▼ Diamond Terms
AGS American Gem Society; The American Gem Society was established in 1934 by a select group of independent jewelers and Robert M. Shipley, founder of the prestigious school of gemology, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Brightness Sometimes called brilliance, is the level of light that radiates up from within the diamond just as a spotlight gets brighter by twisting its dimmer switch. Brightness can best be understood by viewing a diagram of a diamond’s silhouette.
Carat weight Weight of measure for a diamond. One carat is equal to approximately one-fifth of a gram.
Color The absence of body tone. Graded on a scale of D-Z, the “best” color for a diamond is D, “Colorless.”
Culet The bottom facet of a diamond. If the bottom of a diamond comes to a complete point then there is no culet. If it has a very small flat surface (almost imperceptible) then it has a culet.
Cut The level of design and craftsmanship of transforming a diamond from a raw crystal to a polished gem.
Design Describes the brightness, weight-ratio, fire and scintillation of the diamond for round diamonds. For fancy-shaped diamonds, design also includes proper scale of the overall shape.
Durability The diamond’s likelihood of resisting chipping or breaking.
Fancy-shape Diamond shape other than round.
Fire Sometimes called dispersion, describes the colors-of-a-rainbow that appear in a diamond.
Fluorescence The blue “glow-in-the-dark” effect that some diamonds have when exposed to ultraviolet light just like some posters near “black-light” lamps.
Grading Report Document that is provided with a loose diamond containing the diamond’s attributes
Polish Polish describes the quality of a diamond’s surface. Individual surfaces must join invisibly, with seamless edges, so that the diamond appears as a solid monolith.
Clarity The natural birthmarks that are formed within the diamond as nature transforms it from a lump of coal (carbon) into a magnificent crystal.
Saturation This is the degree to which a color departs from a neutral (gray) sensation. Saturation can be thought of as the relative purity of a hue. The GIA specifies 9 terms, such as brownish, grayish, moderately strong, and vivid.
Scintillation Describes the sparkling or twinkling effect given off as diamonds are moving about. It looks as if you are seeing bright white flashes of mini-fireworks within the diamond.
Shape Pattern of a cut diamond when viewed from the top.
Silhouette The shape you see when viewing a diamond from the side.
Symmetry The alignment of the diamond surface (facets).
Temperature A measure of the distribution of power in the spectrum of white, or colorless, light, stated in terms of the Kelvin temperature scale.
Weight-ratio The relationship between the diamond size (viewed from the top) and its weight.
Workmanship Describes the symmetry, polish, and durability of the diamond.