Education

Diamond Guide - Diamond Education




Cut


Diamond Cut is the most important property to increase its beauty because a well-cut diamond reflects light to maximize the stone's brilliance. A diamond with perfect color and clarity could nevertheless have poor brilliance if it is not well cut.


  • Diameter: Width of a diamond measured through the Girdle.
  • Table: Largest facet of a gemstone.
  • Crown: Top portion of a diamond extending from the Girdle to the Table.
  • Girdle: Intersection of the Crown and Pavilion which defines the perimeter of the diamond.
  • Pavilion: Bottom portion of a diamond, extending from the Girdle to the Culet.
  • Culet: Facet at the tip of a gemstone. The preferred Culet is not visible with an unaided eye (graded "none" or "small").
  • Depth: Height of a gemstone measured from the Culet to the Table.

The cut of a diamond establishes how it reflects light, which is responsible for its sparkle or brilliance. Cut has following three components:

Diamond Cut by Shape

A stone can be cut in various Shapes like Round, Princess, Heart, Oval, Pear etc. We will understand various diamond shapes:


Diamond Cut by Depth

A Diamond Cut by Depth is the ultimate feature for its brilliance and fire.

Shallow Cut: Shallow Cut will let light lost through a diamond's bottom causing it to appear dull.

Deep Cut: Deep Cut will allow light to be lost through a diamond's sides causing it to appear dark.

Ideal Cut:
Ideal Cut is considered as the best cut and it will reflect most or all of the light that enters in the diamond back to the eyes.

Quality of a diamond's cut can be determined on the basis of its power to reflect light. They can be broadly characterized as Ideal, excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair or Poor. Ideal or Excellent cuts release the inner brilliance of the stone and project maximum amount of fire and sparkle where as Very Good, Good and Fair cuts loose some light that enters the diamond. A poor cut looses most of its light from the diamond sides / bottom and it may even have some "dead" spots inside.


Diamond Polish and Symmetry

Polish and symmetry are two important aspects of the cutting process. The Diamond Polish expresses the smoothness of the diamond's facets where as the Symmetry refers to alignment of the facets. A poor Diamond Polish, or rough facets, can diminish a diamond's brilliance, as well as its value.



Color


Diamonds are found in all colors of the rainbow, from colorless and transparent stones to ink black ones. Varying degrees of yellow or brown color is common in most of the diamonds and slight difference in color can make a substantial difference in value. A truly colorless diamond is extremely rare and considered the most valuable. It allows most light to pass through the stone and create the most brilliance.

During formation of Diamond from carbon, certain chemicals may have been drawn into the mix and results in added tinge of color in the transparent stone.

Most diamonds appear white to the naked eye, but they all include trace amounts of yellow or brown color. The color scale goes from D to Z (no diamond of color grade A, B or C has ever been found), with D being the most white and Z being the most yellow. The best way to see the true color of a diamond is by looking at it against a white surface.

Diamond Color Grade Table


Color Grade

Description

On Unaided Eye Inspection

Colorless

Stone looks absolutely clear and transparent, with no hint of color.

Near Colorless

Stone looks clear and transparent. Color will be noticeable by experts only when compared to diamonds of better grades.

Faint yellow

Color slightly detectable and will be noticeable by experts only.

Very Light yellow

Stone shows an increasing yellow tint, even to an untrained eye.

Light yellow

Stone appears yellow, even to an untrained eye.

Fancy

Bright, remarkable color - usually blue, pink, yellow, Red etc.



Fancy Colored Diamonds


Majority of diamonds come in shades of white, there are also "Fancy" natural intensely colored diamonds available in colors like yellow, pink, greens, brown, red, orange, blue etc. These intensely colored diamonds are very rare, attractive and desirable. A deeply colored diamond can cost more than its colorless counterpart. These intensely colored diamonds are known as "Fancy" colored or "Fancies". Fancy colored diamonds are graded in two ways. The first factor is the basic hue, such as pink, yellow, blue, green, etc. The second is the intensity. Both color characteristics form the basis for determining a fancy colored diamond's worth. In fancy colored diamonds, Z+ grade is used for their color grading. Usually, the more intense the color, the rarer and more expensive the diamond will be. For example, a fancy light pink diamond costs less than a fancy vivid pink diamond of equal size, shape and clarity.

Fancy colored diamonds are rare and expensive.
Laboratories now days can easily create color diamonds through irradiation and heating. This process can permanently turn a natural colorless diamond into a colored diamond. Treatments have also been developed to make lower-color white diamonds whiter. Irradiated colored diamonds have a significantly lower value than natural fancy diamonds and can be detected in a gem laboratory.

Fluorescent Diamonds

Fluorescence is a form of illumination that is created when a diamond is exposed to low or high wave ultraviolet radiation. Fluorescence up to some extent is common in majority of diamonds. Faint or medium fluorescence will rarely affect a diamond's appearance. Usually fluorescence remains unnoticed by human eyes in ordinary light.


Clarity

Clarity is a term used to describe the absence or presence of flaws inside or on the surface of a diamond. In other words, the clarity of a diamond refers to a diamond's clearness or purity.

When these flaws / marks occur internally, they are called inclusions and the most common types of inclusions include Crystals, Tiny Bubbles representing small minerals that were absorbed into the diamond while it was growing, Internal Graining, Needles, Knots, Chips, Cavities, Cleavage, Feathers, and Clouds. On the contrary, when these flaws / marks occur on the surface, they are known as blemishes and the most common types of blemishes include Polish lines, Naturals, Scratches, Nicks, Pits, transparent stress lines that appear on a diamond's surface, surface graining, and extra facets, that are usually cut to remove a near-surface inclusion to raise the clarity grade of a stone. Most diamonds have these imperfections in them. Although many of these flaws are not visible to the naked eye, but under magnification, tiny featherlike shapes, crystals, bubbles and dark flecks become noticeable. These slight flaws make every diamond quite unique but they also do affect the beauty and value of the diamond.

Diamond's clarity is based on the number, size, nature, and location of imperfections on the finished stone. Diamond with higher clarity is more valuable in comparison to diamond that contains numerous inclusions because it is less brilliant due to inclusions interfering with light passing through it.

Diamond Clarity Grading Scale Table


Image

Clarity Grade Scale

Description

On Inspection through 10x magnification

F

Flawless

Clear Stone, no inclusions or blemishes. Exceptional and beautiful diamonds.

IF

Internally Flawless

No inclusions and only insignificant surface blemishes. Rare and beautiful diamonds.

VVS1 – VVS2

Very, Very Slightly Included – 1 & 2

Tiny inclusions, which are extremely difficult to find, even under 10x magnifications. An excellent quality diamond.

VS1 – VS2

Very Slightly Included – 1 & 2

Minor inclusions, which are difficult to see under 10 x magnification. These stones are less expensive than the VVS1 or VVS2 grades.

SI1 – SI2-SI3

Slightly Included – 1 & 2

Inclusions, which are easy to see under 10 x magnification. A good diamond value.

I1 – I2 – I3

Included – 1, 2 & 3

Inclusions, which are easy to see under 10 x magnification and sometimes, may be visible with the unaided eye. A good diamond value. Generally I3 grade is not used for jewelry purposes and mostly used in industrial applications.



Carat

The term "Carat" refers to the weight of a diamond. This term 'Carat' is different from the term 'Karat' which is used to describe gold's purity. When we consider all four Cs, that determine value of diamond, we can find Carat weight most accurately and easily by using a delicately balanced scale capable of weighing extremely small stones.

Diamond's Carat Weight Scale


There is one significant fact about diamond’s weight and price. When diamonds are mined, large diamonds are discovered rarely in comparison of small ones, which make large diamonds much more valuable. For that reason, the price of a diamond rises exponentially with its size. So, a 2 carat diamond of a given quality is always worth much more than two 1 carat diamonds of the equal quality. Although larger stones are often more highly valued, but size should not be the only consideration. High brilliance, which varies according to clarity, cut, and color grade, is highly desirable in a diamond.


Shape





Round Brilliant Cut


The Round Brilliant Cut diamond is the most traditional and popular of all the diamond shapes. Many experts consider this shape ideal for a diamond because it maximizes its sparkle. It has 58 facets which offer great brilliance and stability.



Princess Cut


The Princess Cut is most popular non-round diamond. Its beautiful brilliance and unique cut makes it a favorite for engagement rings. The princess has pointed corners and is traditionally square in shape.



Emerald Cut


The Emerald Cut diamond is a square or rectangular shaped stone with cut corners. This is also known as Step Cut because it has rows of facets, usually 48 to 50, that resemble a staircase. Due to its larger, more open table, this shape highlights the clarity of a diamond but with fewer facets brings less brilliance than the other shapes.



Oval Cut



The Oval Cut is also a beautiful shape and provides great brilliance and fire through its 56 facets. A well cut Oval shaped diamond can be almost as bright as a well cut Round Brilliant shaped diamond.





Marquise Cut


The Marquise Cut is a traditional shape having elongated ends at both edges. The pointed ends make this shape the most fragile and the most expensive of brilliant style cuts. It has a total of 56 facets, construction of which requires a lot of experience and the delicacy of its sharp points demands utmost precaution.


Pear Cut


The Pear Cut diamond is often called a teardrop due to its single point and rounded end with 56 to 58 facets. This shape is popular for its uniqueness and brilliance.




Asscher Cut


The Asscher Cut is a modified version of the Emerald Cut. This shape is named after Joseph Asscher of Holland who was an eminent diamond cutter. In 1902, his company, Asscher Diamond Co., developed and patented the Asscher Cut, a squarer step cut with an almost octagonal outline. This new cut enhanced the fire and light of the stone; it had a small table, a high crown, wide step facets, a deep pavilion and square culet.


Radiant Cut


The Radiant Cut is a rectangular or square stone with cut corners. This shape comes with 62 to 70 facets and offers the elegance of the emerald shape with the brilliance of the princess shape.

Heart Cut



The Heart shaped diamond is essentially a pear-shaped diamond with a cleft at the top and it typically contains 59 facets. Due to the complexity of the shape, skilled cutting is necessary to maintain the diamond’s brilliance. Generally people prefer a heart shape diamond for sentimental purposes.

Cushion Cut


Cushion Cut diamonds are also known as "pillow cut" diamonds. This shape ranging from square to rectangular and it has rounded corners and larger facets to increase its brilliance. These larger facets also highlight the diamond's clarity.





Baguette Cut


This shape is similar to emerald shape.






Trillion Cut


The Trillion Cut is one of the unusual cuts and the diamond with this shape displays a very sharp brilliance or fire. This triangular shaped diamonds may either have pointed corners or more rounded corners.


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