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Facets of Fire: Exploring the Beauty of Diamond Cuts

When the diamond cut is poor, there is no “fire”

The shape of the rough diamond determines the diamond cut.

The precision & symmetry of the cut gives a diamond its brilliance releasing the fire or sparkle.

It also reflects light internally from facet to facet dispersing it through the crown or top of the diamond.

This is known as total internal reflection.

diamond cut chartThus the ‘Ideal cut’ allows total internal reflection.

When the diamond cut is too deep, light escapes from the sides of the diamond or side facets.

When a diamond is cut is too shallow, light escapes from the bottom of it.

Generally, if a diamond doesn’t sparkle or have ‘fire’ when you look at it, it hasn’t been cut well.

cut diamond definitions

The diamond cut is the shape of the diamond, and it’s very important for a lot of reasons. Here are some tips that will help you know what to look for when shopping for a diamond cut:

-Diamond cuts can be categorized as round, oval or heart shaped. Round diamonds tend to be more expensive than other types because they are rarer and more difficult to create.

-Oval diamonds are wider at the top than they are at the bottom. This gives them a more natural look than round diamonds. Oval cuts tend to be more affordable than other shapes as well.

-With a square cut diamond, every facet is rectangular in shape, whereas with an emerald cut, only one side of each facet is square while all others have rounded edges. Square cuts tend to be less expensive than emerald cuts but still offer excellent value for money in terms of quality and appearance.

-The best proportions of a diamond cut are proportioned according to the GIA ‘Ideal Cut’

ideal cut

The Different Cuts

Round Brilliant Diamond Cut

The round diamond cut is the most traditional and popular of all diamond shapes.

diamond cut fire

Approximately 80% of all loose diamonds being sold in the marketplace are round cut diamonds.

A round cut diamond has a total of 58 facets, 33 on the top portion called the crown and 25 facets on the bottom called the pavilion.

A round diamond that has ideal cut parameters is the most beautiful and brilliant of all the diamond shapes.

It is for this reason that round diamonds are most often set in solitaire, four-prong engagement ring settings to showcase their brilliance.

The round cut diamond has evolved a lot over the years and has rightfully earned its place today as the most desired and sought after of all of the diamond cuts.

Oval Cut

The oval diamond cut is actually an elongated brilliant cut diamond.

Oval diamond cut

It is traditionally set with two smaller diamonds flanking the center diamond on either side.

Although the oval diamond is not as popular as a stand alone diamond in a solitaire diamond wedding ring.

It is very sought after in 3 stone diamond rings.

When the oval diamond is cut well, it has tremendous brilliance and fire.

Choosing a pave diamond ring for your oval diamond, or smaller flanking diamonds will greatly enhance the overall look.

The oval cut diamond ring is a timeless engagement ring that flatters the shape of the hand and will always remain in style.

Marquise Cut Diamond

Of all the fancy diamond shapes, the marquise diamond cut is the diamond of choice…it’s quite possibly the most regal and elegant of them all.

Marquise diamond cut

The diamonds elongated shape makes the fingers appear longer.

The unique structure of the marquise diamond makes it about twice as long as it is wide.

It has beautiful tapered points on each end.

The shape and structure of the diamond will make it appear larger than what it actually weighs in carats.

This is due to the large surface area of the stone.

You can actually a purchase a smaller marquise diamond engagement ring than you would in a different diamond shape.

It would appear significantly larger to the eye.

If properly cut, a marquise cut diamond will have excellent brilliance….otherwise, it will exhibit a “bow-tie” effect in the center of the stone.

You will see a dark black(bow-tie) area with an obvious lack of brilliance.

Asscher Cut Diamond

The Asscher cut diamond is kind of based on the emerald cut diamond in a square shape.

It has a total depth that is typically greater than the modern emerald cut diamond.

Asscher diamond cut

The diamond is named for Joseph Asscher, founder of the Royal Asscher Company, established in Amsterdam in 1854.

Joseph created his Asscher cut in 1902.

His unique diamond cut became an instant sensation and was incredibly popular for many years.

Even though it is very rare to find an original Asscher cut diamond today, some were passed down from generation to generation and are purchased as jewelry estate pieces.

Asscher is also known the world over for being the cutter of the world’s largest (known) diamond; the 3,106 carat (in rough form) Cullinan Diamond.

Asscher was commissioned by British King Edward VII with the cutting and faceting of this monster diamond.

The project took him approximately 6 months.

Ultimately, Asscher created 3 individual and perfectly flawless diamonds from the rough; all of them famous.

A unique aspect of the Asscher diamond is that there are no set proportions with which to cut the diamond.

The diamond does have a basic square outline and step facets, but that is it.

The diamond cutter will craft each Asscher diamond with intent on maximizing light performance and beauty.

The result is a diamond of incredible beauty.

Heart Shaped Diamond

Heart shaped diamonds are actually pear shaped diamonds with a distinctive cleft on top instead of the rounded edges.

Heart shaped diamond cut

In order for a heart shaped diamond to be valuable, it must exhibit proper symmetry.

This means that the diameter across its widest perimeter (known as the “shoulders” of the heart) should be equal to its length.

The way to measure length is by running a vertical line from the cleft to the tip of the diamond.

The interesting thing about the heart shaped diamond is that it’s gauged for beauty and brilliance in a much more personal way.

Pear Shaped Diamonds

The pear shape cut diamond is considered an exquisite diamond for use in quality designer engagement rings.

Pear shaped diamond cut

Termed “Teardrop of the Gods”, the pear shape diamond is exceptionally beautiful and elegant.

It can be set in a solitaire engagement ring or even a diamond ring with side stones.

The pear shaped diamond is basically a combination of the marquise and oval diamonds, giving the “best of both worlds”.

You get the beautiful rounded edge on top of the diamond, as well as the distinctive taper on the bottom.

Radiant cut Diamonds

A radiant diamond can be quite beautiful and brilliant.

A cross between a round cut and emerald cut diamond.Radiant diamond cut

The radiant diamond is typically comprised of 70 facets and is either square or rectangular in shape.

Although its popularity has somewhat faded over time, finely cut radiant diamond engagement rings have recently become popular again.


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