- Scintillation or Sparkle - A measure of the light reflected out by a diamond as it is viewed from different angles which occurs when light bounces among the diamond facets creating a really sparkling display
- Lustre / luster - The brightness of an object that shines with reflected light
- Dispersion - Dispersion refers to the prism of light refracted from within a cut and polished diamond and relates to the sparkling colors that are emitted from the stone as it is viewed from different angles
These elements may be visible even in their rough state; but in order to enhance these advantages the diamonds must be cut and polished. A skilful diamond cutter, or lapidary, is able to bring out all the brilliance of a diamond, whilst concealing its imperfections, by choosing the most appropriate cuts and the most appropriate proportions and symmetry.
Diamonds are Forever...
An Impartial Guide to Diamonds
Information about Proportion
The most important proportion is the ratio between the depth of the stone and its diameter, ideally this should be about 58%. Another proportion to be taken into account is the ratio between the height of the crown and the pavilion. Cuts with good proportions reflect more light and appear to look better than other diamonds of higher clarity and appears to look 2 or 3 grades higher than the actual color. The quality is also dependent upon the cutting skill on the diamond facets.
Facets produce the sparkle
Facets are the smooth surface areas of a stone which have been cut, polished and positioned at different angles which allow light to enter and reflect back from the diamond. The depth and width and the uniformity of the facets control the brilliance and the durability of diamonds. The quality of the facets are the major determining factor in enhancing the diamond's ability to sparkle or reflect light and play a large part in the resulting brilliance of the stone.
A Good Diamond Cut
What constitutes good diamond Cut? Good cuts are effected by several different factors:
- Proportion affects the cut - The diamond's width and depth have a large impact on the brilliance of the stone Cuts which are too shallow appear lifeless as the light travelling through the stone is lost out of the bottom of the diamond
- Cuts which are too deep will appear lifeless as the light travelling through the stone is lost out of the sides of the stone
- Diamond Symmetry affects the cut and refers to the alignment of the facets of a diamond (Diamond symmetry) should be cut to achieve the best play of light
- Diamond Polish affects the cut - the surface of the facets should be smoothly polished to enable light to pass through them
- A misaligned, broken, chipped or missing culet is a common problem
Fancy Diamond Cuts
Fancy cut diamonds include the Emerald, Marquise, Heart, Oval, Pear and Princess cuts and shapes. A Fancy Cut is a way of cutting a diamond to maximize the carat weight. A rough diamond which might only yield a half carat in a Brilliant Cut might yield another 50% if cut into one of the above shapes. A Fancy Cut diamond allows the cutter to use the best attributes of a rough diamond whilst eliminate inclusions and blemishes.
Information about the Shapes
Click one of the following links for facts and information about the art of diamond cutting and the following diamond shapes and cuts: