A - Z Glossary
Alloy - a mixture of two or more metals.
Assay - a scientific procedure to test purity. Assay Offices in Britain test silver, gold and platinum and would then allow the hallmark to be applied to confirm the purity.
Baguette - a baguette refers to a particular shape of cut diamond. It is a rectangular with step-like Facets. If the two longer sides taper inwards, it is known as a tapered baguette.
Band - simply a ring that is the same width all the way around. When considering an engagement ring, keep in mind what type of wedding ring you will want. Some wedding bands will not sit flush beside some types of rings. Court bands are generally more comfortable and look classy. Flat bands are more modern and may suit a particular style. Sharp corners may be rounded off for comfort (a slight court). Another band is a flat 'comfort fit' where the band is slightly rounded on the inside. Band width is a personal thing and depends on hand size and personal taste.
Bar setting - a form of channel setting, but the stones are set in channels across the ring with the stones on each end exposed at the edges.
Bevelled - an angled surface, often 45 degrees.
Bezel setting - a band of metal surrounding the diamond and holding it in place - a popular and attractive modern setting for diamonds. It may either fully or partially encircle the stone and can add height to a flush style setting. Brilliance is not reduced.
Blemish - a flaw (scratch or abrasion) on the surface of a diamond. These are generally not considered as crucial to the beauty of a stone if they do not interfere with the symmetry of the shape and do not interfere with the flow of light through the stone.
Carat (1) - the unit of weight used when measuring diamonds. One Carat = 0.2 grams. One carat = 100 points. Five carats = 1 gram. An increase in carat weight will mean an increase in depth as well as diameter, so a one carat diamond (apx 6.5mm diameter) will not be twice as wide as a half (0.5) carat diamond (which is apx 5 mm diameter). The larger a diamond is, the rarer it is. The price per carat increases exponentially, for example, a two carat diamond may cost four times as much as a one carat diamond.
Carat (2) - a measurement of purity of gold. It is usual for gold to be mixed with other metals to produce an alloy - a mixture of two or more metals. The traditional way to describe the proportion of gold in alloys is in 'carats'. One carat is one part in 24, 18 carat is therefore 18/24, but in recent years it has become common to refer to alloys in parts per thousand - 18 carat gold is therefore 750 parts per thousand. Common UK grades of gold are 9, 14, 18 and 22 carat. Pure gold is 24 carat.
Certification - a gemological laboratory will certify a diamond's quality, such as clarity, colour, carat weight, cut and proportions. It will then issue a certificate. Certification can increase the value of a diamond and is also used for insurance purposes. We provide two options for diamond certificates to give you a choice of where your diamond is certificated. Both laboratories are well respected and give you peace of mind when purchasing your diamond jewellery: SureCert or GIA.
Channel setting - a type of setting with no metal between the diamonds. Two strips of precious metal hold the diamonds in place at the sides. It secures small diamonds very effectively, enabling stones to sit flush with the mounting.
Clarity - the amount of inclusions within a diamond and the blemishes on the surface. Clarity grades include:
FL: Flawless - no internal or external inclusions of any kind under 10x magnification to a trained eye. The most rare and expensive.
IF: Internally flawless - no internal inclusions under 10x magnification to a trained eye, but there may be some tiny external irregularities.
VVS1: Very very slightly included 1 - usually just one tiny inclusion visible to a trained eye under 10x magnification.
VVS2: Very very slightly included 2 - tiny inclusions visible only to a trained eye under 10x magnification.
VS1: Very slightly included 1 - very small inclusions visible with 10x magnification.
VS2: Very slightly included 2 - several very small inclusions visible with 10x magnification.
SI1: Slightly included 1 - small inclusions visible with 10x magnification.
SI2: Slightly included 2 - several small inclusions visible with 10x magnification.
SI3: Slightly included 3 - inclusions that may be visible to a trained observer.
I1: Included 1 - small flaws visible to the naked eye.
I2: Included 2 - many flaws clearly visible to the naked eye that also decrease the brilliance.
I3: Included 3 - many flaws clearly visible to the naked eye which decrease the brilliance and compromise the structure of the diamond, making it more easily cracked or chipped.
Claw - a common setting using prongs around the stone to fasten the diamond in place.
Colour - a grade given to a diamond to describe the subtle tones of colour in a stone. D is perfectly colourless and the most rare and expensive. From D to Z on scale there are increasing levels of yellow and/or brown tones. It takes a trained eye to distinguish between adjacent colour grades (such as E and F) D, E, F – Colourless. G, H, I, J - Near colourless. K, L, M - Faint yellow. N, O, P, Q, R - Very light yellow. S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z - Light yellow.
Comfort fit – a shape of a ring, generally it is referring to a subtle curving inside the ring making it more comfortable to wear.
Court - a shape of plain band. Court is a traditional shape with a curved surface. Court may also refer to a curved surface inside the ring (comfort fit).
Crown - upper portion of a cut diamond above the girdle with the upper facets. The crown has the large, flat area on the very top called the table.
Cut - used to refer to both the shape of a stone (round, square, etc.) and the exact geometric proportions to which a diamond is cut. It determines how much sparkle comes from a diamond, regardless of the shape.
Diamond - a cubic mineral composed of carbon with a hardness of 10 on the Mohs Scale - the hardest substance known to man. They’re virtually indestructible. Diamonds are valued based on the 4Cs: cut, clarity, colour and carat. They are the birthstone of April.
Emerald cut - a rectangular cut, but sometimes square, with rows of step-cuts along the edges and corners that appear bevelled. Emerald cut diamonds are not as valuable as round cut diamonds.
Engagement ring - usually a solitaire diamond ring that is given to a woman when asking for her hand in marriage.
Engraving - Carving or lasering a personal message inside the ring.
Eternity ring - a ring set with multi minute diamonds. In Europe the full circle is the traditional symbol of eternal love. Presented from husband to wife on a special occasion. Half eternity has a row of diamonds going half way round.
Facet - a small polished surface of a multi-faceted stone. For example, a brilliant round diamond has 58 facets when counting the culet.
Fine brush (satin finish) - Between a matte and brilliant polished finish, a semi-glossy technique that has shallow tiny parallel lines on the surface of the metal, reducing its reflectivity. Satin is more smooth and subtle finish.
Flat band – a plain ring that is flat on all edges, and so has right angles with no curving.
Flush setting - a popular and modern style of setting a diamond suitable for people who use their hands a lot, as it offers good protection for their stones. The diamond is fitted snugly into a tapered hole and surrounding metal is pressed around the rim to secure the stone. It is almost level with the surface, with only the top showing.
Four Cs - cut, clarity, colour and carat. The combined methods used to determine the value of a diamond.
Georg Jensen - a range of more unusual designer jewellery from this Danish luxury lifestyle brand.
GIA - The Gemological Institute of America is the largest and most respected laboratory in the USA, and a good choice for your diamond purchase. They are slightly higher priced than SureCert diamonds because of their import into the UK.
Girdle - the girdle of a diamond comes in three types. These types are: standard grainy or granular appearance; faceted - the diamond faces are cut; polished smooth.
Glogau gold - a very rare Welsh gold from the Clogau St David’s mine. It has associations with the Royal family and so is very desirable.
Gold - for use in jewellery gold needs to be alloyed with other metals to provide the best combination of strength, appearance and resistance to tarnishing. The traditional way to describe the proportion of gold in alloys is in 'carats'. One carat is one part in 24, 18 carat is therefore 18/24, but in recent years it has become common to refer to alloys in parts per thousand - 18 carat gold is therefore 750 parts per thousand. Nine carat gold is more 'other metals' than gold, it therefore tarnishes and can also be brittle and is not as durable as 18 carat. 14 carat is pretty similar to 9 carat gold. 22-24 carat gold is a good colour but is too soft and will not last. 18 carat gold is a good middle-ground being much more durable and harder than pure, soft gold (24 carat, stamped 999) and is not as impure and brittle as 9 or 14 carat gold. 18 carat gold is the perfect balance and is ideal as a lasting hard-wearing precious wedding ring. Our gold also comes in two other tones - rose gold and white gold.
Grade - the value of a diamond based weight, proportion, finish, clarity, colour, presence of flaws, and soundness.
Grams - the unit of weight in which most precious metals are weighed.
Gypsy setting - a flush setting with the centre stone in a moderate to high dome at the top of the ring.
Hallmark - a stamp or mark which is applied to items of jewellery by the Assay Offices of Britain (London, Birmingham, Sheffield or Edinburgh) as a guarantee of authenticity. Hallmarks consist of four components: the sponsor mark/manufacturer of the piece; the precious metal content of the item; the assay office; the date letter showing the year.
Hammered - a finish applied to our wedding bands to give the appearance of a light hammering with quite defined pitting.
Heavy brush (brushed satin) - also known as a brushed finish. Like the fine brush satin finish, however using a more abrasive tool to produce a distinctive brush stroke finish on the surface of the ring. It is more obviously brushed.
Inclusion - an impurity within a diamond, such as a spot or irregularity. These can include a cloud, a fracture, etc. Inclusions can be visible with the naked eye (usually SI3 clarity and below) or visible only under magnification. Fewer inclusions mean a finer clarity grade, increased rarity, and increased value.
Karat - (US spelling of carat, and abbreviated to 'k') - how gold is measured. Karat is used to describe the purity, eg. 9k, 18k, or 24k.
Mounting - the metal that holds a diamond or stone in place.
Palladium - a hard precious metal similar in colour to platinum, but not quite as rare. It is becoming increasingly popular and fashionable in jewellery making as a cheaper alternative to platinum.
Pave setting - a style of setting in which many minute gemstones are set as close together as possible to cover the entire mount, so resembling glitter. Clusters of tiny diamonds create great accents at a very reasonable price.
Platinum - a heavy, soft greyish metallic precious metal. More expensive than gold and thirty times rarer, platinum is a more exclusive choice for jewellery. Platinum takes an exceptional polish.
Point - a measure of diamond weight. Each carat is divided into 100 parts, called points. One point equals 0.01 of a carat. A diamond that weighs 0.50 carat is said to weigh 50 points.
Polished – the most common finish applied to a ring, highly reflective with no marks.
Princess cut - usually a square or rectangular cut for a diamond. It is considered the second most valuable cut in behind round cut. Princess cut stones can have between 57 and 70 facets in varying proportions.
Prong - one of several claw-like wires that is used to hold a stone in place. The most common number of prongs is four or six.
Ring sizes - a standardized measurement for ring size. The UK has an alphabetic system from A-Z. The European system is numeric from 38-70 (representing the interior circumference in millimetres). The US uses a numeric system from 1-13. If you are unsure of your ring size, please email us for a guide.
Round cut - the most common cut in the diamond industry, but the priciest. Partly because you lose a lot of rough diamond to make a round cut, also because it has the best properties for reflecting light creating a brilliant sparkle - hence the term round brilliant cut. It has 58 facets.
Sandblasted - a surface of a band which has been treated to look quite rough and pitted. A nice modern matt finish.
Shank - the part of a ring that encircles the finger, does not include the setting.
Shape - often gets mixed up with cut of the diamond. It is simply how the diamond looks, eg. round, princess, square, etc...
Shoulder - the part of a ring between the shank and the centre of the setting.
Solitaire - a ring mounted with a single diamond.
Square cut - a diamond with four equal sides, sharp corners and a square table with narrow and long facets of step cutting. Emerald cut is an elongated form.
SureCert – Many of our diamonds are SureCert. A well respected laboratory in the UK that recognises the hearts and arrows standard of superior diamonds. Due to them being based here in the UK, these diamonds are generally lower priced than their American counterparts.
Tiffany setting - a style of setting a diamond in a ring with four or six high prongs. It is generally round in shape.
Titanium - a space-age metal often with a silvery-gray appearance. It is 30% stronger and nearly 50% lighter than steel.?
Trillion cut - a triangular diamond. Usually outer trillion stones point towards the centre diamond.
Wedding Rings - the complimentary precious metal band that accompanies the solitaire engagement ring. It can be plain and simple, detailed or decorated with diamonds. Usually placed on the left hand.
White gold - a gold alloy resembling platinum, but much more affordable. In the long-term white gold will need re-plating and will eventually tarnish.
Zirconium - a very unusual darker grey/black metal, much like titanium except heavier. It is extremely strong and hypo allergenic. The surface coating is a zirconium-oxide and it won’t rub off or scratch under normal usage. Any small scratches will wear off over time to leave the ring as new.