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Diamond Dictionary

When you enter the world of diamonds be prepared to be faced with an entirely new vocabulary. It isn't as simple as the 4 C's of carat, cut, color, and clarity! There is a lot more to detail and specific nuances to every single diamond than those 4 main characteristics. In this post we'll give you the rundown on words used in regards to diamonds that are not as commonly understood but will really help you sound liked a seasoned professional!

Spready- a diamond that has a large face up appearance. This type of diamond is desirable because it has been cut with the intention show its maximum carat weight.  The spread doesn't refer to its carat weight though, it is signifying how large the measurements of the diamond are. For example you can have a 2 carat oval diamond be 9.7mm which is a normal measurement or, there can be a 2 carat oval diamond with measurements well over 10mm for a much bigger face up look.  So you will basically pay less for a smaller carat weight diamond but obtain the look of a larger size diamond. Cha Ching! See this video for a comparison of an average 2 carat round diamond vs a more spready 2 carat diamond.

**Note- you don't want a diamond that is TOO spready as this will be a flat diamond and result in light leaking through and not sparkling enough. There is a perfect balance that can be found and we are experts are tracking these beautiful diamonds down for our clients.

Ideal cut diamonds will have more even proportions while a deeper diamond will look small face upChubby- a diamond that is cut too deep and does not have an appropriate face up size. For example, a 2.5 carat diamond that measures 7mm is cut too deep and will look like a 2 carat. This means you are paying extra for a diamond that weighs more but it actually does not look it's carat weight face up.

Crushed Ice- often this refers to cushion cut diamonds that do not possess brilliant style faceting. A brilliant style cut cushion is where the pavilion facets reach the edge of the diamond. When a cushion brilliant cut hits the light, there are few sparkles however, the sparkles are broader and blinding reminiscent of a round cut diamond. In contrast, a crushed ice cushion is a version of cushion modified brilliant cut where the pavilion faceting does not reach the edge of the diamond. This creates a more glittery / crushed sparkle, i.e. there are many small flashes of light.   This video is a perfect example of the differences between a cushion brilliant cut and a modified crushed ice diamond

Eye Clean- a diamond that is clean from imperfections to the unaided eye. All diamonds, even VVS clarity diamonds will, have some sort of microscopic blemish within the diamond.  For argument’s sake we will call this at an arm’s length of distance away from your eye.

Jeweler's Loupe for Inspecting a DiamondLoupe- the tool used to magnify diamonds. It is a small magnificent device that you hold up to your eye. These are commonly in 10x magnification but also in 20x, 30x etc for a more detailed view.

Loupe Clean- refers to a diamond that even under magnification it is nearly impossible to see any inclusions.  This usually only occurs in VS1 or higher clarities and sometimes even a VS2 grade.

Hazy or Milky- refers to a diamond filled with clouds to the point where it lacks luster and brilliance. Most clouds are invisible on inclusion charts for a particular diamond so this is an especially important factor to access in person or in a video where you can actually so how the diamond performs in different circumstances. If a diamond is hazy it appears as if a fog has taken over a bit of the diamond and it then lacks the capability to sparkle.

Bluffy- a diamond that appears at first glance better than it actually is. For exmaple, you might have a flat diamond (undersirable) that does actually give a massive face up look once set in a ring. We would call this bluffy because it appears larger and more expensive than it is. You can also have a diamond that is very white and high on the color scale however it might be in the Included clarity range where imperfections can be seen to the unaided eye. At first glance, when worn on the hand you will only notice the diamond being white however upon closer inspection you will view the imperfections within the diamond easily without maginication.

Ratio- refers to the length to width ratio of a diamond. Every diamond has a certain millimeter measurement for how long and wide it is. If you divide these numbers you come up with the ratio. There are desirable ratios for each diamond as an average, so for example an oval ratio should start at 1.3 l:w ratio for a rounder look and up to a 1.5 ratio for a more elongated look. In this video you can see two cushion cuts side by side. They weigh the same however one has a longer ratio for a more rectangular shape and the other has a lower ratio resulting in a square appearance.  Click to watch a simple comparison video of a more square cushion cut vs and elongated cushion cut diamond.

X / Triple X- This refers to Excellent as either one of the cut, polish, or symmettry grades. Triple X means that a round diamond has all grades as excellent straight through. Fancy shape diamonds can have Excellent polish and symmettry grades but do not receive a formal cut grade from GIA.

Cert- a short term way of saying the certificate for a diamond with its grading report. Time is of the essense ;)

The Make: has to do with the way a diamond is faceted or cut.  It is more of general term and if you hear the diamond has a “great make” you can expect a beautiful diamond with great proportions, sparkle and visual appearance.

example of oval diamond with bowtieBowtie: refers to a dark shadow that appears across the center of a diamond- this only occurs in elongated shapes and most commonly found in ovals, pears, marquise and elongated radiants or cushions.  Almost all of these elongated shapes will have a bowtie to some extent but should be measured by how distracting or noticeable it is.  This is a negative aspect so something you should try to avoid as much as you can.

Canary: refers to natural yellow diamonds with a strong saturation of color usually in fancy intense to fancy vivid range

Shank: used interchangeably with “band” to describe the part of the ring that goes around the finger

Internet Diamond: when you hear this term it refers to diamonds that may look good on paper and priced very aggressively to make them look like a good deal.  However, in real life it will lack the beauty and sparkle you might have expected

Off Size: We all know about the magic numbers like 1 carat, 1.5 carat, 2.0 carat and so on and so forth.  The sizes right in between these are usually referred to as off-sizes and can be very desirable because they will offer you a similar face up appearance without paying the hefty price tag.  For example a 1.70 carat could go for $10,000 and with all quality/cut aspects being equal would jump to over $13,000 for a 2 carat even though there may be only an incremental size difference noticeable to the untrained eye.

This is just a sample but we hope this diamond slang list will help you navigate through the terms and words used. We are always available to guide you and give specific advice based on your diamond needs. Email us at [email protected] to start working on your custom ring today!