Diamond Appraisal Glossary
Have you ever wondered what goes into a diamond appraisal? Perhaps you want a certain piece of jewelry but haven’t been to a diamond jeweler because you don’t know much about the precious gem. Floyd & Green wants our customers to know as much as possible, so here are some terms to know when it comes to diamonds.
Terms your diamond jeweler knows that you should, too
Brightness: Also called brilliance, brightness is the level of light that radiates up from within the diamond just like a spotlight gets brighter by turning up its dimmer switch. Viewing a diagram of a diamond’s silhouette is the best way to understand brightness.
Carat weight: Carat weight is the weight of measure for a diamond. One carat equals approximately one-fifth of a gram.
Grading Report: A document provided with a loose diamond containing the gem’s attributes. Gemological Institute of America is the standard for grading reports.
Clarity: The natural birthmarks that are formed within the diamond as it is transformed over millions of years from a lump of coal (carbon) into the crystal you see.
Color: The absence of body tone, color is graded on a scale of D-Z, the “best” color for a diamond is D – “colorless.”
Culet: The very bottom facet of a diamond. If the bottom of the diamond comes to a complete point, there is no culet. If the diamond has a very small flat surface on the bottom, it has a culet.
Cut: The level of design and craftsmanship when transforming a diamond from a raw crystal to a polished gem.
Design: The brightness, weight-ratio, fire and scintillation of round diamonds. For other shapes, design includes proper scale of the overall shape.
Durability: A diamond’s likelihood of resisting chipping or breaking.
Fancy-shape: Any diamond shapes other than round.
Fire: Also called dispersion, it describes the colors of a rainbow that appear in a diamond.
Fluorescence: The blue-ish glow-in-the-dark effect that some diamonds have when exposed to ultraviolet light.
GIA: Gemological Institute of America. Established in 1931, it is the world’s largest and most respected nonprofit institute of gemological research and learning.
Hue: GIA specifies 31 gemstone hues for fancy colored diamonds. They include terms such as blue, slightly greenish-blue, very slightly greenish-blue, bluish-green, etc.
Polish: Polish describes the quality and condition of a diamond’s surface. A diamond’s individual surfaces must join invisibly, with seamless edges, so that the diamond appears as a solid monolith so that polish lines disappear.
Scintillation: The sparkle or twinkle effect given off as diamonds are moving about. The effect looks as if you are seeing bright white flashes of fireworks within the diamond.
Shape: The 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).
Weight-ratio: The relationship between the diamond size (viewed from the top) and its weight.
Workmanship: A diamond’s symmetry, polish and durability.