Diamond Glossary

Baguette shape: The Baguette diamond shape is named for the French bread stick. It usually works in pairs, surrounding a larger stone in a setting. It is long and thin, like the breadstick, often with the ends of the two sides meeting at the top, creating an hourglass look in what is known as a tapered Baguette diamond shape.

Bar setting: Supporting bars are placed on the sides of the diamond as opposed to prongs. This creates a clean look and also allows for maximum light to pass through the stone.

Bearding/Girdle Fringes: Impurities containing lines that can occur along the girdle. They often appear to be thin and almost like hair, but can be polished off or recut.

Bezel Setting: A diamond setting that reaches from the bottom to the top of the diamond, protecting any edges. This is a great choice for athletic people who prefer not to take off their ring.

Blemish: A flaw on a diamond. These can include scratches, nicks or chipping, pits or holes in a facet, or a natural (an area that hasn’t been polished). Occasionally they can be fixed, but it’s best to ask a lot of questions to find a diamond without any blemishes.

Brilliance: A sign of a well cut diamond. Brilliance includes light reflection, refraction and dispersion. The better a diamond reflects the light, the more brilliant it will be considered.

Brilliant Cut: a diamond that is cut to have the most brilliance. Typically a round cut, shaped like a cone, though other cuts offer a brilliant cut as well. It maintains carat weight as well as brilliance, which raises the value.

Carat: a unit of measurement used to evaluate gemstones and pearls; equivalent to 200 mg. This measurement was adopted in 9017 at the Fourth General Conference on Weights and Measures.

Channel Setting: A gemstone setting that places the gemstones into a metal channel on the band. They are not separated by any sort of metal, allowing them to flow freely in a row.

Clarity: Part of the Four C’s, clarity refers to how clear the diamond is of blemishes and imperfections. They are graded on a scale of I (inclusions), SI (slightly included), VS (very slightly included), VVS (very very slightly included), IF (internally flawless) and F (flawless).

Cluster setting: Multiple stones that are put together to great a nice design or a shape, like a flower.

Cloud: A cloud is a type of inclusion that is caused by a group of very small pinpoints that are tightly packed together inside of the diamond. They will typically resemble a cloud, hence the name.

Color: A chemically perfect diamond is perfectly transparent, though there are few like that. Color can be added to a diamond through chemical or structural defects. The colors that a diamond can be include gray, white, yellow, pink, and blue, among others.

Crown: The top of the diamond, between the table and the girdle. A crown can be made up of step cut facets or brilliant cut facets.

Culet: The smallest point of a diamond. It is located at the very bottom, furthest away from the top of the stone.

Cushion Cut: A cushion cut has rounded corners and larger facets. These larger facets allow for an increased brilliance. This cut is available to many different shapes of diamonds, from square to rectangle.

Cut : A cut is the style used when shaping the diamond. It does not mean the actual shape (pear, oval, etc.), but rather the style (brilliant, step, etc.).

Depth: The depth of the diamond is how far down the diamond is cut. It comes in three unique types: shallow, ideal, and deep; these three types affect how light is reflected in a different way.

Depth Percentage: Typically measured in millimeters, depth percentage refers to the ratio of depth (culet to table) to diameter. Each cut has a different ideal depth percentage.

Diamond: A precious stone which can be manmade or created in the earth’s core through heat and pressure on carbon atoms and is frequently used in jewelry.

Diamond Grading Reports: Documents the various characteristics of the diamond and uses these characteristics to assign it value and a level of rarity.

Dispersion: How the light is spread upon exiting the diamond. It often will be separated into colors reflecting outwards.

Emerald Shape: A popular shape for engagement rings. Generally cut in a rectangular shape with rectangular facets, the blocked corners are a signature buying point in the emerald shape.

Eye-clean: A term used when analyzing diamonds. It means that there are no impurities or flaws that are visible to the naked eye.

Facets: The area of the diamond that is cut and polished in such a way to maximize the brilliance of the light that enters the stone from all angles. There are many different shapes and cuts of facets, depending on the shape of the ring.

Fair cut: Typically the top 35% of diamonds are fair cut. It remains a quality cut, but is not perfect and lacks the brilliance of a good, very good or ideal cut.

Fancy shapes: Diamonds cut so as to maximize the weight of the diamond as well as keep the dispersion of light at a quality level. Generally, a fancy shape includes every shape except for the round.

Feather: A small fracture or imperfection in the diamond. It is caused by stress from underground. It could start on the outside or the inside of the diamond and can grow with wear.

Finish: Any part of the diamond that is not natural to its appearance. Finish describes things added by a diamond cutter.

Fluorescence: The glow a diamond gives off when it is under a blacklight or other sort of long-wave ultraviolet light. Typically, it is not noticeable under normal lighting conditions.

Gemological Institute of America: A non-profit group that has been grading diamonds since 1931. It was founded by Roger Shiply.

Girdle: Graded by thickness, it is the outline of the shape of a diamond.

Good Cut: This cut typically represents the top 25% of quality diamond cuts. Generally, it reflects almost all of the light that enters the diamond at any given angle.

Growth/Grain lines: An imperfection within the diamond. They are created by an irregular crystallization when the diamond is formed and can be colorless, white or colored. Colorless grain lines are traditionally not noticed unless there are a mass of them in one area of the diamond.

Gypsy Setting: A setting of diamonds that appear to be just thrown onto the ring. They are attached strongly, but to an untrained eye, they appear to be just floating on the band or metal surface.

Ideal Cut: Merely the top 3% of quality diamond cuts. It is very rare and will reflect the majority of the light that enters the diamond at any angle.

Illusion Setting: This is a setting that allows for a smaller diamond to look much larger than it is in reality. It utilizes a metal ring to surround the girdle of the diamond in order to create a bigger outline of the stone.

Inclusions: Any imperfection that gets inside a stone and is trapped during the formation. It can be enclosed inside the stone or it can also rise to the surface.

Marquise shape: Created by King Louis XIV, it is often called a boat-shaped diamond because of its long shape and pointed ends.

Mixed Cut: The mixed cut is a combination of the step cut and the brilliant cut. It emerged in the 1960’s and is now traditionally used for the princess cut.

Pavilion: The portion of the diamond that is below the girdle.

Point: Another way to determine the weight of a diamond; a point is worth 1/100th of a carat.

Polish: Blemishes that don’t count against the clarity of a diamond when it is being graded.

Poor Cut: Any diamond that is cut in such a way that it loses most of the light that tries to pass through the stone. It will generally not be dispersed out of the diamond.

Princess Cut: The most popular non-round cut diamond. It is typically a square with a mixed cut.

Prong/Claw Setting: A setting that uses metal prongs or claws to support the diamond. They are traditionally put specifically on the corners to protect them or in other places that might be vulnerable to damage.

Proportion: Measurements that include depth percentage, table size, girdle thickness and ratio to determine what grade to give the cut of the diamond.

Radiant cut: More often than not a rectangle, the signature of a radiant diamond would be its blocked corners.

Scintillation: How intensely the light will sparkle in a diamond as it is moved.

Shallow cut: A cut which will allow light to escape out the bottom of the diamond.

Shape: The style the diamond is cut in (ex: heart, radiant, emerald, round, etc.)

Sparkle: A diamond sparkles through scintillation and brilliance. These factors can vary, affecting how much and how frequently it sparkles.

Step cut: A cut that uses few facets in such a way that they appear to be steps leading up to the table of the diamond.

Symmetry: Symmetry has a great impact on the final grading of a diamond. It involves everything being equal on the diamond all around the center. They get graded from extremely poor to excellent.

Table facet: A table facet is the largest facet, located at the top of the diamond.

Table spread: The width of a table facet.

Tension setting: A setting that uses no prongs to secure the diamond in place. Instead it presses either side of the band against the diamond, giving the illusion that the stone is floating.

Trillion shape: A triangular shaped brilliant cut with slightly curved sides and culet facets.

Very good cut: The top 15% of quality diamond cuts. A cheaper version of an ideal cut, it also reflects most of the light passed through the stone.

Well cut: Reflects the maximum amount of light that is entering the diamond. This allows the diamond to sparkle as brilliantly as possible.