When it comes to buying a diamond, there are several factors to consider. One crucial aspect that often goes overlooked is the girdle thickness. In this article, we will explore why the girdle thickness is important and how it can affect the overall appearance and quality of a diamond.
Why is the Diamond’s Girdle Thickness Important?
The girdle is the outermost edge of a diamond, and its thickness plays a significant role in the diamond’s durability and visual appeal. A girdle that is too thin can increase the risk of chipping, while a girdle that is too thick adds unnecessary weight and makes the diamond appear smaller.
Symmetry and Cut Issues:
Extreme variations in girdle thickness, such as very thin to extremely thick, can indicate symmetry issues and poor cut. These variations not only affect the diamond’s optical performance but can also cause problems during the setting process.
If the girdle thickness is extremely thin, it can create knife-edge facets that are prone to damage. The diamond’s crystalline structure is weakest at these knife edges, making them susceptible to chipping and nicks.
The finishing of the girdle also plays a role in the diamond’s appearance. Bruted girdles, if sufficiently thick, can create unsightly gray reflections under the table facet. It is recommended to choose diamonds with polished or faceted girdle finishing.
Girdle Thickness Descriptions:
Gemological labs assign descriptions to girdle thickness based on the thickest and thinnest portions of the girdle. It is common to see variations in girdle thickness across a diamond rather than a uniform thickness throughout the diameter.
Impact on Cut Rating:
GIA’s grading system penalizes diamonds with unfavorable girdle thickness, resulting in a lower cut rating. A well-cut diamond with appropriate girdle thickness will have a higher cut grade, ensuring superior brilliance and fire.
Situations Where a Thick Girdle May Be Preferred:
Certain diamond shapes, such as the heart, pear, or marquise, may benefit from thicker girdle thickness at the pointed edges. This extra thickness provides added strength and protection against chipping.
Making the Right Choice:
For round brilliant cut diamonds, it is best to choose diamonds with girdles within the range of thin to slightly thick. For fancy shape diamonds, a girdle range of thin to very thick is recommended, as long as the diamond is well cut.
Look Beyond the Girdle:
While girdle thickness is important, it is just one aspect of choosing a well-cut diamond. Other factors, such as cut quality and light performance, should also be considered when making a decision.
When buying a diamond, it is crucial to consider the girdle thickness. Finding the right balance between thin and thick can ensure a durable and visually appealing diamond. Remember to look beyond the girdle and consider other factors that contribute to the diamond’s overall quality. With the right knowledge and guidance, you can find the perfect diamond for your needs.