Cut has the biggest impact on the
beauty of diamonds and the least amount of difference in their price. The word
cut has several meanings when it comes to diamonds. The cut of a diamond does
not just mean its shape (round brilliant, princess, oval, cushion, etc.) but also
addresses the symmetry, polishing, angles and the proportions of each physical
aspect of the diamond.
cut determines the diamond's sparkle. A properly cut diamond will refract the
light that enters the diamond and return it through the top to produce the much
desired sparkle. The angles have to be exactly right to effectively reflect the
light back to your eye.
Diamonds are cut by different diamond cutters with different
levels of skill. Each rough diamond crystal has its own distinct inclusions occurring
at random locations. Diamond cutters are trying to cut the biggest and heaviest
diamond from the rough crystal. Cutting diamonds to the best possible cut usually
means losing diamond carat weight in the cutting process. There is always a compromise
between beauty and size. Some cutters are better than others and are also willing
to take the extra time to do it right.
The typical brilliant cut diamond
is cut with 57 facets, 33 on the crown and 24 on the pavilion. On a well-proportioned
stone, these facets will be uniform and symmetrical. If they are not, the diamond's
ability to refract and reflect light will suffer.
A poorly-cut diamond just won't look right to the eye. Unfortunately, 75% of all
rounds and 88% of all other shapes on the market are poorly proportioned.
searching for a great cut, the two most important numbers are the depth percentage
and the table percentage.
Table percentage is the length of
the table divided by the width of the diamond. The higher the number, the bigger
the table looks. The lower the number, the smaller the table looks. Do not confuse
small table with small diameter. In general, you want the bigger diameter and
the smaller table percentage for the most beautiful round diamonds.
of Round: It is interesting to note that "round" diamonds are usually
not perfect circles. The length and width measurements for a round are both diameter
measurements and will be different for an out-of-round shape. If the length is
greater than the width by more than .10 millimeters, the diamond has not been
cut well and should be avoided. For two-carat stones, the acceptable deviation
is 0.12 millimeters.
Probably the most important aspect for a fancy cut is the
general appearance to your eye and that it is appealing and symmetrical. In many
fancy shaped diamonds (marquise, pear, oval, emerald and heart shaped), the pavilion
facets do not culminate at a point at the tip of the pavilion as they do for a
round. Instead, they form an edge, called the "keel line." This line
should be centered in the diamond and this "culet" should still be as
small as possible.
width will vary between greater extremes on some fancy shapes compared to the
round brilliant. These include the marquise, pear and heart, where the girdle
tends to be thick or extremely thick at the tips of the stone and in the cleft
of the heart-shaped cut. Also, the princess cut, which has square corners, may
have an extremely thin girdle in these areas. Since the girdles vary with greater
frequency in fancy shapes, attention needs to be paid to extremely thin and extremely
thick girdles to avoid danger of chipping or excessive weight.
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