The Diamond Dictionary: 8 Diamond Terms You Should Know

Posted: May 26, 2020

A Guide to Understanding Diamond Terminology When Choosing The Perfect Stone

When it comes to finding the perfect diamond, it can be overwhelming and difficult to make a decision. But if you know just a few essential terms when shopping, you can easily maximize your budget to get the best diamond for your buck. 

Understanding how diamonds are graded and all the unique characteristics that add to their value can make choosing your perfect stone much less complicated. Our diamond experts at E.R. Sawyer Jewelers want to ensure you feel confident through your entire experience and find the perfect piece to admire for years to come.

The Importance of Diamond Education

A diamond can be more than just a piece of jewelry, it is a cherished investment that may last longer than your lifetime. That is why, at E.R. Sawyer Jewelers, we want to help you learn about all of the elements that make a diamond unique, as well as what enhances its value. This glossary of eight industry terms can help you understand the true value of a diamond and find the perfect stone to wear for years.

Essential Diamond Terms and Definitions

1. Brilliance

When jewelry experts talk about ‘diamond brilliance’ they are generally describing the diamond's light return. This is based on how the light enters the diamond, bounces around, and reflects back to your eye. Diamonds with poor brilliance - or poor light return - will appear, duller, darker, or lackluster.

2. Carat Weight

Diamonds are all sold by the carat, which is a measurement of weight. One carat is equal to exactly 0.2 grams, which is about the weight of a safety pin. As a diamond’s carat - or weight - increases, so does its value.

3. Clarity

Clarity is scaled by assessing the naturally occurring imperfections on the surface and within the diamond. The fewer and smaller the blemishes in the stone are, the higher the clarity. These blemishes do not determine a diamond’s beauty and are not seen as flaws but rather as characteristics that make each diamond unique.

4. Color

When diamond experts examine a stone for color, they are actually looking for the absence of it. Most diamonds contain shades of pink, yellow, white, and even gray, making it very rare to find a diamond with no color at all.

5. Cut Grade

The cut of the stone is considered to be the most important characteristic of a diamond. It refers to its proportions, symmetry, and polish. The cut grade scale ranges from poor to perfect, and evaluates how well the cutter enhanced the stone’s ability to reflect light. 

6. Perfect Cut

A perfect cut will allow nearly all the light that enters a diamond to reflect back to your naked eye. Perfectly cut diamonds are extremely valuable due to their superior proportions which enhance the stone’s beauty

All of E.R. Sawyer Jeweler's Heart on Fire diamonds are perfectly cut.

7. Shape

The shape of a diamond is its literal physical form. The most common diamond shapes are round, square (cushion), rectangular (princess), pear, oval, and heart-shaped.

8. Sparkle

A diamond’s sparkle refers to the movement of light from facet to facet towards the center of the stone. The cut of the diamond plays a key role in the way light sparkles through the stone as it moves in the light.

Sonoma and Napa County’s Premier Source for Diamond Jewelry

Ready to find your perfect diamond? For over 140 years E.R. Sawyer Jewelers has been providing Napa and Sonoma County with the highest quality service and the finest diamond jewelry. 

Our dedicated jewelry specialists are here to help you find the one-of-a-kind piece of your dreams within any budget. Contact us online today, or stop by one of our two locations to speak with one of our jewelry experts.

Get in Touch

For over 140 years, the Van Dyke Family has served the jewelry needs of Sonoma County. So when you need assistance selecting a one-of-a kind engagement ring, repairing a family heirloom, or choosing a new time piece, turn to the experienced E.R. Sawyer Jewelers team for help.

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