Diamond Glossary
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Brilliance: White light captured from all the surfaces of the
diamond and reflected up through the top.  A diamond with the correct proportions
yields the highest brilliance.
Brilliant Cut: A brilliant cut has triangular facets that surround the
stone that culminate on a flat top.  A brilliant cut can be round, marquise, oval,
pear-shaped, heart-shaped, princess (square), or radiant.
Carat Weight: A unit of weight for diamond equivalent to 200
milligrams.
Carbons: A flaw on the surface of a diamond that looks like a
very small black dot.
Clarity: Describes the number and extent of flaws that a diamond
may have. Clarity is graded on a scale that ranges from Flawless (FL) to Imperfect (I3).
Cloud: Hazy areas within the diamond, actually made up of many
small crystals that are impossible to see individually.
Color: Describes the “yellowness” of a stone.
The color scale ranges from D (colorless) to Z (deep yellow)
Crown: The top portion of a diamond, from the girdle (the
thickest part around the stone) to the table (the top surface facing the viewer).
Crystal Growth: A small crystalline growth within the diamond.
Looks like a small diamond within the big diamond.
Culet: The bottom “tip” of the diamond, where the
facets of the pavilion converge.
Cut: Perhaps one of the most misused of the 4 C’s, it refers
to the style of cut (brilliant, emerald), the shape of the stone (round, heart-shaped),
and the geometric proportions to which the diamond is cut.
Cut Style: Refers to whether a stone is a “brilliant cut”
or an “emerald cut,” or a hybrid of the two.
Depth: The height of a diamond, measured from the culet to the
table.
Depth Percentage (%): The height of a diamond divided by the width of the
diamond. The depth percentage is one of the many metrics used to measure how well
proportioned a diamond is cut, and consequently how much “sparkle” it will have.
Emerald Cut: An emerald cut is more “glassy” in appearance,
since its facets usually span the length or width of the stone.  Emerald cuts are
different from step cuts in that their corners are rounded.
Facet: The flat polished surfaces on a diamond.  Brilliant
cuts have 58 triangular facets and therefore “sparkle” more than emerald cuts,
which have far fewer facets and therefore have a more “glassy, elegant” look.
Feathers: Small cracks within the stone, similar in look to broken
glass.  Small internal feathers are harmless (other than lowering the clarity rating
of the diamond), but large feathers can become a problem because the crack can grow as the
diamond ages.
Fire: When light is refracted within the diamond, the result
is that multi-colored light beams out of the table, and it somewhat looks like fire.
For maximum fire, seek out a well-proportioned stone.
Flaw: A scratch or abrasion on the surface of a diamond, or a
defect within the crystalline surface of the diamond.  The most common flaws are:
Pinpoints, Carbons, Feathers, Clouds, and Crystal Growths.
Fluorescence: A bluish glow within the diamond when exposed to
ultraviolet light.  Some people like fluorescence and some don’t.  In any case,
strong fluorescence should be avoided.
Girdle: The narrow band around the width of the diamond, where
the crown and pavilion meet.
Inclusion: See Flaws
Pavilion: The bottom portion of a diamond, from the girdle (the
thickest part around the stone) to the culet (the tip at the bottom).
Pinpoint: A very small white dot on the surface of the stone.
By far, the most common flaw that can be found on a diamond.
Point: A weight measure equal to 1/100th of a carat.  So
for example, a 3/4 carat diamond is a “75 point diamond.”
Polish: The final smoothness of the surfaces of a diamond.
An excellent polish will result in a lower-weight stone, so most diamond cutters
will make tradeoffs.
Proportions: The proportion of a stone will directly influence how
much “brilliance” and “fire” it has.  See “depth
percentage” and refer to the tutorial for guidelines.
Shape: Refers to the way that the stone is cut.  Common
shapes are:  Round, marquise, oval, pear-shaped, heart-shaped, princess (square), and
radiant (also square).
Sparkle: The combination of brilliance and fire that emanates
from the diamond.
Step Cut: An step cut diamond is “glassy” in appearance,
since its facets usually span the length or width of the stone.
Table: The largest surface on a diamond, located on the top of
the diamond facing the viewer.  The table culminates the crown of the diamond.
Table Percentage (%): The width of the table divided by the diameter of the
diamond.  The table percentage is one of the many metrics used to measure how well
proportioned a diamond is cut, and consequently how much “sparkle” it will have.
Workmanship: Refers to the overall finish of the diamond, including
the polish on the facets, the symmetry of facets with respect to each other, and the shape
of the culet.

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