Whether natural or cultured, each diamond is cut by an expert craftsman or gemologist to further enhance the beauty of this most precious substance. A diamond that is expertly cut and polished helps with the “sparkle” – the aspect that mesmerizes us the most – by optimizing the stone’s relationship with light.
Assessing the cut of a diamond might not be as difficult as cutting a rough stone into a luminescent diamond, but it still requires a discerning eye. We have put together enough information for a layman to gain an understanding of the diamond cutting process and to make exceptional approximations regarding the nature and exquisiteness of the cut.
Analyzing Cut Grade – Brilliance, Fire, and Scintillation
The quality of a diamond is determined by its face-up appearance on the basis of brilliance, fire, and scintillation.
Brilliance refers to the internal and external reflections of white light as visible to the naked eye when viewing a polished diamond.
Fire is a result of white light being dispersed into its spectral colors (VIBGYOR), appearing as spots or areas of extremely bright and distinct colors that a stone emits.
Scintillation refers to the flashes or sparkles of white and dark light reflected from the surface of a polished diamond upon movement – either of the diamond, the light source or the person observing it.
Together, these factors help in determining the overall quality and appeal of loose diamonds.
Other Factors that Count
A diamond’s proportions affect its light performance, which in turn affects its beauty and overall appeal. Diamonds with fine proportions, symmetry, and polish optimize their interaction with light and have increased brightness, fire, and scintillation.
While these serve as the basic parameters for assessing the quality of a diamond’s cut, which also is the main determinant of overall quality, international bodies such as Gemological Institute of America (GIA), American Gemological Society (AGS), European Gemological Laboratory (EGL), have grading systems to help buyers choose the right stone. These systems rely on similar parameters with slight differences.
Weight-ratio, a comparison of a diamond’s weight to its diameter, is another aspect that is considered while grading diamonds.
Durability is an important aspect for ensuring a diamond’s longevity and assesses the potential risk of damage due to thin girdles or points.
Polish pertains to the surface quality of the face of a diamond. Symmetry, meanwhile, is about a diamond’s shape, and the symmetrical or even placement of its facets. Symmetry can be further broken down into two aspects.
Proportion symmetry evaluates the alignment and balance of the diamond’s table, culet, girdle outline and angles. Facet symmetry is a gauge of the shape, placement, and presence or absence of the facets themselves.
The shape of the diamond, after it has been cut and polished, also plays an important role in determining its quality and grade. Specific cuts, like the princess cut, the emerald cut diamond, and others, usually demand a higher value.
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