Buying a Diamond? Make Sure It is Cut Properly
So you’re thinking about popping the “Big Question”, or perhaps you are searching for that special diamond to celebrate many years of a great marriage to a wonderful person. Whatever the occasion, you will want to read further so you can easily make the best decision possible between the various diamonds you will encounter in your quest for that perfect token of your love and affection. You will be searching for a special diamond which will make her instantly say “Yes” to your proposal or reaffirm to her that she made the right decision many years ago when she married you.
There is nothing quite like a properly cut diamond. You can see it sparkle from across the room as it beacons people to stare and pay attention to it and the person wearing it. A well cut diamond exhibits the “Fire” or scintillation that makes a diamond unique among all other gemstones. The overall appearance of it depends more on the Cut than on any other aspect of the 4 C’s, including color, carat weight and clarity. A properly cut diamond can hide clarity characteristics or blemishes; it can mask color deficiencies and can affect the visual determination of weight. A properly cut diamond is something to behold and it is the most important aspect you should consider when purchasing a diamond engagement ring, anniversary ring etc.
With 58 facets on a typical round brilliant cut diamond that is cut with the proper dimensions, light often bounces around each facet multiple times before exiting the stone. This gives the “Fire” or sparkle that is so indicative of diamonds. However, to maximize this fire or brilliance, the upper portion and the lower section of each diamond needs to be cut with the correct proportions and angles to maximize the diamond’s brilliance. If diamond rough (the term used for diamonds before they are cut) doesn’t allow for a properly cut diamond in the size range that the cutter is hoping for, they have essentially two choices. They can sacrifice brilliance and cut the stone to their desired weight or they can sacrifice size and cut it in the dimensions that maximize its fire. Other choices may be to make a “fancy” or different than round shape for the diamond, which may maximize size and maintain the diamond’s brilliance.
If a diamond cutter chooses to maximize weight and forgo brilliance, with some practice you can easily see that the diamond doesn’t have as much fire or sparkle as other diamonds. You will see it looks “dead” or has places where you can see through the bottom of the stone. When you see this, you are witnessing the effect of light leaving the diamond prematurely, before it has had a chance to reflect multiple times within the diamond before exiting the top. This lack of “fire” makes the diamond appear lifeless. When light exits the diamond after it has reflected within the diamond many times, the “fire” is maximized.
The top of a diamond is called the crown and at the top of the crown lays the table. This is where you will see most of the “fire” coming from a diamond. The bottom two thirds of the diamond below the middle section or girdle is called the pavilion. The crown and pavilion of them have to be cut in just the right proportions for the maximum brilliance to be seen in a diamond. Much of a variation from the optimal guidelines results in a diamond that is less brilliant than it could be. You want to locate and possibly purchase one that is cut properly and thus shows the maximum amount of “fire” possible.
A diamond’s cut is very important. However, the color and clarity of a diamond is important as well. It just happens that a diamond’s cut is the most important. When you look at a diamond from the table or top of the diamond, you don’t want to be able to see anything through the bottom of the diamond except sparkle or “fire”. You don’t want to see your hand, the ring, newsprint when held over a magazine etc. If you make sure that you see nothing but brilliance, then most likely you have a properly cut diamond. Then you can compare its color, carat weight and clarity to see if it is the perfect diamond for you.
Hopefully this introduction to the cut of a diamond will assist you in your search for the perfect stone. With many people spending two month’s salary on a diamond, this is an important decision not to be taken lightly. They are special because of the brilliance they can display. Unlike any other gemstone, diamonds are in a class of their own when it comes to sparkle. If you don’t get the most “fire” possible, you are missing out. Just make sure you follow the guidelines above and you will walk away happy with your diamond purchase.