It is the cut of a diamond that affects the way light travels through the gem, how much is reflected back to the eye and how much leaks out the back. A well-cut diamond gives off more bright sparkle and shine, therefore being more highly valued. A diamond that is cut poorly or too thin will have a lot of light leakage, eliminating its potential for sparkle, and diminishing its value. It takes great skill and craftsmanship to transform a diamond in the rough into a dazzling gem.
For diamonds used in jewelry, there are various types of diamond cuts and shapes, each having their own unique characteristics that determine their quality. The shape of the diamond, though, is only a small piece of what goes into its diamond cut grade. The diamond cut grade refers more to how proportioned the diamond is. When diamonds are cut into shapes, flat, polished surfaces called “facets” are intentionally created. Diamonds that are cut proportionately, with a good relationship between the diamond’s size, shape and angle of each of its facets, are given a better cut rating.
There are a couple of diamond facet cutting techniques that are most widely used in the art of modern diamond cutting, each with its own unique light reflection properties. The most common cut pattern is brilliant-cut faceting, which is used in several types of diamond cuts. The brilliant-cut is used in a variety of diamond shapes including, round, princess cut, oval, marquise, pear shape and trilliants. The brilliant-cut creates triangular shaped facets that all reflect light out from the center of the diamond, resulting in incredible, scintillating sparkle. Other types of cuts, such as emerald cut, asschers, baguettes and carrés, are faceted in a different way, known as step-cutting. These shapes have a rectangular or square outline, where the facets are elongated and arranged in a series of steps like in a staircase. These diamond cuts have a more quiet glow than brilliant-cut diamonds, however. No matter how they’re cut, diamonds will always be a girl’s best friend.