The only one of the 4 C’s influenced by man, a diamond’s cut is what determines its fire, sparkle and brilliance. It is the cut that truly makes a diamond catch one’s eye.
As the G.I.A. explains it:
“While diamonds come in many different shapes, including round brilliants, hearts, pears , and marquises, cut has to do with proportion and the arrangement of facets. The sheer beauty of a diamond depends on cut more than anything else, using light to create brilliance, sparkle, and flashes of fire. The GIA Cut Scale ranges from Excellent to Poor. GIA provides a cut quality grade for standard round brilliant diamonds.”
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Truth About Diamonds – Cut:
A diamond’s cut determines how well it reflects light and sparkles.
- The better the cut, the more the sparkle because more light is reflected back to the eye and not leaked out the back.
- When a diamond is cut with the proper proportions, light is returned out of the top of the diamond (which gemologists refer to as the table). If it is cut too shallow, light leaks out of the bottom; too deep and it escapes out of the side.
- While a diamond’s cut is an important factor, many retailers try to upsell customers based on grading that is often impossible to detect with the naked eye. For example, many retailers say you need an Excellent Polish or Symmetry over say Good Polish or Symmetry. That is an illusion. You are simply paying a lot more for something you can’t even notice.
All cuts with the same grade are not created equally.
Every diamond is unique and stones with the exact same cut and carat can fluctuate more than 20% in price. Unfortunately, many consumers these days are just clicking and buying a stone with only seeing a certification. The SmartCarat.com difference enables you to have a certified gemologist help review and show you stones, ensuring you are getting the absolute best diamond for your money.
I want a bigger diamond, but don’t want to spend more. What is the lowest quality cut I should be looking at?
We would never recommend going below a “Good” Cut stone. With that said, there are a lot of creative ways that you can take a stone with a lower Cut grade that will enable you to buy a larger stone.
What types of cut, make a stone look larger?
Stones with lower depth % will give the stone a “Spready” look and make the stone appear larger than it actually is. For example, a 1.70 Carat Radiant Diamond Cut with a 60% Depth will appear as if it is a 2.00 Carat Stone. There are a lot of similar ways to save money, this is a way that one of our certified gemologists can help you get the best bang for your buck.
What is polish, and how does it affect the value of a diamond?
- Polish of a Diamond refers to the finishing or polishing of the facets of the Diamonds. (I.E how well the Diamond Polisher, Polishes the Diamond, are there marks left on the Diamond during the Polishing Process.)
- The polish of a diamond shows how well the diamond was finished, how clean, shinny and straight edged the facets where cut, if any traces of minute or microscopic lines or blemishes were left by the polisher plus whether any marks are visible on the stone
- Poorly polished facets may reduce the intensity of light reflected from, or refracted into and out of a diamond.
- The visual effect of Good or lower Polish is that you might feel a need to clean the stone
- A common polish defect is surface grain lines. Even the most skilled cutter can encounter variations in hardness or grain, just like in timber, as they polish a facet. The result is a polish line or lines (usually microscopic) running across a facet.
- We recommend never going below a “Good” Polish on a Diamond. The differences in “Excellent” vs “Good” in terms of Polish is very minimal to the untrained eye. This is a way to save money when purchasing a Diamond.
- Symmetry refers to the precision with which the facets of a diamond are aligned with each other and the consistency of facet shape and size per given section. The symmetry rating reflected on a diamond grading report is not an indication of the proportions of a diamond, however it does factor into diamond cut performance.
- The symmetry grade of a diamond refers to the external balance and alignment of the facets. When you look at real diamonds, girdles are not always perfectly round and tables are not always perfect octagons. Sometimes facets have shapes that are distorted and sometimes they appear to have lopped off points.
People often get confused diamond shape with diamond cut. Shape of the diamond is the outward appearance. When the diamond jewelers use the word cut, they are referring to reflective qualities of the diamond not their shape. Quality of diamond cut is a crucial part of 4Cs of diamonds. A great cut provides brilliance to the diamond. Finish and angles of all the diamonds lets you determine the diamond’s ability to handle light that results in its brilliance.
When a diamond has a good cut, light travels through it easily, adding to its spark. The light that is passed through the diamond because of cut is alone responsible for making the diamonds shine and increase their desirability. If a diamond is not cut properly, light enter through table but after reaching the facets, it leaks out from bottom or side, cutting down its brilliance.
Many gemologists believe that best of diamond cuts are made after following formulae calculated for maximizing the brilliance. The formulae are in the proportions of the diamond, especially in the context of how depth compares to diameter. If you are buying diamonds without AGS certificates, invest some time finding certified diamonds and gain some knowledge for identifying better cuts. Cuts also influence the outward appearance of the diamonds.
Variance in proportions of Good cuts and Ideal cuts is difficult to find out by casual observer. As cut is important, you can make use of different grading methods for determining the cut of a specific diamond. Selection of grade cut is based on a person’s preference. For making the best of selections, one needs to be acquainted with different grades.
Ideal diamond cut has maximum brilliance and the small table size of these diamonds work in the best possible way to create fire or dispersion. With ideal cut diamonds, you can be sure of having the finest thing in return of the money invested. This category is just for round shaped diamonds. Premium cuts are also equivalent to ideal cuts in round diamonds but the price is slightly lower. Very Good diamond cuts reflect maximum light entered in them, providing fair amount of brilliance to the diamonds.
Good Cut diamonds reflect most of the light that passes through them. The proportion of these diamonds is outside the preferred range. Diamonds that fall under this category lets you save money without compromising on beauty and quality of the diamond. Fair and Poor quality diamonds reflect very little proportion of light that is entered to them. These diamonds are cut in order to increase carat weight above all the other considerations.
Diameter: The width of the diamond as measured through the girdle.
Table: The largest polished facet located on the top of the diamond.
Crown: The top part of a diamond extending from the table to the girdle.
Girdle: The edge of the diamond where the crown and pavilion meet.
Pavilion: The bottom part of a diamond that extends from the girdle down to the culet.
Culet: The small or pointed facet at the very bottom of a diamond.
Depth: The height of the diamond as measured from the table to the culet.