Diamond cut refers to a diamond's symmetry, polish and proportioning, not its shape. A diamond cut is a style guide that is used when a diamond is being shaped for polishing. A diamond's brilliance is greatly impacted by its cut; if a diamond is cut poorly, its luminosity will be diminished.
Nature determines a diamond's clarity and colour, but it is the talent and skill of an experienced and learned diamond cutter that will further enhance a diamond's beauty. When making the cut, a diamond cutter must make the critical decision of whether to choose more weight or more brilliance. In order to determine how well a diamond is cut, gemmological laboratories utilize a number of state-of-the-art measuring devices.
Exactly what aspects of a diamond are analyzed when examining a diamond's proportions? These include its length, width and height, its measurements, depth percentage, table percentage, girdle thickness, culet size, crown angle, crown height, pavilion angle, diamond symmetry and pavilion height. It is said that the cut of a diamond is the most important element of its beauty.
If a diamond is cut either too shallow or too deep, the brilliance of the diamond will certainly be affected through its side and bottom. If a diamond's brilliance is diminished in any way, the value of the diamond will definitely go down when it comes to both price and quality. The proportion of a diamond can be considered Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor or Unusual.
Another aspect of diamond cuts is polish. All facets of a diamond are polished thoroughly in order to remove as many flaws, scratches, abrasions and marks as possible. Polishing is also performed in order to make the diamond shine as brightly as possible. Grading range is similar to diamond proportions: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor or Unusual.
Lastly, a diamond's symmetry pertains to its balance and regularity or the evenness of its facets. The same grading as both proportion and polish applies: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor or Unusual.
A diamond cut is comprised of a symmetrical arrangement of facets. Together, these facets alter a diamond crystal's shape and appearance. When choosing a cut, several factors are considered by diamond cutters, including the diamond's shape and size.
Multiple diamond cuts have been developed throughout the years for the purpose of enhancing each diamond gemstone's unique material properties. In fact, the history of diamond cuts goes all the way back to the Middle Ages.
Prior to the 1900's, diamonds were cut in such a manner that is considered "primitive" today. Some of these cuts are the old mine cut and the rose cut. While there are a few consumers that are interested in collecting these antique stones, most antique stones are re-cut into modern brilliants to attract today's contemporary consumers.
The round brilliant remains the most popular diamond cut today. Empirical and mathematical analyses have perfected the facet proportions and arrangements of this cut. Trained graders are responsible for evaluating a diamond's cut. Higher grades are given to diamonds whose symmetry and proportions are closest to the benchmark. Compared to other cuts, the round brilliant undergoes the strictest grading standards; however, cut grading ideals vary in different countries.
Today, laser cutting and computer-aided design play a major role in advancing the development of cuts. With new technology, diamond cutters can be more accurate, reducing the waste of these precious gemstones. However, many diamonds continue to be cut in an improper fashion. Prioritizing weight over brilliance has been the practice of some diamond cutters whose aim is to gain financially rather than provide their clientele with high quality products. It is recommended that you choose a diamond that has an ideal to very fine cut, rather than one that simply weighs more. The heaviest diamond isn't necessarily the most beautiful.
Choice of Cut
As mentioned earlier, several factors are considered by diamond cutters prior to choosing a cut. These include carat weight preservation, internal flaw or inclusion location, shape popularity, and the original shape of the rough stone.
In their rough state, most quality diamonds come in the shape of an octahedron. These crystals are typically cut into round brilliant as this shape is suitable for cutting into with only a minimal loss of weight. Fancy cuts are chosen for diamonds when the crystals in the rough stone are somewhat twinned or malformed. There are cases in which diamond cutters accept cuts with lesser symmetry and proportions for the purpose of preserving carat weight, as the per-carat price of a diamond is considerably higher when the stone is over 200 mg, or one carat.
The standard cut for diamonds is the round brilliant cut, due to its proportions and shape being constant. Fashion trends tend to heavily influence the choice of fancy cut by some consumers. Presently, the mixed Princess cut is gaining popularity, while during the Art Deco period, people could not get enough of the step cut baguette. The princess cut is fairly popular among diamond cutters as its design creates the smallest amount of waste of the original crystal.
While the round brilliant remains the standard and most popular cut, its popularity is waning in favour of other, fancier cuts.
Traditions have sprung up that involve giving a fancy diamond cut to a loved one on a specific occasion or celebration. For instance, princess cuts are given for wedding engagements, while heart-cut diamonds are received by women on Valentine's Day or wedding anniversaries. Today, the most famous diamond shapes are marquise, heart, round, oval, asscher, radiant, pear, cushion, princess, and emerald.