Jewellery Design Glossary

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

Adamantine Lustre:

The brilliant look of a diamond under reflected light.

Alluvial Diamond Mining:

Mining of deposits transported by flowing water.

Argyle Diamond Mines:

Famous WA mining complex in Kimberley Mountains.

Asscher Cut:

A square emerald cut - wide corners, high crown and deep pavilion.

Baguette:

A small, rectangular-to-square step cut diamond.

Beach Mining:

The extraction of diamonds from a beach.

Bearded Girdle:

A girdle with a rough finish.

Bezel Setting:

A thin strip of metal encircling a stone to secure it in a setting.

Black Diamond:

Very dark diamond that appears black due to numerous inclusions.

Blemish:

A defect on the surface of a polished diamond.

Bow-Tie Effect:

A dark area shaped like a bow-tie across a pear, marquise or oval shape diamond’s centre.

Brilliance:

The intensity of the reflections of light from the top of a diamond.

Canary Diamond:

An intensely yellow-coloured diamond.

Cape Series:

Diamonds in the near-colourless to yellow colour grades (K to Z).

Carat Weight:

The weight of a diamond expressed in metric carats.

Carbon Spot:

A misnomer for a black inclusion found in a diamond.

Carré Cut:

A square step-cut diamond.

Champagne Diamond:

A light brown to dark brown coloured diamond.

Channel Setting:

A diamond setting with two parallel metal walls.

Clarity:

A diamond’s relative lack of inclusions and blemishes.

Claw Setting:

A set of narrow metal supports to hold diamond in place.

Cognac Diamond:

Brown coloured diamond, also called Champagne Diamond.

Colour Grade:

A diamond’s body colour on the colourless-to-light-yellow scale.

Crown:

The top of the diamond above the girdle.

Crown Height:

The distance between the girdle and the table of a diamond.

Crown Height Percentage:

Girdle height as a percentage of the girdle diameter.

Culet:

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

Cushion Cut:

A modified brilliant cut diamond with curved sides and rounded corners.

Cut:

The facet arrangement and relative proportions of a polished diamond.

Depth:

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

Diameter:

The distance from one edge of the girdle to the opposite edge.

Diamond:

Carbon crystallised at extremely high pressures and temperatures.

Diamond Certificate:

A written report by a grading laboratory, eg. GIA.

Dispersion:

The separation of white light into spectral colours.

Emerald Cut:

A rectangular step cut with diagonally-cut corners.

Facet:

A flat polished surface on a finished diamond.

Faceted Girdle:

A girdle that has been polished with a series of flat facets.

Fancy Coloured Diamond:

Naturally coloured diamond with rare body colour, eg. Pink.

Fancy Cut/Shape:

Any diamond cut, or shape, other than a round brilliant cut.

Finish:

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

Fire:

Rainbow prism of light reflected from a polished diamond, also known as dispersion.

FL (Flawless):

Diamonds with no internal or external blemishes or inclusions

Fluorescence:

The emission of a diamond’s visible light in high energy or UV light.

Four C’s:

A diamond’s four characteristics: Carat, Cut, Colour & Clarity.

Gemological Institute of America (GIA):

The world standard for diamond grading.

Girdle:

Narrow band which surrounds the edge of a diamond.

Grain Setting:

A setting style where small diamonds are held by small beads of metal.

Hardness:

A diamond’s resistance to scratching and abrasion.

Heart Shape:

A modified brilliant diamond cut into the shape of a heart.

IF (Internally Flawless):

Diamonds having no internal blemishes or inclusions.

Inclusion:

An internal characteristic of a diamond also sometimes known as a blemish.

JAA:

The Jeweller’s Association of Australia.

Laser Drilling:

Process to enhance diamonds that contain dark inclusions.

Laser Inscription:

An identifying number engraved on a diamond using a laser.

Length-to-Width Ratio:

The comparison of the length and width of the girdle outline.

Loupe:

A small magnifying lens used to examine a diamond.

Lustre:

The surface appearance of a polished diamond under reflected light.

Marquise Cut:

Boat-shaped diamond with curved sides and pointed ends.

Modified Brilliant Cut:

Round brilliant cut with more or less facets than standard.

Near-Colourless:

Diamonds which appear colourless when viewed from above.

Old Mine Cut:

An early form of a brilliant cut diamond.

Open Pit Mining:

The diamond mining process involving excavation by digging a pit.

Oval Cut:

Brilliant cut diamond with an elliptical girdle outline when viewed from above.

Pavé Setting:

A setting style where many small diamonds are placed close together.

Pavilion:

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

Pavilion Depth:

The distance between the girdle and the culet of a diamond.

Pavilion Depth Percentage:

Pavilion depth as a percentage of girdle diameter.

Pear Shape:

A modified brilliant cut with pear-shaped girdle when viewed from above.

Piqué:

European clarity grading for diamonds with visible inclusions.

Plotting:

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

Polish:

The condition of the facet surfaces on a polished diamond.

Polished Girdle:

A girdle that has been finished to a smooth surface.

Princess Cut:

A square modified brilliant cut, usually with 57 facets.

Proportions:

The relative dimensions and angles of a polished diamond.

Prong:

A fine strip of metal shaped to hold a diamond securely in place.

Quality:

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

Radiant Cut:

A square or rectangular modified brilliant cut with the corners trimmed.

Reflection:

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

Rose Cut:

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

Rough Diamond:

A diamond excavated from the earth prior to cutting and polishing.

Round Brilliant Cut:

Round cut diamond with circular girdle and 57 or 58 facets.

Scintillation:

Sparkles produced when a diamond is rotated in the light.

Shape:

The girdle outline of a diamond when viewed from above.

Shared-Prong:

A strip of metal shaped to hold more than one diamond securely in place.

Single Cut:

A cutting style with a circular girdle, table, 8 crown and 8 pavilion facets.

SI (Slightly Included):

A clarity grading for diamonds.

Solitaire:

A ring that usually has a single diamond.

Step Cut:

A cutting style with long, narrow facets arranged parallel to the girdle.

Stone:

An industry term for any polished diamond.

Sub-Level Casing:

An underground diamond mining method.

Symmetry:

The grading term for the exactness of shape and placement of facets

Table:

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

Table Diameter:

The distance between any two opposing sides of the table.

Table Percentage:

The table size of a diamond expressed as a percentage of the average girdle diameter of the diamond.

Tapered Baguette:

Rectangular baguette diamond where one end is narrower than the other.

Total Depth Percentage:

The depth of the diamond expressed as a percentage of the average girdle diameter of the diamond.

Trilliant Cut:

A modified brilliant cut diamond with a triangular girdle outline when viewed from above.

Underground Mining:

Mining diamonds by excavating horizontal or vertical tunnels.

Under Rail:

The bar(s) of metal beneath the centre setting of a ring.

VS (Very Slightly Included):

A clarity grading for diamonds.

VVS (Very Very Slightly Included):

A clarity grading for diamonds.

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