A Diamond's Cut - Part I
Diamond cut refers both to the overall shape of the diamond and the exacting proportions and angles of the diamond (more about this in a separate post).
Most commonly diamonds are cut into round shapes. Simply because the natural shape of the rough lends itself to making rounds with the least loss of carat weight. A diamond generally grows in a cubic shape and a lapidary can get two gems from the cube - one larger and one smaller round.
But not all rough is a perfect cubic shape. In the process of coming to the surface, be it by volcanic eruption or from years of weathering, the diamond rough may be broken into less than ideal nuggets. Nevertheless these diamonds retain their fabulous characteristics and can be cut into alternative shapes, like octagons or ovals, and some even heart shapes.
Here is an overview of diamond shapes
Most popular and most abundant is the round, followed by the princess cut. But as you can see there are many more.
A round brilliant is all about sparkle and brightness, as are the princess cut (effectively a square brilliant), radiant cut (an emerald brilliant) and the trillion (a triangular brilliant). They are sometimes referred to as modified brilliant cuts.
Older cuts like the cushion cut (a soft square or rectangle), the old mine cut, or old European cut (both round with fewer facets than a brilliant) are all about fire. Fire is the colourful sparkles that really come to life in evening lighting and is a result of the higher crown.
Octagonal cuts like the emerald, Asscher and baguette cuts are all about clarity and geometry. The stark geometric lines and exceptional clarity are what make these gems so appealing. They tend to be less sparkly and bright, but have their very own character. These cuts were particularly popular during the Art-Deco period and are a great option for a stylish lady who wants something classic and elegant, yet that bit different.
Ovals, pears and marquise (or navette) cuts are again modified brilliant gems. The ovals and pear shapes are great for tricking the eye and making them appear larger than their carat weight - a great way to get more bang for your buck as the price per carat is lower than that of rounds, while at the same time looking bigger. The long narrow marquise cut has the gorgeous effect of elongating the finger - perfect for those with strong hands. Keep an eye out for something called the bowtie effect - a dark shadow that is normal in these cuts, but when exaggerated can make the gems look dark. A well cut one has minimal bow-tie and is as bright as any brilliant.
Last but not least the heart shape, which is really all about the symbolism. It’s a brilliant cut where the irregular shape tends to be less bright than a round gem. That said the utterly romantic diamond is a great option for a meaningful engagement ring or maybe a pendant for a young lady. In Ireland, the heart shape is particularly popular for our traditional Claddagh rings, but they also make a sweet statement as a romantic side stone.
We hope you've enjoyed this quick peek into different diamond cuts. Book your appointment to view our exquisite diamonds in person