Terms A-C

Jewelry Guide: Glossary Terms: A-C

Baguette shape

A rectangular-shaped diamond with rows of step-like facets. If the baguette’s two long sides taper inward, it is called a Tapered baguette.

Bar Setting

Similar to the channel setting, it is a circular band of diamonds that holds each stone in by a long thin bar, shared between two stones.

Barion Cut

This has a traditional step-cut crown and a modified brilliant-cut pavilion. A square barion cut diamond has 61 facets, excluding the culet.

Bearding or girdle fringes

The outermost portion of the diamond, called the girdle, can develop small cracks that resemble whiskers during the polishing process. The bearding can sometimes be removed, if not too dramatic, with slight re-polishing, and if the weight allows.

Bezel Setting

With a bezel setting, a rim holds the stone and completely surrounds the gem. Bezels can have straight edges, scalloped edges, or can be molded into any shape to accommodate the stone.


The term blemish is used when the diamond has scratches or marks on the external area of the stone.


Liveliness, or sparkle in a stone when light is reflected from the surface and from the total internal reflection of light.


Brilliant cuts are scientifically found to reflect the most light from within the stone, and often are considered to have the most brilliance of all cuts. A round brilliant-cut diamond has 58 facets. Other brilliant cuts include the heart, oval, marquise and pear shaped.


Refers to the measure of weight of a diamond. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams. One carat can also be divided into 100 “points.” A .75-carat diamond is the same as a 75-point or 3/4-carat diamond. Click here to learn more about carat.

Certification (or Diamond Grading Reports)

There are many recognized gemological laboratories that can grade your diamond for a fee. Click here to find more information on certification.

Channel Setting

Used most frequently for wedding and anniversary bands, a channel setting will set the stones right next to each other with no metal separating them.


A diamond often has natural imperfections, commonly referred to as “nature’s fingerprints.” These inclusions contribute to a diamond’s identifying characteristics. Inclusions are found within the diamond. Inclusions can be white, black, colorless, or even red or green. Most inclusions are undetectable by the human eye, and can only be seen with 10X magnification. Inclusions are ranked on a scale of perfection called clarity. The grades of clarity vary from F (Flawless) and (Internally Flawless) through to I (Included). Clarity scale I can be seen by the human eye without magnification. The position of these birthmarks can affect the value of the diamond. Click here for more on clarity.

Cluster Setting

This setting surrounds a larger center stone with several smaller stones. It is designed to create a beautiful larger ring from many smaller stones.


Diamonds are graded on a color scale established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The scale ranges from D (colorless) to Z. Fancy colors refer to diamonds with hues like pink, blue, green, yellow and very rarely red. Fancy colors are not included in this color scale and are considered extremely rare. Click here to learn more about color.


This is the upper portion or the top of a diamond.


The bottom point of the diamond. It may be polished in some stones. Please note that sometimes the cutter may choose to make the culet a surface instead of a point.

Cushion cut

A mixed-cut diamond shaped like a square pillow.


Cut refers to the angles and proportions a skilled craftsman creates in transforming a rough diamond into a polished diamond. Based on scientific formulas, a well-cut diamond will internally reflect light from one mirror-like facet to another and disperse and reflect it through the top of the stone. This results in a display of brilliance and fire. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose or leak light through the side or bottom, resulting in less brilliance and ultimately value. Click here to learn more about cut.

Cutting style

Cutting styles are different than diamond shapes. The simplest and most common way to explain cutting style is to categorize it into the following three basic types: Step-cut, Brilliant-cut and Mixed-cut.