The cut of a diamond is the most important “C” of the 4C’s. People commonly refer to the shape of a diamond as the cut , but cut is really the craftsmanship applied in cutting the facets of the stone.
Think for a minute about Leonardo da Vinci starting with a block of marble and creating a masterwork. So it is with diamonds. The vision, skill and artistry the craftsman applies in the process of selecting the rough, and cutting and polishing the stone, are identical to those of any sculptor working with any material.
Ultimately, the artisan attempts to cut a diamond to make the best use of light. When a diamond is cut to good proportions, light is refracted from one facet to another, then dispersed through the top of the diamond. When a diamond is cut too deep, some light escapes through the opposite side of the diamond.
If the diamond is cut too shallow, light escapes through the bottom of the stone before it can be reflected. In addition, the facets must be placed with precise symmetry for maximum brilliance. A well cut diamond – regardless of its shape - sparkles, has more fire and offers the greatest brilliance.
It is the combination of faceting arrangement, proportion, symmetry, and polish that all contribute to a diamond’s fire and brilliance. Proper proportions will maximize its beauty and brilliance. Poor proportions sacrifice the sparkle that gives a diamond life by allowing light to escape without being reflected.
There are millions of cutting combinations that will maximize the beauty of countless types of rough diamond crystals. And millions more will ruin the diamond’s potential beauty in an attempt to make the diamond weigh more so that it can be sold as a “bigger” diamond.
This all may sound a little complex, but when you actually get to see and compare diamonds, you will find it rather simple to see the differences for yourself.
The Parts of a Diamond
FACETS: A diamond's flat, polished surfaces and planes.
TABLE: A diamond's large flat "top" facet.
GIRDLE: A diamond's narrow diameter rim.
CROWN: A diamond's upper portion above the girdle.
PAVILION: A diamond's lower portion below the girdle
Culet: A diamond's tiny facet on the pointed bottom.
BRILLIANT CUT: 32 facets above and 24 facets below the girdle.
BEZEL FACETS: Kite-shaped facets on the crown of brilliant cuts.