Diamonds are gemstones that can cost millions of dollars. This is why they are carefully inspected by an experienced, professional appraiser before they can be sold. When an appraiser looks at a diamond, they will place the stone under a magnifier that has been developed primarily for the purpose of inspecting diamonds. These magnifiers are able to magnify a diamond ten times; thus allowing for an extremely close inspection that allows the appraiser to observe any kind of imperfection of the diamond. While observing the diamond, numerous aspects are looked at.
The four c’s that are often associated with a diamond’s quality is considered to be the primary aspects, but there are some other factors that an appraiser also looks at that are often not disclosed as openly as the four main factors, and often misunderstood by the general public that is looking to buy a diamond.
In this post, we would like to point out one of those factors that people often overlook, but still plays an important part in the overall value, quality and appearance of a diamond. We are referring to a term that is known as diamond polish. Many diamond grading certificates, including those issued by an appraiser that is registered with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), mentions aspects of diamond polish – but buyers who are not aware of these factors often do not focus on them, but rather only looks at the fundamental aspects, like clarity, color, carat weight and brilliant cut. Let’s discuss diamond polish and the different terms that you may see on a certificate, as well as what they mean.
Diamond polish grade is a particular term that appraisers use to describe the level of perfection gained in the polishing process of a diamond they are inspecting. This term refers to the quality of the diamond’s finish and will have an impact on how the diamond looks. The GIA provides an extensive overview of various terms that you may find on a diamond grading report that describes certain traits noted about the diamond’s polish:
- Abrasion – This term refers to scratches that can be observed at the edges of a diamond’s facets.
- Burn – This term refers to white hazes that are usually caused by excessive heat placed on the diamond during the polishing process.
- Laser Manufacturing Remnant – This term describes a groove, which may be either white or transparent, seen on the surface of the diamond.
- Lizard Skin – Lizard skin occurs when a faucet of a diamond was polished off-grain.
- Nick – A nick is a notch that can be observed on the junction of a facet. It is most often found along the diamond’s culet or girdle.
- Pit – This term refers to a significantly small opening in the diamond that looks like a tiny white dot.
- Rough Girdle – A rough girdle means the girdle of a diamond has a granular texture. This is usually caused by nicks and pits.
- Scratch – Just as the name suggestions, this term describes a scratch that can be observed on the surface of a diamond.
- Polish Lines – During the diamond polishing process, lines may appear on a diamond, often also called “drag lines”. These lines can be transparent in most cases, but there are also cases where the lines appear white.
While the primary four aspects that are inspected during the grading process of a diamond is important for determining the value of a particular diamond, buyers should not forget to look at other aspects that can also affect a diamond’s value and appearance. Here we have taken a look at diamond polish, as well as the various terms that may be noted on a diamond grading certificate. In addition to diamond polish, we also advise buyers to educate themselves on terms used to describe diamond symmetry as these can have an impact not only on the appearance, but also on the sparkle of a diamond.