Introduction to Diamond Cut Quality
What gives diamonds their stunning appearance? Many things, of course, but diamond cut tops this list. Today the market is flooded with so many different designs and cuts that the confusion regarding diamond cut quality has also increased by manifolds.
You will notice a stark difference between a rough, uncut diamond and a carefully cut and polished one. Quite understandably, only professional expertise can turn a rough diamond into an appealing one.
As a result, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) considers diamond-cut among its primary parameters of assessing diamonds.
We know that Diamond Cut Quality plays a crucial role in determining the price of the diamond. But what are the factors that affect diamond cut quality?
Factors affecting Diamond Cut Quality:
The most critical factor in a diamond’s value and price is its Cut quality. Many elements are involved in determining the diamond cut quality, including its proportions, facets, finishing details, and ability to reflect light.
The better these characteristics are as a whole, the higher the quality of the diamond, and in return, the higher the price. While color and clarity play a role in a diamond’s beauty, diamond cut is the most critical of the 4Cs.
These are the key factors that affect diamond cut quality, and thereby, its price:
A Diamond’s Proportions
While examining the diamond cut quality, experts look at the physical aspects of the stone, also known as the diamond’s proportions. These include the girdle, culet, table, and depth of a diamond.
Girdle: The girdle refers to the outer edge (or diameter) of the diamond. We can judge a well-cut diamond by looking at the thickness of the girdle.
Ideally, the thickness of the girdle should be proportional to the size of the stone. Meaning, a proper girdle is never too thick nor too thin. Moreover, the girdle should have uniformity. Any unevenness in the girdle will make the diamond look deformed.
Culet: This is the flat part of the diamond present at the very bottom of the stone. Ideally, a diamond’s culet should be of a very small size. You will find many diamonds that lack a culet altogether.
Table: The table in a diamond refers to the flat surface present on the topmost surface of the stone. The table is arguably the most important surface as anyone looks at a diamond through the top angle.
As a result, the table should be well cut and polished. For those looking for high diamond cut quality, there needs to be a good balance of percentage between the table and depth.
Depth: The depth of a diamond is the measure of the distance between its table and culet. In simple terms, the depth can be considered as the distance between the top and bottom surface of the diamond.
As mentioned earlier, the girdle is the outer edge of the stone. So, it serves to divide the depth. The depth of the diamond is also important as it reveals the weight of the stone. So, a good depth percent should be maintained to make your diamond appealing.
When we speak of diamond symmetry, we are referring to all the other aspects it encompasses. These include the shape, alignment, and cut of the diamond.
While GIA and its 4Cs of diamond grading cover diamond cut, it is worth noting that diamond symmetry plays an equally important role in diamond cut quality.
Very often, while checking for asymmetrical diamonds, we look for several things. These include:
- the proper alignment of a diamond’s crown and pavilion.
- Whether or not a diamond’s table and girdle are perfectly parallel to each other.
- A uniform and even girdle
- Whether or not the angles of the diamond’s crown between its table and girdle are equal.
Some other factors that affect diamond cut quality as laid down by GIA:
When we look at the quality of a diamond cut, the GIA diamond cutting grade consists of 7 elements: weight ratio, polish, symmetry, durability, fire, brightness, and scintillation.
Among these seven, the final three are the most important:
Fire: When you look at a diamond, you will observe flashes of light within it. These occur because the diamond acts as a prism and produces light of different colors. This effect is known as the fire of a diamond.
Brightness: Diamonds sparkle because they reflect light. What we call the “brightness” of a diamond is this reflection of white light, both internally and externally.
Scintillation: A diamond’s scintillation has a very crucial purpose. It highlights each facet of the diamond, ensuring the high contrast between light and dark areas of the stone. As a result, the diamond’s cut is clearly visible, and the overall effect is neat and crisp.
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Finishing Details like Diamond Polish
A diamond is polished so that its cuts and multitudinous facets can be highlighted. It allows light to enter the stone. We experience the “dazzle,” which is nothing but the phenomenon of total internal reflection of light.
By polishing any diamond, any tiny bumps and inclusions that are present on the surface of the stone are comfortably smoothened out.
What happens if a diamond is unpolished or not polished enough? Simply speaking, the absence of polishing prevents the facets from acting as mirrors. As a result, light is not reflected correctly, making the diamond look dull.
Moreover, the light gets distorted, which goes on to enhance any blemishes or bumps on the surface of the diamond, making it look rough and unappealing.
Whereas polished diamonds rank better on the diamond cut quality scale, unpolished or badly polished diamonds do not. As a result, well-polished diamonds have valued higher.
Overall, you must understand that diamond cut quality is particularly significant because it plays a crucial role in calculating the final price of the stone.
So, the next time you buy or sell a diamond, be sure to have a general overview of the diamond cut quality to better understand the diamond’s value.