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How to Read the Symmetry and Polish of Your Diamond

How to Read the Symmetry and Polish of Your Diamond

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend or so they say. But those who really know diamonds know that they are not all cut the same. It’s not just the cut that matters, either. There are four conditions typically used to judge a diamond, called the 4Cs. They are: cut, clarity, carat weight, and color. How a diamond reflects light and even the overall shape are important. When choosing a diamond, these factors will affect the price scale. Is it crooked? Is one side higher? When you’re checking for the polish (think shininess) and the symmetry (does it make an even diamond shape). Below are a few tips on how to judge your rock by its symmetry and polish.

Why Does Polish Even Matter?

The polish on a diamond directly relates to how it’s priced. Think of the polish as the cherry on top of a sundae. It was nice before, but becomes better with the extra touch. The polish of a diamond will also affect how well your diamond does when set with other stones. The more clarity and brilliance the diamond has, the stronger it makes the other gems seem. A strong diamond polish will make the other gems, like rubies or sapphires, also pop and create an even more luxurious look.

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Hand Polishing vs. Polishing Wheel

But how is it done? Before you get the rag and the glass cleaner out, know that polishing is something done by professionals. Generally, this happens during the cutting and shaping process. The cutter has two options when choosing how to polish a diamond: hand polish or a polishing wheel[1]. Both are a bit like using high-grade sandpaper but hand polishing allows for more control. Also, hand polishing is best when the diamond is already on track to being highly valued, in terms of brilliance and smoothness. A polishing wheel is definitely faster and uses industrial-strength diamonds to brighten them. It’s during this specific step that the value placed on a diamond can either fall or rise dramatically. It’s just a matter of how well the cutter does his job.

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What Can a Polish Can Do?

A polish will determine the value and grade of a diamond. Sometimes, a cutter may even try to pass off a diamond as better than it is because you can’t see the fine marks on the diamond’s surface. You can, however, feel them, as there will be streaks or ridges in the table. This is why the polishing step is so vital because it may successfully buff out any imperfections to reach a grade of excellent or it might add some scuffs that result in only being labeled good or very good. These rankings determine how your diamond is priced and in general, you’ll want to purchase a stone marked excellent.

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Types of Diamond Symmetry

When referring to diamond symmetry[2], what you’re looking for is the perfect setting of the top (called a crown) and the bottom (the pointy tip end called a pavilion) when they join together in the middle (called a girdle). When the crown and pavilion are properly set, they create the traditional diamond shape that we all know.  The flat top of diamond is called a table and must also be perfectly parallel with the girdle in order to get the right effect. But if any of these three factors are off (maybe a girdle is too wide or the pavilion’s angles are not uniform), your diamond will be considered asymmetrical.

Judging By the Naked eye

Just by looking casually at a diamond, you will likely not be able to tell if the pavilion’s angles are misaligned or if the girdle has waves. While you need magnification to see the exact matching up of points within the diamond, there is one thing you will be able to determine without it. When diamonds are asymmetrical, their internal structure is weak and it’s considered that the points fold over themselves and create blocks. This means there are extra obstacles to light passing through the stone. This lack of symmetry means your diamond will not sparkle as well as it could if it were properly aligned and had a grade of excellent[3].

Featured photo credit: Angeljana/Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Reference

[1] Gia: Diamond Polish and Symmetry Abbreviations
[2] Your Diamond Teacher: Diamond Symmetry
[3] DocPlayer: Polish and Symmetry Craftsmanship

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Sasha Brown

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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