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The girdle is the outside edge of the stone. It’s usually not the knife edge that it appears to be at first glance but rather a series of very small facets or just a polished or frosted rim. Too thin and it can get fragile and too thick and it adds unnecessary weight to the stone. Lab reports will generally give a range of size from the thinnest to the thickest points although the methodology varies a little bit from lab to lab. The scale usually goes:


Extremely thin



Slightly thick


Extremely thick


There is also sometimes have a statement about the finish treatment and will indicate if it has been faceted, polished or whatever.


Lastly, there are increasingly things written on the girdle in microscopic type that will range from serial numbers to brand logos and personalized messages.


If you’re trying to shop blind for a diamond and are hoping to get your best chances of finding one that will pass you and your appraisers first inspection, avoid extremely thin and extremely thick girdles. These aren't always a problem but they are cause for concern. Most people also avoid a range of more than 3 grades from the thinnest to the thickest point.



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Attached is a graphic which shows the various sectons and parts that comprise the round brilliant shape.


The range of girdle thickness listed on the lab report is a range of minimum to maximum, with either end of this range possibly only taking up a very small area of the entire girdle.


Keep in mind that the Cut quality and light performance of the diamond is also affected and dependent on the interaction of the Table, Crown, Pavillion, and minor upper and lower facets.


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