Talk the Talk: Diamond Lingo
In the world of jewelry and diamonds, we often delve into technical speak without even realizing it. And while industry jargon is quickly learned, it’s one of the biggest hurdles first time diamond buyers face when shopping. It’s frustrating to approach the shopping experience expecting to be treated as an equal, someone who deserves to know exactly where their money’s going, only to find you literally don’t even speak the language. And while there are many ways to educate yourself before you ever set foot in a jewelry store, knowing your 4 C’s will only get you so far. You need to know how to talk the talk before you walk the walk. We’ve collected a few of our most-commonly used keywords, and hopefully they’ll help you out on your journey to becoming an expert diamond shopper!
- Eye Clean – This is in reference to clarity – which warrants its own lingo post (coming Wednesday!) Eye clean means that any inclusions the diamond has aren’t visible to the naked eye. A diamond may have earned an SI1 clarity grade under a 10x magnification, but finding one where those internal characteristics are hard to spot (off to the side of the diamond, hidden by prongs, etc.) will save you a lot of money. If you walk into a jewelry store and say you’re looking for a 1 carat round brilliant with a good color that’s eye clean, they’ll know exactly what you mean.
- Points – These are the decimal points that make up a carat. Rarely is a diamond exactly 1 carat, 2 carats, etc. And when it is, you’ll pay more for it. Know your points and save some cash. Instead of saying you’re looking for a 1 carat in that example from before, say you’d like to see some 80 pointers and up. This means you’re looking at diamonds .80-.99 carats, and you’ll pay a lower price-per-carat for diamonds only a fraction smaller, and undetectably smaller to the naked eye.
- GVS – In Tacori speak, this means “Gorgeous, Very Sexy Diamonds”! It’s a perfect acronym for those beautiful accent diamonds, and it translates into the quality of accent diamonds used – G Color, VS clarity.
- Good spread – This refers to a diamond’s cut in comparison to its weight. A diamond with good spread is one that looks larger, and heavier, than it really is. This is a fine line to walk, because cutting a diamond too shallow will result in a flat, lifeless diamond – not worth the extra surface area. But one done just right? That can make a 1.5 carat look like a 2 carat.
- Bottom heavy – Alternatively, this is a diamond cut too deep. It holds the majority of its carat weight in its base, where you won’t see it once it’s set. Buying a bottom heavy diamond means you’re paying for carat weight you can’t appreciate. Princess cuts are notoriously bottom heavy.
- Melee – The collective term for tiny accent diamonds used to create pave and micropave styles. Melee diamonds are typically sold as a lot, and can range from .0001 carats to .18 carats.
- Bow Tie – The bow tie effect is a shadowy pattern on most elongated diamond cuts like marquise, oval, pear, and radiant. It shows up as a dark spot in the middle of the diamond shaped like a bow tie. It’s the result of light leakage due to uneven facet patterns. It is usually pretty subtle and doesn’t detract from the beauty of the diamond. Only when it’s the first thing you notice about the diamond is it a problem.
We hope this quick vocab lesson was helpful, and please come back Wednesday for more diamond lingo that refers to the wonderful world of diamond clarity.