Diamonds are one of the most beautiful gemstones you can find anywhere around the world. They are charming and adorable little cuties that make the eyes glitter and melt the hearts.
What makes a diamond sparkle more than another? Many reasons, but as we’ve said before: The most important characteristic in a diamond is the Cut! And diamond cut chart is what will let you know how to determine a good cut from a poor one.
Asides from the beauty of this gemstone, one other factor that made it stand out from other gems is its clarity and the fact that it is durable, and can last for a very long time without fading or rusting.
In addition to its durability and beauty, another reason diamonds are ‘heart-robbers’, is because of the stress associated with the mining, which gives it the ‘not cheap’ and ‘rare’ status.
Furthermore, the fact that no two diamond stones have the same characteristics, they might look the same under a lay man’s vision, but to gem professionals, it has been stated as a fact, that no two diamond stones are alike.
These qualities and more, are what makes diamond special and alluring to humans everywhere. These are the reasons for the mad demand of this gem by folks.
Purchasing a diamond is all amazing and exquisite, but it is not enough. You need to be equipped with enough information about the gemstone you are spending your hard earned cash on.
The more information you have about diamonds, and particularly: Diamond Cut, the better your shot at selecting the best gemstone for yourself.
The Four Cs Of Diamonds
The four Cs are the factors through which the quality of a diamond can be scored and evaluated. These Cs are the criteria with which folks select the ‘better’ diamond out of the numerous options they have.
An analysis of these four Cs will help shed more light on how to select the best piece.
Diamond Carat is the weight to measure the piece of diamond. This is decided by how much the diamond weighs, but it doesn’t determine the quality of the pieces.
Two pieces can weigh the same carat, and not be of the same quality.
Although the colors of most diamonds vary from gray to pink, brown, blue, purple, and yellow, the most common color for diamond remains yellow.
There is a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) grading scale that helps to screen the diamonds and assess their color, here is a quick summary of it:
With the GIA grading, diamonds fall into the Grade D to Z, with DEF being colorless, GHIJ (Near colorless), KLM (faint yellow), NOPQR (very light yellow), while STUVWXYZ (light yellow).
More on diamond colors and these grades are on the diamonds color dedicated article.
While the inner flaws are known as inclusions, the outer flaws are known as blemishes. Internal flaws include bubbles, and non-diamond speck of dirt and particles, while the outer flaws include scratches and dents.
The general GIA clarity grading scale varies from F (Flawless), IF (Inwardly Flawless), I 1 and 2 (Included 1 and 2), VS1 and 2 (Very Slightly Included 1 and 2), VSS 1 and 2 (Very Very Slightly 1 and 2), and SI 1 and 2 (Slightly Included 1 and 2).
This is the most important C of the four Cs. The precision employed in the cutting immensely decides the quality of a diamond.
This precise cutting shows in the sparkling and dazzling of the diamond.
Although cutting varies according to cutters and diamonds, there is a unifying way to cutting, that gives a diamond its fire and sparkle.
What Makes a Diamond Cut Grade?
What determines the quality of the diamond Cut? In other words, what makes an artisan professional in creating a perfect cut from another mid-pro artisan?
We’ve said a lot before that cut is the most influencing factor in light reflection through a diamond, as you see in the image here, when a diamond is cut to ideal proportions, light gets reflected very well, on the contrary, a poor cut results in light going through the diamond and exit from the other sides.
That’s why we always insist on investing the most on an ideal or very good cut, more that any other diamond characteristic.
The quality of the cut of a diamond is determined by the following three types of light reflection. When a diamond is exposed to light, it reflects in the following ways:
When light penetrates the crown of a diamond, instead of a rainbow of colors, a white light/ bright light flashes the eyes.
Some very good / ideal cut diamonds reflect light as white, like the one you see in the last image here, the lights gets into the diamond white, and leaves white, on the other side, and due to a less professional cut, the light reflects as rainbow, something like this image:
This is a myriad of color that reflects when light penetrates the crown of the diamond. The light bounces around in the diamond and flashes the eyes in a myriad of colors.
Do you see the rainbow that reflects back from a diamond? This is what Dispersion or Fire represents! It’s the rainbow of colors that reflects back to your eye when you look at a diamond. The Light; like the first left diamond in the last image, enters through the top, and it breaks down into a rainbow of spectral colors, then it’s reflected back and forth in the interior of the gem by bouncing off the mirror-like facets. So when it leaves the diamond (through the crown), it doesn’t get mixed with the entering light, rather, it stays like a separated line till it reaches the eye, in flashes of colors.
Do you notice when you look at a moving diamond how light reflects through that? This is exactly what describes a scintillation, it’s the play of light that you see when you move the diamond against different light angles, and it’s demonstrated by sparkling on the diamond’s surface.
As you see in this image, when such a diamond is moved around the light, you can see different angles of reflecting color, a very good diamond cut will retain a good reflecting light when this happens.
Difference Between Diamond Cut & Diamond Shape
Although the Cut of a diamond has little to do with the shape of the diamond, but much more to do with how the diamond reflects light, polishing, and symmetry, it is important to brush through the different shapes of diamonds.
This is the most common diamond shape in the world. More than 80% of diamonds out there are made in the round brilliant shape, which includes a crown, the girdle, and the base.
This is a diamond shaped like a pear, it has an even shape, a cleft on the crown, and a well proportioned girdle.
This shape is a hybrid of the marquise and oval shape. And it is mostly used in making earrings and pendants, due to its teardrop shape.
The marquise shaped diamond is one with two long pointed ends. It is a diamond shaped with two pointed ends and a not too broad middle.
These are rectangular/ square shaped diamonds, which has many facets. Although this cut is new, it is gradually becoming one of the best selling diamonds in the market.
The emerald shape has broad and flat surfaces, and cut corners like a square.
It’s worth to mention that there are more other less-known shapes in diamonds industry, like Trillion cut, Asscher and others, but we just mentioned the most famous shapes, for the full list, you can check here.
What is Diamond Cut Chart? How Diamonds Are Graded?
The grading of the diamond according to cut, varies from Good, to Very Good, Fair, Ideal, Super Ideal, and Poor, according to the polishing and symmetry of the diamond, here we go over each one of them briefly:
These diamonds are partially well-cut, based on the quality of sparkle that they give. They are cut in a way that they don’t lose their beauty or quality, they don’t reflect all the light that penetrates through them, but they are still worth a fortune.
These diamonds exhibit a higher cut and quality than the Good grade. They reflect a higher percentage of light; hence they sparkle more than the Good Grade, as a result of this, their worth and value are increased in the market. They are seen as the low-budget Ideal Grade, and this grade is the recommended for people with budget, invest to get this grade more than any other factor.
Not like they are ‘bad diamonds’, but they are not well-cut diamonds, and this affects their quality, they reflect as little light as possible, but that doesn’t mean they are not good (technically they are, because “good” is a higher grade 🙂 ).
These diamonds have a combined force of brilliance and fire; they sparkle and shine effortlessly, and also reflect almost all light that penetrates through the crown.
These diamonds are excellent cut and are worth a lot.
A combination of Scintillation, Fire, and Brilliance, these diamonds are the pride of every cutter and jeweler. They sparkle all round with the slightest penetration of light.
They are superbly cut and ranks the highest in the diamond grading.
The probability of the existence of these types of diamond is uncertain. But these are diamonds that don’t reflect any light.
With these types of diamonds, light reflection is as impossible as anything, and that’s why we listed them at the end and not before good. Just ignore them, and don’t ever invest a penny in a poor cut diamond.
The four Cs are significant determinants in the selection and purchasing of the quality diamonds. This is why it is essential to know them, to avoid buying a low-class diamond for a huge sum of money.
And since the Cut grade is the most important, it’s a must to know more about it and how it affects light reflection (and pricing), it also helps to select the best diamonds based on sparkles, light reflection, beauty, and brilliance.
Make sure you also check our Diamonds FAQs page, where you can get more details on diamonds terminology and some of the most questions we always get from our readers.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly and we will respond within 48 hours max.