Round Brilliant Diamonds
Of all diamonds shapes, the most popular by far is the round diamond, which takes center stage in the classic engagement ring – a round, solitaire diamond set either in yellow gold or platinum. There are many different round brilliant diamond cuts, from Ideal Diamonds, with 58 facets, to modified cuts with special faceting arrangements and extra facets, like the Opus Masterwork Diamond.
Princess cut diamonds are perhaps the most popular of the fancy shaped diamonds. Princess cut diamonds are relatively new with a shape that is oblong, usually square or almost square, but with a modified brilliant cut arrangement of facets instead of a step cut. Most square or rectangular cuts just don't live up to the round brilliant for sparkle, but princess cut diamonds are designed for getting maximum brilliance from a square cut.
Marquise diamonds have an elongated shape with pointed ends supposedly inspired by the smile of the Marquise de Pompadour and commissioned by the Sun King, France's Louis XIV. It is often used as a solitaire or enhanced by smaller diamonds. It's long, ovate appearance lends a "big look" to a diamond engagement ring.
Radiant cut diamonds have a square or rectangular cut that combines the elegance of the emerald cut diamond with the brilliance of the round. Radiant cut diamonds have 70 facets to maximize the effect of its color refraction. Radiants look great accented with baguettes or round side stones.
The cushion cut diamond is an antique style of cut. Sometimes referred to as a "pillow cut", the cushion cut has an open culet (the bottom of the diamond) and a rectangular to square shape with rounded corners. The beauty of a cushion cut is the depth of the diamond. In the past most quality cushion cut diamonds were found only on the antique and estate market, today cutters are once again cutting these stones.
Emerald cut diamonds have a rectangular shape with cut corners. It is known as a "step cut" because its broad, flat planes resemble steps on a staircase. Inclusions and inferior color are more pronounced in emerald cut diamonds, so pay close attention to clarity and color grading.
Asscher cut diamonds were developed in 1902 by the Asscher Brothers of Holland. The Asscher cut is a stepped square cut, often called the "square emerald cut" and like an emerald cut, the Asscher cut has cropped corners. Asscher cut diamonds have gained in popularity recently.
Heart shaped diamonds are basically a pear-shaped diamond with a cleft at the top. Heart shaped diamonds are sometimes considered romantic, but they can be difficult to cut. The skill of the cutter greatly determines the beauty of heart shaped diamonds.
Created in the 1960's, the Oval Diamond is similar to a round except that it is elliptical in shape. The Oval Diamond usually has 56 facets. Oval diamonds give an even, perfectly symmetrical design popular among women with small hands or short fingers. Oval diamonds have an elongated shape which can make a woman's finger appear longer.
The pear shaped cut often referred to as a tear drop shape is a combination of a round cut and a pointed marquise cut creating an elegant and unusual diamond. This shape is popular as a center in engagement rings, paired with another and offset in a ring and as a classic diamond drop pendant.
True or False? A diamond's grading is the best criteria in buying the most beautiful diamond for yourself or the one you love?
FALSE You (or the one you love) won't be wearing a grading report from a gemological laboratory on your finger or neck. You'll be wearing the diamond you purchase. And you want it to be the one that you (and the envious eyes around you) perceive as the most beautiful and brilliant.
Considering a diamond's grading is a very important step when buying diamonds and a clear indicator of the diamond's quality and value. It is a critical part of the information you gather when choosing a diamond.
However, grading is best used as a guideline rather than a reason for making the final decision.
Many times you’ll find a diamond that is actually more beautiful to your eye than another diamond that is graded somewhat higher.
So, buy a diamond the way the experts do. Let your eye be the ultimate judge, not the piece of paper that comes with it.
True or False? Buying a diamond online sight unseen is as good as buying in person?
FALSE There's a value to looking at diamond seller web sites. They help you understand differences in prices, quality, and diamond features.
But there are also clear downsides to buying from one.
First, you cannot see the diamond's beauty and brilliance on a computer screen. And you can’t compare the diamonds you are considering side-by-side. The real beauty of a diamond is tangible and when you compare one diamond with another, as you would at Fey, you can evaluate which diamond you like best.
Second, you can learn what other people suggest or like in diamonds, but you really cannot see and judge for yourself.
Third, since this is a relatively large, important and sometimes complicated purchase, you really will save time by making an appointment or dropping in to one of our stores and learning first hand for yourself about diamonds.
Lastly, you will meet and get to know a really great person at Fey & Co. who will be there to help you along every step of the way … including many years from now with service, warranty and diamond trade-up opportunities. You can judge for yourself whether this is the place you trust to make this important purchase.
True or False? Bigger is better?
FALSE … MOSTLY! There is definitely a wow factor to a large diamond if, and only if, the quality of the diamond is good.
The quality, value and beauty of a diamond are not totally dependent with its size, however.
There are large diamonds with no life to them, because they originated from a lesser quality piece of rough. They may have visible inclusions, poor color, be cloudy, and not clear. Even more important, they may be poorly cut – cut being the most important of the 4Cs – and therefore be lacking in brilliance and fire.
So, carat weight is only significant if the diamond is beautiful and cut with great skill and artistry. Make sure no matter which of the diamond shapes you choose, it is well cut to proper proportions.
Should my diamond be certified by an industry recognized, independent grading lab?
ABSOLUTELY! Simply put, do not buy a diamond without an independent grading certificate from only the top labs – Forevermark or GIA (Gemological Institute of America). Unfortunately, it is fairly common to see diamonds that are misgraded, especially when they are not graded independently.
Be aware of diamond certificates from labs you have never heard of. Sometimes they are really not independent laboratories.
If you cannot tell a diamond’s true beauty by the certificate, why do I need one?
It is true that you have to see the diamond yourself to judge the beauty, but the independent grading will give you a good indication (usually within one grade, up or down) of the diamonds actual color and clarity along with accurate measurements of the diamond including its weight. You may find it hard to believe, but even the carat weight of the diamond can be exaggerated by the seller if you are not careful! And, the certificate can be very useful for future identification of the diamond especially when combined with “laser inscriptions”. Forevermark diamonds have a unique inscription in the heart of the diamond and can be registered for further security and trust.
Why do some jewelers or websites say that you should buy a diamond solely based on the grading certificate?
Probably because it “fits their business model”. Professional diamond buyers always look at the diamonds they are buying and choose the one’s best for them – even when the diamonds have already been certified. So why shouldn’t you buy the same way? The truth is that there is a big risk in not getting as good a diamond if you do not compare and choose for yourself. At Fey, our staff is trained on how to help you get the largest most beautiful diamond for your budget.
Don’t you find it strange that these same companies offer diamonds for sale with the same “statistics” at vastly different prices? Maybe there is something that you are not being told!
Are the grades always accurate?
In general, we find that many color and clarity grades are “accurate” within one grade, up or down. Color and clarity grades are based on a subjective continuum. So, it is reasonable for different labs or even different graders within the same lab to reach different conclusions.
Be aware that some diamonds are graded multiple times with the most favorable grades being presented to the buyer – a form of diamond “arbitrage”. Also, sellers who know their buyers are not likely to look at the diamond before it is purchased could certainly present the diamonds that have a better certificate grade, but are not nearly as pretty as you would expect.
What labs are best?
As noted above, an independent lab is always the best. At Fey & Co. we have diamonds graded by several different labs. Additionally, our in-store diamonds are also triple graded by Ed, Tom and our Fey & Co. diamond experts.
Today, the Forevermark Lab by DeBeers is definitely the best lab with the most accurate grading and best industry safe-guards including having each diamond independently graded by no less than FIVE graders! And Forevermark has the most exclusive, cutting edge grading equipment in the world.
What are the reasons that you cannot judge a diamond's beauty solely by the grading certificate?
A piece of paper cannot possibly describe the unique beauty of each diamond which is not mass produced, but a product of nature and some of the finest craftsmen in the world.
There are differences in grades between labs and even between graders within a lab. There are differences in beauty such as transparency in the original diamond rough that are not adequately described in the grading.
There are nearly an infinite number of ways that diamonds are cut and there is no comprehensive way to document the subjective beauty of all the different cutting combinations. You have to see for yourself.
Different people look for different things in diamond quality. What is the best for you might not be for the next person. The most telling example of these differences is the fact that it is easy to find many diamonds all with the same “grades”, yet all priced significantly differently.
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Refers to the surface lustre of diamond.
The word diamond comes from the ancient Greek word adamas (αδαμας), meaning unconquerable.
Africa dominated diamond production during the 20th century, with mining activity centred in Botswana and South Africa and concentrated in the hands of De Beers. But, although Africa is still the centre of the industry, the last decade has seen an expansion of production in Canada and Russia.
American Gem Society (AGS):
Originally created to be an educational institution for gemological studies to develop and promote universally-accepted standards for grading cut, AGS now provides independent certification reports on Ideal diamonds.
Appraisal is carried out on rough and polished diamonds at many stages to assess quality and market values.
Arrows, Hearts and:
An optical pattern discernable in some well-proportioned diamonds, and marketed as a demonstration of excellent cutting.
A rectangular or oblong step or "trap" cut used for diamonds and other gemstones.
A color description used for certain fancy brownish yellow diamonds.
Best Practice Principles:
An "Assurance Program" of the De Beers diamond group, as well as to Sightholders and their business partners "to enhance and uphold the fine values diamonds represent".
An impurity that occurs on the surface of a diamond, either in nature or during the mining process.
The color of light seen through a diamond without any dispersion, usually viewed through the side of a stone. A diamond's actual color.
An optical effect adversely affecting marquise and other fancy cuts of diamonds, can be minimized by careful cutting using best proportions and angles.
The brightness that comes from the center of a diamond. Brilliance is created when light enters through the top of the diamond (its "table"), travels to the bottom facets (pavilion facets), and is then bounced back out through the table, where the light is most visible to the naked eye.
One of three styles of faceting arrangements, its faceting is designed to maximize brilliance. Round diamonds, ovals, radiants, princesses, hearts, marquises, and pears are brilliant cuts.
The unit of weight by which a diamond is measured: One carat equals 200 milligrams.
The term refers to crystals within a diamond that have a dark appearance, rather than a white or transparent appearance, when viewed under a microscope. In most cases, these are not visible to the naked eye, and do not affect a diamond's brilliance.
A hole or void in a diamond or other gemstone, either internal or extending to the surface. Internal cavities may naturally contain gas, liquid, solid, a combination of two or three of these, and there may be phase changes depending on ambient temperature
A diamond which has been graded and certified or certificated by a gemological laboratory.
Documents issued by gem labs attesting the genuineness and stating the quality of a diamond or other gemstone.
A setting style or method where there is no metal showing between stones.
Relates to the existence and visual appearance of internal characteristics of a diamond called inclusions, and surface defects called blemishes. Clarity is one of the Four Cs of diamond grading, the others being carat, color, and cut.
A word used informally to mean flawless, or at least to infer flawlessness.
One of the two methods used by diamond cutters to split rough diamond crystals in the diamond cutting process.
Some low clarity diamonds with significant cloudy or milky areas.
A culet which consists of a point rather than a facet.
A grading system based on diamonds' colorlessness (for white diamonds) or their spectral hue, depth of color and purity of color (for fancy color diamonds). For white diamonds, GIA and AGS use a grading system which runs from D (totally colorless) to Z (light yellow).
What most people describe as white, regarded as being the best "color.".
The upper portion of a diamond, which lies above the "girdle."
The angle of the facets that surround the table which creates "dispersion," or fire, in a diamond.
The height or depth of the top part of a diamond, above the girdle.
A tiny flat facet that diamond cutters sometimes add at the bottom of a diamond's pavilion. Its purpose is to protect the tip of the pavilion from being chipped or damaged.
A shape of diamond, four sided with curved sides.
This refers both to the proportions and finish of a polished diamond. As one of "the Four Cs" of diamond value - the others being carat, color, and clarity - it is the only man-made contribution to a diamond's beauty and value.
Dominant diamond mining and marketing company since the nineteenth century. Creators of the slogan "A diamond is forever."
The height of a diamond from the culet to the table. The depth is measured in millimeters.
A crystal made up of 99.95% pure carbon atoms arranged in an isometric, or cubic, crystal arrangement.
The method by which a natural, rough diamond is shaped into a finished, faceted stone.
An instrument that is used to measure a diamond's length, width and depth in millimeters.
The appearance of small flashes of color across the surface of the diamond as it is tilted; also called a diamond's "fire."
EGL, European Gemological Laboratory:
European Gemological Laboratory claims to be an international independent leader in diamond grading and training for all diamond business solutions.
Also called "single cut," diamonds, usually small diamonds with only 18 facets instead of the full 58 on a brilliant cut.
A square or rectangular-shaped diamond with cut corners.
A term describing a diamond with no blemishes or inclusions visible to the naked eye; at least SI in clarity.
Refers to the viewing angle of a polished diamond, so that the table faces approximately towards the viewer, rather than the viewer looking through the side of the stone.
The smooth, flat faces on the surface of a diamond. A round brilliant has 58 facets (or 57 if there is no culet).
Most diamonds are near-colorless, but strongly colored diamonds (pinks, yellows, etc.) are rare and valuable, and are usually known as "fancies".
Any diamond shape other than round.
These are small fractures in a diamond, usually caused by the tremendous stress that the diamond suffered while it was growing underground.
A term covering every aspect of a diamond's appearance that is not a result of the diamond's inherent nature when it comes out of the ground.
A detrimental optical effect in the center of a diamond (resembling a black hole) which is cut too shallow, or with an overlarge table.
In inclusion or other feature which is visible or reduces clarity in diamonds or other gems.
Without any inclusions or features adversely affecting clarity.
An effect that is seen in some gem-quality diamonds when they are exposed to long-wave ultraviolet light.
Cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. The four well-known factors affecting the price of a diamond.
With 58 facets, i.e. usually a brilliant cut, and usually round.
Gemological Institute of America (GIA):
Founded in 1931, a non- profit organization upholding the highest standards for grading diamonds and other precious gems.
A person with expertise and formal qualifications in gemology.
The outer edge, or outline, of the diamond's shape, described by its appearance at its thinnest and thickest points (extremely thin; thin; medium; slightly thick; thick;
Any of the facets adjacent to the girdle on a brilliant cut or other diamond, split into upper (crown) girdle facets, and lower (pavilion) girdle facets.
A recognized measure of an aspect of quality, mainly clarity and color, but can also be applied to proportion and other aspects.
A type of fancy diamond cut, resembling the popular Valentine's Day shape.
Hearts and Arrows:
An optical pattern discernable in some well-proportioned diamonds, and marketed as a demonstration of excellent cutting. Usually found in well cut Ideal diamonds.
I1, I2, I3, Included, Imperfect:
I1, I2, and I3 are all grades in the GIA clarity scale.
Ideal, Ideal Cut:
Theoretically perfect cutting proportions for (round brilliant cut) diamonds. Exact specifications vary.
I.G.I., International Gem Laboratory:
Organization with laboratories located in the heart of the gem & jewelry districts throughout the world, including New York, Antwerp, Mumbai, Bangkok and Tokyo.
Possessing inclusions, mainly internal features which impair the brilliance or clarity of a diamond.
A clarity characteristic found within a diamond. Most inclusions were created when the gem first formed in the earth. Inclusions may be crystals of a foreign material or another diamond crystal, or structural imperfections such as tiny cracks that can appear whitish or cloudy.
Internally Flawless, IF:
A clarity grade which allows for no naturals or other surface features or imperfections.
An international agreement on methods to counter conflict diamonds.
The yellow or blue "ground" rock which forms diamond "pipes", and in which most diamond rough is found.
A comparison of how much longer a diamond is than it is wide, used to analyze the outline of fancy shapes only.
French word for magnifying glass, universally applied to the version used by most jewelry professionals, with a 10X magnification, although other powers are used.
Indicating that a diamond contains no visible inclusions when using the industry standard magnification of ten times (10x).
Lower Girdle Facet:
A diamond facet adjacent to and below the girdle (on the pavilion).
Some diamonds luminesce (emit light) when exposed to sunlight or other ultraviolet-light sources. The light the diamonds emit is usually light blue, but yellow, orange, and red luminescence occurs in some stones.
The luster of a diamond is its highly reflective surface sheen due to its high refractive index combined with the highly polished surfaces.
A 'made' stone is one of excellent proportion and finish.
The first sixteen facets to be ground onto rough diamonds, apart from the table and culet, also the main pavilion facets (the first eight on the pavilion).
Some over-fluorescent diamonds have a cloudy or milky appearance, especially in ultra-violet light or daylight.
A fancy shape diamond which is elongated with points at each end.
Modified Brilliant Cut:
A diamond cut in a shape or style other than round, such as oval, pear, marquise, heart, princess, radiant, or trilliant. Could also be applied to round stones based on the brilliant cut.
Small parts of the original rough diamond's surface which are left on the polished diamond, frequently on or near the girdle.
A fancy shape diamond which is an elongated version of a round cut.
From French, literally paved. Diamonds are other gemstones set in such a way that they substantially cover a surface of a piece of jewelry.
The lower portion of the diamond, below the girdle.
The angle between the main pavilion facets and the girdle. In diamond cutting and proportion, this is the single most important dimension, and should be around 40.75° to 41°.
Any of the facets on the pavilion of a diamond, but usually referring to the main pavilion facets, as distinct from the lower girdle facets.
A fancy shape diamond that resembles a teardrop.
From French "prick", a needle or other inclusion in a diamond. First piqué (P1) is a clarity grade, the American equivalent is I1.
A unit of measurement used to describe the weight of diamonds. One point is one-hundredth of a carat.
Refers to any blemishes on the surface of the diamond which are not significant enough to affect the clarity grade of the diamond. Regarded as an indicator of the quality of as diamond's cut, it is graded as Ideal, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair or Poor.
A brilliant cut fancy shape that can be either square or rectangular.
The consideration of the overall shape of a diamond taking each part in relation to all other parts.
Another word for clarity.
A brilliant cut fancy shape that resembles a square or rectangle with the corners cut off.
A comparison of how much longer a diamond is than it is wide.
Important optical effect, whereby light bounces off a surface.
Important optical effect, the deviation of light when it passes from one medium to another, e.g. air to diamond.
Rough is the word used to describe all uncut or unpolished diamonds.
A jewelry setting with an empty set of prongs for mounting a diamond center stone that the customer selects separately.
A word often used interchangeably with "cut", although the two have different meanings. Shape should refer to the basic outline type, such as round, oval, square, princess, radiant, cushion, oblong, emerald, baguette, pear.
An individual or company which attends De Beers diamond selling meetings, known as sights.
A very small round diamond with only 16 or 17 facets, instead of the normal 57 or 58 facets of a full cut round brilliant.
One of the eight facets adjacent to the table on a brilliant cut diamond, so called because they from an eight pointed star when viewed from above.
One of three styles of faceting arrangements, with broad, flat planes resembling stair steps).
Refers to variations in a diamond's symmetry, regarded as an indicator of the quality of as diamond's cut; it is graded as either Ideal, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair or Poor.
The flat facet on the top of the diamond. It is the largest facet on a cut diamond.
The value which represents how the diameter of the table facet compares to the diameter of the entire diamond.
Also known as step cut. A traditional way to cut rectangular, octagonal or other non - round diamonds, including emerald cuts.
A type of brilliant fancy shape that is triangular.
Upper Girdle Facet:
Any of the sixteen facets on the crown (top), adjoining the girdle of a diamond.
Used on color grading of fancy colored diamonds to denote the most intensely colored stones, not the darkest.