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Diamond Glossary

Diamond Glossary


Antique and other old or heavily used diamonds can have abrasions, tiny nicks along facet junctions, producing white fuzzy lines instead of sharp crisp facet edges.


Acronyms of D.I.A.M.O.N.D. include Defense Intrusion Analysis & Monitoring Desk, Development and Integration of Accurate Mathematical Operations in Numerical Data-Processing, and Dow Industrial Average Model New Deposit Shares.


Amsterdam, was a major diamond cutting center in the nineteenth century, but lost almost all its gem cutters to Antwerp, due in part to strict working conditions imposed on the Dutch diamond-cutting factories by labour unions in the prewar years.


A 102.29 carat cushion cut diamond certified by the GIA as Fancy Vivid Yellow, VS2 clarity.


Many diamonds are sourced from alluvial deposits in existing or previous river beds. Alluvial diamonds are usually of gem quality, probably because lower grade stones would have been damaged or destroyed.


To achieve maximum brilliance, there are many angles which are important in diamond cutting. Angles determine proportion.


Diamonds were discovered in Angola in 1913. Since 25 years of civil war ended in 2002, Angolan production should be important, but there are still problems. Although Angola is rich in gem quality diamond deposits, its output has been variable following long periods of civil war or other armed conflict.


Appraisal is carried out on rough and polished diamonds at many stages to asses quality and market values.

Arrows and Hearts

An optical pattern discernable in some well-proportioned diamonds, and marketed as a demonstration of excellent cutting.


A rectangular or oblong step or trap cut used for diamonds and other gemstones.

Best Diamonds

A typical diamond FAQ is "where do the best diamonds come from". There is no single quick answer, apart from the slightly facetious "in the ground". We are in process of preparing a more complete answer which will be linked from here when ready.

BHP Billiton

The second most active diamond prospecting company after De Beers. Owns the Ekati mine in Canada, producing 4% and 6% of worlds diamonds by volume and value respectively. Markets using Canada Mark brand name.

Black Diamond

"Black diamond" is a term used in American ski resorts to designate a steep slope or one which involves challenging terrain.So called because the marker signs show a black diamond (lozenge) shape on a white background.


An external mark or imperfection on a diamond, implicitly only slight and capable of being removed.


Originally describing near white diamonds with strong blue fluorescence, often misleadingly used or abused term to confer the idea of whiter than white.


White light captured from all the surfaces of the diamond and reflected up through the top. A diamond with the correct proportions yields the highest brilliance.

Brilliant Cut

A has triangular facets that surround the stone that culminate on a flat top. A can be round, marquise, oval, pear-shaped, heart-shaped, princess (square), or radiant.


An inclusion consisting of surface crumbling, often accompanied by tiny, root like feathers.

Carat Weight

A unit of weight for diamond equivalent to 200 milligrams.


Diamonds are composed entirely, or almost entirely, of carbon.


An inclusion consisting of a large or deep opening in the diamond.


The smallest facet at the bottom of the diamond.


The tendency of a crystallized mineral to break along certain definite directions producing more or less smooth surfaces. We prefer Karolina Kurkovas cleavage.


Clarity is graded on a scale that ranges from Flawless (FL) to Imperfect (I3). A diamonds relative position on a flawless to imperfect scale. Clarity characteristics are classified as inclusions (internal) or blemishes (external). The size, number, position, nature, and color or relief of characteristics determines the clarity grade. Very few diamonds are flawless, that means, show no inclusions or blemishes when examined by a skilled grader less than 10X magnification. If other factors are equal, flawless diamonds are most valuable.


Diamond ring or other jewellery containing a number of diamonds. Also a number of kimberlitic pipes occurring in close proximity.


A proprietary machine for grading diamond color.


The color of a diamond has the second biggest impact on its price, after carat weight. Did you know that diamonds come in every color of the Rainbow?
Describes the "yellowness" of a stone. The color scale ranges from D (colorless) to Z (deep yellow). Grading color in the normal range involves deciding how closely a diamonds body color approaches colorlessness. Most diamonds have at least a trace of yellow or brown body color. With the exception of some natural fancy colors, such as blue, pink, purple, or red, the colorless grade is the most valuable.


The top portion of a diamond, from the girdle (the thickest part around the stone) to the table.

Carbon Spots

An inaccurate term used by some people in the jewelry industry to describe the appearance of certain inclusions in a diamond. The term refers to included crystals that have a dark appearance, rather than a white or transparent appearance, when viewed under a microscope. In most cases, these dark inclusions are not visible to the naked eye, and do not affect the brilliance of the diamond.

Coated Diamond

A diamond colored by a surface coating which masks the true body-color; the coating may be extensive (entire pavilion, for example), but is more often limited to one or two pavilion facets or a spot on the girdle.


Perhaps one of the most misused of the 4 Cs, it refers to the style of cut (brilliant, emerald), the shape of the stone (round, heart-shaped), and the geometric proportions to which the diamond is cut.


The point or small facet on the bottom of most round or brilliant cut diamonds, as opposed to a keel on other cuts.



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