That beautiful diamond engagement ring in its exquisite setting or that pair of glittering diamond earrings started out life totally differently – close to the molten center of the earth’s core. Deep down, under the massive pressure and unbelievable heat, carbon atoms fused into diamonds. Slowly, over the course of tens of thousands of years, the diamond bearing rock was forced towards the earth’s crust, to be mined and turned into that thing of ultimate beauty and value.
However, the diamond, when it’s taken from the earth, in no way resembles that glittering stone we call a diamond. In fact, it can appear as an unassuming piece of translucent crystal or even glass that, at first glance, would appear to have no real value.
Natural diamonds fall into two main categories, industrial diamonds which make up some 80% of all diamonds mined and gem quality diamonds that are the other 20%. Uncut and unpolished gem quality diamonds are also referred to as “rough diamonds”.
To turn a rough diamond into the beautiful glittering stone that we recognize as a diamond is an exact and painstaking process of cutting and polishing that requires years of experience and, according to many, the soul and vision of an artist. The diamond cutter, just as a sculptor, must be able to look at a rough diamond and “see” the beauty hidden inside, and then carefully plan the process by which they will reveal this beauty to the maximum.
A diamond’s cut (which refers to, not its shape but rather to its proportions, symmetry and polish) is one of the main characteristics determining the stones final beauty. The ultimate aim of the diamond cutter, when he cuts a rough diamond, is to produce the best possible effect in terms of brilliance, color dispersion and scintillation.
However, as many people are prepared to accept a less dazzling gem for a larger one, this quest for perfection must be balanced against the demand to produce as large a diamond.
Diamonds have been cut since around the late Middle Ages. The early cut diamonds were simple designs that used a simple polishing process to create an eight faceted diamond. This first cut was known as a “point” cut. Over the years, new techniques and tools have been developed that give the diamond cutter ever greater control over the cutting process and the final result and todays beautiful cut stones are a far cry from their forefathers.
Today, there are well over 30 different types of diamond cuts with cuts being developed by expert diamond cutters, often to meet the requirements of a single, specific stone.
Having said that, there are 10 cuts which are the “favorites” of the majority of the diamond buying public. We’ll give you a brief overview of them here.
Round cut - is perhaps the most popular cut with something like 75% of all diamonds sold. Its shape and facets gives this cut the ability to reflect light and maximize brightness
Princess Cut - was developed in 1980 is very popular, especially for engagement rings. This cut lends itself to almost any setting design, yet another reason for its popularity.
oval cut - is a modified brilliant cut with the same qualities of fire and brilliance. However, thanks to their oval, elongated shape they create a impression of a much larger diamond.
Marquise cut - is another modified brilliant in the shape of a U
S football or rugby ball. Like the oval cut, it creates an appearance of greater size. This is enhanced even more as this cut generally has the largest surface area
Pear cut - is a combination of the round cut and the marquise cut and tapers to a point at one end. This cut has excellent symmetry and should have a length to width ration of 1.40 to 1.70
cushion cut - diamond resembles a pillow (a square shape with rounded corners). The cushion cut has been used for well over 200 years and was once the most popular cut of all. Today it is enjoying a renascence in its popularity.
Emerald cut - is a very special type of diamond cut. Rather than being cut to give the sparkle and glitter of a brilliant cut diamond, the emerald cut acts as a series of mirrors, reflecting and bouncing the light entering the diamond around its facets causing a fascinating play of light and dark that tends to emphasize the diamonds natural coloring.
Asscher cut - was developed by the Asscher brothers in Holland on 1902. It is similar in many ways to the emerald cut but has a squarer shape. Other differences can make it even more brilliant than an emerald cut diamond.
Radiant cut - is seen by many as a great compromise between the cushion cut and the pear cut. It has an especially brilliant facets that make this cut especially vibrant and full of life.
Heart cut diamonds - are shaped like a… heart. As such this is the cut of choice for engagement rings or any diamond jewelry given as a token of love and affection. However, as a small heart cut diamond’s shape may be hard to distinguish when in its setting, we recommend buying heart cut stones of at least 0.5 carats and preferably larger.
So there you have, diamond cuts in a nutshell. In fact, kust as with every other aspects of diamonds, this subject is much more complex with each cut deserving an article in its own right. But, for now, we hope this will help you to decide what type of cut you are looking for.
As usual, we are here to answer any and all of your questions. It is important to us that every customer be a satisfied customer. So, get in touch and one of our expert sales assistants will help you in every way they can.