Cut is what gives a diamond its brilliance, scintillation, and fire.

Brilliance is a measure of how much light a diamond reflects. Scintillation describes how much the diamond sparkles when moved. Fire refers to the flash of colors that occur when light is refracted through the diamond. Cut is also important in how big the diamond looks. When a diamond is cut perfectly, it reflects a greater amount of light and can look bigger and more brilliant.

Facets – the angled sides of the diamond – reflect the light, and give the diamond its shine, sparkle and fire. The facets need to be cut symmetrically in order for the light to bounce from facet to facet and shine properly. If they are cut too deep or too shallow, the diamond will not reflect the light and will look dull, no matter the clarity or color.Read more


Color is the whiteness of a diamond.

The majority of diamonds have some color in them. Almost all diamond engagement rings use white diamonds as the center stone and usually have white diamonds surrounding and going down the shank of the ring. Diamonds also come in other colors, like blue, yellow, brown, green, red and pink, but they are rare and therefore cost more than the near colorless, white, or clear, diamonds.

The color in near-colorless diamonds is very hard to detect once the diamond has been mounted in the engagement ring. Near-colorless diamonds are also less expensive than the completely colorless diamonds, which makes them a great alternative for engagement rings. Read more


Clarity refers to any natural identifiers within the diamond.

Diamond clarity is a rating based on the number of the diamond's blemishes and inclusions. Inclusions are flaws that are inside the diamonds. Blemishes are flaws found on the surface of the diamond. A flawless diamond has no inclusions or blemishes. Imperfect diamonds means there are inclusions or blemishes that are visible to the naked eye. There are many grades in between flawless and imperfect.

There are also different diamond ratings based on what organization is doing the diamond grading. The diamond grading agencies are:

GIA – Gemology Institute of America

CIBJO – Confederation Internationale de la Bijouterie

AGS – American Gem Society

IDC – International Diamond Council

EGL – European Gemological Laboratory

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Caret a standard unit of weight used for diamonds and other gemstones.

Depending on the cut, a diamond can seem larger or smaller than it actually is. Diamonds with same weight can be different sizes, so you can choose the best diamond for your engagement ring. Carat size is not the most important aspect of a diamond – don’t forget about quality! Some larger diamonds have less light and sparkle, while some smaller ones are more fiery.

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Round Brilliant

The round brilliant is the most popular diamond shape, and like its name implies, features a round shaped stone. It was created in 1919 by Marcel Tolkowsky, using mathematical calculations that combined both brilliance and fire. Brilliance refers to a cut of vertical crown and pavilion facets. The 58-facet cut, divided among it’s crown (top), girdle (widest part) and pavilion (base), is calibrated through a precise formula to achieve ideal proportions, and has the best angles for maximum sparkle (fire) and light reflection.Read more


The princess is a square cut with sharp edges and corners, attributed to Basil Watermeyer (a South African diamond cutter) in 1971. The princess cut features unique and intricate facets: the crown (top), is cut with a round, face-up shape. The bottom, called the pavilion, is shaped similar to a cone. A princess cut with the same width as the diameter of a round brilliant will weigh more as it has four corners which would otherwise have been cut off and rounded to form a round brilliant. Read more


The brilliant cut oval is an elliptical, perfectly symmetrical design, created by Lazare Kaplan in the late 1950s. The oval diamond provides a larger surface area than a round cut diamond with the same carat weight. Typically cut with 56 facets, the oval diamond has beautiful brilliance that's similar to a round. The modern oval cut is a fiery diamond that reflects light brilliantly. The elongated oval shape gives a flattering illusion of length to the hand, and its symmetrical design is popular among women with small hands or short fingers. Read more


The emerald is a rectangular cut, originally designed for showcasing its namesake gem. The cut became popular for diamonds during the 1920’s Deco period. The emerald cut is a step cut, which means it has rows of facets. Step cuts are composed of larger facets which act like mirrors and resemble a staircase. The emerald cut has 58 facets: 25 crown (top), 8 girdle (middle) and 25 pavilion (bottom). Because of the angle, size, and shape of the facets, the emerald cut shows less brilliance and fire than brilliant cut diamonds. Because of it’s large table and open, large facets, a higher color and clarity in the stone is important because flaws, color weakness, and a poor cut are more likely to become visible at lower grades. Read more


The Asscher is a square cut similar to the emerald with step facets. However, it is more square than it is rectangular, with clipped corners. Created in 1902 by the Asscher Diamond Co., the Asscher cut is a patented rectilinear cut. The square-ish step cut has deeply cut corners that give it an almost octagonal outline. Because of its high crown and small table, the Asscher cut has more light and fire than an emerald cut—generally displaying an effect similar to a house of mirrors with concentric square patterns. Read more


The radiant is a square with trimmed corners, refined by Henry Grossbard in 1977. The radiant cut diamond has 62-70 facets to maximize color refraction. The radiant cut is a patented name and is also known as a cut-cornered, rectangular (or square) modified brilliant diamond. Its cropped corners help to minimize chipping. The Radiant Cut is the first cut to have a complete brilliant facet pattern applied to both the crown and pavilion and as such presents a much more dazzling and brilliant diamond than the simple emerald or Asscher cut. Read more


The pear shaped diamond is based upon the traditional round diamond, and was created in 1400 by Lodewyk “Louis” van Berquem. The pear shape is a combination of the round and marquise brilliant cuts and usually has a 58 facet brilliant pattern. The teardrop shape has a round or oval shape on half the facet pattern, while the other half resembles a marquise with the sides tapering to a point. Read more


The heart shaped diamond is a variation of the pear. The heart shape is a brilliant cut that requires a perfectly symmetrical appearance. The lobes – the rounded parts of the heart – of the stone should be of even height and width for the ideal overall shape. Read more


The marquise is a brilliant cut with rounded sides and points at either end, similar to a football. The marquise is usually cut as an adaptation of the 58 facet standard brilliant (33 crown, 25 pavilion), the same as the round brilliant. Legend has it that the Marquise cut was commissioned by King Louis XIV to resemble the smile of his mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour. The Marquise has a very large surface area for the carat weight so it is an excellent option for a big, longer looking stone. Read more


The cushion is rectangular with rounded corners and larger facets designed to increase brilliance. Created around 1830, a cushion cut has 58 brilliant-style facets and resembles a pillow shape. Cushion cuts are a little less brilliant than modern round brilliant diamonds, but are more dispersive (which refers to the separation of white light into spectral colors). Read more

Yellow Gold

A naturally occurring yellow metal. It is the most malleable of all metals, so it is usually combined with different alloys (composed of two or more elements) for added strength and durability. Even so, it is usually 70-75% pure. While 24k gold is pure gold, most of our engagement ring settings are sold in 18k; the lower the carat, the higher the percentage of other metals. Other alternatives are 14K and 10K. Read more

White Gold

This metal is created by alloying yellow gold with palladium, nickel, zinc and/or silver. It is usually plated with rhodium (a member of the platinum family) to give it an intense white color and smooth, high polish appearance. Read more

Rose Gold

This metal is created by alloying copper to yellow gold, usually about 25%. The higher copper content added to the alloy, the darker or more red the metal becomes. Rose gold is used for specialized jewelry and is also known as pink or red gold. Read more


Platinum is the most expensive precious metal. It is naturally white and is a very dense metal, which makes it both extremely durable, and very resistant to wear; when scratched, very little metal is lost. Platinum is a pure metal, and is naturally hypoallergenic. Read more

The setting is the platform on which the diamond sits. It protects the stone, and the best settings emphasize the beauty of the diamond. The ideal way to create the perfect ring is to choose a loose diamond first, and then decide on the perfect setti.


The prong diamond setting is the most common type of engagement ring setting consists of three to six "anchors" that hold a stone firmly in a metal basket. These prongs can be pointed, rounded, flat, or V-shaped and the prong setting is a good choice for all types of stones — it will hold even the most fragile gems securely. A four-prong setting allows for the most light exposure from all angles, and maximizes a stone’s brilliance. Read more


A tension setting consists of a diamond or other gemstone that is held in place by pressure. The metal is “spring loaded” to exert pressure on the stone so that the shank holds it firmly in place. The tension-set diamond ring can give the impression that the stone is "floating". The floating effect allows for maximum light exposure, and displays a good amount of dispersion. Only extremely hard stones such as diamonds, sapphires, and rubies can withstand the required pressure for a tension setting. A tension-set ring is built to fit, and is difficult to resize at a later date. Read more


A bezel set diamond ring has a metal rim that surrounds the gemstone completely or partially with a protective lip. This setting is extremely secure, and its low profile makes it great for any type of stone. A bezel setting can also help to obscure a chipped stone. Read more


The channel setting consists of small gemstones that are held in a line, side-by-side, with no metal separating them. The stones sit between two thin bands of metal. Read more


The bar setting can be used around some or all of the ring, and it consists of thin vertical bars of metal between the stones which secure them firmly in place. Read more


The pavé setting is named for the French word for "paved", and consists of small gems that are set very close together and held in place by “beads” of metal. This creates an effect that looks as though the piece is literally “paved” with small diamonds. Read more

Blemish – a tiny mark or flaw on the outside surface of a diamond.

Bow-tie effect – a term used to describe a dark or open spot in the shape of a bow-tie that can be found in fancy shaped diamonds (Marquise, Oval, Pear). A bow-tie usually runs horizontally (east to west) across the center of the diamond.

Brilliance – the amount of white light that reflects back from the diamond.

Carat – the weight of the stone.

Clarity – the amount of natural characteristics or inclusions in the stone.

Color – the hue of the diamond. Can be white, yellow, brown, or fancy (blue, pink, yellow).

Crown – the upper range of facets of a diamond above the girdle.

Culet – a single facet on the bottom of a diamond that runs parallel to the table. It is designed to prevent the tip from chipping.

Cut – this refers to the proportions and angles of a diamond. A “well cut” diamond will internally reflect light from one mirror like facet to another and disperse and reflect it through the top of the stone (table). The more finely proportioned or cut diamond, the more brilliance or fire is dispersed.

Dispersion – the “break up” of white light into the spectrum of rainbow colors (also called Fire).

Facet – the cut polished angles and slants on the outer surface of the diamond. The facets should be symmetrical.

Fire – flashes of colored light radiating from the diamond.

Fluorescence – a diamond’s tendency to produce a soft colored glow under ultraviolet light.

Girdle – the edge or narrow band between the upper and lower facets of a gem. Widest part of a diamond.

Head – the part of the ring that holds the stone.

Inclusions – the identifying marks or flaws found inside or outside of the diamond.

Milgrain – is a decorating style creating a fine bead like effect on the top of the edge of a metal - is widely applied to the type of pavé setting that has edges surrounding the row of bead-set stones.

Pavilion – the lower part of the diamond below the girdle that comes to a point.

Polish – the finish or smooth surface of a diamond. It can also mean the finish or surface of metals.

Semi-mount – a piece of jewelry that is set with side stones or accent gems, but without a center stone.

Setting – any ring before the stone is mounted.

Shank – the part of the ring that encircles the finger (does not include the head/setting).

Shape – the physical shape of the stone – ie: Round Brilliant, Marquise, Oval, Princess, Radiant, Emerald, Asscher, Cushion…

Symmetry – how perfect a diamond is cut – facets should be symmetrical.

Table – the flat facet of the upper most part of the diamond.

TW – total weight – the entire diamond weight of a piece of jewelry.


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