How to Choose a Diamond

Diamonds come in a variety of different styles, settings and qualities. Finding the perfect one for your needs can be a lot easier when you are aware of the basic factors that make up a diamond's shine and brilliance. Use this guide to become familiar diamond anatomy, diamond shapes, ring anatomy and diamond settings.

Diamond Anatomy

  • Table
    XTable
    The largest polished flat facet located on the top of the diamond.
  • Star Facet
    XStar Facet
    These triangular facets extend from the table to the upper girdle facets. There are 8 star facets on a round brilliant.
  • Bezel Facet
    XBezel Facet
    These facets are diamond shaped and sit between the table and the girdl edge. There are 8 bezel facets on a round brilliant.
  • Upper Girdle Facet
    XUpper Girdle Facet
    The widest edge of the diamond where the crown and pavilion meet. There are 16 upper girdle facets on a round brilliant.
  • Girdle
    XGirdle
    The widest edge of the diamond where the crown and the pavilion meet.
  • Lower Girdle Facet
    XLower Girdle Facet
    These triangular facets extend from the bottom of the girdle to the cutlet. There are 16 lower girdle facets on a round brilliant.
  • Pavilion Main
    XPavilion Main
    The bottom part of a diamond extending from the girdle down to the culet. There are 8 pavilion mains on a round brilliant
  • Cutlet
    XCutlet
    The small or pointed facet at the very bottom of the diamond.

Diamond Shape

There are several different diamond shapes to choose from. Below is a list of the most popular cuts and a short description for each one. This is a helpful resource to identify your favorite shapes and search for them.
ROUND
The most popular cut of them all. This shape is stunning in earrings, rings and pendants. This cut brings out every color of the rainbow! The round brilliant cut was designed to maximize a diamond’s brilliance and sparkle.
PRINCESS
It is a square shape with a classical elegant look. It is extremely versatile and still produces a great sparkle.
OVAL
A modern and elongated version of the round brilliant cut, oval cuts present a twist on the classic. They are highly versatile, elegant, and distinctive while still generating brilliance.
PEAR
Resembling a teardrop, the pear shape combines the best of the round and marquise shapes. Pear rings can be worn with the diamond facing either way – allowing the wearer to create different looks, depending on their mood. An elegant and timeless choice!
CUSHION
Cushions combine the general shape of a princess cut but with soft round edges. A modern twist on the old mine cut, this romantic cut makes for a breathtaking center stone.
EMERALD
Emerald cuts are normally rectangular and feature long rectangular facets giving the stone an elegant and sophisticated look. These dramatic "steps" highlight the clarity that makes this cut shine.
HEART
The ultimate symbol of love and romance! The unique shape is carved by exceptionally skilled jewelers to create this dazzling love-inspired diamond. Heart shaped diamonds are often used in pendants and is increasingly popular in engagement rings.
MARQUISE
A marquise is shaped like an oval with pointed ends resembling a football. This eye-catching shape gives such a unique presence that looks great in any setting!
RADIANT
A radiant shaped diamond can be a square or rectangular shape with trimmed corners. Radiant shaped diamonds combine the shape of an emerald cut with the brilliance and sparkle of a round cut!
ASSCHER
An asscher cut features a square shape with cut corners. As a dazzling alternative to the emerald cut, the asscher cut presents a smaller table and more layered step facets. This cut is great for someone who loves vintage elegance!

Ring Anatomy

  • Head
    XSetting Head
    The head is the portion of the ring that holds the center stone.
  • Setting
    XSetting
    The setting is the entire ring, including stones.
  • Prong
    XProng
    A prong is a metal tip, bead or arm that holding the stone in place.
  • Shank
    XShank
    The shank is the metal portion of the ring that goes around the finger, starting and stopping at the head.

Diamond Settings

PRONG
Prong settings are the most common and classic settings used today. A prong is a small metal claw that holds the diamond tightly in place while still allowing an abundance of light to enter your diamond. Prongs can be rounded, flat, pointed, or v‐shaped. People love prong settings because the diamond can appear elevated
BEZEL
Modern and sophisticated, the bezel setting is the second most popular setting style. The diamond or gemstone is held in place with a custom-made thin metal frame around the circumference of the stone. The metal frame can wrap all the way around the stone or only partially surround it, depending on the style of the jewelry. This type of setting is good for protecting the edges of your stone and can make the stone look larger-perfect for those with active lifestyles!
TENSION
This setting is created by forming pressure on the gemstone or diamond by the metal around it to secure the stone in place. The diamond or gemstone appears to "float" suspended between the two sides of the metal.
BAR
A bar setting is quite similar to a channel setting, but doesn't close the diamond in on all sides. A bar setting leaves the diamond exposed on two sides and can have a decorative effect as well.
CATHEDRAL
Classic and elegant, a cathedral setting is a traditional look for an engagement ring. The cathedral setting uses arches of metal to hold the diamond or gemstone high above the shank.
CHANNEL
A channel setting is a row of diamonds side by side. In a channel setting, diamonds are set flush between two strips of metal that holds them in place with no additional prongs between the stones. This type of setting protects the edge of the stone and is quite secure. They are often used in wedding bands or for side stones accenting the center diamond of an engagement ring.
SPLIT SHANK
In this setting the shank will split into two separate shanks that surround a center gemstone or diamond.
PAVÉ
Also known as a bead setting, a pavé setting describes the bands with small diamonds set into the band. Typically, a jeweler will drill holes into the band, placing the small diamonds into the holes. To secure them in place, the jeweler will create tiny beads that act as prongs around each diamond. This setting will offer extra sparkle to your jewelry!
PRONG
Prong settings are the most common and classic settings used today. A prong is a small metal claw that holds the diamond tightly in place while still allowing an abundance of light to enter your diamond. Prongs can be rounded, flat, pointed, or v‐shaped. People love prong settings because the diamond can appear elevated
BEZEL
Modern and sophisticated, the bezel setting is the second most popular setting style. The diamond or gemstone is held in place with a custom-made thin metal frame around the circumference of the stone. The metal frame can wrap all the way around the stone or only partially surround it, depending on the style of the jewelry. This type of setting is good for protecting the edges of your stone and can make the stone look larger-perfect for those with active lifestyles!
TENSION
This setting is created by forming pressure on the gemstone or diamond by the metal around it to secure the stone in place. The diamond or gemstone appears to "float" suspended between the two sides of the metal.
BAR
A bar setting is quite similar to a channel setting, but doesn't close the diamond in on all sides. A bar setting leaves the diamond exposed on two sides and can have a decorative effect as well.
CATHEDRAL
Classic and elegant, a cathedral setting is a traditional look for an engagement ring. The cathedral setting uses arches of metal to hold the diamond or gemstone high above the shank.
CHANNEL
A channel setting is a row of diamonds side by side. In a channel setting, diamonds are set flush between two strips of metal that holds them in place with no additional prongs between the stones. This type of setting protects the edge of the stone and is quite secure. They are often used in wedding bands or for side stones accenting the center diamond of an engagement ring.
SPLIT SHANK
In this setting the shank will split into two separate shanks that surround a center gemstone or diamond.
PAVÉ
Also known as a bead setting, a pavé setting describes the bands with small diamonds set into the band. Typically, a jeweler will drill holes into the band, placing the small diamonds into the holes. To secure them in place, the jeweler will create tiny beads that act as prongs around each diamond. This setting will offer extra sparkle to your jewelry!
Now that you've got some of the basics when it comes to diamond styles, you are ready to get familiar with "The 4 Cs" or head back to the Education Center to find more resources.
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