Engagement Ring Stores in Houston - Shaftel Diamonds

Diamond Glossary



When it comes to shopping for a diamond, there are a lot of terms that you may be hearing for the first time.  Use our Diamond Glossary cheat sheet to better understand the diamond jargon.


AGS

American Gemological Society. Widely respected in the trade, and considered by many the ultimate authority for cut grading reports.

Blemish

An exterior imperfection on a diamond, usually a feature of the cutting or polishing of the stone. A diamond may have blemishes and still have an “Internally Flawless” (IF) grading. Most blemishes are so small as to have no
affect on the beauty or brilliance of the stone.

Brilliance

Along with life, scintillation, refraction and dispersion, a word used to describe the ability of a diamond to “sparkle” in response to the introduction of light.

Carat

Standard unit of measure for diamonds and other gemstones. One carat is equal to 1/5 of a gram.
There are 100 “points” to the carat (abbreviated ct.)

Clarity

The degree to which a diamond is free from inclusions, graded on a scale from Flawless (FL) to heavily imperfect (I3). There are 10
grades in total.

 

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Clarity Enhancement

See “drilling” and “fracture filling”. Laboratory reports, such as those offered by Shaftel Diamond are your best protection against clarity enhanced stones.

Cleavage

An internal feature which runs in the direction of the grain of the diamond. It sometimes extends to the surface of the diamond, or is “healed” inside the diamond. A cleavage is sometimes easily visible, sometimes not. A diamond may be “cleaved,” or split in two with a smart, precisely placed blow to a cleavage.

Cloud

A cluster of microscopic white or crystalline inclusions or pinpoints inside a diamond. Usually visible only with back lighting and under high magnification.

Color

For most preferences, the best color is no color or “colorless”. Most diamonds have some lesser or greater degree of yellow or brown color, sometimes so slight that it is virtually imperceptible. Some rare diamonds have very intense or exotic colors (pink, blue, green, purple, or even red) and can be extraordinarily valuable. Colors are designated by letter grades – “D” for absolutely colorless to “Z” for light yellow, and by verbal descriptions for the “fancy” colors.

Color Enhancement

Laboratory processes ranging from a simple coating or “painting” as it is known in the trade to sophisticated permanent alteration of the certain trace elements found in the naturally occurring diamond. Laboratory reports, such as those offered by Shaftel Diamond Company are your best protection against treated stones.

 

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Culet

The bottom most facet or point of a diamond. The culet of some diamonds may be so pointed so as not to be considered a facet at all.

Cut

Cut refers to two main aspects, first: the shape of the stone i.e., emerald cut, princess cut etc. second, the proportions, dimensions and finish of a diamond. How a diamond is cut is also known as the “make”.

Depth

The distance between the culet (bottom) and the table (top) of the diamond, recorded in a laboratory report to the one hundredth of a millimeter.

Depth %

The depth of the diamond divided by its width.

An enhancement process by which a laser is used to drill into a diamond to reach a dark colored inclusion. Acids are then introduced through the small hole and into the inclusion, which is then burned out leaving a less noticeable white or crystalline imperfection. The acid is then removed by vacuum. A laboratory report is your best protection against drilled stones.

EGL

European Gemological Laboratory. Widely respected in the trade offering independent grading certificates.

 

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Eye-clean

Free of any internal inclusions to the naked eye, when viewed from the top.

Facets

The polished planes (surfaces) of a diamond, defining its dimensions.

Feather

A common, naturally occurring white feather shaped inclusion, which may or may not
be visible to the naked eye.

Fire

Along with life, scintillation, refraction and dispersion, a word used to describe the ability of
a diamond to “sparkle” in response to the introduction of light.

Fluorescence

Also known as photoluminescence, the property some diamonds have that makes them glow a certain color (usually blue) when placed in an ultraviolet rich environment. Strong, very strong and sometimes medium blue fluorescence may slightly improve the color appearance of diamonds rated “H” in color or below (I,J,K etc). Such fluorescence in some of the “lower” colors may even enhance the value of these stones. Strong blue fluorescence in diamonds D to F color may impart a very slightly bluish appearance and may, in turn, detract a few percent from the value of those diamonds. Some diamonds with unusually strong blue fluorescence can have a hazy or “milky” appearance.

 

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Fracture

An internal or external break or crack, which may look like a common flaw. A fracture may have occurred at any time during the natural creation of the stone, or even at any time during its use.

Fracture Filling

An enhancement process by which an inclusion is injected with filler material to mask its presence. A laboratory report such as those we offer is your best protection against fracture filled stones.

GIA

Gemological Institute of America, the single most widely accepted diamond authority. An independent, third party grading service offering diamond grading reports.

Girdle

The outermost edge of a diamond, it can be unpolished or polished and faceted and of varying thicknesses. The girdle is generally where the diamond is held in a setting.

I1

A term used to describe the clarity of the diamond, meaning “Imperfect.” A diamond rated I1 usually has inclusions visible to the unaided eye. There are three grades in the I range: I1, I2 and I3.

 

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I2

A term used to describe the clarity of the diamond, slightly more imperfect than I1. There are three grades in the I range: I1, I2 and I3.

I3

A term used to describe the clarity of the diamond, slightly more imperfect than I2. There are three grades in the I range: I1, I2 and I3.

IF

Internally flawless. Free of any internal imperfections to the trained eye at 10-power magnification.

Inclusion

A naturally occurring imperfection often referred to as a feather, pinpoint, cloud, crystal, spot, etc. in the diamond that may or may not be visible to the naked eye.

Make

The proportions and dimensions of a diamond, also known as cut.

 

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Melee

Diamonds that weigh less than 1/5 of a carat are known as melee. They are usually side diamonds or accent diamonds in a larger piece of jewelry or set in “clusters.”

Natural

An external characteristic on a diamond’s surface. A natural is actually an unpolished portion of the “skin” of the rough diamond.

Pavilion

The faceted portion of the diamond that is below the girdle.

Pinpoint

A very small inclusion inside a diamond.

Point

A unit of weight measure equal to 1/100 of a carat. A 1/2 carat diamond weighs 50 points, etc.

 

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Polish

The overall quality and uniformity of the polish of a diamond. Graded from poor to excellent, it is based on the final finish applied to the facets and facet
junctures by the cutter.

Refraction

Along with life, scintillation, brilliance, and dispersion, a word used to describe the ability
of a diamond to “sparkle” in response to the introduction of light.

Scintilation

Along with life, brilliance, refraction and dispersion, a word used to describe the ability of a diamond to “sparkle” in response to the introduction of light.

SI1

A term used to describe the clarity of the diamond with slight inclusions. The GIA recognizes two grades in the SI range: SI1 and SI2. The EGL recognizes a third SI grade, SI3. Well cut diamonds in the SI range should be completely to nearly clean to the unaided eye.

SI2

A term used to describe the clarity of the diamond with slight inclusions. The GIA recognizes two grades in the SI range: SI1 and SI2. The EGL recognizes a third SI grade, SI3.

 

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SI3

A term used to describe the clarity of the diamond with slight inclusions. The GIA recognizes two grades in the SI range: SI1 and SI2. The EGL recognizes a third SI grade, SI3.

Solitaire

A single diamond set in a mounting that shows off the simplicity and elegance of the stone.

Sparkle

Along with life, fire, scintillation, refraction, dispersion, a word used to describe the brilliance of a diamond.

Symmetry

The overall uniformity of the cut of a diamond. Graded from poor to excellent, it is based on the diamond’s proportions and the relation of one facet to another.

Table

The top and largest facet of a diamond, it is where much of its light both enters and exits the diamond.

 

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Table %

A measurement, which relates the diameter of the table divided by its depth.

VS1

A term used to describe the clarity of the diamond, meaning very slight inclusions. There are two grades in the VS range: VS1 and VS2. The imperfections in VS stones can be quite difficult to find even with the aid of 10-power magnification.

VS2

A term used to describe the clarity of the diamond, meaning very slight inclusions. There are two grades in the VS range: VS1 and VS2. The imperfections in VS stones can be quite difficult to find even with the aid of 10-power magnification.

VVS1

A term used to describe the clarity of the diamond, meaning very, very slight inclusions. There are two grades in the VVS range: VVS1 and VVS2. Imperfections in VVS stones should be extremely difficult to find even to the trained eye with the aid of 10-power magnification.

VVS2

A term used to describe the clarity of the diamond, meaning very, very slight inclusions. There are two grades in the VVS range: VVS1 and VVS2. Imperfections in VVS stones should be extremely difficult to find even to the trained eye with the aid of 10-power magnification.

 

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Customer Testimonials

I found this place by chance, and could not have been more impressed. Not only was the selection of diamonds and settings outstanding but the service was excellent. I would recommend this store to anyone looking for fine jewelry. The sales staff were pleasant and very informative. 5 stars, easy! Jason P. (River Oaks, TX)

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