The girdle is the outer edge of the diamond, where the bottom half of the diamond meets the top half of the diamond. The girdle can be rough, smooth polished, or faceted. Most diamonds today have a faceted girdle. According to GIA, a diamond’s girdle should be thick enough to prevent chipping, but not so thick that it distracts from the diamond’s appearance.
When grading the girdle of a diamond, a gemologist examines the diamond at different points along the girdle. If the entire girdle is the same thickness then one grade is given, such as Medium. If the girdle varies in thickness then the thinnest grade and the thickest grade are given. An example of this would be a girdle grade of Thin to Slightly Thick. Girdle ratings fit into the following categories:
Extremely Thin – Is more susceptible to breaking or chipping; therefore it’s not recommended to be set in a ring, or if so, it requires extra care.
Very Thin – Also requires care when setting the diamond in a ring.
Thin, Medium, Slightly Thick, Thick – Ideally cut gemstones are usually graded within this range.
Very Thick – A diamond will usually have a girdle of this size only when the cutter is trying to maximize diamond weight. This is good if diamond weight is your only concern.
Extremely Thick – Adds weight to the diamond causing it to look smaller than other diamonds of similar carat weight.
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