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The Jewelry Hut Diamond Learning Center


Girdle Thickness






The girdle is the dividing line between the crown and the pavilion of the diamond. Its function is to protect the edge of the stone from damage and fracture.  The girdle should be thin, so that it is just visible to the unaided eye as a light line. A thick girdle can not only adversely affect the color of a cut diamond, but also diminish the light yield and with it reduce the brilliance, as light rays in the region of the girdle width are refracted into the air and not totally reflected.  This applies to girdles left in a natural state, as well as to polished or faceted girdle, which only reinforce the perfection of well made stone it is also thin and even.  Completely or partially knife sharp girdles are dangerous, as they easily fracture during setting of the stone and can thus produce nicks and cleavage cracks.
As the thickness of the girdles is expressed in percentage of the girdle diameter, it is dependent on the size of the stone, no single size can be given as ideal girdle. The girdle thickness examined by 10X magnification and graded as:

1) Extremely Thin to Very Thin Girdle
2) Thin Girdle
3) Medium to Slightly Thick Girdle (This is the most desirable, or Ideal girdle thickness)
4) Thick Girdle
5) Very Thick to Extremely Thick Girdle

Culet Size

A Culet is the point at the bottom of a diamond’s pavilion which has been cut off to make the stone more durable.  The culet of a diamond should be in the center of the stone, i.e. in the middle of the widest part or table.  As the light which falls perpendicularly on a stone emerges straight through the culet and thus causes a loss of light, the culet should be as small as possible, for a large on looks, when seen through the table , like a black hole.  The size of the culet is visually examined through the table by a 10X magnification and described as:



1) None
2) Very Small
3) Medium
4) Large
5) Very Large


The finish of a diamond consists of two components:

A) Symmetry
It relates to the exactness of the shape and arrangement of the facets.

B) Polish
It relates to the appearance of the individual facets and how well each is polished.




When a diamond cutter cuts a rough stone diamond into a finished stone; sometimes, the diamond cutter leaves a section of the the rough diamond unpolished, or “Natural”. When viewed under a 10X magnification, a natural looks like a chip in the diamond.  They can be very small and barely or quite large and easily seen by the unaided eye. 
Naturals are generally located within or below the girdle, sometimes reaching into the pavilion of the diamond.  Naturals typically come in pairs and are positioned directly opposite each other. Most Naturals are invisible when viewed from the top. One should view an unmounted diamond with a 10X magnification not only from the top, but also from the sides as well. Naturals are occasionally located above the girdle also.
A jeweler is not required to disclose the naturals to consumers. Naturals are not considered inclusions, even though they are a visible blemish.


When a diamond is exposed to a short or long wave ultraviolet light, it will sometimes radiate different colors of light or ”fluorescence”.  This is always shown on a GIA diamond grading report. The most common color is blue, and the term “blue white” was used to describe the diamond intense fluorescence that was visible in normal daylight.  When considering a diamond, a rating of “Faint” or “Medium” should not be a concern.

Diamond Grading Reports

There are several independent diamond grading Lab in the diamond trade.  The Gemological Institute of America, known also as GIA, is the most popular and recognized method of diamond grading report.

A certified diamond is a diamond that has been independently graded by a trained gemologist. The purpose of diamond certification is to provide the diamond industry with an independent, objective  opinion regarding the quality of a diamond done by a trained Graduate Gemologist. The certificate is also used by the retail jewelers to reassure their customers that the grade of the diamond they are about to purchase is accurate.  Please click on the GIA Certificate link to view a sample GIA Grading Report.

  • GIA - Gemological Institute of America: The GIA Lab is most common and sets the industry standard for Color and Clarity.
  • EGL - European Gemological Laboratory: The EGL certification is typically less demanding than GIA grading report. Their grading system may be more lenient.
  • AGS - American Gem Society: The AGS certification uses diamond grading system that rank cut, color, and clarity on a 0 - 10 scale with zero being the most rare and desirable and ten being the least desirable.

Some diamonds under a specific weight and cost do not come with a diamond grading report, because it is not cost effective to subject such a small stone to the stringent and costly grading evaluation of an independent gemlogist laboratory.  This inflate the cost of the small diamond disproportionately, relative to its actual value.


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