DIAMOND DIALOGUE – WHAT IS A GIRDLE?
There are many things to consider when choosing a diamond. Among other things, the diamond’s girdle is something that should not be overlooked. The girdle of a diamond is the outermost edge of the diamond and the widest part of the stone. It connects the crown, or top, with the pavilion, or bottom. The girdle is the part that makes contact with the setting and in loose diamonds is how length and width are measured. It doesn’t stay the same amount of thickness all the way around the diamond but varies considerably.There is an eight grade system for thickness of the girdle and it ranges from extremely thin to extremely thick. Most experts recommend trying to find a diamond in the middle, from thin to medium.
A thick girdle makes for a heavier carat diamond and that can be reflected in the price. It is not a huge concern, but it is there. A diamond with a thick girdle won’t look any bigger when set in a ring, and may even look smaller, as the weight is concentrated in the middle. The reason the diamond won’t look wider is that the the girdle adds depth and not width.
A girdle that is too thin can also be problematic, and is one of the things you should look at in choosing a diamond. Thin girdles are prone to chipping and needless to say you don’t want that for your diamond. It is less of a concern in necklaces and other pieces that don’t come into contact with hard surfaces often, but in rings it is a problem, which is why you always want your rings to be well set.
It is normal for a diamond to have a range of width in the girdle, but what you don’t want is an irregular girdle. An irregular girdle means that some parts may not align properly, giving you a diamond that differs from the ideal cut. What this means is the fire and brilliance of the diamond won’t show. And if you are buying a diamond, you want it to sparkle and shine.
There are actually three different kinds of girdle styles to choose from. Faceted, bruted and polished. Faceted girdles have tiny facets polished in to the girdle. Bruted girdles have no polish giving off a frosted look. Polished girdles are clear.
Actually extremely thin girdles or extremely thick girdles are often priced lower that other diamonds, offering a great value if you are searching for your first diamond. The girdle will often not affect appearance or brilliance. It is something to consider.
With so many options there is something to fit anyone’s preferences. If you are interested in learning more about the anatomy of a diamond please schedule an appointment with our expert GIA Gemologists. Call us today at 619-223-2151