In the diamond industry, we make reference to the Table, Crown, Girdle, Pavilion and Culet. We also refer to facets, diameter and depth of stones. This vocabulary is all part of the daily language that we use when we talk about diamonds.
The Table is the Facet located on the very top and centre of the diamond. It's the largest facet since it's on top. The Table is very important because it's the main place where light enters and exits the diamond. It helps gather light from above and either reflects it back to the observers or directs it to the diamond's interior.
The Crown is the top portion of the diamond between the Table and the Girdle. It contains several types of Facets consisting of 8 bezels, 8 stars, and 16 upper Girdle Facets that gather and disperse light to create brightness, fire and a scintillating pattern of light and dark. In most settings, this is the part of the diamond which is above the prongs that hold the stone in place. Like the Table, it's one of the most visible surfaces.
The Girdle is the narrow rim around the widest edge of the diamond. It's also sometimes referred to as the "setting edge" where a diamond is held when set in jewelry. The Girdle needs to be just right - it can't be too thin or too thick or it will affect the diamonds strength. If a Girdle is too thick, it can affect the stone's brilliance and it would also make it heavier (which, in turn, makes it more expensive). This is a great example of how knowing these diamond terms can help you get a higher value diamond at a good price. Watch the video below to learn about the affects of the Girdle on a diamond:
When a loose diamond is sent for Certification, it is measured at various points along the Girdle to determine its thickest and thinnest points.
The Girdle is most often rated as a range, such as 'Very Thin to Thick', to accommodate the variance between the thickest and thinnest point.
Girdle ratings and their characteristics can fall into one or more of the following categories:
ADX Tip: The ideal Girdle is classified as thin to medium. Very thin Girdles are prone to chipping and should also be avoided.
Start by looking at the diagrams presented below. These diamonds both have great Table and Depth percentages and they appear to be exactly the same from a top view.
The Girdle is the widest part of the diamond, which equals weight, which, in turn, equals a higher justified price. This practice has been going on in the diamond industry for a long time.
The price difference between a 0.90 carat and a 1.00 carat is approximately $1,500 to $2,000. This is a very significant financial incentive for jewelers and cutters. In fact, over 50 per cent of the diamonds on the market today have thick Girdles. This is an area that you won't find many other jewelers talking about.
ADX Tip: Don't pay for weight that you can't see.
The Pavilion is the lower portion of the diamond opposite of the Crown. The Pavilion Facets consist of 16 lower Girdle Facets, 8 Pavilion Facets and an optional Culet that reflect the light back through the Crown to the observer’s eye. All of these Facets work together to create each diamond’s unique appearance. The more light that can pass through the diamond, the more brilliance it will have.
The Culet is a facet located at the bottom of the diamond's Pavilion and is intended to prevent chipping and abrasion to the point. The Culet needs to be small enough to allow for proper light refraction. Its size can affect the face-up appearance as you can commonly see the Culet through the Table.
Facet is the term used for a flat part (surface between edges) of a cut and polished diamond. In the standard round brilliant, there are 57 or 58 facets.
The Depth is the total height of the diamond measured from the Table to the Culet. It's determined as a percentage of the overall diameter of the diamond. Learn how Depth affects a diamond's sparkle here.
The Diameter is the width of a polished diamond at the widest part, specifically measured from one Girdle edge to the opposite Girdle edge straight through the center of the stone. Looking at the diamond from the top down, this is the distance from side to side.