How to Pick the Right Cut For You
The 3 Most
About Diamond Cut
Of all of the 4 Cs that determine a diamond’s quality and price, cut plays the most important role in determining its beauty and sparkle. Cut does not refer to the shape of a diamond. Rather, it refers to its proportions and the precision with which its facets are sized and aligned. These characteristics determine how well light travels into and then back out of a stone, resulting in the white splashes and flares that we admire.
If you’re like us and want to know everything there is to know about diamonds and engagement rings, including how a diamond’s cut is determined and what effect it will have, read on for three must-knows.
You’ll Know a Well Cut Diamond by Sight, but…
In the most expertly-cut diamonds (rated Excellent on GIA’s scale), light enters a diamond through the table, or the large flat surface on the top, bounces off one side and then the other and exits the stone through the table. This creates the seemingly magical sparkle and flashes that mark an excellent diamond.
To achieve this effect, gem cutters must ensure that the diamond is cut to the perfect, or ideal, proportions. If they cut a stone too shallow, it will appear lifeless because light enters the table and is dispersed through its bottom. If they cut it too deep, light exits through the side of the diamond and the whole stone takes on a dark appearance.
…a Diamond’s Cut Can Be Difficult to Pinpoint
Although it’s easy to tell the difference between a poorly-cut diamond and an expertly-cut diamond, honing in on exactly where a diamond falls on the GIA scale, which is important for determining price, can be technically difficult.
In order to accurately rate a diamond’s cut, each of its facets must be measured and compared against all others to see if each acts optimally in enhancing the stone’s light reflection. Then, the diamond’s visual effects are analyzed. They are broken up into three categories:
- Brightness, or how well the diamond reflects white light
- Fire, or how well the diamond scatters that light into a rainbow spectrum
- Scintillation, or the alternation of light and dark areas seen in a stone that cause what’s commonly known as “sparkle”
Don’t take someone’s word on a diamond’s cut quality. Simply eyeballing a stone isn’t enough. Make sure the stone has been rated using the rigorous process described above by a legitimate gemological organization to ensure you’re getting what you’re paying for.
You Should Always Buy the Best Cut Rating in Your Budget
As we’ve already mentioned, the cut quality of a diamond is the single most important factor in determining its beauty. Therefore, you should always try to buy the diamond with the highest cut rating that’s within your budget. If you find yourself in a situation where other aspects of an engagement ring are costing so much that you need to give a lot of ground on the center stone cut rating, rethink the ring’s design. The main diamond will be the most admired aspect of an engagement ring, and you want it to be as beautiful as possible, even if that means leaving band and setting adornments off.
Shopping for diamonds? Which cut rating are you thinking of going for? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page!