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How to Read the Symmetry and Polish of Your Diamond

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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.

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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 January 13, 2022

10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

1. Camping

A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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2. Staycation

You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

3. Island Getaway

People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

4. Fancy Resort

Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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5. Road Trip

The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

6. Charter a Boat

If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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8. Themed Retreats

There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

9. Working Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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