Diamond Glossary

Make - See Cut.
Marquise Cut - See Shape.

These long, narrow diamonds are named after the Marquise of Pompadour after whom King Louis XIV had a diamond shaped to imitate the shape of her mouth. Marquise cut diamonds feature 58 facets and are boat-like in shape. They have one of the largest crown surface areas and create the illusion of elongated fingers.

Marquise shaped diamonds typically have a bow, which will vary in terms of visibility. Symmetry is very important for this cut as is the length to width ratio (1.75-2.15 is the normal range).

Celebrities with marquise cut diamonds include Victoria Beckham, Catherine Zeta Jones and Ashley Simpson.

Melee - small diamonds of less than 0.20 cts used in jewelry.

Pronounced meh-lee, melee can be used to frame a center stone (pavé setting) or used on its own. They are a great way to add sparkle to a piece of jewelry or luxury watch. Melee ranges in size from 0.001 ct – 0.20 ct and are typically round. They are produced and traded in volume as they are inexpensive and do not hold a great deal of value.

When an item of jewelry boasts more than one diamond, you will often see the term total carat weight (abbreviated to tcw) which refers to the combined carat weight. This is not to be confused with carat weight (abbreviated to ct) which refers to the carat weight of a single diamond.

Surat, a city in India, is widely considered the capital of diamond melee production. Cutting and sorting of these diamonds into parcels (grouped together by color and clarity) is a labor intensive process. However the introduction of high tech machines have helped speed up the process and improve the quality.