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Diamond Dictionary

Glossary of terms to help a first time shopper talk like a pro


A diamond that appears at first glance better than it actually is. For example, you might have a flat diamond (undesirable) that does have a massive face up look once set in a ring. We would call this bluffy because it appears larger and more expensive than it is. You can also have a diamond that is very white and high on the color scale however it might be within the included clarity range where imperfections can be seen to the unaided eye. At first glance, when worn on the hand you will only notice the diamond being white however upon closer inspection you will view the imperfections with your naked eye.


Refers to a dark shadow that appears across the center of a diamond caused by the extending of facets. This occurs in elongated cuts and most often ovals, pears, marquise and elongated radiant or cushion cuts.  Most elongated shapes will have a bowtie to some extent but should be measured by how distracting or noticeable it is.  This is a negative aspect so something you should try to avoid as much as you can.


Refers to natural yellow diamonds with a strong saturation of color usually in fancy intense to fancy vivid range.


A short term way of saying the grading report for a diamond.


A diamond that is cut too deep and does not have an appropriate face up size. For example, a 2.5 carat diamond that measures 7mm is cut too deep and will look like a 2 carat.

Crushed Ice:

Often this refers to cushion cut diamonds that have extra weight hidden underneath resulting in a more glittery, crushed sparkle, i.e., there are many small flashes of light which can be confusing to the eye. This video is a perfect example of the differences between a cushion brilliant cut and a modified crushed ice diamond. The stone on the left here is an example of a cushion cut of the crushed ice variety.

Eye Clean:

A diamond that is clean from imperfections to the unaided eye when viewed at an arm’s length away. All diamonds, even VVS clarity diamonds will, have some sort of microscopic blemish within the diamond however can be eye clean. Here is an video of an eye clean SI2 clarity diamond 

Hazy or Milky:

Refers to a diamond filled so heavily included, notably with clouds, to the point where it lacks luster and brilliance. If a diamond is hazy it appears as if a fog has taken over a bit of the diamond and it then lacks the capability to sparkle. A GIA report will not state if a diamond is hazy but there are certain signs to look out for.  The stone on the left in this video is an example of such a diamond 

Internet Diamond:

When you hear this term, it refers to diamonds that may look good on paper and priced very aggressively to reel in an unsuspecting client  However, in real life it will lack the beauty and sparkle you might have expected.


The tool used to magnify diamonds. It is a small, magnificent device that you hold up to your eye. These are commonly in 10x magnification but also in 20x, 30x etc. for a more close-up view.

Loupe Clean:

Refers to a diamond that even under magnification it is nearly impossible to see any inclusions.  This usually only occurs in VS1 or higher clarities and sometimes even a VS2 grade.

Off Size:

We all know about the magic numbers like 1 carat, 1.5 carat, 2.0 carat and so on.  The sizes right in between these are usually referred to as off-sizes and can be very desirable because they will offer you a similar face up appearance without paying the premium for the round numbers  For example a 1.70 carat could go for $10,000 and with all quality/cut aspects being equal would jump to over $13,000 for a 2 carat even though there may be only an incremental size difference noticed.


Refers to the length to width ratio of a diamond. Every diamond has a certain millimeter measurement for how long and how wide it is. If you divide these numbers, you come up with the ratio. There are desirable ratios for each diamond as an average, so for example an oval ratio should start at 1.3:1 ratio for a rounder look and up to a 1.5:1 ratio for a more elongated look.


used interchangeably with “band” to describe the part of the ring that goes around the finger.


A diamond that has a large face up appearance. This type of diamond is desirable because it has been cut with the intention show its maximum carat weight.  The spread doesn't refer to its carat weight though, it is signifying how large the measurements of the diamond are. Note- you don't want a diamond that is TOO spready as this will be a flat diamond, and result in light leakage through the bottom of the stone. This video shows a "spready" oval diamond on the left. 

The Make:

has to do with the way a diamond is faceted or cut.  It is more of general term and if you hear the diamond has a “great make” you can expect a beautiful diamond with great proportions, sparkle and visual appearance.

X / Triple X:

This refers to the Excellent grade as either one of the cuts, polish, or symmetry grades. ‘Triple X’ means that a round diamond has all three grades as excellent through. Fancy shape diamonds can have excellent polish and symmetry grades but do not receive a formal cut grade on a GIA grading report.