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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 September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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