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.

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.

Canada Mark:

Dominion Diamond Mines use a hallmark programme to ensure the integrity of the supply chain of Canadian diamonds from mine to retail, and gives the end consumers of diamond jewellery confidence of the origin and history of their polished diamonds.

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.

Bezel Setting:

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

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.

Crown:

The top of the diamond above the girdle.

Cognac Diamond:

Brown coloured diamond, also called Champagne Diamond.

Colour Grade:

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

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.

Champagne Diamond:

A light brown to dark brown coloured diamond.

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.

Hearts & Arrows:

Precision-cut variations of the traditional 57 faceted round brilliant cut. They are cut to ideal proportions with good optical symmetry, polish and a specific faceting.

Heart Shape:

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

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.

Diamond Certificate:

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

Old Mine Cut:

An early form of a brilliant cut diamond.

Oval Cut:

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

Open Pit Mining:

The diamond mining process involving excavation by digging a pit.

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.

Near-Colourless:

Diamonds which appear colourless when viewed from above.

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.

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.

IF (Internally Flawless):

Diamonds having no internal blemishes or inclusions.

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.

Radiant Cut:

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

Piqué:

European clarity grading for diamonds with visible inclusions.

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 rating for diamonds

VVS (Very Very Slightly Included):

A clarity grading for diamonds.

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