Diamond Cuts and Shape
When you buy a diamond ring, the first thing you would notice is probably the size of the diamond. This is known as the stone’s carat weight. However, this is not the only factor to be considered when you buy diamond jewellery. There are 4 Cs that determine the value of a diamond, namely carat, cut, color and clarity. Of these, the cut is often considered the most important one, because it can impact the look, brilliance, and fire of a diamond.
The cut of a diamond refers to its proportions. A diamond’s beauty depends more on how it is cut rather than its color or the clarity of the stone. It is better to buy a well-cut, small diamond than a poorly cut, larger diamond. This article talks about everything you should know about diamond cuts – what it is, how are diamonds cut, different types of cuts, buying tips, and much more.
Cut Vs. Uncut Diamonds
A raw, uncut diamond looks very different from the diamonds used on your diamond rings or bracelets. Uncut diamonds look like transparent or translucent crystals. These may be colorless or tinged in a brownish or yellowish color. The edges of a raw diamond may be rounded or angular. Uncut diamonds have a unique beauty of their own but they are rarely used in this form. Though they are cheaper, these diamonds appear duller and do not sparkle like cut diamonds.
What is the Best way to cut a Diamond?
One rough diamond can be cut in many different ways. It may be cut into one large diamond or several smaller diamonds depending on the shape of the rough stone. The way it is cut will affect the way light reflects off its surfaces, the flashes of color that are seen through it, and how it sparkles. To determine the best way to cut a diamond, there are two aspects to be kept in mind - the proportions of the diamond and its shape.
The proportions of a diamond refer to the relationship between its shape, size, and angles of each facet. If the diamond is too shallow, the light entering it will escape through the bottom. Thus, the sparkle of such a diamond is minimized. Similarly, if the diamond is too deep, light falling on the face of the diamond will not bounce back. This can make it appear dull and smaller than its carat weight. Thus, if a rough diamond was oblong in shape, it may be better to cut it into two small diamonds rather than one deep diamond.
Other aspects of a diamond’s proportions include its table size, girdle thickness, crown and pavilion angle, and culet. When speaking of proportions, it is also important to understand a diamond’s depth% and table%. Depth% can be arrived at by dividing the depth of a diamond with its total width. When comparing two diamonds of the same carat value, the one with the lower depth% will appear larger. Table% can be calculated by dividing the width of the table facet with the width of the entire diamond.
Shape of a Diamond
The contours of the rough diamond also determine the best shape for it. There are many different shapes that a diamond can be cut into. Each shape not only affects the way it looks but also affects its sparkle and fire. Some shapes can also affect the perceived value of a diamond by making it look bigger than it actually is.
What are the most common diamond cuts?
When buying diamond necklaces, earrings, bangles, and other types of ornaments, their shape is usually the first filter. Though shape and cut are technically different terms, they are often used interchangeably by laymen. The ten basic shapes or cuts that you may choose between are:
Round: This is the most popular shape of diamonds for rings and solitaire earrings. A round cut diamond maximizes brilliance and luster. This classic shape is timeless and very versatile.
Princess: Traditionally, a princess cut referred to a diamond cut in the shape of a square. It features sharp, pointed corners and can have anywhere between 40 to 144 facets. Today, rectangular diamonds can also be given a princess cut.
Oval: The oval cut is considered a modification of the round cut. It offers a similar brilliance and sparkle. Oval diamonds are usually flanked by other stones. When it comes to rings, this cut is preferred by people with short hands as it creates an illusion of longer fingers.
Marquise: This cut is named after the Marquise de Pompadour. It can be described as an oval with pointed ends. This unique cut is considered one of the most dramatic cuts for a diamond. This shape makes the diamond look bigger than its carat value.
Pear: The pear shape combines the contours of the round cut and the marquise cut. When buying pear cut diamonds, it is important to look for symmetry. Like the oval cut, when set in rings, a pear-shaped diamond also gives the illusion of a slender hand.
Emerald: An emerald cut diamond speaks of glamour and opulence. This cut features a rectangular shape. A large table and step cut facets. The large table accentuates the diamond’s color and makes inclusions more apparent. From Beyoncé to Elizabeth Taylor, the emerald cut is an all-time favourite.
Cushion: This cut may also be known as the pillow cut. Cushion cut diamonds may be square or rectangular. They are known for their rounded corners and large facets. This makes the diamonds appear brighter. A cushion cut is usually limited to higher carat weight diamonds.
Radiant: This is a combination of the emerald cut and the round cut. Radiant cut diamonds are usually square. Their trimmed corners are inspired by the emerald cut while the facets reflect a round cut. A radiant cut is one of the rarest cuts.
Asscher: This cut is easily confused with the emerald cut except that it is square. The resulting look is dramatic and attention-grabbing. The Asscher cut has a chunky profile, stepped facets and clipped corners. The cut was created in the early 1900s and is very popular amongst people who like vintage style.
Heart: The heart cut speaks of romance and sentimentality. As the name suggests, a stone is cut in the shape of a heart for this cut. This cut is difficult to perfect and hence, its demands a higher price and is usually limited to stones with a high carat value.
Trillion: A diamond cut in this way is triangular in shape and it often has rounded edges. The trillion cut, also known by other names such as the Trilliant, has a unique charm compared to other cuts. Triangle-shaped diamonds are used as both central stones and accent stones.
How is the Cut of a Diamond Graded?
The cut of a diamond can be graded as poor, fair, good, very good and excellent. This takes into consideration the shape, facets, angles, symmetry, culet size, and polish. Poorly-cut diamonds appear dull and do not have any sparkle. On the other hand, diamonds that are graded as an excellent cut reflect nearly all the light that falls on them. Thus, they sparkle brilliantly. Very good diamonds appear similar to excellent cut diamonds under normal lighting. When two diamonds of the same grade are being compared, individual components such as their depth%, table%, symmetry, culet size, etc. may be used as tiebreakers.
Things to Consider When You Buy Diamond Jewellery
When you buy diamond jewellery, always pay attention to the cut because it can make a lot of difference to its appeal. For instance, if you want your diamond to sparkle at the optimal level, a round brilliant cut is always the best option. An emerald cut stone, on the other hand, will have an understated sparkle. Likewise, when you want more value for the money, go for a cut that makes the stone appear larger than it is. Marquise or oval cut diamonds are your best options in this regard. When looking for unique appeal and charm, you can count on the trillion cut or any fancy cut diamonds.
So, now you know what to look for when you buy diamonds next time, don’t you? Make an informed decision and cherish your diamonds forever. After all, diamonds are forever!