Qualifying a diamond: The first of 4C’s (Cut)

As the old saying goes, education is key to being a good buyer. Understanding the infamous 4 C’s-cut, clarity, color, and carat of a diamond’s appearance are essential to getting the best quality diamond for the best possible price. The first C that I will begin with is:

This “C” refers to the angles and proportion of a diamond
A well cut diamond has the ability to reflect light like a mirror from one facet to another and disperse and reflect this light through the top of the stone.  A well cut diamond will be symmetrically round, proper depth and width, and have uniformity of the facets.  These features will result in a brilliant and fiery radiance!  Diamonds that are cut either too deep or too shallow can lose or leak light through the sides and bottom and will be less brilliant-and ultimately of less value.
Characteristics of a diamond cut that are important to consider when purchasing a diamond are described in the following table.  Frequently, however, some diamond cutters will compromise on the cut of the diamond in an attempt to optimize a diamond’s weight (carat).  This may result is a larger diamond with a duller appearance.  If all other things are equals (carat, color, clarity), there can be as much as a 50% in the difference on the final price of a diamond if the cut is of poor quality.

Cut also refers to the shape of the diamond which varies from round, heart, square, pear, etc..  The most brilliant diamonds are going to be round in shape and this relates to the symmetry and capability of the diamond to reflect nearly all the light that enters.  Non-round diamonds “fancy shapes” have their own individual guidelines to consider for being considered well cut.
How a Diamond Handles Light
A diamond’s cut helps determine its brilliance.
Table 1.
Table Size % Table length relative to diameter of diamond
Crown Angle Angle between bezel facets and girdle
Girdle Thickness Ranges from extremely thin to extremely thick (assessed visually)
Depth % Depth of diamond relative to diameter of diamond
Cutlet Size Ranges from pointed to extremely large (assessed visually)
Symmetry Refers to alignment of the facets, graded poor to excellent
Polish Smoothness of facets, graded poor to excellent

Tomorrow we will cover the second of the 4C’s of our diamond education series. Its always a good thing to know a little something especially about jewelry.


Live, Life, Lamour



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