A full glossary of diamond terms
We’re here to help you throughout every step of your diamond journey. Here’s some key phrases and their meanings to help you when searching for the perfect diamond.
A setting used for small diamonds, they are held onto the surface by small beads of metal raised from the ring itself.
Also known as rub-over settings the metal completely surrounds the outer edge of the stone offering a very secure setting and the illusion of a larger diamond.
Brilliance is what makes a diamond sparkle. A correctly cut diamond increases the reflection of the light and has a magnificent brilliance.
A carat is often confused as the size of a diamond, when in fact it is actually the measure of a diamond’s weight. Put simply, the more a diamond weighs, the rarer the diamond is.
Popular for ring shoulders and also for eternity and wedding rings, this setting allows for a continuous flow of multiple diamonds within a channel, creating a uniform sparkle.
A diamond is given a grade to describe the level of inclusions or imperfections. The less imperfections, the better the clarity. All diamonds have inclusions. It’s what makes them unique like a fingerprint.
The shape of the stone can determine the number of claws required to hold a diamond, for example a teardrop stone may require three claws whereas as a round brilliant stone will need four. The tips of the claws can be shaped if desired. This type of setting can let a lot of light through the stone.
The colour grade describes the colour tones in a diamond. A diamond should be as colourless as possible. Diamonds range in colour from D to Z. At Beaverbrooks, we only hand select exceptional ‘rare white’ diamonds for our platinum and 18 carat gold ranges (G grade).
Refers to very small facet on the bottom of the pavilion on a diamond, parallel to the table. It is also spelled collet and culette.
The cut refers to the reflective qualities of the diamond. Behind every quality diamond is a skilled cutter. We take great pride in scrutinising the cut of each diamond we hand select, as only diamonds expertly cut perform with true fire, brilliance and scintillation.
The depth of a diamond is measured from the culet at the bottom, to the table facet at the top.
Describes the way a diamond breaks up a ray of white light into colour.
Facets are the flat, polished surfaces on a diamond.
Is a diamond of an attractive colour other than white that is suitable for gem use.
Refers to the flashing colours seen when a suitably cut diamond is moved, resulting from its dispersion.
Is the skilled person who separates polished diamonds into sizes and quality grades by clarity, colour, and accuracy of cut.
The stone is set into the metal of the ring itself and is flush with the surface. The stones are well protected as they do not rise above the surface of the ring.
Inclusions are internal imperfections in a diamond, such as a spot or irregularity. Irregularities are usually small fractures. In higher quality stones the inclusions are only visible under magnification. The fewer the inclusions, the better the clarity grade.
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is the process established in 2009 to prevent "conflict diamonds" from entering the mainstream rough diamond mark by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 55/56 following recommendations in the Fowler Report. The process was set up "to ensure that diamond purchases were not financing violence by rebel movements and their allies seeking to undermine legitimate governments."
Round Brilliant Cut
A round diamond with 57 facets that are arranged in a certain way, has an optimal brilliance and light reflection.
Scintillation is the amount of light that is reflected from the diamond as it moves. It’s the combination of fire and brilliance.
Tension settings – this setting relies on the pressure of the metal to hold the stone in place, making it seem as if the stone is floating. Very modern and eye-catching, it will allow the maximum amount of light to pass through the stone.
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