Diamond Exchange


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To better understand the intricacies of diamonds and settings, here is a useful glossary of terms.

  1. Adamantine Lustre: The brilliant look of a diamond under reflected light.

  2. Alluvial Diamond Mining: Mining of deposits transported by flowing water.

  3. Argyle Diamond Mines: Famous WA mining complex in Kimberley Mountains.

  4. Asscher Cut: A square emerald cut - wide corners, high crown and deep pavilion.

  5. Baguette: A small, rectangular-to-square step cut diamond.

  6. Beach Mining: The extraction of diamonds from a beach.

  7. Bearded Girdle: A girdle with a rough finish.

  8. Bezel Setting: A thin strip of metal encircling a stone to secure it in a setting.

  9. Black Diamond: Very dark diamond that appears black due to numerous inclusions.

  10. Blemish: A defect on the surface of a polished diamond.

  11. Bow-Tie Effect: A dark area shaped like a bow-tie across a diamond’s centre.

  12. Brilliance: The intensity of the reflections of light from the crown of a diamond.

  13. Canary Diamond: An intensely yellow-coloured diamond.

  14. Cape Series: Diamonds in the near-colourless to yellow colour grades (K to Z).

  15. Carat Weight: The weight of a diamond expressed in metric carats.

  16. Carbon Spot: A misnomer for a black inclusion found in a diamond.

  17. Carré Cut: A square step-cut diamond.

  18. Champagne Diamond: A light brown to dark brown coloured diamond.

  19. Channel Setting: A diamond setting with two parallel metal walls.

  20. Clarity: A diamond’s relative lack of inclusions and blemishes.

  21. Claw Setting: A set of narrow metal supports to hold diamond in place.

  22. Cognac Diamond: Brown coloured diamond, also called Champagne Diamond.

  23. Colour Grade: A diamond’s body colour on the colourless-to-light-yellow scale.

  24. Crown: The top of the diamond above the girdle.

  25. Crown Height: The distance between the girdle and the table of a diamond.

  26. Crown Height Percentage: Girdle height as a percentage of the girdle diameter.

  27. Culet: A small facet on the point of the pavilion (base) of a brilliant cut diamond.

  28. Cushion Cut: A modified brilliant cut diamond with curved sides and rounded corners.

  29. Cut: The relative proportions and finish of a polished diamond.

  30. Depth: A diamond’s dimensions from the table to the culet of the diamond.

  31. Diameter: The distance from one edge of the girdle to the opposite edge.

  32. Diamond: Carbon crystallised at extremely high pressures and temperatures.

  33. Diamond Certificate: A written report by a grading laboratory, eg. GIA.

  34. Dispersion: The separation of white light into spectral colours.

  35. Emerald Cut: A rectangular step cut with diagonally-cut corners.

  36. Facet: A flat polished surface on a finished diamond.

  37. Faceted Girdle: A girdle that has been polished with a series of flat facets.

  38. Fancy Coloured Diamond: Naturally coloured diamond with rare body colour.

  39. Fancy Cut: Any diamond cut, or shape, other than a round brilliant cut.

  40. Finish: The quality of a diamond’s polish, the girdle and the precision of the cut.

  41. Fire: Rainbow prism of light reflected from a polished diamond, also known as Dispersion.

  42. FL (Flawless): Diamonds with no internal or external blemishes or inclusions.

  43. Fluorescence: The emission of a diamond’s visible light in high energy light.

  44. Four Cs: A diamond’s four characteristics: Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat Weight.

  45. Gemological Institute of America (GIA): The world standard for diamond grading.  

  46. Girdle: Narrow band which surrounds the edge of a diamond.

  47. Grain Setting: A setting style where small diamonds are held by small beads of metal.

  48. Hardness: A diamond’s resistance to scratching and abrasion.

  49. Heart Shape: A modified brilliant diamond cut into the shape of a heart.

  50. IF (Internally Flawless): Diamonds with no internal blemishes or inclusions.

  51. Inclusion: An internal characteristic of a diamond, known as a blemish.

  52. JAA: The Jeweller’s Association of Australia.

  53. Laser Drilling: Process to enhance diamonds that contain dark inclusions.

  54. Laser Inscription: An identifying number engraved on a diamond using a laser.

  55. Length-to-Width Ratio: The comparison of the length and width of the girdle outline.

  56. Loupe: A small magnifying lens used to examine a diamond.

  57. Lustre: The surface appearance of a polished diamond under reflected light.

  58. Marquise Cut: Boat-shaped diamond with curved sides and pointed ends.

  59. Modified Brilliant Cut: Round brilliant cut with more or less facets than standard.

  60. Near-Colourless: Diamonds which appear colourless when viewed from above.

  61. Old Mine Cut: An early form of a brilliant cut diamond.

  62. Open Pit Mining: The diamond mining process involving excavation by digging a pit.

  63. Oval Cut: Brilliant cut diamond with an elliptical girdle outline from above.

  64. Pavé Setting: A setting style where many small gemstones are placed close together.

  65. Pavilion: The portion of a polished diamond below the girdle, i.e. the bottom section.

  66. Pavilion Depth: The distance between the girdle and the culet of a diamond.

  67. Pavilion Depth Percentage: Pavilion depth as a percentage of girdle diameter.

  68. Pear Shape: A modified brilliant cut with pear-shaped girdle from above.

  69. Piqué: European clarity grading system for diamonds with visible inclusions.

  70. Plotting: Recording the type, location, size and shape of clarity characteristics.

  71. Polish: The condition of the facet surfaces on a polished diamond.

  72. Polished Girdle: A girdle that has been finished to a smooth surface.

  73. Princess Cut: A square modified brilliant cut, usually with 57 facets.

  74. Proportions: The relative dimensions and angles of a polished diamond.

  75. Quality: The relative excellence of a diamond’s cut, colour and clarity.

  76. Radiant Cut: A square or rectangular modified brilliant cut with the corners trimmed.

  77. Reflection: The bouncing back of light reflected from a polished diamond’s surface.

  78. Rose Cut: An old cut diamond characterised by a flat base, a circular girdle, and a pointed crown.

  79. Rough Diamond: A diamond excavated from the earth prior to cutting and polishing.

  80. Round Brilliant Cut: Round cut diamond with circular girdle and 57 or 58 facets.

  81. Scintillation: Sparkles produced when a diamond is rotated in the light.

  82. Shape: The girdle outline of a diamond when viewed from above.

  83. Single Cut: A cutting style with a circular girdle, table, 8 crown and 8 pavilion facets.

  84. SI (Slightly Included): A GIA clarity grading for diamonds.

  85. Solitaire: A ring that usually has a single diamond.

  86. Step Cut: A cutting style with long, narrow facets arranged parallel to the girdle.

  87. Stone: An industry term for any polished diamond.

  88. Sub-Level Casing: An underground diamond mining method.

  89. Symmetry: The grading term for the exactness of shape and placement of facets.

  90. Table: The large facet in the centre of the crown of a polished diamond.

  91. Table Diameter: The distance between any two opposing sides of the table.

  92. Table Percentage:  The table size of a  diamond expressed as a percentage of the average girdle diameter of the diamond.

  93. Tapered Baguette: Rectangular baguette diamond where one end is narrower than the other.

  94. Total Depth Percentage: The depth of the diamond expressed as a percentage of the average girdle diameter of the diamond.

  95. Trilliant Cut: A modified brilliant cut diamond with a triangular girdle outline from above.

  96. Underground Mining: Mining diamonds by excavating horizontal or vertical tunnels.

  97. Under Rail: The bar(s) of metal beneath the centre setting of a ring.

  98. VS (Very Slightly Included): A clarity grading for diamonds.

  99. VVS (Very Very Slightly Included): A clarity grading for diamonds. 

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