Did you know diamond cut does't refer to diamond shape?

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As many of us confuse diamond cut with diamond shape,  Platinum Diamonds have created a small guide to clarify the meaning and differences between diamond cut and diamond shape.

Diamond Cuts

The Diamond Cut Does not Refer to Diamond Shape

Did you know that the term diamond cut does not refer to its shape? Sure, you have to cut a diamond to make it a shape, but when gemmologists say "cut," they are talking about a diamond's proportions, such as its depth and width and the uniformity of its facets--all characteristics that control brilliance, durability and other features we look for in a diamond.

A good cut is essential to a diamond's beauty, because even a diamond with outstanding colour and clarity will not display the sparkle that diamonds are famous for if its components don't interact with light as they should.

A good diamond cut has many characteristics:

Diamond Width and Depth
The proportions of width and depth have a large impact on diamond brilliance, the reflection of white light that we see when we look at a diamond.

Refer to the image above as you read the following descriptions.
  • Light travelling through a shallow cut diamond is lost out of the bottom of the stone and does not back into sight. The lack of light play makes shallow cut diamonds appear lifeless.

  • Light travelling through a diamond that's cut too deep escapes out the sides, darkening all or portions of the stone.

  • Light travelling through an ideal cut diamond bounces back out the top of the stone, bringing its brilliance into view.
The graphic illustrates extremes. As with other diamond characteristics, there are in-betweens for cut quality.

Diamond Symmetry
Symmetry is a term that refers to the alignment of a diamond's facets, its flat and polished surfaces. The facets should be cut to achieve the best play of light.

You've seen diamonds flash when you move them in the light--that effect is called scintillation, and it occurs when light bounces among the facets. Light doesn't reflect as it should if facets are misaligned, diminishing the fireworks display.
Diamonds graded Fair and Poor for symmetry usually have facets that are misaligned enough to affect the play of light.

Diamond Polish
The surface of the facets should be smooth and polished so that light can pass through them.

Common Problems with Diamond Cuts
  • A broken or chipped culet.
  • A culet that's missing or one that's off centre.
  • Misaligned or extra facets.
  • A girdle that is too thick, creating poor proportions, or too thin, making it easier to damage.
  • A fringed girdle, with tiny cracks going into the diamond.
  • A table that slopes to one side.
Always buy diamonds from a reputable jeweller and ask questions about diamond characteristics. Inspect as many diamonds as possible so that you can make good comparisons.

Why not read our other reviews?
How To Avoid Purchasing/Buying Conflict Diamonds
The Finish of a Diamond
Russian Diamond Mines - Host to Masive Open Pit Mines
The Fluorescence of a Diamond
The 'Depth' of a Diamond
Learn About Treated Diamonds Methods &Treatments
The A-Z of Diamonds - Know Your Diamond Dictionary!

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