Although this topic can get a little complicated, you will see that if you spend some time learning about diamond cuts, you will be able to pick out a real sparkler.
Many customers begin with the notion that they want the biggest diamond possible. It’s important to remember when shopping for a diamond that, “Bigger Is Not Always Better”.
In this article we are going to talk about diamond cuts. It seems that this topic can be pretty confusing to many people looking to buy a new diamond. The most common reason for this, is because diamond shape is often confused with diamond cut. Frankly it’s not surprising that people get a little confused at times, especially when they hear diamond professionals referring to diamond shapes as if they were a type of cut.
Common examples that we often hear are Princess cut diamond, Radiant cut diamond, Emerald cut diamond, Asscher cut diamond, and so on. The proper terminology that should be used is Princess Shape diamond, Radiant Shape Diamond, Emerald shape diamond, Asscher shape diamond.…you get the point.
Terms Used to Describe Diamonds:
Facets make up the surfaces of a diamond. When light enters in to a diamond, these facets act like tiny light bouncing mirrors that reflect light. Light that is reflected from properly cut and polished facets, create the sparkle, fire, scintillation and brilliance of a diamond. Where sparkle doesn’t really need an introduction, here’s a quick look at what the others mean.
Quick Diamond Cut Facts:
Quick Look at Common Cut Grades
Diamond Cut Matters
The first thing to mention about diamond cuts, is that cut matters a lot! At least if you want your diamond to sparkle. (Who doesn’t want to buy the most sparkly diamond possible?) Often times people shopping for diamonds, tend to focus on only 3 of the 4 C’s (Carat, Color, Clarity) and often forget about the “4th C”, cut grade. A Diamond’s cut grade refers to how well a diamond is cut, or proportioned. It also refers to a diamond’s symmetry, or how symmetrical it’s parts are. Proportions and symmetry play an important role in allowing a diamond to reflect light properly. If the proportions, symmetry and polish are perfect, the diamond will show an excellent ability to sparkle, and likely be issued an “Excellent Cut Grade”
Learn The Parts Of A Diamond
In order to learn about diamond cuts, first learn about the different parts of a diamond.
The Girdle and Diamond Cuts
The Girdle diameter also plays an important role in calculating the depth percentage of a Gemstone. In order to calculate the Depth percentage, Gemologists will measure the total depth of the stone in millimeters (From the Table Facet to the Culet) and divide that measurement by the average Girdle diameter.A depth percentage of 60% is desirable for an excellent cut grade. My personal opinion is to stay within 59% to 61% depth.
Depths lower than 59% are shallow cut diamonds and may appear larger than they should for their respective carat weight. Depth percentages larger than 61% will be Deep cut diamonds and appear smaller than they should for their respective carat weight. Although you may be tempted to buy a shallow cut diamond so that it appears larger than it should, just remember that you may lose some of the Sparkle Factor!
A look into how Depth, Girdle and Polish of a diamond plays a major role.
The side example gives you a great idea of why you can’t just look at the carat weight when you purchase a diamond. You have to look at how well the diamond’s cut is graded. And part of the cut grading has to do with the girdle and polish of your diamond.
I like to look at the Girdle and the Polish together, as they are what I call the reflective surfaces. Here’s a good way to look at this.
The Girdle is the basically the middle of the diamond. It separates the crown and table from the pavilion and culet. All light has to pass through the Girdle, and then bounce back up again. So it stands to reason you don’t want such a thick girdle otherwise the light will have a harder time getting through, and be more apt to reflect the light in abnormal ways.
Quick Look At GIA Girdle Measurements:
Diamond Cut Grading Of GIA, EGL and AGSL
The next thing to mention about “Diamond Cuts” is that different diamond grading organizations will use different terms to describe them. And to make matters even more confusing, some retail jewelers will sell diamonds using their own names for cut grades. These companies want to give the perception that these diamonds are “The Best Of The Best” and you should pay more for them. (A common trick among many jewelers)
If you are willing to pay Top Dollar for these diamonds, by all means go ahead. However if you would like to save some money and still get a beautiful diamond, just do your homework and pick out the winner yourself. Remember, if you are buying a diamond from a reputable jeweler you will have plenty of time to return the diamond if it doesn’t meet your expectations, as most offer 30-60 day money back guarantees.
Types Of Diamond Cuts
There are basically three types of diamond cuts. We referenced them above, but just in case it wasn’t clear we wanted to hit on this subject again.
All diamond certifications should come with a cut grade. Pay attention to it. Also different grading labs grade different. Take a look at our cushion cut diamonds page. There will see examples and guidelines to follow to know for sure whether your diamond’s cut is excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor. We will be adding charts like this for all diamond shapes to make sure you know exactly what you’re buying. EGLUSA, as well, has provided some in-depth diamond cut charts on princess and round diamonds. Click here to take a look.