The Anatomy of a Diamond

Anatomy of a diamond


It’s the time of year when you may be thinking about proposing to the love of your life, or considering a diamond as the perfect gift to show her she’s amazing. Jewelry is a great way to tell her how much she means to you, but before you decide on that engagement ring or necklace, it’s important to know how to identify high quality diamonds so you know you’re getting the best. To do that, you need to understand a little more about the anatomy of a diamond.


The “table” of the diamond is exactly what it sounds like—the flat part of the diamond on the top, just like the top of a table. This is the largest surface of the gemstone, and it is the place where you see the “sparkle” of the diamond reflecting back. If you have a poorly cut diamond you won’t see as much sparkle coming through the table.


Surrounding the table is the crown, which slopes from the edges of the table down to the widest part of the diamond (the girdle).


To accurately measure diameter in a diamond you must measure at the widest part, also called the girdle. If you picture a diamond, the girdle is the widest area so viewing it from the side you will see the diamond angle inward at the top and bottom from here.

If you’re examining a diamond you want the “Goldilocks” graded version—not too thin, not too thick. A thin girdle can put your diamond at higher risk of chipping, while a thick girdle can impact the visual appeal of the diamond, making it look smaller.


Once you get past the girdle, the diamond slopes down toward the very tip, a section called the pavilion. It’s the longest portion of the diamond, and you want to make sure you choose one that isn’t too shallow (a short pavilion) or too deep (a long pavilion) because these things can impact the way light refracts inside the diamond, making it look dull.


The very bottom tip of the diamond is called the cutlet, and when evaluating a diamond you don’t want to be able to see the cutlet without the help of a magnifying device.

Interaction of Elements

Now that you know all the parts of a diamond, how can it help you get a better one when shopping for that perfect ring or piece of jewelry? There are three components that interact within a diamond to create the exact right amount of sparkle and beauty. One of the four C’s of evaluating a diamond is cut (the others are clarity, color, and carat weight), and to properly understand cut you need to know how the following three things interact:

  • Depth – the measurement from the top of the table to the cutlet
  • Table – the flat surface on top that reflects light
  • Diameter – just like geometry class, a measurement of the width of a diamond that intersects the center

A properly cut diamond will have all these elements in correct proportion to ensure that light can enter and be reflected back from the diamond for maximum sparkle. Keep in mind that understanding diamond anatomy is another tool that can help you evaluate and identify the best diamond, but it shouldn’t necessarily take the place of using the four C’s.

To find out more about the perfect diamond and examine the anatomy of our entire selection, visit Monte Lab Diamonds today and talk to our diamond experts.