July 11, 2022
Feeling confused about something diamond or jewelry-related? You're not alone. This helpful guide covers all of the terms you should know, plus links to relevant articles. Feel free to connect with our diamond concierge team should you have any additional questions.
14kt gold - Jewelry that is 14kt gold is 58.3% gold. It contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts additional metals. Learn more about 14kt gold.
18kt gold - Jewelry that is 18kt gold is 75% gold. It contains 18 parts gold and 6 parts additional metals. Learn more about 18kt gold.
4 Cs - The 4 Cs (Cut, Carat, Color, and Clarity) are a way of assessing the quality of a diamond. Learn more about the 4 Cs.
AGS - Stands for The American Gem Society. The AGS is a leader in grading diamonds. Learn more about the AGS.
Alloy - A base metal that is added to precious metal to change its properties such as color and durability. Common alloys include copper and silver. Learn more about alloys.
Amethyst - A semi-precious purple stone. It is a variety of quartz. Learn more about amethyst.
Anniversary ring - A ring given as an anniversary gift. Eternity rings are popular anniversary rings. Learn more. about anniversary rings.
Antique – Jewelry that is about 100 years old or older. Learn more about antique jewelry.
Art Deco - A style originating from the 1920s. Art deco jewelry features geometric shapes and white metals. Learn more about the Art Deco period.
Asscher cut - A square-shaped step-cut diamond recognizable by an “X” visible in its table. Learn more about the Asscher cut.
Baguette - A baguette diamond is a step-cut diamond, meaning it is cut for clarity rather than sparkle. Baguette diamonds are usually rectangular with straight or tapered ends. They are frequently used as side stones for engagement rings to create a vintage look. Learn more about baguette diamonds.
Bale - Also spelled bail. It attaches a stone or pendant to the necklace's chain. Learn more about bales.
Bangle bracelet - A rigid bracelet that does not feature a clasp. Learn more about bangle bracelets.
Bar setting - A setting that secures a diamond with vertical metal bars on either side of the stone. Learn more about bar settings.
Beveled edge - Rings with a beveled edge are flat on top and have an angled edge. Learn more about beveled edges.
Bezel setting - A setting that uses a circle of metal around the stone to secure it rather than prongs. It is the most secure setting. Learn more about bezel settings.
Blemish - A blemish is a flaw on the outside of a diamond. Learn more about blemishes.
Blue nuance - A blue tint that sometimes appears in HPHT lab-grown diamonds. Learn more about blue nuance.
Blue sapphire - A precious gemstone with a Mohs hardness of 9. While sapphire can come in many colors, blue sapphire is the most well-known color. Learn more about blue sapphire.
Blue topaz - This semi-precious gemstone has a Mohs hardness of 8. Because naturally occurring blue topaz is rare, the stone is often treated to achieve its blue hue. Learn more about blue topaz.
Bridal set - A bridal set, also called a wedding set, is an engagement ring and matching wedding band. Learn more about bridal sets.
Brilliance - The white light that is reflected from a diamond. Learn more about brilliance.
Brilliant cut - A diamond that is cut with 58 facets (57 if you don’t count the culet) to produce maximum brilliance. Learn more about brilliant-cut diamonds.
Carat (ct) - Carat is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams. Carat is also related to size (how big a diamond looks), although it’s not the only factor that determines size. Learn more about carat weight.
Cathedral setting - A cathedral setting features a band that gradually rises upward to secure the center diamond. This adds structural durability and also allows for additional light to enter the diamond, creating more sparkle. Learn more about cathedral settings.
Cavity - This type of inclusion is a hole in the diamond’s surface. Depending on its placement, a cavity could affect the overall durability of the stone. Learn more about cavities.
Certification - This certificate lists the details and 4 Cs of your diamond. The GIA refers to this document as a Diamond Grading Report. Learn more about diamond certification.
Channel set - Channel set diamonds are set down in a groove and are held in place by the pressure of the sides of the band. Learn more about channel settings.
Chip - This type of inclusion is a shallow indentation at the surface of the stone. It is sometimes created during the cutting process of a diamond. Learn more about chips.
Citrine - This popular semi-precious gemstone can be yellow to red-orange. It has a Mohs hardness of 7. Learn more about citrine.
Clarity - Clarity is one of the 4 Cs. It refers to a diamond’s inclusions or lack thereof. Learn more about clarity.
Claw prong - A claw prong secures the stone with tiny pieces of metal that taper off. Learn more about claw prongs.
Cleavage - The parts in a diamond or gemstone that can easily be split due to weak atomic bonds. A gemstone cutter will cut the stone along its cleavage lines. Learn more about cleavage.
Clouds - This type of inclusion is a group of extremely small inclusions that cannot be distinguished from each other, even under magnification. They look like a translucent cloud inside the diamond and cannot be seen by the naked eye. Learn more about clouds.
Cobalt - This extremely durable and hypoallergenic metal is silver-gray in appearance and makes a wonderful choice for wedding bands. Learn more about cobalt.
Cocktail ring - A cocktail ring features a large center stone for a dramatic appearance. They are generally intended for formal occasions. Learn more about cocktail rings.
Color - One of the 4 Cs. “Color” actually indicates how little color a diamond reflects. The color grading scale ranges from “D” (completely colorless) to “Z” (yellow or brown). Learn more about diamond color.
Comfort fit - A comfort fit ring has a rounded interior to prevent irritation during wear. Learn more about comfort fit rings.
Crown - The crown is the part of the diamond that encompasses everything that sits above the girdle. Learn more about a diamond's crown.
Crystals - This inclusion consists of the crystals of other minerals that become trapped in the diamond during formation. Learn more about crystal inclusions.
Cubic Zirconia - Cubic Zirconia is a man-made diamond simulant with a hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs scale. Ritani does not sell cubic zirconia engagement rings. Learn more about cubic zirconia.
Culet - The culet is the very bottom of the diamond’s pavilion. It is either a point or a tiny facet. Learn more about culets.
Cushion cut - A cushion cut diamond has a square or rectangular shape with curved corners and soft, vintage facet patterns. Learn more about cushion cut diamonds.
Cut - One of the 4Cs. Cut refers to the quality of the diamond’s proportions and symmetry. A diamond with a higher cut grade will produce more sparkle. Learn more about a diamond's cut.
Depth - the measurement of a diamond from top to bottom (its table to the culet). Learn more about depth.
Diamond Grading Report - This certification, issued by the GIA, describes all of the details about your diamond. Learn more about diamond grading reports.
Dispersion - The separation of light that creates fire in a gemstone. Learn more about dispersion.
Double prong - Two side-by-side prongs that are the same size and shape secure the stone. Learn more about prongs here.
Emerald cut - An emerald cut diamond is a rectangle-shaped step-cut diamond evoking Art Deco designs. This shape focuses on clarity rather than sparkle. Learn more about the emerald-cut.
Engagement ring - An engagement ring symbolizes a commitment to get married and is worn on the ring finger of the left hand. Learn more about engagement rings.
Engraving - Engraving is a type of etching that can be done by hand or with a laser. Engraving can be used to add designs to the outside of the ring's band or to write a message on the inside of the band. Learn more about jewelry engraving.
Enhanced gems - An enhanced gemstone is one that has undergone treatments to improve color, clarity, or durability. Learn more about enhanced gems.
Eternity band - An eternity band, also called an eternity ring, features diamonds going all the way around the band. Eternity bands are popular as anniversary gifts and as wedding rings. Learn more about eternity rings.
Eye clean - An eye clean diamond is one that has zero imperfections visible to the naked eye. Learn more about eye-clean diamonds.
Fancy color diamonds - Fancy color diamonds are diamonds that have colors outside of the normal color range, such as pink, blue, and yellow. They are very rare and thus more expensive. Learn more about fancy color diamonds.
Fancy cut - Also called fancy shape diamonds. A fancy cut diamond is any diamond that is not a round brilliant diamond - for example, oval cut, pear cut, and emerald-cut diamonds are all fancy cuts. Learn more about fancy cuts.
Feathering - Feathering is a type of diamond inclusion. Feathering is a fissure that was likely created within the diamond billions of years ago when the diamond was first forming. Feathers are only considered a durability issue if found close to the girdle or as an opening on the surface of the stone. Learn more about feathering.
Fire - The colored sparkle you see in a diamond. Cut affects the level of fire a diamond has; a diamond with a higher cut grade will produce greater fire. Learn more about fire.
Fluorescence - Fluorescence is the soft light a diamond may give off when placed under ultraviolet light. Not all diamonds have fluorescence. Although fluorescence is not visible under regular lighting conditions, it is considered a defect and thus reduces the cost of the diamond. Learn more about fluorescence.
Fracture filling - A treatment where gemstones are filled, usually with a glass-like resin, to hide inclusions. Learn more about fracture filling.
French set - A french set diamond is a diamond that is set with small beads of metal to expose the sides and let light enter the diamond. Learn more about French-set diamonds.
Garnet - Garnet is a semiprecious stone that is most popular in red. Its hardness on the Mohs scale ranges from 6.5 to 7.5. Learn more about garnet.
GIA - The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) is the leading research and education center for gems and jewelry. The GIA is also the original creator of the 4 Cs. Learn more about the GIA.
Girdle - The girdle is the widest part of a diamond as well as the outermost edge where the crown and pavilion connect. Learn more about the girdle.
Girdle reflection - A girdle reflection may look like a crack in the diamond, even though it is really just a reflection caused by the pavilion facets. The size of the girdle reflection depends on how thick the girdle is. Learn more about girdle reflections.
Half-moon diamond - A half-moon diamond looks like a round or oval diamond cut in half. It features a brilliant facet pattern to produce sparkle and is often used for side stones of an engagement ring. Learn. more about half-moon diamonds.
Halo setting - A halo setting has small diamonds surrounding the center stone, creating the appearance of a larger diamond and producing more sparkle. Learn more about halo settings.
Hammered finish - A hammered finish is a popular style on men’s wedding rings. It features subtle indentations on the ring’s band as if it was hammered down. Learn more about hammered finishes.
Hardness - Hardness measures a gem or mineral’s resistance to scratching. The Mohs Scale ranks a stone’s relative hardness on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the weakest, 10 being the hardest).
Heart cut - A heart cut diamond is a modified brilliant-cut and is shaped like a heart. Heart-shaped diamonds are a beautiful choice for engagement rings or diamond pendants.
Hidden halo setting - A hidden halo setting features a tiny circle of diamonds that wrap around the center stone’s head for added brilliance and artistry. Learn more about hidden halo settings.
High polish finish - A high polish finish on a ring is a finish that is extra shiny and reflective. Learn more about high polish finishes.
Hypoallergenic - Hypoallergenic metals, like platinum and cobalt, are extremely unlikely to cause an allergic reaction or irritation. Learn more about hypoallergenic metals.
IGI - The IGI is the International Gemological Institute. It is a grading agency for diamonds and gemstones. At Ritani, our lab-grown diamonds come with an IGI certification. Learn more about IGI grading certificates.
Inclusions - An inclusion is a flaw or imperfection inside a diamond. A diamond with lots of inclusions or larger inclusions will receive a lower clarity grade. Inclusions make each diamond unique. Learn more about inclusions.
Indented natural - An indented natural is a type of diamond blemish. A natural is an unpolished part of the diamond. If a natural travels to the crown or pavilion of a diamond, it is considered an Indented Natural. Indented Naturals do not affect the overall quality or durability of a diamond. Learn more about indented natural inclusions.
Invisible setting - An invisible setting places diamonds side by side to create the appearance of a larger diamond. These diamonds have no visible metal securing them, creating a smooth surface of diamonds. Invisible settings usually feature square-shaped diamonds such as princess cut diamonds because round cut diamonds cannot be set with an invisible setting.
Jewelry steamer - A jewelry steamer is a machine that uses heat and water vapor to clean jewelry.
Karat (kt) - Karat is a measure of the purity of gold. Jewelry of a higher karat means a greater percentage of gold was used.
Kimberley Process - The Kimberley Process contains 54 participating countries around the world. The Kimberley Process is a commitment to eliminate conflict diamonds from the global supply chain. Because of The Kimberley Process, approximately 99.8% of the world’s diamonds are conflict-free. Learn more about ethical diamonds here.
Knife-edge - A knife-edge band features raised edges that meet in the center of the band, creating an angled look. These angles allow light to easily reflect off the band, creating more shine.
Knot - A knot is a diamond crystal inclusion that breaks to the surface of the finished diamond. The knot may be raised above the rest of its facet: depending on its size, you may be able to feel it as you run your finger over the diamond. Learn more about knot inclusions.
Lab-grown diamond - Lab-grown diamonds, also called cultured diamonds or man-made diamonds are diamonds with the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as mined diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds; the only difference between lab-grown diamonds and earth-grown diamonds is their origin. Learn the difference between a lab-grown diamond and earth-grown diamond here.
Laser inscription - A laser inscription is an etching of numbers and letters, usually located on the diamond’s girdle. The laser inscription serves as an ID for your diamond. Laser inscriptions are not visible to the naked eye; they can be viewed with a loupe.
Loupe - A magnifying glass used by jewelers to inspect a gemstone more closely.
Low profile - An engagement ring with a low profile sits close to the finger.
Luster - Luster is the light reflected off of the surface of a gemstone or precious metal.
Mandrel - A mandrel is a tool resembling a tapered bar used by jewelers to determine the size of a ring.
Marquise cut - A marquise cut diamond is an elongated oval shape with smooth curves and pointed ends. The marquise shaped diamond has one of the highest size-per-carat-weight ratios of any diamond shape, which means that your diamond will appear larger.
Martini setting - The martini setting is a setting style used for diamond earrings. This setting features a cone-like shape, resembling a martini glass. It typically uses three prongs to secure the diamond.
Matched set - A matched set can either refer to two diamonds with the same traits and proportions, or an engagement ring and wedding band that were created to match each other.
Matte finish - A ring with a matte finish has no shine. Matte rings are popular for men’s wedding rings.
Melee diamonds - Melee diamonds are tiny diamonds that weigh less than ⅕ of a carat. These diamonds are frequently used on the band of an engagement ring or as a halo surrounding the centerstone.
Micropavé - A micropavé diamond band features extremely small diamonds set down in a groove and secured by tiny prongs. While the pavé style typically only has one strand of diamonds, the micropavé can have several. These are arranged in a checkered pattern, with two or more rows of diamonds lining the band.
Milgrain - Milgrain detailing is a design technique used in jewelry that looks like a close-set row of tiny metal beads. Milgrain is typically used on the border of jewelry and is popular in vintage inspired designs.
Mixed cut - A mixed cut diamond combines the modified brilliant cut and the step-cut. Mixed cut diamonds include princess cut diamonds, cushion cut diamonds, and radiant cut diamonds.
Modified brilliant - A modified brilliant cut is a brilliant cut diamond that has been altered from its traditional round shape. Modified brilliant cut diamonds include oval shaped diamonds, pear shaped diamonds, marquise shaped diamonds, and heart shaped diamonds.
Mohs Scale - The Mohs Scale rates the hardness of gemstones and minerals on a scale of 1 (softest) to 10 (hardest).
Moissanite - Moissanite is a white gemstone that strongly resembles a diamond. It has a hardness of 9.25. Because naturally occurring moissanite is extremely rare, most moissanite on the market today is lab-created.
Needle - A needle is similar to a feather inclusion, but with only one elongated, very narrow line. Needles can be either white or transparent.
Old European Cut - The Old European Cut is a vintage diamond cut and the predecessor to modern round brilliant cuts. Old European cut diamonds have larger facets and won’t sparkle as much as a round brilliant diamond. Learn more about the Old European Cut.
Old Mine Cut - The Old Mine Cut is an antique diamond cut featuring a squarish shape and 58 facets. Old mine cut diamonds have a small table, large culet, and higher crown. Learn more about the Old Mine Cut.
Oval cut - Oval cut diamonds feature an elongated shape. When used as the centerstone of an engagement ring, they create the illusion of longer fingers. Oval cut diamonds have recently surged in popularity as they provide something a bit more unique than the popular round cut diamond. Learn more about oval cut diamonds here.
Palladium - Palladium is an incredibly strong and hypoallergenic precious metal. It is a silvery-white metal that does not require rhodium plating.
Pavé - In a pavé setting, diamonds are set close together and are secured by tiny prongs so that they are barely visible. The pavé setting is popular in engagement ring bands and creates the illusion that the band is paved with diamonds.
Pavilion - A diamond’s pavilion is the area beginning at the girdle and ending at the culet. The bulk of a diamond’s weight is typically held here.
Pear cut - Pear cut diamonds feature a teardrop shape. It exhibits lots of sparkle and lengthens the finger.
Pendant - A pendant is a piece of jewelry hanging from a chain and is worn around the neck.
Peridot - Peridot is a yellow-green gemstone with a Mohs hardness of 6.5 to 7.
Pinpoint inclusion - Pinpoint inclusions are a tiny speck within the diamond and are usually only detectable under high magnification. They do not affect the overall durability of the diamond.
Platinum - Platinum is a silver-white precious metal. It is one of the most durable metals and does not require rhodium plating. Platinum is also hypoallergenic, making it an ideal metal choice for someone with sensitive skin.
Polish - Diamonds are polished after being cut to reveal a smooth finish. This also helps improve the diamond’s sparkle. The polish of a diamond will affect the diamond’s cut grade.
Polish lines - While a diamond is being polished, the polishing wheel can create subtle scratches on the diamond’s surface, called polish lines. Only extreme polish lines can affect a diamond’s sparkle.
Precious Gemstones - Diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are all considered precious gemstones. Any other gemstone is considered semi-precious.
Princess cut - The princess cut diamond is a modern, square shaped diamond with clean lines and lots of sparkle. It is one of the most popular diamond shapes. Learn the difference between a princess cut diamond and a round cut diamond here.
Prong setting - A prong setting secures the diamond with tiny metal claws. 4-prong and 6-prong settings are the most popular.
Push back earrings - Push back earrings are one of the most popular types of earrings. Push back earrings have a small metal post that inserts into a metal backing that holds the earring in place.
Radiant cut - Radiant cut diamonds have a square or rectangular shape with intense brilliance and cropped corners.
Refraction - Refraction happens when light enters a diamond or gemstone and is scattered or bent. This contributes to the stone’s sparkle.
Refractive index - Also called index of refraction, this measures how much light a diamond will refract. A diamond’s refractive index is very high, at 2.42.
Rhodium - Rhodium is a silvery-white element used to plate white gold and sterling silver jewelry. Rhodium plating protects jewelry and makes it more lustrous.
Ring enhancer - Also called a ring guard or ring wrap. A ring enhancer surrounds an engagement ring with extra diamonds for a more dramatic look. Ring guards can help stop your ring from spinning on your finger. They can be worn as a wedding band or stacked along with your bridal set.
Ring sizer - A ring sizer is used to determine a person’s ring size.
Rose cut - This antique diamond cut has a flat base and a domed crown. Rose cut diamonds can have from 3 to 24 facets.
Rose gold - Rose gold is a precious metal with a warm, reddish hue. It contains copper alloys that give it its rosey color.
Rose quartz - This pink semi-precious gemstone has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale and is
Rough diamond - A rough diamond, also called a raw diamond, is a diamond that has not been cut or polished yet.
Round cut - Round cut diamonds are the most popular diamond shape. They create the most sparkle.
Ruby - A ruby is a red precious gemstone. It has a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale. Rubies are some of the most expensive colored gemstones per carat.
Satin finish - Satin finishes are often used on wedding rings to create a soft luster.
Semi-precious gemstones - Generally, any gemstone that is not a diamond, emerald, ruby, or sapphire is considered semi-precious.
Scintillation - Scintillation is used to describe a diamond’s sparkle.
Screw back earrings - Screw back earrings are post earrings with a backing that must be screwed on to secure. These are common backings for expensive earrings.
Semi-bezel setting - A semi bezel setting, also called a half bezel setting, only surrounds half of the edge of a gemstone with metal. This provides the security of a bezel but allows more light to enter the diamond’s sides, increasing sparkle.
Setting - The setting is what secures the center diamond to the ring band.
Shank - The shank is the band of the ring that wrap around your finger.
Side stones - Diamonds or gemstones that flank the centerstone, but aren’t the main focus point of the ring.
Simulant - A simulant, also called an imitation, is a stone that looks like a more expensive gemstone. For example, cubic zirconia and moissanite are both diamond simulants.
Solitaire - A solitaire engagement ring contains a single diamond on a plain band for elegant simplicity.
Split shank - A split shank engagement ring features a band that parts as it reaches the center setting, creating a visible gap.
Step cut diamonds - Step cut diamonds are cut with a focus on clarity rather than sparkle. They contain larger facets than brilliant cut diamonds that are arranged to look like steps. Step cut diamonds include asscher cut diamonds, emerald cut diamonds, and baguette cut diamonds.
Sterling silver - Sterling silver is a silvery-white precious metal. It is a common metal choice for jewelry as it is less expensive than platinum or white gold.
Surprise setting - A surprise setting is an engagement ring setting that features small accents of diamonds to create sparkle and increase the brilliance and artistry of a ring.
Swiss Blue Topaz - Swiss blue topaz is a bright blue gemstone. Most Swiss blue topaz is treated to attain its blue color because naturally occurring blue topaz is quite rare. It has a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale.
Symmetry - Symmetry refers to the alignment of a diamond’s facets. When the diamond’s facets are properly aligned, the diamond will create more brilliance. Symmetry is an important factor of a diamond’s cut grade.
Table - The table is the flat, topmost surface of a diamond. It is the largest facet, regardless of the diamond’s shape.
Tension setting - A tension setting secures the diamond or gemstone using pressure instead of prongs or a bezel.
Three stone setting - A three stone setting is an engagement ring setting with a center stone flanked by two side stones. The three stones represent your past, present, and future together.
Titanium - Titanium is a metal used for wedding rings. This metal is incredibly durable, but unfortunately due to its hardness it is very difficult to resize and many jewelers won’t do it.
Toughness - Gemstone toughness is different from hardness. It refers to a gemstone’s resistance to breaking and chipping.
Trapezoid cut diamond - Trapezoid cut diamonds have parallel vertical sides while the horizontal angles taper towards the center stone. They are most frequently used as side stones for an engagement ring. They can be either step cut or brilliant cut.
Trillion cut - Trillion cut diamonds, also known as trilliant cut diamonds, are triangle-shaped stones. Their sides can be either pointed or slightly curved.
Trilogy engagement ring - Another term for a three-stone engagement ring.
Tungsten - Tungsten is one of the strongest metals - it's 4x harder than titanium and 10x harder than gold. Tungsten is an affordable metal and is often used for wedding bands.
Twinning wisp - A twinning wisp, sometimes called intergrowth, is an inclusion that is the result of growth defects within the diamond’s crystal structure. They have a white striped appearance.
Ultrasonic cleaner - An ultrasonic cleaner cleans jewelry using sonic vibrations.
Untreated - An untreated gemstone is one that is completely natural and has not received any alterations or enhancements such as irradiation, heating, or dyeing.
V prong - A “V” prong secures a gemstone with a piece of metal that is shaped like a “V”. V prongs are often used to protect a gemstone’s pointed edges. They are often used for pear cut diamonds, princess cut diamonds, or marquise diamonds.
Vintage - True vintage jewelry is generally at least 20 years old. However, some jewelry is vintage-inspired, yet is still referred to as vintage. If you want a genuine piece of vintage jewelry, it’s important to double check with the seller that the piece is truly vintage.
White gold - White gold is a silvery-white precious metal that is a common choice for engagement rings and wedding rings. It can feature silver, palladium, or zinc alloys to give it its silver color.
Yellow gold - Yellow gold is a warm precious metal. It has been a popular choice for engagement rings as well as wedding rings for centuries.