The 4 c's of Diamonds - Part 1 of 5 - Cut
Diamond Shape & Cut
Through artistry and technical skill a diamond can acquire different shapes, including old hand-crafted cuts, modern cuts, hybrid cuts, as well as fancy cuts with many extra facets. Stepped cuts enhance the luster, clarity, and whiteness of the diamond, while brilliant cuts accentuate its fire, meaning its reflective power. At RING Jewellers, we provide you with a large spectrum of choices so that you will be able to pick the engagement ring that best meets your aesthetic criteria, always at highest quality standards.
According to GIA’s evaluation, one of the 4Cs is Cut, meaning the degree to which a shape has been cut correctly to reflect as much light as possible. A diamond that is cut too shallow or too deep will allow light to escape through its bottom or sides respectively, and similar leak of light will happen when a diamond is not cut symmetrically. The diamond that qualifies for excellent cut is one that reflects light thought its top facet or ‘table’; something that offers outmost brilliance. When the Gemological Institute of America grades diamond cut as excellent, very good, medium, or poor this has a direct impact on its value.
Round Brilliant Cut
Since 1919, the round brilliant cut is the most popular of all, comprising three quarters of consumer picks of engagement rings. Their 58 facets are allocated as 33 on the crown (the top half above the middle of the stone) and 25 on the pavilion (the lower half). Because they reflect light more than other shapes, those of lower (more yellow) colour grade might look equally white, and the same applies to lower clarity diamonds which have a knack for hiding imperfections better than other shapes. This means that you can get a better-looking diamond at a lower colour or clarity grade and eventually at a lower price.
Known also as step-cut, these minimalist diamonds account for only 3% percent of available shapes in the market. Originally invented for emeralds back in the 1500s, this cut shows off imperfections more, and this is why it coincides with higher clarity stones. The concentric rows of 57 or 58 facets have to be perfectly cut and polished so that they create their signature dazzling ‘hall of mirrors’ effect.
Known also, but not commonly as ‘navette’, it is the rarest among main cuts. Its elliptical shape with pointed ends qualifies for rather dramatic styles of engagement rings. With 58 facets as well, it has its roots in King Louis XV of France (1710-1774), who commissioned a new lip-shaped diamond cut for his mistress Marchioness Madame de Pompadour. What we are looking for here is the perfect symmetrical cut with aligning ends.
Square or rectangular, the radiant cut, conceived by Henry Grossbard in 1977, features a brilliant pattern on both the crown and the pavilion. Its basic difference from the Princess cut is that it has cut corners or otherwise trimmed edges as opposed to uncut, sharp ones. It is characterized as a mixed cut and has 70 facets that reflect light in an impressive way.
In the GIA certificates it is mentioned as Square Emerald cut due to the same stepped style that creates the ‘hall of mirrors’ effect. It has 58 facets with trimmed corners, a tall crown topped with a small table and a deep pavilion. It was created by cutter Joseph Asscher in the beginning of the 20th century as part of the Art Deco movement. Since then it’s been redesigned to include 74 facets.
With origins as deep as two centuries ago, the modern oval was first introduced by jeweller Lazare Kaplan in the 60s. It is a modified brilliant cut that reflects light nicely, and looks bigger than same-weight round ones. Similarly to the Marquise cut, we make sure that the stone is proportionally cut to avoid the ‘bow-tie effect’ which is darkness in the middle caused by unsuccessful diffusion of the light.
Since the 19th century it has been evolving into a classic. Square or rectangular, it is graced with rounded corners that allude to the shape of a pillow. Its 58 facets are large enough to enviably disperse light and mask any imperfections. This is the most brilliant of all square cuts.
Old mine cut
From the early 18th and 19th century we have the forerunner to the round brilliant cut, which a squarish cushion-like hand-cut shape with 58 facets, a smaller table, larger culet (bottom facet), and a higher crown. Each vintage stone like this has its own shape, not as perfectly cut as those with laser but surely very unique, often dispersing and reflecting light in unexpected ways.
Your diamond shape choice should be largely dictated by your finger’s proportions. Elongated shapes work better for shorter fingers while square shapes are ideal for longer ones. Fuller shapes fit larger fingers better as opposed to slender shapes that look amazing on slimmer fingers.
You can take a look at some more of our diamond engagement rings by clicking here.