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The American Gem Society, or AGS. This group is recognized by the jewelry
industry as an authority for grading gemstones.
The American Gem Trade Association is recognized in the jewelry industry as an
authority for grading gemstones.
Bezel set is the use of a metal tube that is wrapped around the stone. Metal is
pulled down over the stone to hold it.
A flaw, such as a scratch or an abrasion, on the surface of a diamond.
White light reflected up through the surface of a diamond. Brilliance is
maximized by cutting a diamond to the correct proportions. See also Fire and
A 58-facet round diamond.
A unit of weight for a diamond, equivalent to 200 milligrams, or 0.2 gram.
The central, dominant stone in a piece of jewelry set with multiple stones. In
a ring set with one stone, the center stone is also called the solitaire.
A diamond certificate is a blueprint of the diamond. It describes, maps and
grades everything about the diamond including: proportions, color, clarity,
shape, cutting style, carat weight, location, size, and type of inclusions,
fluorescence, and other lab comments. It does not state the retail value of the
stone. An appraisal is needed to confirm the full market retail value.
Channel set refers to the setting of gemstones in a grooved channel between two
bars of metal. The stones are set flush to each other.
A grade given to a diamond to describe how many inclusions are within the
diamond. The clarity scale ranges from FL (flawless), meaning a diamond has no
internal or external flaws, to I3 (severely included), meaning a diamond has
many flaws clearly visible to the naked eye.
An internal imperfection which runs in the direction of the grain of the
diamond. It sometimes extends to the surface of the diamond, or is "healed"
inside the diamond.
A cluster of microscopic white or crystalline inclusions or pinpoints inside a
A grade given to a diamond to describe the color tones of the stone. The color
scale ranges from D, meaning completely colorless, to Z, fancy yellow. As the
scale moves from D to Z, it indicates increasing levels of yellow and brown
The rounded finish on the inside of a ring’s band. This design does not pinch
the skin of the finger as much as other ring bands and provides comfort for
The edges of a gemstone above the girdle and surrounding the table. Colored
light escapes through the crown in the form of fire.
A facet on the very bottom of a diamond. If the culet is medium to large, when
the diamond is viewed from the table, it will look like there is a hole in the
bottom of the stone.
Generally, cut refers to both the shape of a stone (round, marquise, princess
cut, oval, etc.) and the proportions and finish of a diamond also known as
"make". The make of a stone is the most important factor in determining how
much sparkle comes from a diamond.
The height of a diamond (measured from the culet to the table).
The height of a diamond (measured from the culet to the table) divided by the
width of the diamond. The depth % is critical to creating brilliance and fire in
a diamond; a depth % that is too low or too high will cause a diamond to lack
European Gemological Laboratory. Widely respected in the trade offering
independently grading certificates.
A diamond that has no inclusions visible to the naked eye.
The flat polished surfaces on a diamond. A round brilliant diamond has 58
A common naturally occurring white feather shaped inclusion, which is not visible to the naked eye.
Colored light reflected from within a diamond. Fire is maximized by cutting a
diamond to the correct proportions.
A glow, usually of a bluish color, which emanates from certain diamonds when
exposed to ultraviolet light. Faint fluorescence usually does not affect the
appearance of a diamond. Strong, very strong and sometimes medium blue
fluorescence may slightly improve the color appearance of diamonds rated "H" in
color or below (I,J,K etc).
An internal or external imperfection which may have developed three million
years ago or last week as a result of trauma (usually a hard impact).
Gemological Institute of America, the single most widely accepted diamond
authority. An independent, third-party grading service offering diamond grading
The outermost edge of a diamond, it can be unpolished, polished, or faceted.
Usually where the diamond is held in a setting.
The part of the setting that holds the center stone or solitaire in place.
A naturally occurring imperfection often referred to as a feather, pinpoint or
cloud in the diamond that may or may not be visible to the naked eye.
Inclusions visible to the naked eye are usually graded SI2 clarity and below.
Invisible set refers to a particular square cut of stone which has been cut
with slats that are fitted into a metal grid formed by the mounting’s
undercarriage. Each stone is "snapped" into its rail. Two or more row styles
may be fashioned in this manner to emphasize an "all diamond" look. The stones
on the outside are usually channel set in the mounting.
The proportions to which a diamond has been cut. A good make will have
proportions that maximize the brilliance and fire of a diamond. A poor make will
lead to a diamond that has little sparkle due to the inability of the cut to
properly reflect light.
Diamonds which weigh less than 1/5 of a carat (20 points) are known as melee.
They are usually side diamonds or accent diamonds in a larger piece of jewelry.
Three metals are generally used in fine jewelry: gold, platinum, and silver.
The unit of measure used to determine a pearl’s diameter, equal to about 0.04
An external characteristic on or near a diamond’s girdle, a natural is actually
an unpolished portion of the "skin" of the rough diamond.
Pavé set is a two-dimensional form of strip setting in a honeycomb pattern.
The stones are patterned very closely together. The metal is pulled up to hold
the stones. The only metal visible is what is actually used to hold the stones
The faceted portion of the diamond which is below the girdle.
A very small inclusion inside a diamond.
A weight measure equal to one one-hundredth of a carat. (A 0.50 carat diamond
is said to be 50 points.)
A grade given to the external finish of a stone. The polish scale ranges from
poor to excellent.
Prong Set is the use of metal wire to hold a gemstone in place by tension. A
notch is cut out on the inside of the prong to seat a stone into its place. The
prongs are pulled over the top of the stone to hold it.
Collective term for the shank and the head of a ring which contains no center
A measurement, generally between 4 and 13, determined by two factors: the
diameter of the finger on which the ring will be worn and the knuckle, which the
ring must slip over comfortably.
Engagement rings set with only the side stones. The center stone is sold
separately to accommodate the individual’s preference in the size, shape, etc.
of the stone.
The part of the ring that encircles the finger. Strictly speaking, the shank of
the ring does not include the head.
A gemstone set alongside, or as part of a group of gemstones encircling a
A single diamond set in a mounting which shows off the simplicity and elegance
of the diamond.
Refers to the brilliance of a diamond or the amount of light which reflects
from a diamond. See also brilliance and fire.
The overall uniformity of the cut of a diamond. Graded from poor to excellent,
it is based on the diamond’s proportions and the relation of one facet to
another. Poor symmetry will hurt the sparkle of a diamond.
The largest facet on a diamond, located on the top of the diamond facing out
from the setting.
The width of the table divided by the total diameter of the diamond. The table
% is critical to creating sparkle in a diamond; a table % that is too low or too
high will cause a diamond to lack sparkle.
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Diamond Engagement Rings and Diamond Wedding Rings
Diamond engagement rings, and now as often as not, matching diamond wedding bands are the symbolic representation of eternal love exchanged between couples to represent their union. While we know today that marriages simply do not always have quite the eternal or even long-lasting tenure they used to have, I think it is still fair to say that very few people go into a marriage that they believe will last less than the rest of their life. The diamond engagement ring is a symbol of the love two people share and an announcement of their mutual agreement to wed. Therefore, the diamond engagement ring should be conspicuous, as it is there to call attention to the announcement of the betrothal. So the solitaire diamond or the large center diamond with a cluster of smaller diamonds is extremely appropriate for the diamond engagement ring. Once the matching diamond wedding band is added to the ladies finger and often the matching men's diamond wedding band is placed on his finger the additional announcement of a completed union is represented.
There are numerous considerations to be made when selecting a diamond engagement ring. The quality of the diamond (or diamonds) in the engagement ring go a long way to determine the price, as well as the sparkle the diamond engagement ring will elicit. The selection of the type of diamond to be found in a diamond engagement ring can vary all the way from the young man who impulsively stops into a jewelry store and buys almost the first engagement ring that he sees, to the much more discriminating jewelry aficionado who selects the stones individually himself and then either designs or consults to the jeweler on the design for the mounting for the ring. In either case, the intention may be virtually the same, however, in the latter case; it is likely that the prior knowledge of jewelry and concern for the end product will likely produce better results.
For those less knowledgeable about jewelry who wishes to purchase the perfect diamond engagement ring, or wedding, and engagement rings set, increasingly there are various jewelry masters accessible on the Internet that offer a broad selection and often very logical tutoring as to the exact decision one might wish to make. In truth, the task of choosing the right diamond engagement ring can be very daunting without some expert help. Diamonds are evaluated by their degree of clarity, and of course, the size is measured in karats, they also vary in color. Diamonds are most often set in gold or platinum. Of course the size and shape of the mounting and the intricacy of the setting are additional factors to be considered. Diamonds can be set in yellow or white gold, platinum, even silver. The shape or cut of the diamond may be brilliant round cut, princess cut, asscher cut, cushion cut, emerald cut, radiant cut, oval cut, marquise cut, baguette cut or heart-shaped. Even beyond the advice of the Jewelry Master, often the most logical person to consult before making the decision as to what type of ring to buy is the person who was going to wear it. The bride to be, who has all of her life imagined the beautiful round diamond with smaller round diamonds surrounding it, may not be pleased with her future husband's idea of a solitaire marquise diamond ring. If he likes yellow gold, and she likes white gold, the engagement may never progress beyond the presentation of the ring. So sometimes the perfect diamond engagement ring is literally in the mind of the beholder, as long as the one you slip on her finger looks similar as the one in her mind, you are good to go. Clairvoyance or careful thoughtful questioning can always make a major difference in a relationship. Furthermore, diamonds are forever, only if they are accepted.