out average diameter, overweight %, total depth %, table %…concepts that had no meaning to me a year ago, I was now figuring out by myself! We also learned how to estimate star facet length, crown angle, girdle thickness, pavilion depth, and culet size. It was crazy how fast everyone picked up on the new material and only five days had passed. Imagine if we were there for an entire semester…


In between all the seriousness and learning, I got the chance to meet some really nice people, all of which love jewelry & diamonds as well! Above is Emily who works at Mitchum Jewelers in Ozark, Missouri. We sat next to each other and exchanged funny side comments in between looking at diamonds.  She got to visit the diamond mining park in Arkansas, which is awesome.  I love her wedding ring–it consists of seven separate rings, which all fit together as a stack. Check out the picture below.

emilys ring

And check out Mitchum Jewelers by clicking the banner below. They specialize in custom work and can do some amazing things. They also go on a buying trip to Antwerp every year. This July it is their 45th Anniversary, congrats!!