The Diamond Dictionary

Nov 1, 2022

by Ray Johnson
The Diamond Broker - The Diamond Dictionary

A diamond is a big investment and often an expression of your forever love. When you commit to investing in something eternal, you want to ensure you’re getting exactly what you want. With all the jargon and specific terminology associated with diamonds, it can be difficult to make sure that’s the case. Here’s a quick run-down of some diamond terminology you should know to ensure you end up with the diamond of your dreams.


With people, an abrasion is another word for a bruise that you might get when you scratch up a part of your body. Similarly, with diamonds, an abrasion is a small scratch on a diamond’s surface.

Asscher Cut

Diamonds with this cut will have a square shape and prominently cut corners, similar in appearance to emerald-cut diamonds. This cut is known for its straight, step-like facets.

Bezel Set

In this type of setting, the diamond or precious stone is secured to its mounting with a thin strip of metal rather than prongs. The thin strip of metal around the edge of the diamond or precious stone will give a different visual effect than that of the prongs.


A blemish can be any undesirable external characteristic, such as abrasions, nicks, extra facets, polish marks, or natural discoloration of the diamond. Sometimes blemishes are not visible to the naked or untrained eye, but they will still affect the quality and price of the diamond.


This term describes the intensity of the white light perceived by the eye when viewing a diamond’s crown, including external and internal reflections. A diamond’s brilliance is based on the following factors:

  • Clarity
  • Polish
  • Proportions
  • Symmetry
  • Quality of workmanship


A brilliant-cut diamond is a round-cut diamond that features triangular- and kite-shaped facets that extend from the stone’s center to the edges of its crown, adding more geometric intrigue than a round-cut alone.


Diamond ring being inspected

One carat is equal to 0.2 grams. As a point of reference, one paper clip typically weighs one gram, so a diamond that weighs as much as one paper clip would be 5 carats. Keep in mind that carats measure the weight, not the size, of the diamond.


You might be more used to hearing about cavities at the dentist, but they’re relevant to diamonds, too. Just as a cavity at the dentist means you have a tiny hole in the surface of one of your teeth, a cavity in a diamond is a tiny opening that breaks a diamond’s surface.


This setting style features two parallel walls that hold diamonds and other stones in place. There is no metal between the stones, which makes this a popular setting for precious stones located in the band of a ring.


Clarity is one of the main ratings that affect the price and beauty of a diamond. In particular, clarity describes the absence of blemishes or inclusions in the diamond. Different ratings include:

  • FL-Flawless
  • IF – Internally Flawless
  • WS1/ WS2 – Only very slight Inclusions are noticeable
  • VS1/VS2 – Only slight inclusions are noticeable
  • S1 and S2 – Inclusions are more noticeable
  • I1/I2/I3 – Inclusions are highly noticeable and detract from the overall beauty of the diamond


As the name implies, a cloud is an inclusion that gives the diamond a hazy appearance. This typically detracts from the clarity of the diamond, which in turn results in lower price and quality.


Color refers to the diamond’s tint. It is determined by comparing the diamond to a set of authenticated master diamonds scaled from colorless (D) to Saturated (Z). Color ratings have a wide range. Diamonds in the D-F range are colorless, while diamonds in the G-J range are near colorless. In the K-M range, diamonds are thought to have a faint color. Finally, diamonds in the N-R range are thought to have very light color while diamonds in the S-Z range are thought to have light color.


The crown is the angled upper edge of a diamond or other gemstone. It is one of the most visible and highly noticeable parts of a diamond.


The cut refers to how a diamond’s surface features precisely proportioned facets that largely determine its beauty by emphasizing dispersion, brilliance, and scintillation. Different cuts are more suited to different styles, so people typically have strong preferences about the cut of their diamonds.


The depth of a diamond refers to its height. It is measured in millimeters from its point (or culet) to its flat top (or table).


The durability of a diamond is just what it sounds like: how well the diamond is able to resist wear. This measure is based on the diamond’s overall toughness, stability, and hardness.


Emerald-cut diamonds are square or rectangular with diagonal corners. Most emerald cut diamonds have between two and four rows of facets that lie parallel to the girdle (the widest part of the diamond).

Eye Clean

An eye-clean diamond is one that has no flaws visible to the naked eye. Flaws that are invisible to the naked eye may still affect the quality and price of a diamond.


A facet is any flat, polished surface on a diamond. Different cuts will use facets of different sizes and shapes to best create a particular effect.


A feather is a small fracture inside a diamond. Sometimes the fracture can extend to the surface of the diamond. Other times, the fracture can be enclosed around the center of the diamond.


Diamond clarity grading scale sheet


Just as unique fingerprints are a way to tell people apart, a uniquely defining characteristic of a diamond is known as a fingerprint. They can reassure you that your diamond truly is one-of-a-kind.


With diamonds, fire refers to flashes of spectral color that reflect from a diamond’s interior, dancing like flames. A diamond’s fire is only visible when a diamond is exposed to light.


Diamonds that exhibit colored luminescence when exposed to strong sunlight are fluorescent. This color is usually blue, but not always.

Four Cs

These main qualities are used to evaluate and compare diamonds:

  • Cut
  • Color
  • Clarity
  • Carat

Need Help Finding a Diamond That Is One of a Kind?

You don’t have to make flashcards to learn the language of diamonds to ensure you make the right purchase. The experts at The Diamond Broker will be with you every step of the way to finding the best diamond for you, acting as a guide and consultant about the world of diamonds whenever you need them. We’re eager to help you find the diamond you’ll cherish forever, so contact us today!


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About the author:
Ray Johnson

Ray Johnson


Ray is a partner of Good Diamond Co. He loves helping customers find the perfect piece that works for their budget. Give Ray a call when you are looking for or have questions about diamond jewelry and engagement rings.

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