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Diamond Glossary

 
At Loose Diamond Exchange, we like to provide customers a great piece of mind on diamonds and we want to make sure that you have some knowledge about diamonds. Listed below are some terms about diamonds and terms that we use in the industry and we hope that this information is helpful in getting you familiarized about diamonds? If you feel that you are still not certain about some specifications about diamonds, please e-mail us at inquiry@loosediamondxchange.com or call toll-free at 877-732-2387 and a diamond consultant would be more than happy to further educate you.

Annealing – A gemstone heating process that can be used alone or to stabilize irradiated color.

Apparent clarity – A term used to describe the effects of treatments on the visual appeal of a gemstone.

Average girdle diameter – The result achieved by adding the smallest and largest girdle measurements of a round brilliant and dividing by two.

Baguette – A small, four-sided step cut that’s rectangular, square, or tapered.

Binocular microscope – A tabletop magnifier with two eyepieces.

Blemish – Clarity characteristic that’s confined to the surface of a polished gemstone.

Branded cut – Cutting style that’s developed, named, and promoted by a specific manufacturer.

Brilliance – The brightness created by the combination of all the white light reflections from the surface and the inside of a polished diamond.

Brilliant cut – Cutting style with triangular or kite-shaped facets that radiate from the center toward the girdle.

Bruting – Forming the basic face-up outline of a diamond to prepare it for faceting.

Carat – The international unit of measurement for gem weight. One carat equals 1/5 of a gram (0.200g).

Characteristic color – The basic color of a fancy-colored diamond.

Clarity characteristics – The collective term for inclusions (internal) and blemishes (external).

Cloud – Tiny white inclusions that appear milky or cloudy.

Crown – Top part of the gem above the girdle.

Crown angle – The angle formed by the bezel facets and the girdle plane.

Culet – Small facet at the bottom of a finished gem.

Depth – The distance from the table to the culet of a polished gem.

Depth of color – The combination of tone and saturation that determines how noticeable a color is.

Dispersion – The separation of white light into spectral colors.

Durability – A gemstone’s ability to withstand wear, heat, and chemicals.

Face-Up – When a table of a polished diamond is viewed in an up position.

Facet – A flat, polished surface on a finished gem.

Fancy-colored diamonds – Naturally colored yellow and brown diamonds that exhibit color beyond the Z range, or that exhibit any other color face-up.

Fancy cut – Any gemstone shape other than round.

Feather – A collective term for diamond cleavages and fractures.

Finish – The quality of the polish and precision of the cut of a fashioned gemstone.

Fire – The flashes of color you see in a polished diamond.

Fluorescence – Emission of visible light by a material when it’s exposed to ultraviolet radiation.

Fracture filling – Treatment that involves injecting a molten glass substance into a diamond’s surface-reaching feathers or laser drill-holes.

Four Cs – Four value factors (clarity, color, cut, and carat weight) that describe the quality of a finished diamond.

Girdle – The narrow section of a finished gem that forms the boundary between the crown and the pavilion and functions as the gem’s setting edge.

Girdle outline – Face-up shape of a polished gem. Hardness – How well a gemstone resists scratches and abrasion.

Hue – Your first impression of a color; the basic color of an object.

Inclusion – Clarity characteristic totally enclosed in a polished gemstone or extending into it from the surface.

Irradiation – A treatment that changes the color of a gem by exposing it to radioactive materials.

Karat – A unit of measure for the fineness of gold abbreviated “K” or “Kt.”

Laser drilling – Treatment that involves using a concentrated beam of laser light to reach a diamond’s dark inclusions and to disguise or eliminate them.

Length-to-width ratio – Comparison of the length to the width of marquise, emerald, pear-shape, oval, and princess cuts.

Light carat – A trade term for a diamond that weighs between 0.96ct and 0.99ct.

Light half – A trade term for a diamond that weighs between 0.45ct and 0.49ct.

Loupe – A small, portable magnifying lens used for examining gemstones.

Loupe clean – Term that describes a diamond that might have surface blemishes, but shows no inclusions under 10X magnification.

Make – The qualities of a faceted diamond’s proportions and finish.

Manufacturer – An individual or company that cuts and polishes diamonds and colored stones.

Master Stones – A set of color comparison diamonds that defines GIA diamond color grades in the normal (D-to-Z) range.

Melee – Very small faceted diamonds.

Metric carat – The international unit of measurement for gem weight. One carat equals one-fifth of a gram (0.200g).

Mixed cut – Cut that combines brilliant-cut and step-cut styles.

Near-colorless – A general term for diamonds in the G-to-J color range.

Normal color range – Range of diamond colors from colorless to light yellow and light brown. Pavilion – Lower part of a faceted gem below the girdle.

Pavilion angle – The angle formed by the pavilion main facets and the girdle plane.

Pavilion bulge – Larger-than-usual pavilion angles on the middle tier of facets, designed to add weight to a step-cut stone.

Pavilion depth percentage – The distance from the girdle plane to the culet, expressed as a percentage of the average girdle diameter.

Per-carat price – The price of a gem divided by its weight.

Pique – A general term for included stones.

Plot – A color-keyed diagram of a gemstone’s significant clarity characteristics.

Point – One hundredth of a carat (0.01ct).

Polish – The overall condition of the facet surfaces of a finished diamond.

Proportions – The angles and relative measurements of a polished gem, and the relationships between them.

Refraction – The change in speed and possible change in direction of light as it travels from one transparent material to another.

Round brilliant – A round brilliant-cut stone with 57 or 58 facets. Often called a full cut.

Saturation – A color’s strength or intensity, ranging from a dull hue to a pure, vivid hue.

Scintillation – The flashes of light you see when the diamond, the light, or the observer moves.

Shoulder – One of the two sides adjacent to the rounded end of a pear or oval shape.

Single cut – A round stone with 17 or 18 facets.

Step cut – A cutting style that features long, narrow facets in rows (usually three) parallel to the girdle on both the crown and pavilion.

Symmetry – The precision and balance of a finished gem’s cut.

Table percentage (size) – Table size expressed as a percentage of a round brilliant’s average girdle diameter. Toughness – How well a gemstone resists breaking and chipping.

Thermal shock – Damage caused by sudden, extreme temperature changes.

Tone – A color’s degree of darkness or lightness.

Total depth percentage – Table-to-culet depth, expressed as a percentage of average girdle diameter.

Total gem weight – The combined weight of all the stones in a piece of jewelry that contains a variety of gems.

Total weight – The combined weight of all the diamonds in a piece of jewelry that only contains diamonds.

Ultraviolet (UV) – Light wavelength that’s invisible to the human eye.

Value factors – Features used to judge the quality and value of all gemstones.

Wing – One of the two sides near the point of a marquise, pear, or heart shape.
 
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