Diamond Glossary

Abrasion - A blemish, such as small nicks along the facet junctions.

A blemish, such as small nicks along the facet junctions (look whiter than the rest of the diamond), caused by impact damage. Excessive abrading often a sign that the stone is cubic zirconium, not diamond.

AGS – American Gem Society - One of the leading gemological labs.

The AGS (American Gem Society) is a diamond grading laboratory that issues diamond certificates. Founded in 1934 by a group of jewelers to promote gemological education, the AGS is currently headquartered in Las Vegas. While WP Diamonds grades to GIA standards, AGS is quite close to GIA on grading standards. Their reports detail the 4 C’s of your diamond.

Appraisal - An estimation of value of an item, typically for insurance purposes.

While this might be a good guide for the layman, appraisals are rarely, if ever, up to GIA standards for grading purposes. Furthermore, appraisals provide an indication, usually exaggerated, of the retail replacement value of an item, not the re-sale value.

Artificially Irradiated - See Irradiated Diamond.

Artificial irradiation is a color enhancement treatment. By bombarding a diamond with electron or neutron particles, this can change the atomic structure the stone’s crystal lattice, therefore changing the color of the stone. Most irradiated diamonds are yellow, green, black or blue in color. Any GIA certified irradiated stones will feature the word “irradiated” on the grading certificate.

While it is a good option for acquiring fancy colored diamonds at a fraction of the cost, they are not as valuable as a natural, untreated fancy colored diamond. Fancy colored diamonds are extremely rare and therefore expensive.

Asscher Cut - See Shape.

Asscher cut diamonds are a unique and striking diamond shape. First created in the early 1900’s, the Asscher did not rise in popularity until the 1920’s. It then fell out of favor during the Great Depression, only to reemerge as a popular cut in the early 2000’s.

There are two type of Asscher cuts: the Royal Asscher Cut (74 facets) and the standard Asscher cut (58 facets). Both were developed by the Royal Asscher Company.

The standard Asscher is a square emerald cut (or rather octogonal due to its cropped corners). With large step facets, the shape boasts strong brilliance. Much like emerald cut diamonds, any inclusions are highly visible so high clarity grades are recommended.