Bar setting – Similar to the channel setting, it is a circular band of diamonds or gemstones that holds each stone in by a long thin bar, shared between two stones.
Bezel – With a bezel setting, a rim holds the stone and completely surrounds the gem. It is the upper portion above the girdle of a cut stone. Bezels can have straight edges, scalloped edges, or can be molded into any shape to accommodate the stone
Brilliance – Liveliness, or sparkle in a stone when light is reflected from the surface and from the total internal reflection of light.
Brilliant-cut – Brilliant cuts are scientifically found 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 has 58 facets. Other brilliant cuts include the heart, oval, marquise and pear shaped.
Cabochon – A facet-less style of cutting that produces a smooth surface. They can be in many shapes, including round with high domes to squares.
Carat – Unit of measure of weight of diamonds and gemstones. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams. One carat can also be divided into 100 “points.” A .75-carat stone is the same as a 75-point or 3/4-carat stone.
Channel setting – Used most frequently for wedding and anniversary bands, a channel setting will set the stones right next to each other with no metal separating them.
Clarity — A diamond often has natural imperfections, commonly referred to as inclusions, which contribute to its identifying characteristics. Inclusions are found within the diamond, and can be white, black, colorless, or even red or green. Most are undetectable by the human eye, and can only be seen with 10X magnification. Inclusions are ranked on a scale of perfection called clarity.
Color — Diamonds are graded on a color scale established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). 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.
Crown — This is the upper portion or the top of a diamond.
Culet – The bottom point of the diamond. It may be polished in some stones. Sometimes, a cutter may choose to make the culet a surface instead of a point.
Cushion cut – A mixed-cut diamond shaped like a square pillow.
Cut – Cut refers to the angles and proportions a skilled craftsman creates in transforming a rough diamond into a polished diamond. Based on scientific formulas, a well-cut diamond will internally reflect light from one mirror-like facet to another and, disperse and reflect it through the top of the stone. This results in a display of brilliance and fire. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose or leak light through the side or bottom, resulting in less brilliance, and ultimately value.
Diamond – A diamond is the hardest known natural substance. It is 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 gemological laboratories that can grade your diamond for a fee. The most well known is the GIA, Gemological Institute of America.
Emerald shape – A rectangular or square-shaped cut-cornered diamond. A form of step cutting, this cut is favored for diamonds and emeralds, as well as many other stones, when the principle purpose is to enhance color rather than brilliancy. It is also sometimes used to emphasize the absence of color in diamonds.
Facet – Any flat polished surface of a diamond or gemstone. This style of cutting gives the stone many small faces at varying angles to one another. The placement, angle and shape of each facet are carefully planned and executed to show the stone’s inherent beauty, fire, color, and brilliance to the fullest advantage.
Feather – A type of inclusion or flaw within a diamond. It is described often as a small crack or fissure.
Fire – Often a term used instead of “dispersion,” it is the variety and intensity of rainbow colors seen when light is reflected from a diamond.
Fluorescence – When exposed to ultraviolet light, a diamond may exhibit a more whitish, yellowish or bluish tint, which may imply that the diamond has a property called fluorescence. Diamond grading reports often state whether a diamond has fluorescent properties.
Gemological Institute of America (GIA) – A nonprofit teaching institute considered the standard-bearer in the grading of diamonds and colored gemstones.
Girdle – The outer edge of a cut stone, the dividing line between the crown and the pavilion. Sometimes the girdle is polished and sometimes it is unpolished. Ideally the width of the girdle should be even and proportional to the cut of the stone.
Hardness – Resistance a material offers to scratching or abrasion. Generally measured using the MOHS scale.
Inclusion – “Internal characteristics” apparent to a trained or professional eye at 10x magnification. Inclusions can be bubbles, crystals, carbon spots, feathers, clouds, pinpoints, or other impurities, or even cracks and abrasions. They are what make a diamond so unique, as a fingerprint does for a person.
Illusion setting – This setting is more intricate than others in that it surrounds the stone to make it appear larger.
Luster – The hue and depth of reflection from pearls, opals or other opaque stones.
MOHS Scale – A scale of hardness with numbers from one to ten assigned to ten minerals of increasing hardness from talc to diamonds.
Natural – A diamond characteristic that is part of the surface of a polished diamond that was not cut or polished during the cutting process.
Pave – A type of setting where a number of small stones are set together. It literally means paved with diamonds.
Pavilion – Bottom portion of the stone, under the girdle, measuring to the culet. It is the area below the girdle consisting of 23 facets in the round-brilliant-cut diamond.
Point – Term meaning one-hundredth of a carat — approximately the size of one-half a grain of sand.
Polish – Indicates the care taken by the cutter in shaping and faceting the rough stone into a finished and polished diamond.
Princess cut – A square or sometimes rectangular-shaped modified brilliant-cut diamond.
Prong setting – The metal tip or bead that actually touches the stone and holds it into place. This setting usually consists of four or six prongs that cradle the stone.
Proportion – The proportions of a diamond are very important, so that 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 with step-cut and scissor-cut on the crown, and a brilliant-cut on the pavilion.
Refraction – The bending of light rays as they pass through a diamond or gemstone.
Solitaire – A single diamond or stone set by itself in mounting.
Step cut – With rows of facets that resemble the steps of a staircase. The emerald cut and the baguette are examples of the step cut.
Symmetry – Symmetry is the arrangement of the facets and finished angles created by the diamond cutter. Excellent symmetry of a well-cut and well-proportioned diamond can have a great effect on the diamond’s brilliance and fire. Grading reports will often state the diamond’s symmetry in terms Excellent, Very good, Good, Fair, or Poor.
Table – The top surface of a cut diamond or gemstone.
Table facet – This is the largest facet of a diamond. It is located on the top of the diamond. The table facet is sometimes referred to as the “face.”