Perplexed by all the jargon involved in choosing a diamond? We’re aware that all the lingo can be confusing enough to mystify anyone. That’s why we’ve put together the definitive A-to-Z dictionary of all the key terms you need to know, all in one place and in a simple alphabetical order. The ability to explain the difference between diamond cut and shape or exactly what a diamantaire is will not only get you brownie points at the dinner table, but it'll save you the embarrassment of having to ask (you’re welcome!). This is the only diamond dictionary you will ever need.
Atelier - the private workshop at which diamantaires create fine jewelry. The name derives itself from the Old French word astelle, meaning "splinter of wood."
Briolette - a type of diamond cut known for its distinctive teardrop shape, allowing it to be viewed from any angle. Lacking a table, crown or pavilion, it can be hung and is thus popularly incorporated into drop earrings and pendants. Shop our Briolette Diamond Necklace.
Carat - the measurement used to weigh diamonds. One gram is equivalent to 6 carats. Carats make up one of the GIA’s 4Cs, which are used to evaluate diamond value.
Clarity - the degree to which a diamond has any blemishes and inclusions. One of the GIA’s 4Cs, the clearer a diamond is, the more highly it is valued. The highest clarity grade a diamond can receive is F for Flawless.
Color - the tone and hues that a diamond inherently possesses. Generally, less color that a diamond has, the more valuable it is considered.
Crown - the upper body of a diamond. It is typically the most visible part of a stone, as it faces upwards towards the wearer. It also incorporates the table of the diamond.
Culet - the point at the bottom of the pavilion. In a brilliant cut, this will be pointed, whilst for the old mine cut it will be made into a facet.
Cut - the way a rough diamond is faceted to add different degrees of depth. This makes up one of the GIA’s 4Cs. There are several different types of cut including the brilliant, old mine and rose cuts.
Depth - the height of the diamond from the table to the culet.
Diamantaire - a master diamond cutter. They are responsible for assessing how a rough stone should be faceted to optimize the innate beauty of every diamond.
Facet - the flat surfaces on a cut diamond. Every side of a diamond is a facet. The brilliant cut has exactly 58 facets.
Fluorescence - the generally blue glow emitted by some diamonds when under ultraviolet light. A high degree of fluorescence tends to lower the value of the diamond for higher-quality stones, whilst increasing it for lower-quality stones.
Girdle - the widest part of the stone. The girdle also divides the crown from the pavilion.
Lab-grown diamonds - diamonds that have the exact physical properties and make-up as a natural diamond, but have been created in a lab that mimics the conditions underneath the mantle of the earth.
Old European cut - a type of diamond cut similar to the Old Mine cut and its vintage feel, but developed slightly after, and more rounded than, the Old Mine cut.
Old Mine cut - a type of cut popular in the Victorian and Georgian periods, characterized by its faceted culet and square shape. A 64Facet favorite for its delicate and unique facet arrangement.
Pavé - a type of diamond setting that involves placing several small diamonds in a close-knit pattern where the surface of the metal is not visible.
Pavilion - the part of the diamond below the girdle to the culet. The pavilion is key to the extent to which a diamond sparkles and reflects light.
Rose cut - one of the oldest forms of diamond cut, characterized by its absence of a pavilion and consequently flatter shape. This form of cut creates a warming and subtle glow rather than an intense sparkle.
Rough diamond - a diamond that has been mined but has not yet been cut, faceted, and polished by a diamantaire.
Shape - the form of a diamond (different to the cut of a diamond, which focuses on the depth and reflective properties of a diamond). Popular shapes include round, cushion, princess, and pear shapes.
Table - the flat central facet on the crown of a diamond. It proves a key window for light to entire the diamond.