education

Diamond Shapes

By 17.04 September 20th, 2018 No Comments

EDUCATION

BUYING GUIDES

The purchase of a diamond creates an important decision in life –diamonds can be bought as an investment or as a gift to celebrate a special occasion, and often a diamond is the first choice for an engagement ring. Classic diamonds are still the favourite choice of stone, so when considering a purchase it is imperative that you learn how to choose the perfect diamond.

Careful research should be done before purchasing this valuable gem as there are various features that need to be looked at first. These are the Four Cs which categorise and grade the different types of diamonds, making each diamond unique: CutColorClarity and Carat. The integration of the Four Cs defines the Language of Diamonds. Learn the language before making a choice!

Diamonds are cut in various ways which describe the proportion and finish of the diamond, the cut being the most complicated facet in the process of taking a rough diamond to the perfect end product specimen. Certain factors which are affected by the type of cut will enhance the brilliance, scintillation and dispersion within the stone. Brilliance is the light that is reflected off a diamond; Scintillation shows the colors as the diamond is moved in different directions; Dispersion results from the separation of some light rays into color flashes as light moves through the stone. The two references to ‘cut’ are firstly the shape and then the quality, determined by proportion, precise symmetry and the smooth, polished finish.

When purchasing a diamond according to your budget, all Four Cs must be in balance, and the price will rise exponentially with carat weight (one carat of 100 points weighs 0.2 grams).

Primarily the first choice to make from the Four Cs would be the cut or shape. The various cuts, all of which are different from the others, display specific characteristics which determine the quality of the specific shape. Diamond cutters use behaviour of light theories, as well as accurate mathematical calculations, in order to optimise the brilliance, scintillation and dispersion of each and every diamond. The quality of a cut depends on human decision and the diamond cutter’s skills taken in this process. Cut grades are defined in laboratory reports by using the GIA standards of Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor.

The Round Cut Diamond, also known as a Brilliant Cut Diamond, is the most popular cut and has more brilliance and scintillation than other shapes, as well as having ideal proportions, angles and symmetry. The Round Cut remains fashionable, while many of the other shapes tend to more trend–related. Its cone shape has 58 facets, 33 on the crown and 25 on the pavilion. These complement each other and allow the maximum light to move through the diamond.

Princess Cut Diamonds are often favoured for engagement rings as the cut is clear, being traditionally square in shape or rectangular if the length to width ratio is altered. This design allows for excellent top brilliance appearing rather exotic and thus perfect for an engagement ring. The shape allows for minor flaws but when being set the four pointed corners must be well protected.

Regarding ‘fancy-cut’ diamonds, clarity and color are qualities that should be good as imperfections are more evident.

Emerald Cut Diamonds have rectangular facets which create an optical appearance of great beauty and precision, unique to this particular cut.  The clarity need to be of a high grade as this cut lacks the brilliance of triangular and kite-shaped facets. This step-cut was originally only used on emeralds, hence the name.

Radiant Cut Diamonds have a signature of trimmed corners and a variation in the rectangular shape of length to width ratios. It is a combination of the styles of the Round Cut and the Emerald Cut creating a different yet brilliant diamond.

Pear Shaped Diamond Cut has 58 facets and is a combination of the traditional Round or Brilliant Cut into a pear shape. It has brilliance as in a Round Cut stone but its shape is subjective with regard to proportions. It can be very impressive as light ‘dances’ in this shape.

 

Cushion Cut Diamonds, also known as Pillow Cut Diamonds, have an antique cut which has been popular for over a century.  This classic shape, with a romantic appeal, varies from square to rectangular with the clarity being good because of the large facets. The rounded corners and facets, of which there are 58, serve to increase the brilliance.

Marquise Cut Diamond is a classic cut where the cutter maximises the carat weight by cutting the stone into a boat shape which gives a much larger looking diamond. The cutting process is Cushion Cut Diamonds, also known as Pillow Cut Diamonds, have an antique cut which has been popular for over a century.  This classic shape, with a romantic appeal, varies from square to rectangular with the clarity being good because of the large facets. The rounded corners and facets, of which there are 58, serve to increase the brilliance.

The Marquise Cut Diamond is a classic cut where the cutter maximises the carat weight by cutting the stone into a boat shape which gives a much larger looking diamond. The cutting process is similar to that of a Round Diamond enabling the cutter to cut out inclusions while keeping the stone as brilliant as possible. The length of this shape makes fingers look more slender!

Emerald Cut Diamonds have rectangular facets which create an optical appearance of great beauty and precision, unique to this particular cut.  The clarity needs to be of a high grade as this cut lacks the brilliance of triangular and kite-shaped facets. This step-cut was originally only used on emeralds, hence the name.

Radiant Cut Diamonds have a signature of trimmed corners and a variation in the rectangular shape of length to width ratios. It is a combination of the styles of the Round Cut and the Emerald Cut, creating a different yet brilliant diamond.

Pear Shaped Diamond Cut has 58 facets and is a combination of the traditional Round or Brilliant Cut into a pear shape. It has brilliance as in a Round Cut stone but its shape is subjective with regard to proportions. It can be very impressive as light ‘dances’ in this shape.

Regarding ‘Fancy-cut’ diamonds such as Asscher and Heart, clarity and color are qualities that should be good as imperfections are more evident.

 

Clarity

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Color

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Carat

The international unit of weight, used for measuring diamonds and gemstones. 1 carat is equal to 200 milligrams, or 0.2 grams.

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Clarity

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Color

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Cut

Nothing is more impactful on a precious stone’s brilliance than its cut. The cut refers to the angles and proportions of a diamond. Known in the industry as ‘fire’, referring to the coloured light reflected, and ‘brilliance’ for the uncoloured light. The cut of a diamond – its form and finish, its depth and width, the uniformity of the facets – determines its beauty. The skill with which a diamond is cut determines how well it reflects and refracts light. A diamond should be cut proportionally, neither very shallow not very deep, given its dimensions. A diamond’s cut is its most important characteristics and a measure of its apparent beauty.

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Certificate

A diamond certificate or grading report provides an expert opinion on the quality of the diamond and is provided by an independent gemology lab. Trained gemologists with specialized equipment measure the weight and dimensions of the diamond and assess quality characteristics such as cut, color, and clarity. Brilliant Earth diamonds are certified by the world’s leading gem grading labs including GIA, IGI, and GCAL.

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Depth

The height of a diamond, from the culet to the table referred as a Depth of the diamond . Depth % is the height of the diamond as a percentage of the girdle diameter.

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Table

Table referred as the largest facet of a gemstone, located at the top. Table % is the table width as a percentage of the girdle diameter.

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Polish

Polish refers to the smoothness of the exterior of a diamond. Polish is graded from Ideal, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, or Poor. Polish grades of Good or higher have the least effect on the brilliance of the diamond and recommended by us for the finest quality jewelry.

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Symmetry

Symmetry refers to the angles to which the facets are aligned. Basically exactness of the shape of a diamond, and the symmetrical arrangement and even placement of the facets. If facets are misaligned, the diamond may poorly reflect light. Symmetry is graded from Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, or Poor. We recommends diamonds with Good or higher symmetry grades.

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Fluorescence

Describes the diamond’s response to ultraviolet light. In diamonds with strong or very strong fluorescence, there may be some interference with the flow of light which causes a milky or oily appearance. Canadian diamonds almost always have none to slight fluorescence.

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Measurements

Diamonds with “fancy” shapes are measured according to their length, width and depth. These diamonds will have a longer axis (the biggest measurement) and a shorter one that represents their width. The depth indicates the measurement of the diamond from the bottom to the top. The relative proportions of a diamond ultimately affect its quality and value.

Round-shaped diamonds are never perfectly round even though they may seem to be that way when you look at them. There is a tiny variation between maximum and minimum diameter, so dimensions are reflected as measurements of maximum diameter, minimum diameter and depth.

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