Let’s face it- jewelry jargon can be downright intimidating. If you’re shopping for a diamond engagement ring and your jeweler is throwing different terms at you left and right it’s easy to become flustered and confused. Finding the perfect diamond engagement ring is stressful enough already! In order to ensure you pick out the quintessential ring for your future spouse it’s helpful to know the common diamond engagement ring terms. To help you brush up on your diamond engagement ring knowledge, we’ve put together a handy, little cheat sheet of frequently used diamond terms and their explanations.
If you already know some of these terms, that’s great! You’re already on the right track. But if you don’t, use this as your go-to guide when shopping. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to ask! Here at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelry & Engagement Ring Store we’re here to answer any questions you might have, listen to your desires, and assist you in finding that one special ring that will leave your beloved speechless (besides saying “YES!,” of course!)
- Crown- the upper portion of a diamond located between the girdle and the table
- Culet- the facet at the tip of a diamond; the point
- Facet- flat, polished surfaces on a diamond that reflect light. Common facet shapes include triangles, octagons, trapezoids and kite shapes. The placement of facets determines how much light reflects through the diamond.
- Girdle-the widest part of a diamond; the horizontal midsection. The girdle of a diamond can be polished, faceted or unpolished.
- Pavilion- the lower portion of a diamond, extending from the girdle to the culet
- Table-the flat surface that is the uppermost part of a diamond. This is the largest facet of a diamond.
Diamond Cuts and Shapes:
- Asscher- square shape with large step cut facets, high crown, and small table. Similar to the emerald cut, but more brilliant.
- Cushion- square or rectangular shape with rounded corners
- Emerald- rectangular shape with small, rounded edges and a large table. Step cut faceting displays a hall-of-mirrors effect with the interplay of light and dark planes.
- Heart- diamond in the shape of a heart, often seen in solitaire engagement rings
- Marquise- long and narrow shape (similar to a football). Best set with prongs on both ends to protect the points from chipping.
- Oval- unique variation from round diamonds in a variety of widths ranging from slim to wide
- Pear- combination of round and marquise shapes in a variety of narrow to wide sizes
- Princess- square shape; the most popular fancy cut diamond
- Radiant- square or rectangular shape with minimal curved edges
- Round-circular shape that offers excellent brilliance and fire; the most popular cut for a diamond
- Karat (K) – the standard measurement of gold, not to be confused with diamond carat. Pure gold is 24K.
- Platinum- a durable precious metal valued for its white color and purity. Platinum is hypoallergenic, making it a very popular engagement ring choice.
- Rose gold- pure gold alloyed with copper; comes in a variety of shades from reddish to soft pink
- White gold-pure gold alloyed with palladium, zinc or nickel
- Yellow gold- pure gold alloyed with copper and silver
- Bezel- a setting with a protective, metal rim encircling the perimeter of the diamond
- Channel set-small accent diamonds positioned within the band of a ring; diamonds are set in a row with no metal between each stone
- Diamond accent- smaller diamonds incorporated into the engagement ring to add more sparkle
- Diamond halo- ring of smaller diamonds around the center stone, giving the illusion of a larger diamond. Single and double halo settings are very popular engagement ring styles.
- Pavé-features very closely set small diamonds held together by tiny metal beads on the band of the ring; comes from the French word “to pave,” as in paved with diamonds
- Prong-most commonly used diamond setting; a diamond is set into three or more metals prongs (a.k.a claws) that form a basket-like base
- Semi-mount- a ring setting without a center stone, though accents and other setting details are complete, allowing you to choose a loose diamond for setting
- Solitaire- ring set with a single, solitary stone
- Split shank- features a band that parts as it reaches the center stone
General Diamond Engagement Ring Terms:
- Blemish- a clarity characteristic; an impurity on the outside surface of a diamond, sometimes occurs during the cutting, mounting, or wearing of a polished diamond
- Brilliance- the brightness or white light that reflects from the diamond
- 4Cs- the four characteristics used to determine the relative quality of a diamond: carat, clarity, color, and cut
- Carat-the measurement for the size of a diamond; carat weight
- Clarity- refers to the absence of inclusions and blemishes within a diamond. Diamond clarity is graded on an 11-point scale from Flawless to Included.
- Color- refers to the relative absence of color in a diamond. Diamond color is graded on a scale from “D” (colorless) to “Z” (light yellow or brown).
- Cut- the quality of a diamond’s cut determines how well a diamond reacts to light. Diamond cut is graded on a scale from Excellent to Poor.
- Eye-clean- a phrase used to describe a diamond with no blemishes or inclusions that can be seen by the naked eye (without magnification)
- Fancy cut- any diamond shape other than round
- Filigree- a delicate embellishment in which fine threads of precious metal twist and curl into a design seen on the setting or band of diamond engagement rings
- Fire-the flashes of colorful light returned from a diamond
- Flawless- a diamond with no visible blemishes or inclusions when viewed under magnification; extremely rare
- Fluorescence- visible light emitted from a diamond when exposed to ultraviolet radiation, often blue in color
- Inclusion-an internal clarity characteristic of a diamond. The number, size and position of these inclusions determine a diamond’s clarity.
- Loupe- a small, hand-held magnifying lens used for examining diamonds and other gemstones
- Melee- a term used to describe small diamonds that are less than 1/5th carat
- Milgrain- detailing of a setting; close-set row of metal beads that are typically used as a border
- Scintillation-the flashes of light, or sparkles, seen when a diamond moves under light
- Treatment– any process used to enhance the color and/or clarity of a diamond; treatment should always be disclosed before purchase