A Cut Above the Rest: Diamond Cut Explained

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The first thing that typically comes to mind when thinking about a diamond is the one-of-a-kind sparkle it provides. If you’ve browsed a diamond jewelry case lately, you may have found yourself captivated by the brilliant shimmer and playful way each diamond interacts with light. What you’ve observed all comes down to diamond cut – arguably the most important aspect to pay attention to when selecting a diamond. Let us break down everything there is to know about diamond cut.  

What is Diamond Cut?

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The cut of a diamond is one of the most important aspects of diamond jewelry. Diamond cut refers to the proportions, symmetry, and polish of the diamond. All these aspects are important to how the stone’s facets, or flat surfaces, interact with light.

It is important to note that diamond cut and diamond shape are commonly thought of as the same thing and are often used interchangeably. However, they are very different. Diamond shape refers to the literal shape of the stone, like round, pear, and oval, while diamond cut refers to how well the stone interacts with light. 

Why Does Diamond Cut Matter?

The cut of a diamond is what affects the beauty of diamond jewelry the most. The performance and quality of a diamond are really determined by the cut, which is truly the most important of the 4C’s of a diamond.

Selecting the perfect diamond jewelry for your collection is an important decision, and you want the best quality. The reason diamond jewelry is so beloved is the unique way it dazzles, shines, and has that “wow factor.” The diamond cut is responsible for how much brightness, fire, and scintillation each stone has.

Understanding Diamond Sparkle

  • Brightness - Diamond brightness, or diamond brilliance, is the amount of white light a diamond has. Diamonds look brighter depending on how much light is refracted and returned to the eye. When a diamond looks brighter, it also tends to look bigger!
  • Fire - Don’t worry; your diamond isn’t literally on fire! This description refers to the colorful flashes of light that a diamond omits when under light, like a prism.
  • Scintillation – Have you ever noticed the bright flashes of light a diamond gives off as it is moved or angled? This is scintillation; that sparkle from facet to facet as the diamond is moved and catches light. 

Diamond Cut and the Strength of the Diamond

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You may be wondering if a poorly cut diamond can compromise the strength of the stone. The short answer is no. Diamonds truly are forever and are one of the strongest stones on Earth.

The strength of a diamond is retained regardless of how it is cut because its strength comes from a molecular level. Badly cut diamonds are not weaker than diamonds that have been cut excellently. One exception to this is if a diamond has a long crack through the whole stone. If this is the case, the diamond is much more susceptible to splitting in two.

Even though a poorly cut diamond is still a strong diamond, it loses much of its value and appeal due to its lack of brilliance. Badly cut diamonds appear dull, dark, and muted. 

How are Diamond Cuts Made

The saying “diamond in the rough” is very literal because diamond cutting involves taking a rough, dull stone and transforming it into a brilliant, sparkling diamond. The practice of diamond cutting is difficult and requires specific training, tools, techniques, and equipment.

Diamonds are cut using a saw with a blade or a laser. Typically, a rough diamond will be held in place by a wax or cement mold while it is cut. As time has passed, diamond cutting has become very technical and computerized with software programming that calculates all that’s necessary to make the perfect cut. Gemologists study a rough diamond before cutting it to give it the best:

  1. Symmetry
  2. Proportion
  3. Polish

Diamond Cut and Symmetry

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All the best diamonds are perfectly symmetrical. Symmetry determines how well each facet is aligned across the whole diamond. Symmetry plays a large role in how a diamond interacts with light. 

Proportion and Diamond Cut

Proportions of the diamond are the measurements of each facet and angle within a diamond. The diamond’s diameter is often used as the basis for most diamond proportion calculations.

When cutting a diamond, gemologists focus on the relationship between a diamond’s carat weight and its diameter. If a diamond has a small carat weight and a large diameter, the stone will be shallow and lose light at the sides. A heavy diamond with a small diameter will be too deep and lose light through its pavilion.

Diamond Cut and Polish

Polishing is the last step in the diamond-cutting process and refers to the finished look and level of smooth and glassy appearance. Polishing after a diamond is cut is imperative as it smooths the surfaces and removes any blemishes that occurred during the cutting process to help the most light possible enter and exit the stone. 

Diamond Cut Grading System

The GIA’s diamond cut grading system is most commonly used to assess the quality of the diamond cut on a scale ranging from excellent to poor. The proportions of the facets and how well the diamond interacts with the light are evaluated. Craftsmanship, as well as the relationship of weight and diameter, symmetry, and polish, are also noted.

High-quality diamonds come with a diamond certificate from a respectable gem lab. This certificate will include the diamond cut grade. As you are browsing for your next diamond jewelry purchase, don’t hesitate to ask a Fink’s jeweler for the certificate of a diamond that caught your eye.    

What Is the Best Diamond Cut?

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The OG and tried-and-true winner of the diamond cut is the round brilliant diamond cut. It is easy to understand why the round brilliant cut is the most popular of the diamond cuts. Boasting 57 facets and optimal symmetry, proportion, and polish, these diamonds are hard to take your eyes off of, thanks to their brilliant sparkle and breathtaking shine.

A round brilliant cut diamond truly gives you the value you are looking for in a diamond jewelry piece. When a rough stone is cut for a round diamond, more of the stone is lost, resulting in each carat having a higher value. A round brilliant diamond cut is perfect whether you are selecting an engagement ring, necklace, or earrings

Be as prepared as possible as you shop for your next diamond jewelry piece. Having the knowledge of the ins and outs of diamond cut will certainly help you make the best selection that will dazzle anyone with its precious sparkle and shine.