Diamond Cut and Shape
Diamond Buyer's Guide
Cut is the only one of the 4Cs that is not naturally created when the diamond is in the earth. When a diamond is mined from the ground it is called a rough diamond. It is then cut to make it suitable for jewellery. This gives it its shape and also its brilliance, as the angles and facets (faces) dictate the diamond's shine and return of light.
A diamond can only be cut by skilled craftsmen. It takes years of training and experience to bring out the very best in a diamond. The diamond cutter must appreciate the proportion, relationship and angles of each of the surfaces, known as facets. The craftsman also polishes tiny facets into the rough diamond to create different aspects of a cut diamond such as the crown, culet, table, girdle and pavilion.
Cut and cutting styles work together to enhance a diamond's brilliance. There are three main cutting styles, each of which has its own facet arrangement:
- Brilliant cut.
- Step cut.
- Mixed cut.
In cutting a diamond to be worn as jewellery even a highly skilled diamond cutter might have to cut away more than half of the rough diamond. However the end result will be a beautiful gem ready to be worn as diamond jewellery.
When a diamond is well cut, in good proportion, it will maximise the effect of the light travelling through it, allowing it to be dispersed and reflected from one facet to another. This releases its brilliance, fire and beauty. However, if a diamond is cut too deeply, light will escape through the sides, causing it to appear darker and less brilliant than it might be.
On the other hand, if a diamond cut is too shallow, light escapes through the side or the underneath and it won't be as dazzling. This means that a well-cut diamond is more valuable than a poorly cut one of the same colour, clarity and carat weight.
At H.Samuel one of our most popular brands is the Forever Diamond. This stunning diamond has 73 facets, fifteen more than the average brilliant cut diamond, which is why it has so much more brilliance than other diamonds. It is also a minimum I colour and features a minimum clarity of I1.
Cut can also refer to the diamond shape, the most popular of which is round brilliant. There are, however, many other diamond shapes available, including princess cut, emerald cut, oval and baguette. For more information see the Diamond Shapes chapter.
When choosing your diamond jewellery - engagement rings, pendants or earrings, take a while to consider which cut you want as this will help you get the most dazzling and beautiful diamond for your budget.