Every diamond is a unique, natural specimen, but they all feature some of the same components, detailed below:
Diameter: How wide the stone is, from edge to edge
Table: The largest polished side, usually on top
Crown, girdle and pavilion: The facets, or side cuts of the diamond
Depth: Measurement from the top surface to the tip
Culet: The very tip or point of a diamond
A perfect, sparkling diamond doesn’t just happen. It needs to be cut with precision into the correct proportions. Get even a few angles or cuts wrong and the diamond will lack brilliance. A diamond that is proportioned properly will have brilliance, dispersion (the rays or twinkles of light it casts) and scintillation (the flashes of color when a diamond is moved).
Symmetry is all about shape and balance and refers to the way the facets in a diamond compare to one another. While a diamond’s individual cuts may not look any different to the naked eye, a diamond that lacks symmetry won’t have as much shine or luster and are inferior stones.
How well can light pass through a diamond? The more light that gets through, the more brilliant the diamond will be. This feature is called “polish” and can range from excellent, flawless condition to the presence of obvious flaws when observed with the naked eye. Grades are expressed in letters, from E (or EX) for excellent) to P for Poor or EP for Extremely Poor.
Some, but not all diamonds, naturally display light when exposed to ultraviolet lighting; this is called fluorescence. It is generally not noticeable and does not affect the value of the stone.