Bottom Line Recommendations
- When picking your diamond, choose one that has a medium-size girdle. View a great example here. This is often a sign that the diamond is proportionate. A girdle that is extremely thin is likely to chip easily while one that is very thick will cause the diamond to appear smaller. This is because most of the stones will be taken by the girdle.
- You can also choose a diamond with a thick girdle as it tends to have more fire and brilliance.
- Also, you can choose a thin or a slightly thick girdle as the diamond will be cheaper than one with an ideal girdle.
- When evaluating the diamond from its side, you may see a line across the diamond. This is the girdle light reflection and doesn’t mean that the diamond is cut poorly.
- The best way to judge a diamond is by viewing 360-degree videos of the stone. We recommend buying from JamesAllen or the Blue Nile. They have a huge collection of diamonds and over HD videos and images allowing you to inspect every aspect of the diamond and see how it will perform under the light.
- With round diamonds, you are also able to pick one that appears round to the eye as you can see here. An out of the round diamond is to be avoided.
The top part of the diamond is called the crown and the bottom is the pavilion. The girdle is a section that separates the crown and the pavilion.
Think of the girdle as the circumference of the widest part of the stone. When setting the diamond, it is this part that comes into contact with the metal.
This is also the part by which loose diamonds will be measured to get the width and length in millimeters.
The girdle in a diamond can be polished, faceted or it can be rough. Faceted girdles are most common in brilliant-cut diamonds and aim to maximize the amount of transparency. The step cut diamonds will often feature a smooth girdle.
The Girdle Rating
Before the diamond can receive its certificate, the graders will measure different sections of the girdle. This allows the grader to find the thickest part of the stone as well as the thinnest part of the stone.
Often the girdle of the diamond will be rated in a range that can start from extremely thin to extremely thick.
An extremely thin girdle can chip or break easily and is thus important to take extra care when setting the stone.
With a very thin girdle, care should also be taken when setting the stone as it can chip.
A stone with a thin, or medium girdle, will have ideal proportions.
A diamond with a slightly thick, thick girdle will have excellent to ideal proportions.
A stone with very thick girdle will have good gemstone proportions.
A stone with a very thick girdle will cause the diamond to look smaller as a lot of depth will be taken by the girdle.
Tips When Evaluating the Girdle
When searching for your perfect diamond, you will not need to pay too much attention to the girdle. Whether the diamond has a thin girdle or a thick girdle, it will not affect how the diamond appears, provided of course, that the stone is well-cut.
Keep in mind that when assessing a diamond symmetry, the thickest and the thinnest points of the diamond’s girdles will be considered. When there is a large difference between these two points, the diamond may appear disproportionate.
A girdle that is between thin and thick is ideal. When a stone is perfectly proportionate, the girdle will be of medium rating.
Diamond Girdle Effects
When a diamond has a very thin girdle, there is a high chance of it chipping especially when it is being sent. It can also chip when being worn. The setting, therefore, should be chosen wisely and should be one that minimizes contact between the girdle and hard surfaces.
On the other hand, a thick girdle causes the diamond to have more fire and brilliance. Note, however, is that this is only the case when the diamond is cut to ideal proportions. Also, keep in mind that a thick girdle concentrates the diamond’s weight in the middle of the stone. This causes the stone to appear larger than a similar-sized diamond.
When you are analyzing a diamond that has an extremely thick girdle, also consider the other measurements on the stone.
Often a diamond that has a thick girdle rating or a thin girdle will have a cheaper price than a stone with an ideal girdle rating. This is something that a witty buyer can take advantage off especially when restricted by the budget.
When a Thick Girdle Maybe Preferred
Some diamond shapes such as the heart cut, the pear cut, and the marquise will typically have a thick girdle where there are pointed edges. This provides the stone with more strength and will prevent it from breaking and chipping easy.
When dealing with the round cut in particular, it is crucial to pay special attention to the thickness of the girdle. This is because it will affect the diamonds cut grade. This is more so with the fancy shapes.
On a round brilliant cut, the ideal girdle should be medium-slightly thick.
The Different Girdle Types
1. The Rough Girdle
This girdle style is unpolished and rough. In the earlier years, many brilliant-cut stones were left with a rough girdle. Because of this, the stones often had a frosty appearance. Even when looking down at the diamond through a loop, you will notice a frosty, opaque, rough, or white appearance.
It may sometimes be called a bearded girdle as it looks like a man’s beard.
2. A Polished Girdle
With this type of girdle, the entire surface is polished. There are no edges and the girdle is smooth. The result is one clear facet. If you looked down at the diamond through a polished girdle, it is possible to see right through the stone,
3. Faceted Girdle
Unlike with the older diamond cuts, the more modern cuts feature a faceted girdle. Unlike the polished girdle that is one continuous facet around the diamond, with the faceted girdle, there are a series of vertical facts that are well proportioned and polished.
But how to do cutters arrive at the faceted girdle?
During the diamond cutting process, small facets will be cut and polished to remove the feathering that will occur. Since the faceted girdle will reflect light much like the other facts on the diamond, it is not simple to notice.
A Few Things to keep in Mind with The Girdle
When dealing with extremely thick girdles, note that these may have a poor light return. While you don’t need to worry about thick girdles the majority of the time, remember that when a girdle is too thick, this will increase the depth of the stone and the light entering through the table will escape through the pavilion instead of being reflected your eyes.
As a result, the diamond has less fire and brilliance.
When dealing with fancy colored diamonds, a stone with a very thick girdle isn’t always the best thing. Keep in mind that with fancy colored diamonds, it is the color that mainly determines the value.
When assessing the color, this will be evaluated down face up. Many colored diamonds will feature a thick girdle. However, while this may improve the color of the stone, its performance will be hindered.
Sometimes the girdle may reflect light. You may notice a line across the diamond when looking at it from the side. This is often a girdle reflection. Due to the light action through the diamond, light passing through the stone via the girdle will often come out at the pavilion.
This spot is not an indication of poor cut but simply the girdle reflecting light
It is easy to think of a girdle reflection as a crack or as a feather inclusion. Always keep in mind that this is not clarity or a cut issue.
Also, when the diamond is well cut, the reflection of the girdle will not be visible through the top of the stone. However, if the diamond has a wide table, it may show a fish eye effect. This is the reflection of the girdle in the pavilion being refracted back to the observer. It may appear like a circular inclusion.
Sometimes the girdle of the diamond may feature inscriptions. Gem labs may use the girdle to inscribe the report number.
Also, note that a thick girdle will increase the overall weight of the stone. This has the effect of pushing up the price.
Tips When Buying Your Diamonds
One of the most important things about any diamond is that it can perform. The only way to determine this is to observe and evaluate the diamond yourself. If you are not buying from a physical store, but are instead buying online, always make sure that the dealer can provide you with 360-degree videos of the stone.
Diamond Girdle Symmetry
When you see symmetry on the lab report, it refers to the precision of the intersection and alignments of diamonds facets. However, three symmetry imperfections can arise with the girdle. These are tilted tables, out of round diamonds as well as wave girdles.
It is quite difficult to get a perfectly round diamond. However, make sure that the diamond you are evaluating is round to the eye. If you notice that it is slightly off, then this is called an out of round diamond and is a major fault as far symmetry goes.
When the table is not sitting at an even distance at all points around the stone from the girdle, this is a result of a wavy girdle. It doesn’t mean that the girdle has a different thickness though. You can view a wavy girdle by looking at the diamonds from a sideways profile.
When the table is not parallel to the girdle, it is going to be tilted. They can also be a result of a wavy girdle or a girdle with different thicknesses.