Diamonds are a great example of brilliant craftsmanship and elegant work. When it comes to diamond quality and grading, four crucial factors influence the evaluation process. These four factors, popularly known as the 4Cs of a diamond, include Carat, Color, Clarity, and Cut. While most people tend to focus more on the diamond’s color and clarity, it’s the cut of a diamond that makes a major contribution to its shine and brilliance.
Often, people tend to confuse the Cut of the diamond for its shape. Diamonds come in multiple shapes, such as princess cut, pear cut, cushion cut, round cut, and so on. As for diamond cuts, it is a little more artistic and an elaborate concept.
Cuts in a diamond refer to the depth and the angles of the cuts that reflect the light from the diamond. Diamond cuts are important because they determine the fire of the diamond. They determine the effectiveness and efficiency of how the light enters, refracts, and reflects through a diamond. A good diamond cut is one where the light is brilliantly refracted, maximizing light performance for the viewer’s eyes. The cuts in a diamond also determine the craftsmanship and skills of the artisan. After all, it requires detailed planning, mapping, and skilled expertise to bring the gem to life from a rough diamond.
For superior brilliance, choose a diamond with a Cut grade that’s Very Good or Excellent (if choosing from round shape diamonds), and Good in fancy shape diamonds. Also, while zeroing down on your desired Cut range, make sure its symmetry and polish are Very Good or Excellent, so that the impact of the above average Cut is not obscured.
Why Pay Attention To Diamond’s Cut ?
The importance of a diamond’s cut lies in how the reflected light affects a diamond’s brilliance and fire. Or simply put, Cut is the proportions of the diamond that determine its level of sparkle. In gemological terms: its fire, brilliance, and scintillation.
- It determines the quality and appeal of the diamond: Diamond cuts are so important because they directly affect the aesthetics of a diamond. A wide range of combinations are possible that ultimately determine the diamond’s interaction with light. A well-cut diamond will create an even distribution of light when observed from the top and appear to have superior brilliance.
- It affects the diamond’s fire: The importance of diamond cuts is non-negotiable because fire is an important aspect that impacts a diamond’s quality. High quality Cuts in diamonds may yield less carat weight when being cut from a rough diamond, and so are more expensive to produce. But because they shine and diffuse light evenly under well-lit conditions, they are considered as exquisite beauties and are regarded as excellent value.
- It affects the price of the diamond: Since the cut of a diamond determines its overall quality, it also impacts the price. A lab grown diamond of Excellent Cut quality with superior workmanship aligning and perfecting the diamond’s facets will offer superior value to customers when compared to a shoddily cut diamond. Even within the range of lab grown diamonds available, an Excellent Cut diamond will command a higher price tag than one with a poor cut proportions.
What is Hearts and Arrows Cut?
A hearts and arrow cut diamond is a special diamond that is widely appreciated everywhere for its high-precision work. The Hearts and Arrows cut is rightly named because of the shape that forms on viewing the diamond from different angles. From the face-up view, you can clearly see the formation of eight arrows in the arrow cut diamonds. When you look at it from the pavilion view, eight tiny hearts are visible in heart cut diamonds.
Its unique symmetry and high light reflection quotient impart a striking visual appeal to the heart and arrow cut diamond. The optical symmetry achieved while making a heart and arrow cut diamond maximizes the potential for light reflection. This arrangement makes it possible to reflect both white and colored sparkles, greatly improving the fire of the diamond. So, you can see that diamond cut is not about its shape but more about the proportions, symmetry, depth, and angles.
No wonder the heart and arrow cut is widely appreciated by people who understand the skilled craftsmanship behind creating a diamond. It is one of the most challenging diamond cuts. You can view the hearts and arrows cut pattern using a simple tool that jewelers use to check the cut and light reflection in diamonds. These fancy-cut diamonds are crafted with a lot of precision and require a lot more time than any other diamond cut. This is primarily why a heart and arrow cut diamond commands a higher price in the market.
What Are Ideal Cut Diamonds?
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Ideal cut diamonds are also among some of the most exclusive diamonds since they are considered a premium grade in diamond cuts. The fire, brightness, and scintillation determine the quality of a diamond cut, and ideal cut diamonds encompass the best of all three. When virtually all the light that enters is reflected by the diamond to the viewer’s eye — giving off optimal brilliance — that’s called an Ideal Cut grade diamond.
Let us understand how an ideal cut works. This cut is precise to a point where the symmetry, proportions, angles, and shine are perfectly aligned. In terms of design, this cut is considered to be the most flawless and “ideal” diamond cut. It holds top rank on the diamond cut grade scale.
Marcel Tolkowsky, an expert jewel cutter discovered the science behind the ideal cut in diamonds. He discovered that to achieve optimal cuts and angles in a diamond, it needs to be cut into 58 facets with precision. Since then, jewel cutters have been evaluating diamonds as per this ideal standard. Given the rarity of the cut, ideal cut diamonds are only produced in two shapes that meet the classifications required to achieve an ideal cut. These two shapes are the princess and the round diamonds. It is not possible to produce an ideal cut in pear-shaped or emerald-shaped diamonds because of the unique specifications of the ideal cut.
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What Are Excellent Cut Diamonds?
Following the ideal cut diamonds, the next category in the diamond grading sequence is excellent cut diamonds. The diamonds that fall under the excellent cut grade exhibit superior fire and brilliance. It means that an excellent cut diamond reflects back almost all of the light that falls on it, making it shine brightly.
The IGI grades diamond cuts as excellent, very good, and good. The excellent cut requires a specific level of precision to make sure that only minimal light passes through the diamond and most of it is reflected back. The diamonds with this cut grade radiate with magnificent shine and are hence, very highly valued in the market. What makes excellent cut diamonds extremely brilliant is their well-defined portion of dark and light areas when viewed from the top under the light. The facets are angled in a way that allows very little or no light to pass through. Even the slightest change in any of these properties can alter the cut and grade of a diamond.
Compared to other grades like the Very Good cut or Good cut diamonds, the Excellent Cut is priced higher owing to their commendable visual appeal. However, this is not a standard measurement for diamond grades. For instance, two Excellent Cut diamonds by two different diamond sellers can have slight differences unless they follow a premium grading standard (like the IGI certification) for their diamonds.
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What Are Very Good Cut Diamonds?
Next on the grade scale are the very good cut diamonds. They are pretty similar to excellent cuts. Like excellent cut diamonds, they allow a significant portion of the light to reflect back to the observer’s eyes, forming light and dark patterns on the diamond. However, the reason why they do not qualify as an excellent cut is that the pattern of light and dark portions formed is slightly uneven.
To understand diamonds, it is crucial to understand three concepts – brilliance, dispersion, and scintillation. The light reflected from a diamond is its brilliance or brightness. Some light that travels through the diamond is seen as small flashes of color on the base of the diamond, and this is called dispersion. Scintillation denotes the colors that become visible on moving the diamond.
The grading of diamonds reflects the different grades of all these three properties. Very good cut diamonds can perform on a lower scale on all these three properties. As this grade is a level lower than the excellent grade, the patterns formed can also be asymmetrical, reducing the top-down visual appeal of very good cut diamonds.
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What Are Good Cut Diamonds?
Next and last in the diamond grade, as per IGI guidelines, are the good cut diamonds. As the name suggests, these diamonds are not at par with the rest of the grades – they do not reflect as much bright light as the very good cut diamonds. They are not at par with the two grades mentioned above since their perceived symmetry, fire, and shine are reduced to a great extent.
Within this grade as well, there are variations depending on multiple factors. It is not necessary that two good cut diamonds will have the same level of fire, brilliance, and dispersion. Even with reduced symmetry, some of these good cuts can have commendable brilliance if they have a high-precision cut. While some amount of light is not reflected, they do shine brightly.
The shape of good cut diamonds can vary when compared to similar shapes of other cuts. This means that a princess cut may look considerably different in a good cut diamond and a very good cut diamond.
Now, you may wonder, why would anyone opt for a good cut diamond with reduced shine and fire? The answer is simple – these diamonds can offer a reasonably good diamond quality and value to customers.
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