It's not rocket science, all Diamonds are graded on the four Cs basis. This criteria was developed in the 1940s by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The four C’s are a universal, four-part grading system that was created to identify a Diamond's qualities. David Malka is a GIA Graduate Gemologist who grew up in the Diamond trade. He works with your budget and 4C criteria to source a Diamond that best suits you. This is a significant purchase so we want our customers to know the four C's and to be able to walk away with confidence in their purchase of a lifetime. 


Because diamonds are formed deep within the earth under extreme heat and pressure, they often contain unique birthmarks – either internal marks knows as “inclusions”  or external marks known as “blemishes”. Diamond clarity refers to the absence of inclusions and blemishes. Diamonds without any markings whatsoever are extremely rare and rarity increases a diamond’s value. The GIA International Diamond Grading System™ assigns diamonds a clarity grade that ranges from flawless (FL) to diamonds with obvious inclusions (I3).


Here’s the complete scale:

  •    Flawless (FL) – No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.
  •    Internally Flawless (IF) – No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.
  •    Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) – Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification.
  •    Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) – Inclusions are clearly visible under 10x magnification but can be characterized as minor.
  •    Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) – Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.
  •    Included (I1, I2 and I3) – Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance.

– CUT –

The allure of a particular diamond depends more on cut than anything else because  cut is the factor that fuels a diamond’s brilliance, sparkle and fire.

The traditional 58 facets in a classic brilliant round diamond—precisely cut and defined—are as small as 2mm in diameter. Without this precision, a diamond wouldn’t be nearly as beautiful.

Though extremely difficult to analyze or quantify, the cut of any diamond has three attributes: Brilliance (the total light reflected from a diamond), Fire (the dispersion  of light into the colors of the spectrum) and Scintillations (the flashes of light,    or sparkle, when a diamond is moved).


Diamond color is all about what you can’t see. Diamonds are valued by how closely they approach colorlessness – the less color, the higher their value – with the exception of fancy-color diamonds, such as yellow, pinks and blues, which lie outside this color range. Most diamonds found in jewelry stores run from colorless to near-colorless with slight hints of yellow and brown.  GIA’s color-grading scale for diamonds is the industry standard. The scale begins with the letter D, representing ‘colorless’ diamonds, and continues with increasing presence of color to the letter z.


Carat is a  measurement of weight. Just like there are 100 pennies in a dollar, there are 100 points on a one-carat diamond. So a 50-point diamond weighs 0.50 carats and a 75-point diamond weighs .75 carats.  Diamonds larger than one-carat are noted in decimals.     A 1.08 diamond would be pronounced: “one point oh eight”. The term carat is derived from carob seeds, which early gem traders used as counterweights to their balance scales due to the seeds’ generally uniform weight.  Today, carat weight is universal so a diamond’s carat weight is the samE in every country.


An understanding of diamond cut begins with the shape of a diamond. The standard round brilliant is the shape used most often in diamond jewelry. All others are known as "Fancy Shapes", including: the marquise, pear, oval, and emerald cuts. Hearts, cushions, triangles, and a variety of others are also gaining popularity in diamond jewelry.


At Malka Diamonds, we're more than just diamond experts, we're jewelry experts, too! Our Downtown Portland store has an incredible selection of jewelry, including vintage, designer, and custom-made engagement rings.