4Cs: Importance of Diamond Cut


    A diamond cut can be a great example of what brilliant craftsmanship of an artisan can achieve.

    A diamond’s value is influenced by four crucial factors, popularly known as the 4Cs of a diamond or Carat, Color, Clarity, and Cut. While most people tend to focus more on a diamond’s color and clarity, it is the diamond cut that makes the major contribution to its brilliance. Also, since high quality cuts in diamonds may yield less carat weight when being cut from a rough diamond, so they can be more expensive to produce.

    Often, people tend to confuse the diamond cut for its shape. Diamonds come in multiple shapes, such as princess, pear, cushion cut, round, and so on.

    A well-cut diamond would be the one where the light is brilliantly refracted, maximizing its light performance. Diamonds are often hand cut by diamond cutters and thus it would be fair to say that a diamond’s cut reflects the skills of the artisan. After all, it requires detailed planning, mapping, and expertise to bring a gem to life from its rough form.

    diamond cut
    Types Of Diamond Cuts

    Let’s understand each of the diamond cut better and if there’s a best diamond cut that will make shopping for a diamond easier.

    What are ‘Hearts and Arrows’ cut diamonds? 

    ‘Hearts and Arrows’ is a special diamond cut that is widely appreciated everywhere for its high-precision artistry. The ‘Hearts and Arrows’ cut when viewed face-up will show the formation of eight arrows and when viewed from the pavilion show eight hearts. 

    Its unique symmetry and high light reflection quotient impart a striking visual appeal to the ‘Hearts and Arrows’ 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 ‘Hearts and Arrow’ diamond cut is widely appreciated by people who understand the skilled craftsmanship behind creating a diamond. These diamonds are crafted with a lot of precision by master cutters and require a lot more time than any other diamond cut. This is also a reason why a ‘Hearts and Arrows’ cut diamond will command a premium price. 

    What are Ideal Cut diamonds?

    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 diamond. Ideal cut diamonds are also among some of the most exclusive diamonds because they have almost the best fire, brightness, and scintillation.

    Let us understand how an ideal cut works. This diamond cut is precise to a point where the symmetry, proportions, angles, and shine are perfectly aligned. In terms of design, this cut is almost flawless.

    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 which meet the classifications required to achieve an ideal cut. These are the princess and the round shaped diamonds. It is not possible to produce an ideal cut in other fancy shapes like pear or emerald diamonds because of the unique specifications of the ideal cut.

    What are Excellent Cut diamonds?

    Following the ideal cut diamonds, the next are the Excellent cut diamonds which exhibit superior fire and brilliance. In simple words, an Excellent cut diamond will reflect almost all the light, making it shine brilliantly. 

    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. 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.

    Also, unlike the other Cs, which are largely standardized, a diamond graded Excellent by one laboratory could be graded as Very Good by another and Fair by still another. So, keep this in mind when you are shopping for diamonds.

    What are Very Good cut diamonds?

    Like Excellent cut diamonds, Very Good cut diamonds allow a significant portion of the light to reflect 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 are 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.

    best diamond cut
    What Are Good Cut Diamonds?

    Next in the diamond grade, as per IGI guidelines, are the Good cut diamonds. These diamonds do not reflect as much bright light as the Very Good cut diamonds. Diamonds with this grade won’t have as much brilliance and fire as the higher grades.

    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 the Good cut diamonds can have commendable brilliance if they have a high-precision cut.

    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, especially if you’re after a larger carat stone.

    To get the best diamond cut

    A diamond cut alone cannot help you determine the biggest-looking center stone in a diamond ring. However, a cut combined with the appropriate shape can help you make the right decision. While a higher carat weight is always on top of the mind when choosing a diamond, but if this is a very low-cut grade stone that it can negate all that extra carat weight!

    So, here are a few tips that can help you choose the best diamond cut in your budget: 

    • An ideal diamond cut or an Excellent diamond cut is called as a high-performing cut because of the precision and design involved. It is not possible to create these cuts in all shapes. Thus, if you want these high-performance cuts, then have narrowed your search to just two shapes – princess and round shape diamonds. That said, round shape diamonds can look smaller per carat than marquise, pear, oval, and emerald shape diamonds.
    • Different shapes will give a different visual depth to a diamond ring. A well-cut round-shape diamond as center stone will look big because its design allows the facilitation of light reflection in a certain manner. Similarly, an oval or emerald shape will give you an elongated look. On the contrary, the marquise shape center will make the ring appear longer and slender. 
    • If your priority is to get the biggest size, you can explore shapes in the ‘Very Good’ or ‘Good’ cut range. We do not recommend getting any diamond below the ‘Good’ grade. You really ought to have a proportionally cut diamond to give off brilliance (meaning, sparkle), and in turn make the diamond appear larger to the eye.

    Also, while zeroing down on your desired Cut range, make sure its symmetry and polish are rated Very Good or Excellent, so that the impact of the above average Cut is not obscured. The cut of a diamond determines its overall quality and aesthetics and will impact its price.



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