Girdle grades are important…
For if you get a girdle that’s too thin, it can chip or break easily.
And if you get a girdle that’s too thick, you’re spending money on worthless carat weight.
This is why it’s crucial to double check the diamond’s girdle thickness before you buy it.
Because even a great diamond, with a beautiful color, clarity and carat weight, can be blindsided by a crappy girdle.
The girdle is the widest part of the diamond. It’s the band, or belt, that runs around your stone’s perimeter and divides the top half (the crown) from the bottom half (the pavilion).
And when it comes to girdles, there are 8 different girdle grades in the GIA grading system:
Let’s define these girdle grades:
Extremely Thin Girdle
Extremely Thin Girdles have a very sharp edge and can chip or break pretty easily. They come to a knife edge and it wouldn’t take much for them to show signs of abrasion.
Very Thin Girdle
Very Thin Girdles look like just a fine line running around the outer edge of the Diamond. They can still chip or break easily.
Thin Girdles look like a small line around the stone. They are easier to see with magnification.
Medium Girdles are one of the best Girdles to get. They are not too thick or too thin. They look great and help protect the stone.
Slightly Thick Girdle
Slightly Thick Girdles are a little bit bigger and more obvious. They are still a great Girdle to get and they are perfect for protection and mounting.
Thick Girdles start to get a little too thick. They may stand out and get noticed. Still not bad, but I wouldn’t get a Girdle any thicker than this.
Very Thick Girdle
Very Thick Girdles are pushing the limits. They may now distract from the beauty of the Diamond and look very obvious to the naked eye (no loupe needed).
Extremely Thick Girdle
Extremely Thick Girdles are very thick and very distracting. They can stand out like a sore thumb and look quite ugly. Usually this thickness of Girdle means that the Cutter left it heavy to add Carat Weight to the stone. Sightly and Huge, they can even make it hard to set in a mounting.
Recommended girdle grades:
These are the best girdle grades to purchase…
Buying a girdle that’s “thin“, “medium“, or “slightly thick” does 2 things:
- It helps prevent damage
- It gives the prongs a surface to grip
The good thing is, there is a simple way to get a great girdle:
Buy “excellent” cut diamonds
By GIA standards, an “excellent” cut grade only uses diamonds with a girdle thickness of thin-slightly thick. That’s exactly where you want to be. So if you buy “excellent“, you don’t have to worry about the thickness of the diamond girdle.
This can’t be said for “very good” cuts, or lower grade diamonds (“good“, “fair“, “poor“.
Lower grades can have “extremely thin” girdles, as well as “very thick” and all the extremes!
GIA makes it simple:
Just check the report…
Buy “excellent” cut grades, and your girdle will always be proper.
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About the Author
Author Richard Scott. Certified Diamontologist and Gemologist. 30 years of experience.
Let Richard help you choose the best diamond, the most dazzling engagement ring, and save as much money as possible. Read more about the author here. Follow Richard on social media; Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. Contact Richard Scott here.