Diamonds: Understanding the 4C's of a diamond. Diamond Cut

Size Matters, so does cut, color & clarity 

There are a lot of things to consider when buying a diamond.  Jester Jewelers wants to make choosing a diamond an enjoyable experience. Having knowledge and information about diamonds will make your experience a positive one. In the next 4 blog posts we will discuss the 4c’s - cut, color, clarity & carat - and what they mean to you.

 - Understanding the 4c’s of a diamond can seem complex, but since 1939, Jester Jewelers has been dedicated to bringing exceptional service and expertise with integrity to our customers.

 

Cut, clarity, color and carat weight ...
Understanding how each of these characteristics affect a diamond’s quality and its values will help you choose the perfect diamond for you. It may even allow you to get a diamond you thought was beyond your reach.


The Cut
The cut is how the diamond gets its brilliance! Literally a diamond is “cut” from the rough. These cuts are called facets.

 

What does faceting do to a diamond? The result of faceting a diamond is to display a balance of internal reflections of light (brilliance), strong and colorful dispersion (fire), and brightly colored flashes of reflected light (scintillation).

 

The cut of a diamond refers collectively to the arrangement of these facets. The angles of these facets determine how well a diamond is cut by enabling light to be reflected through the stone. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has spent decades researching and analyzing data on gems and their characteristics. Here is what they say about the cut of a diamond.

 

Cut is the factor that fuels a diamond’s fire, sparkle and brilliance.

The traditional 58 facets in a round brilliant diamond, each precisely cut and defined…without this precision, a diamond wouldn’t be nearly as beautiful. The allure of a particular diamond depends more on cut than anything else

 

Why do the facets have to be cut precisely?  

The angles used for each facet play a crucial role in the final outcome of a diamond. There are very scientific details as to why, but simply put when light passes through a diamond at a polished facet, there is a minimum angle possible for the facet to reflect the light back into the diamond. If the ray passes through the surface lower than this angle, it will leave the diamond instead of reflecting through as brilliance. This area will appear transparent and without brilliance. The better the diamond's cut the greater the internal reflections and the light is less likely to escape.
                                                                                       

Why does this matter?

The cut of the diamond determines much of the diamonds look but also plays a big part in its value.

If a diamond is cut as we say "heavy" that means too much of the diamond’s weight is in the bottom of the stone, called the pavilion, or in the crown of the diamond, which is the top. A diamond can also be cut shallow, which means the angles on the crown and pavilion are too low resulting in light escaping. If a diamond is "off cut" it will not have the greatest balance of brilliance (light reflected from the diamond), fire (dispersion of light) and scintillation (flashes of light or sparkle).

 

The results are:
#1) the diamond not having as much surface area from the top view making it appear to be a smaller stone 

#2) allowing light to be passed through the bottom of the stone instead of reflecting back through the top as brilliance

#3) the angles of the facets will not separate the light revealing the rainbow of colors (fire)

#4) the diamond may not have as much sparkle (scintillation)

 

Even though a heavily cut diamond should cost less per carat, you are still paying for the carat weight you cannot see when mounted because it is in the bottom half or in the crown of the diamond.

Diamond Cut 

A expensive lesson:
Recently a customer came into our store and wanted to upgrade her 1 carat weight diamond. She said it just looks smaller than other 1 carat stones. We removed the diamond from her engagement ring to examine the stone. She was right.  The diamond weighed 1.00ct but from the top the circumference measured what a typical .65ct diamond would measure. The extra diamond weight was in the bottom (pavilion) of the diamond where it could not be seen in her ring. She explained to me the jeweler she bought it from told her it was a great deal, costing less than the other carat stones he had shown her. I unfortunately had to tell her it was a great deal for the jeweler because that diamond would have cost her 40% less at Jester’s because we price a diamond on its true value based on all 4 C's.

 

Click here to read Part 2: Color