Although I have a diamond terminology page, I think that in order to totally understand how a diamond works, in other words, why it sparkles and shines, a basic understanding of the diamond anatomy is in order. One thing that I have noticed is that you can go to any website and find the usual drawn picture of the round brilliant diamond that will show you what’s what, but I decided to show you on an actual diamond.
Much like our own anatomy, a basic knowledge is always good. So, when you go to look for a diamond you understand what the flat part on top is and what the pointy part on the bottom is. Do you need to understand all about the proportions and angles, no, and I’m not going to tell you all about them, and I’m also going to tell you the diamond anatomy in a way that is easy to digest, learn, remember and understand.
The Table – Starting at the top of the diamond, this is the flat surface that is on every diamond. This is where the light actually enters into the diamond, so it is the largest part of the diamond and it’s also where the light reflects back out. This is an important part of the diamond, because it often shows the shape of the diamond. If you have a round diamond, the table is round, if your diamond is emerald, the table is rectangular and so on.
The Crown – The tiny facets or cuts that surround the table are the crown. Usually this area fans out at an angle from the table.
The Girdle – The girdle is the area that crown stops at. This is an area that circles around the diamond and is the fattest part of the diamond. It can be thick, thin, wavy or straight. The girdle is like the equator on the stone and it holds the diamond in its setting.
The Pavilion – These are the cuts below the girdle and they generally angle in towards each other to meet at a point. This is the part of the diamond that isn’t seen when the stone is set, but it’s important because the light bounces around inside of here before bouncing out, so this is where the magic happens.
The Culet – This is the tiny point at the very bottom of the diamond. Have you ever spun a dreidel? Like a dreidel, diamonds have a point at the bottom. But, they don’t all have come to a point; some have a flat surface, which is an extra facet. The purpose of a culet – other than to spin the diamond – is to protect the diamond from chipping or abrasion, or as I showed you in an earlier post, to protect you!