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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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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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