Glossary

Definitions:

Asscher Cut

A diamond cut named for its inventor, Joseph Asscher, who in 1902 developed a square cut diamond with 72 facets. This cut's wide step facets and deep clipped corners make the gemstone resemble an octagon. The Asscher cut produces more fire than is usually visible in a typical step or emerald cut diamond.

Baguette Shape

A rectangular shaped diamond/gemstone with rows of stepped like facets. If the baguette’s two long sides taper inward, it is referred to as a Tapered Baguette.

Bar Setting

Similar to the channel setting, it appears as a circular band of diamonds/gemstones in which each stone is secured by a long thin bar, shared between each stone.

Barion Cut
This has a traditional step cut crown and a modified brilliant cut pavilion. A square Barion cut diamond/gemstone is characterized by its sixty-one facets, excluding the culet.

Bearding or Girdle Fringes
The outermost portion of the diamond/gemstone, called the girdle, may develop small cracks that resemble whiskers during the polishing process. This bearding can often be removed, if not too dramatic, with slight repolishing, and if the stone’s weight allows.

Bezel Setting
With a bezel setting, a rim holds the stone and completely surrounds it. Bezels can have straight edges, scalloped edges, or they can be molded into any shape to accommodate the stone.

Blemishes

The term blemish is utilized when a diamond/gemstone has scratches or marks on the external area of the stone.

Brilliance

Refers to liveliness, or sparkle in a stone when light is reflected from its surface and from the total internal reflection of light.

Brilliant Cut

Brilliant cuts have been scientifically determined to reflect the most light from within the stone, and often are considered to have the most brilliance of all cuts. A Round Brilliant cut diamond/gemstone has fifty-eight facets. Other brilliant cuts include the: Heart, Oval, Marquise and Pear shaped.

Carat

Refers to the measure of weight of a diamond/gemstone. One carat is equivalent to two hundred milligrams. One carat can also be divided into a hundred points. A .75 – carat diamond is the same as a 75 – point or ¾ - carat. Carat scale

Certification (Diamond & Gemstone Independent Laboratory Grading Reports)

There are many recognized independent gemological laboratories that can grade and document a diamond/gemstone for a fee. The most prominent include the: Gemological Institute of America (GIA)American Gem Society (AGS)European Gemological Laboratory (EGL-USA and EGL-Worldwide). Learn more on ourIndependent Laboratory Certification Page

Channel Setting
Used most frequently for wedding and anniversary bands, a channel setting sets the stones right next to each other without any metal separating them.

Clarity

A diamond/gemstone often has natural imperfections/inclusions, commonly referred to as nature’s fingerprints. These inclusions contribute to a stone’s identifying characteristics. Inclusions are found within the diamond/gemstone. Inclusions can be white, black, colorless, or even red or green. Most inclusions are undetectable by the human eye and are only discernible utilizing 10X magnification. Inclusions are ranked on a scale of perfection referred to as clarity. The grades of clarity vary from F (Flawless) and IF (Internally Flawless) through to I (Included). Clarity scale I is visible by the human eye without any magnification. The position of these fingerprints can affect the value of a diamond/gemstone. Clarity Scale

Cluster Setting
This setting surrounds a larger center stone with numerous smaller stones. It is designed to create a beautiful larger ring from numerous smaller stones.

Color Scale

Diamonds are graded on a color scale established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). This scale ranges from D (colorless) to Z. Fancy colors refer to diamonds with hues like pink, blue, green, yellow and very rarely red. Fancy colors are not included in this color scale and are considered extremely rare. Color Scale

Crown
This is the upper portion or the top of a diamond/gemstone.

Culet
The bottom point of a diamond/gemstone. It may be polished in some stones. Although, sometimes the cutter may choose to make the culet a surface instead of a point.

Cushion Cut

An antique style of cut that was one of the most popular cuts a century ago. Cushion cut diamonds (also known as Pillow Cut diamonds) have a rectangular to square shape with rounded corners and larger facets to increase their brilliance under candlelight.

Cut

Cut refers to the angles and proportions a skilled craftsman creates in transforming a rough diamond/gemstone into a polished diamond/gemstone. Based on scientific formulas, a well cut diamond/gemstone will internally reflect light from one mirror like facet to another, thereby effectively dispersing and reflecting it through the top of the stone. This results in a display of brilliance and fire. Diamonds/gemstones that are cut too deep or too shallow lose or leak light through the side or bottom, resulting in less brilliance and ultimately value. Cut classifications are: Ideal, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. Diamond Cuts

Cutting Style
Cutting styles are different than diamond/gemstone shapes. The most common way to explain cutting style is to categorize it into the following basic types: step cut, brilliant cut and mixed cut.

Deep Cut
Cut refers to the angles and proportions a skilled craftsman creates in transforming a rough diamond/gemstone into a finished diamond/gemstone. When a diamond/gemstone is cut too deep, it will lose or leak light through the side or bottom. This results in less brilliance and value.

Diamond
A diamond is the hardest known natural substance. It is composed of crystallized carbon. Diamonds are mined in their rough form and then cut and polished to reveal their brilliance.

Diamond Grading Reports
There are many recognized independent gemological laboratories that can grade a diamond/gemstone for a fee via a certification report.

Emerald Shape
A rectangular or square shaped cut diamond/gemstone.

Facets
These are the tiny surfaces polished onto a rough diamond/gemstone that gives a finished diamond/gemstone its shape. The way light interacts with the facets affects a stone’s brilliance and sparkle.

Fancy Shapes
Any diamond/gemstone shape other than Round - e.g. Marquise, Square, Emerald, Oval, Heart and Pear.

Feather
A feather is a type of inclusion or flaw within a diamond/gemstone. It is often described as a small crack, fissure or gletz.

Finish
The word finish is used to describe the exterior of a diamond/gemstone. If a diamond/gemstone is well polished, it has a very good finish.

Fire
Often a term used instead of dispersion, it is the variety and intensity of rainbow/spectral colors seen when light is reflected from a diamond/gemstone.

Flanders Cut
This cut was created in 1983 in Antwerp - the northern federal region of Belgium. The Flanders cut has a complex symmetry with 61 precisely positioned facets.

Flat Top Setting
Like the gypsy setting, this setting is characterized by a band that is one continuous piece that gets thicker at the top. A flat top setting grows broader at the top so that a faceted stone can be inserted into the ring at the broadest part. The stone is held in place by metal chips attached at the stone’s girdle.

Fluorescence
When exposed to ultraviolet light, a diamond may exhibit an enhanced whitish, yellowish or blueish tint, which may imply that the diamond has a property called fluorescence. The untrained eye can rarely see the effects of fluorescence. Diamond grading reports often state whether a diamond has fluorescent properties. Fluorescence is not considered as a grading factor, only a characteristic of that specific diamond.

Girdle
The girdle is the outer most edge of the diamond/gemstone between the crown and the pavilion.

Growth or Grain Lines
These can be considered internal flaws, and can often only be seen by rotating the diamond/gemstone very slowly. They can seemingly appear and disappear almost instantaneously. They appear as small lines or planes within the diamond/gemstone.

Gypsy Setting
The gypsy setting is predominately used for male jewelry. It is characterized by a band consisting of one continuous piece that is thicker at the top. The top is domed shaped and with a stone is inserted in the middle.

Illusion Setting
This setting is more intricate than most others, in that it surrounds the stone to make it appear larger. The metal that surrounds the stone usually has an interesting design.

Inclusions
Often referred to as nature’s fingerprints, these are internal imperfections within most diamonds/gemstones. They are what make a diamond/gemstone so unique, as a fingerprint does for an individual. These birthmarks are measured on a scale of perfection commonly referred to as clarity. Some names for various inclusions include: cloud, crystal, pinpoint, and feather. The position of an inclusion can affect the clarity of a diamond/gemstone and therefore its corresponding value.

Marquise Shape
A boat shaped diamond/gemstone that is long and thin with gently curved sides that come to a point on either end. Marquise is part of the brilliant cut family.

Mixed Cut
This cut has both step cut and Brilliant cut facets. Mixed cuts combine the gracious beauty of the Emerald cut with the sparkle of the Brilliant cut.

Old Mine Cut
This diamond cut is square, but with gently rounded corners and brilliant style facets. The crown is typically high, the table is small and the culet is large enough to be visible through the top of the stone.

Pavillion
Bottom portion of the stone, under the girdle, measuring to the cutlet.

Pinpoint
A pinpoint is a small dot, which is an inclusion within a diamond/gemstone. A gathering of pinpoints is referred to as a quotation mark cluster or quotation mark cloud. A cloud or cluster may appear as a hazy area in a diamond/gemstone.

Polish
Indicates the care taken by a cutter in shaping and faceting the rough stone into a finished and polished diamond/gemstone.

Poor Cut
Cut refers to the angles and proportions a skilled craftsman utilizes in transforming a rough diamond/gemstone into a finished stone. A poorly cut diamond/gemstone can be either cut too deep or too shallow. A deep or shallow cut stone will lose or leak light through its side or bottom. This results in less brilliance and corresponding value.

Princess Cut
A square or sometimes rectangular shaped modified Brilliant cut diamond/gemstone.

Prong or Claw Setting
It consists of four or six claws that cradle the diamond/gemstone. Because this setting allows the maximum amount of light to enter a stone from all angles, it sometimes can make a diamond/gemstone appear larger and more brilliant than its actual weight. This setting can also hold larger stones more securely.

Proportion
The proportions of a diamond/gemstone are very important factors in enhancing the maximum amount of light be reflected off and out of a stone. Proportion is the relationship between the angles of the facets of the crown and pavilion.

Radiant Cut
A rectangular or square shaped diamond/gemstone with step cut and scissor cut on the crown and a brilliant cut on the pavilion.

Scintillation
When light reflects from a diamond/gemstone, the sparkling flashes that come from the facets of the stone are referred to as scintillation.

Shallow Cut
Cut refers to the angles and proportions a skilled craftsman utilizes in transforming a rough diamond/gemstone into a finished stone. When a diamond/gemstone is cut too shallow, it will lose or leak light through the side or bottom. This results in less brilliance and corresponding value.

Shape

Shape refers to form or appearance of a diamond/gemstone - i.e. whether the stone is round, triangular, square, marquise, pear, oval or heart shaped. Diamond Shapes

Step Cut
The step cut has rows of facets that resemble the steps of a staircase. The emerald cut and the baguette are representative of the step cut.

Symmetry
A diamond/gemstone’s symmetry is the arrangement and relationship between the facets and finished angles created by the diamond/gemstone cutter. Excellent symmetry of a well cut and well proportioned diamond/gemstone can have a great effect on the stone’s brilliance and fire. Grading reports will often state the stone’s symmetry in terms Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, or Poor.

Table Facet
This is the largest facet of a diamond/gemstone. It is located at the top of the diamond/gemstone. The table facet is sometimes referred to as the face.

Table Spread
Term used to describe the width of the table facet, and is often expressed as a percentage of the total width of a stone.

Tension Setting
A tension set diamond/gemstone is secured in place by the pressure of the band’s metal, which is designed to squeeze the stone.

Tolkowsky, Marcel
In 1919 Marcel Tolkowsky calculated the best theoretical compromise for the cut of a diamond/gemstone to enhance its beauty. The width of the table facet was found to be 53% of the total width of the stone, with a pavilion angle of 40 degrees and 45 degrees. The Tolkowsky cut provides the basis for the modern American cut.

Trillion Cut
As a triangular shaped diamond/gemstone with fifty facets. Trillions are commonly used as side stones. A trillion cut is a triangular cut based upon a brilliant style cut, without a stepped facet. The corners of the triangle are truncated (cut short) and there are a variety of facets, giving this cut a sparkling brilliance.

Well Cut
Well cut diamond/gemstone proportions insure the maximum compromise between fire and brilliance. When light enters a properly cut diamond/gemstone, it is reflected from facet to facet, and then back up through the top, thereby exhibiting maximum brilliance, fire and sparkle.

 

 

 

 

 

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CDGI

Certified Diamonds & Gemstones, Inc.

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