One of the most common misconceptions about diamonds is that the cut refers to the shape of the gemstone. Instead, it is better to think of this cut as how the stone has been fashioned. A well-cut diamond will sparkle from all angles, fashioned so that the light reflects through all facets. The cut of a diamond is all about how brilliant a diamond is, regardless of whether it is round, pear, or oval shaped.
The Round Brilliant Cut
As the most popular diamond cut, the round brilliant is used by master jewellers worldwide and is a particularly popular choice for engagement rings in Sydney. In this design, the stone is cut into three main sections: the crown which sits on top, the girdle which divides the gem in two, and the pavilion at the bottom.
The most common number of facets on each part are 33 on the crown and 25 on the pavilion. The girdle may be polished, frosted, or have facets depending on the craftsman’s preferences. There are six round brilliant cuts with heights, angles, and depths varying from one workshop to another.
As this is the most popular cut worldwide, it is generally graded via the GIA Diamond Cut Scale for Round Brilliant Diamonds which looks at three different characteristics:
- Brightness (reflected white light)
- Fire (scattering of light into all colours)
- Scintillation (the sparkle of a diamond)
The design and craftsmanship are also taken into account when determining where a gem falls on the GIA scale.
Fancy Diamond Cuts
There are also a number of other diamond cuts which use more elaborate shapes, designs and symmetries. These cuts include the following:
Again, there is more to the cut than simply the shape of the stone. While many of these will have a set number of facets, the proportions may change depending on the preferences of the individual artisan.
These cuts can also be chosen for their unique characteristics. For instance, the princess cut has a higher fire and brilliance with a square design which wastes far less of the original crystal. Pear cut diamonds look like water drops and are thus the preferred choice when creating elegant pairs of earrings. Other designs, such as the cushion cut, are tied to vintage looks and are recommended for those seeking a classic addition to their personal jewellery collection.