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Engagement Ring Glossary: Learn the Lingo

Q Report Team
Updated on October 06, 2022
6 min read

Accents, asschers, cushions and clusters; there’s certainly a lot of lingo to learn when it comes to engagement ring shopping. This diamond terms glossary will help you to have more productive conversations with your jeweller and to shop with confidence.

 

For further information, visit:

 

 

4Cs: The universally accepted elements of diamond quality: Colour, Cut, Clarity, Carat.

 

9k gold: 9 parts of 24 gold (37.5%)

 

14k gold: 14 parts of 24 are gold (58.3%), but stamped as 585. It’s popular in the US, however Australia follows the English standards of 9k and 18k gold

 

18k gold: 18 parts of 24 are gold (75%). This is the most popular gold caratage worldwide in white or yellow for diamond settings.

 

24k gold: 24 parts of 24 are gold (100%). Popular in Asia and the Middle East, particularly in chains and bangles. It is however too soft to set diamonds into.

 

Accent stones: Gems that surround the centre stone to ‘accent’ or enhance its appearance.

 

Asscher cut: A square shaped diamond with step facets and small table. It resembles a square emerald cut diamond.

 

Baguette: A rectangular shaped diamond with step facts. It tends to be a long stone and is often used to compliment a centre stone.

 

Band: The metal ring to which the diamond is fixed.

 

Bar setting: A setting style that divides stones by metal bars on the ring band. This setting is very popular with those that have problems with claws catching on to their clothing.

 

Bezel setting: A setting style where the ring metal partially or fully surrounds the stone, forming a frame-like appearance.

 

Blemish: A surface imperfection on the diamond, which may or may not be visible to the naked eye.

 

Branded: A diamond with a patented cutting style.

 

Brilliance: The amount of light reflected by a diamond.

 

Brilliant cut: A round diamond cut consisting of traditionally 58 facets.

 

Cathedral setting: A traditional setting style using arches of metal to secure the diamond in place.

 

Carat: A term used to describe the weight of a diamond. One carat equals one fifth of a gram in weight. The word comes from the carob plant whose seed consistently weighs the same.

 

Certificate: A laboratory-supported report which describes the characteristics and measurements of a diamond or precious stone. It is particularly important today to determine whether a stone is natural or synthetic.

 

Channel setting: A setting style that includes smaller diamonds set into a channel in the ring band.

 

Colour: Shades and tones of diamond colour rated from D (best) to Z (worst).

 

Cut: The geometric qualities and angles of the diamond, which impact its light reflection and overall quality.

 

Cushion cut: A square cut diamond with rounded corners, resembling a cushion shape.

 

Clarity: A measurement that notes the number and severity of a diamond’s imperfections, ranging from flawless (FL) to severely included (I3).

 

Claw: A popular setting style involving small metal arms to hold the diamond in place. Also called a prong setting.

 

Cluster setting: A setting style involving several (usually smaller) diamonds set closely together, giving the impression of one large stone.

 

Cloud: A term used to describe an internal imperfection within a diamond.

 

Crown: The section of diamond between its girdle and its table.

 

Culet: A facet at the bottom of a diamond.

 

Depth: The distance from the culet to the table of the diamond, or the stone’s height.

 

Eye clean: A term used to describe a diamond with no inclusions visible to the naked eye.

 

Emerald cut: A rectangular-shaped diamond with the corners taken off.

 

Exclusion: External imperfections on the diamond, also called blemishes.

 

Face up: A viewing position where the diamond’s table is faced towards the viewer.

 

Face down: A viewing position where the diamond’s pavilion (or point) is facing the viewer.

 

Facet: A flat surface on the diamond that reflects light.

 

Fancy cut: A term used to describe diamonds that aren’t round.

 

Fire: A term used to describe flashes of colour when reflecting light.

 

Flawless: The highest rating on the clarity scale. Flawless stones have no visible imperfections at 10x magnification.

 

Fluorescence: A term used to describe whether a stone emits a glowing effect when viewed under an ultraviolet lamp. In real terms, a high fluorescence stone will look bright in artificial light and dusty in daylight.

 

Flush setting: A setting style where the diamond(s) is set into the ring band without protruding. Also called a gypsy setting.

 

Girdle: The outline of a diamond, or its perimeter.

 

GIA: The Gemological Institute of America; a non-profit research institute and authority on gems.

 

Halo setting: A setting style featuring a border of stones surrounding the centre diamond in a circle, often creating a floating effect.

 

Heart cut: A diamond cut into the shape of a heart.

 

Hearts and arrows: A term used to describe a pattern seen in diamonds of high cut quality.

 

Ideal cut: A round, princess or brilliant cut diamond with superior polish, symmetry and light reflection.

 

Inclusion: An internal imperfection in a diamond, often the presence of nitrogen.

 

Insurance: Specialised jewellery insurance like Q Report.

 

Lab grown: A stone grown in a controlled laboratory environment, mimicking natural production of diamonds.

 

Loupe: A small handheld magnification device used by jewellers to inspect diamonds.

 

Marquise cut: A narrow football-shaped diamond, which is pointed at each end.

 

Melee: Smaller diamonds, usually less than 3 points.

 

Oval cut: A diamond cut in an oval shape.

 

Pave setting: A diamond setting featuring a row of smaller gems on the ring band.

 

Pavillion: The cone-shaped lower section of the diamond.

 

Pear cut: A diamond cut in a pear shape.

 

Premium cut: A diamond of high cut quality.

 

Platinum: A premium metal used to create the ring band.

 

Plot: A map of the stone’s blemishes, facets and inclusions, which is shown on a diamond certificate.

 

Point: One hundredth of an entire carat.

 

Polish: The quality of finish on a stone, grading from poor to excellent.

 

Princess cut: A popular diamond cut in a square or rectangular shape.

 

Radiant cut: Similar to a princess cut stone, a diamond shape in usually rectangular form.

 

Round cut: The most popular diamond shape.

 

Scintillation: A term used to describe the visible sparkle of a diamond in motion.

 

Shape: A term used to describe the physical shape of the stone.

 

Solitaire: A term used to describe a piece of jewellery featuring a single stone.

 

Synthetic: A laboratory-grown diamond, also called an artificial, cultivated or cultured diamond, that has the molecular structure of a natural diamond.

 

Symmetry: A term used to describe the proportions of a diamond and position of its facets.

 

Tension setting: A modern setting style which uses the tension of the ring band to secure the stone in place.

 

Tiffany setting: A classic claw setting style that minimises the amount of ring metal obscuring the stone.

 

Trillion cut: A triangular cut shape with sides of equal proportions.

 

Yellow: A term used to describe the presence of yellow hues in diamond colour.

 

Bonus: Q Report: A provider of specialised jewellery insurance!

 

 

To see how little it can cost to protect your jewellery investment with specialised jewellery insurance, get an instant online Q Report quote today.

 

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