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Jewelry Glossary

Baguette
Bezel-setting
Blemish
Brilliance
Brilliant-cut
Briollette
Carat
Channel-setting
Clarity
Color
Comfort fit
Crown
Culet
Cushion-shaped
Cut
Depth
Diameter
Dispersion
Emerald-cut
Facet
Fancy shape
Feather
Finish
Fluorescence
Four C's
Girdle
Inclusion
Karat
Laser drill hole
Marquise shape
Nacre
Oval shape
Pave
Pavilion
Pear shape
Point
Polish
Rose Cut Diamond
Round-brilliant
Scintillation
Setting
Symmetry
Table
Trilliant
Weight Ratio

Baguette

The name comes from the French word baguette, meaning "long rod". Baguette shape came about in the early 20th Century, during the Art Deco and Art Nouveau movements.
The straight, crystal clear lines and simple geometrics form the baguette cut. Baguettes can be used as the center or side stones. Even in smaller sizes, baguettes may appear larger than its carat weight. For these reasons, the shape is more often measured for its dimensions rather than its carat weight. The length to width ratio of the accent stone is ideally 1.5 is to 1. Unlike round diamonds, the shape of the baguette can be set adjacently in one row, appearing as larger gemstones. In a diamonds channel setting, the accented results are beautiful.

Bezel-setting

A bezel setting sets a stone with security. The bezel setting is the oldest setting for gemstones. Bezel consists of a band of metal wrapped around the stone. The setting also protects the stone against nicks, abrasions and dirt.

Brilliance

Brilliance is the measure of white light that enters the gemstone, and reflects back when the gemstone table is facing up. The best brilliance occurs in a diamond cut. Because of their light reflection and refraction, diamond cut stones are often the most desirable.

Blemish

Any scratch, nick, abrasion, knot or flaw on the surface of the gemstone. Blemishes effect the gemstone’s clarity. A blemish is usually found in a natural gemstone.

Brilliant-cut

The most common brilliant cut gemstone is the round, which ideally consists of 58 facets (including the culet). The faceting round brilliant provides maximum brilliance. Facets appear to radiate light out from the center of the gemstone.

Briollette

Briolette is an elongated pear-shaped stone covered with bands of triangular (or rectangular) facets that has a pointed end and no girdle. They are also known as a teardrop shape.

Carat

Carat size or carat weight is the modern unit for measuring the weight of gemstones. For centuries, the carob seed was the weight measurement for precious gemstones. By the Middle Ages, changes in trade routes occurred in Europe. The carat, as once known, came close to 205 milligrams. This measurement of weight lasted as the standard carat until the 20th Century. Around 1910, carat became the metric system of weights. By 1914, the USA adopted the current metric carat measurement of 200 milligrams used today.

Channel-setting

In a channel setting, grooved metal is built into the jewelry design, holding the gemstones in place. The stones are uniformly sized and set in a row. Unlike most setting methods, these gemstones are not secured individually like in a prong setting. No metal appears between the gemstones. The setting is most popular for wedding and anniversary bands.

Clarity

Clarity is one of the 4 C's in evaluating gemstones. In diamonds, clarity is determined by the diamond's light properties. For diamonds, the clarity grading scale ranges from "FL" (Flawless) to "I" (Imperfect).

Color

The most important of the 4 C's, color is the first factor gemstone experts consider. The GIA diamond color grading system of "D" (or colorless) to "Z" grades is based on light absorption. In colored gemstones, color can be further divided into hue, tone and saturation classifications.

Comfort-fit

A term used for the interior of the ring, comfort fit refers to how well and smooth the ring sets on the owner’s finger. The most comfortable wear, although may not be as noticeable, is a plain smooth band interior as opposed to a more fancy design.
Additionally, there are different degrees of comfort fit. Light comfort fit is slightly rounded on the inside. Whereas, heavy comfort fit is a very thick band, but is still considered smooth. Comfort fit bands are more popular for men, who may not be used to wearing jewelry of any kind.

Conflict Diamonds

Conflict diamonds, also known as blood diamonds, are diamonds that originated in violent regions of conflict and civil war. These diamonds are sold in a secret manner, bartering with weapons. African nations, most noted for blood diamonds, include Sierra Leone, Angola, Congo and Liberia. In the past, diamonds formed an easy means of income for warlords to continue their terror and exploitation. With awareness, the steady stream of conflict diamonds has been reduced to a trickle form. The diamond industry has done much to staunch the flow of blood diamonds out of Africa by aiding in stop-gap measures. The ongoing effort and enterprise is known as the Kimberley Process. Angara has a strict policy against any type of “blood diamonds” or “blood gemstones.”

Crown

The upper part of a cut gemstone or the area above the girdle.

Culet

A small, octagonal facet added to the bottom of a diamond's pavilion, in order to protect the tip from damaging. It derives from the Latin word for bottom, “culus.” The culet will protect the integrity of the gemstone.

Cushion-shaped

The cushion cut is an antique cut that often resembles a cross between the Old Mine Cut (a deep cut with large facets common in the early 20th Century) and a modern oval cut. The cushion shape is also referred to as the pillow cut. Cushion cut is not as fiery or brilliant as most new cuts, but has a romantic and classic look that stands apart from round brilliant. Due to the large open facets of the cushion cut, one should opt for the highest clarity and color that a budget can afford.

Cut

One of the 4 C’s of gemstones. The cut of the gemstone will determine the gemstone’s light reflection and refraction. The gemstone starts at the raw rough mineral level and ends into a polished shining gemstone to be admired.

Depth

A diamond's height, from the culet to the table, measured in millimeters.

Depth Percentage

A gemstone’s depth percentage is a measure of the stone's depth divided by the average width, or diameter, at the girdle.

Diameter

The width of the diamond, measured through the girdle.

Dichroic/SM

A property, peculiar to crystals, reflecting light in two different colors when viewed from two different directional angles.

Dispersion

Also known as a diamond's "fire", the flashes of color caused by white light turning into a spectrum of colors (I.e. Red, blue and green) as it hits a diamond's surface.

Emerald-cut

A rectangular or square shaped cut with truncated corners and stepped facets, parallel to the girdle. An emerald cut is often referred to as 'step cut' or 'table cut'. The facets usually span the length or width of the stone, gradually decreasing as they approach the table and culet. The four corners of an emerald cut stone are softened to protect the stone, since any sharp edges are vulnerable to causing a chip. The style is highly effective in colored stones as light reflection improves and the color intensifies.

Enhancements

Facet

The smooth, flat, polished surfaces on a gemstone, allowing light reflection at different angles, creating enhanced brilliance.

Fancy Diamond

Fancy diamond refers to a strong color of a diamond. A diamond that has a distinctive color such as red, blue, brown, yellow or any other is called a ‘Fancy Diamond.”.

Fancy Sapphire

All colored sapphires, other than blue are called fancy sapphires.

Fancy-shape

There are numerous shapes that modern technology and cutting mechanics can create, including the heart, marquise, and trillion. All non-round diamond shapes are called fancy cut. Today, many people prefer alternative shapes such as emerald cut, princess cut, radiant, asscher, and others.

Feather

Any small fractures below a gemstone's surface, which look either transparent or light white under magnification.

Finish

All aspects of a diamond's end result or overall appearance - including polish, girdle quality and faceting precision.

Flourescence

The effect of ultraviolet (UV) light on atoms that are found within diamonds. Atoms within the crystalline structure of the diamond emit a glowing and bluish light under a UV-rich light. This has little to no discernible effect on the diamond's light display.

Fracture

A fracture is a break in the diamond's crystal matrix. These fractures go against a diamond's natural surface.

Four-Cs

The factors that determine a diamond's overall quality and value, including color, cut, clarity and carat weight. See diamond buying guide for more details.

Girdle

The narrow outline that separates the top (crown) and bottom (pavilion) sections of a diamond, which is measured in thickness.

Inclusion

A flaw found within a gemstone. Flaws can be a break, feather, included crystal or any type of imperfection. Inclusions are fingerprints for a gemstone, since no two gemstones have identical inclusions.

Karat

The unit measurement of gold purity. 100% gold, for example, is 24-karat, while 75% gold is 18-karat. 24-karat may be more praised, but is considered a softer gold, vulnerable to damages.

Laser-drill-hole

A permanent diamond enhancement process in which a strong acid solution is forced into a laser drilled hole, so dark inclusions can be bleached and the overall diamond's appearance is enhanced.

Marquise Shape

Marquise shape is a long and elongated shape with tapering points on both ends. The popular shape has its origin from France during the reign of King Louis XIV. The shape maximizes carat weight and gives a larger looking stone. They have a bow-tie effect with a length to width ratio of 2 to 1.

Nacre

A shiny, iridescent substance secreted by a mollusk in response to a foreign substance such as a grain of sand or an inserted bead. Layers of nacre form a pearl. Better known as the “mother of pearl”, this is a crystalline substance that creates iridescent pearl effects. It’s a strong material that is lightweight and transparent, allowing light to pass through the surface, creating a glow on the pearl's surface.

Oval shape

An oval shape stone has marked brilliance. The shape has significant elongation with no tapered or sharp edges. The dimension of oval shape is measured on length-to-width ratio such as 8x6mm.

Pear Shape

A pear shape is a metaphorical term that refers to the shape of a pear. The shape is rounded at the bottom and comes together at one point at the top. A clear pear shape stone gives a bow-tie effect. Also called teardrop, pear shape have a higher demand in diamond gemstones.

Pave

Pronounced PAH-VEY, the setting comes from French word for "to pave". The pave is a group of tiny beads, fully-faceted stones are set tightly together with no metal shown through the jewelry piece looks like it’s completely covered with diamonds. The setting is often used to create the look of a field of colored gemstones or diamonds.

Pavilion

The portion of the diamond below the girdle.

Pinpoints

One of the most common inclusions, a pinpoint is a white spot that occurs within the diamond during their formation. These are tiny crystalline that form.

Point

A carat is divided into 100 points, so '50 points' is another way of saying 'half-carat' or 0.50 carats.

Polish

The finished polish on a gemstone's surface or facets. The facets must have a strong polish, free from cutting and grinding marks, so the light reflects and refracts throughout the gemstone.

Rose-Cut-Diamond

A style used from the 16th Century, where the diamond has a flat base and triangular facets rise to form a dome.

Round-brilliant

The most popular diamond shape, round brilliant has 58 facets.

Scintillation

A diamond's "sparkle" - the flashes of light reflected from a diamond's facets when the diamond changes direction or angle.

Setting

The metal mounting holding a polished gemstone(s).

Symmetry

Symmetry is commonly referred to the placement of a diamond's facets. The facets should all be in approximate size in relation to one another, and the right number. Good symmetry provides a dazzling light display that we call "scintillation".

Table

The large, flat facet facing us.

Treatments

It is a norm in the gem industry for gemstones to undergo treatment. Records as far back as 50 AD testify such processes. Most prevalent is the heat treatment, which enhances the appearance of a gem. That is why they are also called enhancements. Treatments nowadays are of a permanent nature and untreated gems are a parody of what we have come to know as gems.

Trillion/Trilliant

A triangular, fancy shape of a gemstone. A modern cut of gemstones, the Trillion Cut (triangular brilliant) is famous for its scintillation and remarkable shape. The brilliance of the Trillion is caused by transformation from a square shaped "radiant" diamond, first used in 1980s. The Trillion Cut has a length to width ratio of 1 to 1 to 1, forming an equilateral triangle with sharp pointed or rounded corners. Normally cut with 44 facets, they have the capability of producing brilliant scintillation. Trillions are often used as a centerpiece.

Weight-Ratio

A comparison of a gemstone weight in relation to its diameter.
Author : Ankit Daga