Learn the Parts of a Diamond


       The Anatomy of a Diamond

  • Amongst the mysterious terminology surrounding diamonds are the descriptive terms for the various parts of a diamond's anatomy. Like all things that exist in the three dimensional world, a diamond is made of the sum of its parts. It also means that a diamond is the result of how its parts work together. Well cut diamonds are a spectacular sight to behold.

    Diamonds are mostly mined from kimberlite (volcanic) deposits found in the earth. Rough diamonds may be octahedral in shape, having 8 flat sides. Although this is not true for every single diamond that is mined,  the majority of diamonds are found this way. The perfect crystal habits look like 2 pyramids joined at their widest flat underside.

    Diamond cutters assess the rough diamond and decide how many diamonds they can get from it. Depending on the color and condition of the specimen, it could yield a very big, very good quality diamond, 2 very nice or very good quality diamonds, or many small good or nice quality diamonds. 

    The assessment phase is the stage when the diamond cutter decides what cut and shape the final product will be. This process determines how the cutter will proportion the different parts of a diamond, from its crown to its culet.  The best diamond cutters know how to maximize the rough diamond to product the largest and most beautiful polished diamonds that the crystal can yield.

    For this discussion, the images are those of the standard Round Brilliant diamond, although the definitions and concepts remain the same regardless of the diamond's cut or shape.


    The Parts of a Diamond

    Table- the top, flat center surface of the diamond, whose size varies depending on how the accompanying facets are placed.
    Girdle – the circumference of the diamond separating the upper part and the lower section; it is often polished with tiny facets
    Crown – the upper section of the diamond, extends between the table and the girdle, it contains the diamond's bezel facets, star facets, table facet and upper girdle facets
    Pavilion – the lower faceted portion of the diamond below the girdle, contains facets that reflect the light that came in through the crown facets, and consists of the main pavilion facet, the lower girdle facets, and the culet (center bottom point) facet
    Culet – the underside center tip of the diamond, it is the tiny flat facet at the very bottom of the diamond's pavilion. is protects the tip of the pavilion from being chipped or damaged.
    Some more useful terms for diamond anatomy:

    Crown Height – the height of the crown of the diamond, measured on the side view from the Girdle up to the Table
    Crown Angle – the angle that the crown makes relative to the girdle, will influence the diamond's light reflection, dispersion and absorption
    Pavilion Depth - the depth of the pavilion of the diamond measured from the girdle down to the culet.
    Pavilion Angle – the angle that the pavilion makes from the girdle, and influences the diamond's light reflection and absorption
    Diameter- the distance from edge to edge measured across the center the girdle of the diamond
    These measurements are recorded on reputable diamond certificates or reports.
     The cut of a diamond determines its fire and scintillation. However, your personal preference may vary so even if a diamond is defined as perfect by some method, you may be drawn to one with different proportions because something about it speaks to you. As long as you understand the parts of your diamond and how the diamond's crown, girdle, culet, and depth interact with each other to reflect the light that enters the stone, you're on your way to discovering your perfect diamond.

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