Diamond Terminology You Should Know:

When you’re making an investment as large and as meaningful as a diamond, it’s important that you know exactly what you’re getting. The Diamond Broker team has completed our guide on the diamond terminology you should know so that you can make sure that you get exactly what you want. 

Types of Cuts

different shapes of diamonds

Heart Cut

As the name implies, this term refers to a diamond cut in a heart shape. Specifically, this means that the diamond is pointed at one end with two rounded edges separated by a “V” shape at the other end. 

Marquise Cut

A marquise cut is a cut of diamond that features two curved sides and two tapered pointed ends. If you’re not sure whether you want a diamond with curved edges or points, this cut may be the best of both worlds.

Mine Cut

A mine cut describes a diamond that has a round rectangular shape with a small table, high crown, and a large culet. It may not be as well known as some of the other cuts mentioned here, but mine cut diamonds have their own unique way of brilliantly reflecting the light which definitely makes them worth exploring.

Old European Cut

The cut features a small table, a heavy crown, and a remarkable depth. This type of cut is typically seen in antique diamonds, making them perfect for anyone who has a particular penchant for timeless styles or antique pieces.

Oval Cut

An oval cut diamond is cut to have curved sides and rounded ends. The end result looks like an oval, making this an aptly named cut.

Princess Cut

This is a cut of diamond shaped like a square or rectangle with pointed corners. It is undoubtedly one of the most popularly referenced cuts of diamonds. 

Radiant Cut

The radiant cut is a cut of diamond that gives the diamond a fancy rectangular or square shape. If the other rectangular or square cuts seem a little too austere for your tastes, this cut might better suit your tastes. 

Round Brilliant Cut

The round brilliant cut is exactly what the name sounds like: a cut where the diamond is round and has many facets to brilliantly catch the light. A traditional round brilliant cut diamond is a round diamond that has between 57 and 58 facets. 

Trilliant Cut

The trilliant cut is a brilliant cut three-sided diamond shape, also known as a triangle cut. The sides may be of equal or unequal length, but so long as there are three sides total, it is still considered a trilliant cut. 

Diamond Shapes

Pear Shape

A pear shape cut is a type of cut that creates one wide, rounded end while the other one is at a point. The wider, rounded end is typically mounted so that it sits at the bottom of a piece of jewelry while the pointed end is the top. 

Diamond Characteristics/Descriptions


Graining refers to the lines that show the crystal structure’s growth pattern. This can sometimes be visible on the external surface of the diamond, but not always.

Diamond ring being inspected


Hardness refers to a diamond’s ability to resist scratches. A softer diamond will be easier to scratch, while a harder diamond will scratch less easily.


This is a broad term that describes a diamond’s imperfections and other flaws. Most diamonds have some type of inclusion. Some specific types of inclusions include a knot, needle, and twinning wisp. 


A knot is a type of inclusion that describes when a diamond crystal is lodged inside of a larger diamond crystal. The diamond crystal that is lodged inside the larger diamond crystal may look like a knot, which is how this inclusion got its name.


A needle is another type of imperfection found in diamonds. Specifically, it is a thin, rod-shaped inclusion, looking much like a needle as the name suggests.


The pavilion is the faceted, steeply angled bottom portion of a diamond that typically sits below the mounting. While you may not see the pavilion directly, it is still important to consider as its shape can still affect how the visible part of the diamond catches light. 

Plotting Diagram

seymour inspecting a ring

A plotting diagram is a schematic that approximates the shape and style of a diamond while also noting its internal and external characteristics. It is an excellent way to understand the major characteristics of a diamond at a glance.


The point system is a weight measurement where the diamond equals 1/100 carat. For example, a diamond that weighs 0.50 carats equals about 50 points.


Radiance refers to the amount of light refracted and reflected by a diamond. This is also referred to as life or sparkle.

Rough Diamond

A rough diamond is an uncut and unpolished diamond. Rough diamonds generally can’t be used in jewelry as they are; they must first be cut and polished to highlight the best qualities of the stone. 


Scintillation describes the mirror-like reflections a diamond’s facets make when the diamond is turned while being exposed to light. They will often appear as bright shapes that move as you turn the diamond. 


Symmetry refers to a diamond’s overall uniformity. This measurement can range from poor to ideal.


The table is the largest uppermost surface of a cut diamond. In other words, it is the flat surface on top, just as a table is a flat surface that you often place other things on top of. 


A wisp is another type of inclusion. In particular, it is a thin curbed inclusion that can appear hair-like or cloud-like, so not quite as rod-shaped as a needle and not quite as ribbon-like as the twinning wisp.

Twinning Wisp

A twinning wisp is an irregular, ribbon-like inclusion inside a diamond. While needles are a straight inclusion, inclusions that are twinning wisps will curl and wind more. 

Descriptions of Diamond Jewelry Design

diamond necklace


A melee is a grouping of gemstones including diamonds. Melees are used to accent a larger stone, and the smaller diamonds are typical .12 carats or less.


A solitaire is a piece of jewelry containing just one diamond or gemstone. Another way to think of it is that a solitaire contains a solitary diamond or gemstone.

Need Help Finding the Perfect Diamond?

With so much terminology to keep track of, it can feel like you need to take a language class just to understand the language of diamonds enough to make sure you get what you want out of your investment. However, there’s no need to look for a diamond language Rosetta Stone when you have The Diamond Broker team at your side. We’ll act as your translator to help you make sure you get exactly what you want for your diamond that will represent your sentiments forever. With our years of experience in the business, we can not only help you understand all of the jargon, we can advise you on what type of diamond or gemstone will best suit your needs. Make sure you go home with the diamond you’ll cherish forever; call us today!