When looking at a diamond, there are two main things people notice right off the bat. The first is obviously the size, and the second is the sparkle.
Now, while it can’t be denied that size does matter, if you buy a large, poorly cut diamond, it’ll look like a hunk of polished glass on her finger. Then again, if a larger diamond is not currently an option, the cut is most certainly the biggest thing you’ll have going for you. That’s why you want to find a diamond that has been cut by somebody who’s been around the proverbial block more than a few times. You want that diamond to be cut to the most ideal proportions so that its sparkle leaves a permanent twinkle in her eyes. If you have no idea where to start…
Here are five things you need to know when looking for a diamond that really shines.
1. Ideal Proportions
In order for a diamond to truly sparkle, all of its anatomical parts must be in proportion to one another. This includes the table, crown, girdle, pavilion, and if present, the culet. If all of these elements are in proportion, then the light will pass through the table and hit the pavilion at a right angle, cut across the diamond, and shoot right back out of the table and into those twinkling eyes.
2. Table Size
The table is the large flat surface on the top of the diamond. It is responsible for reflecting white light, while the facets around it are responsible for the diamond’s scintillation, or colored refractions. If the table is too small, the diamond will appear dark, but if it’s too large it will lose scintillation. Every diamond shape has a preferred table percentage so make sure you double check the recommendations on the diamond search page for the shape you’re looking for.
Each diamond shape has a preferred depth percentage that maximizes its brilliance and scintillation. This percentage is calculated by dividing the diamond’s total depth – the distance from the table to the culet – by the average diameter for rounds, or by the width for fancy shapes.
The culet is a relatively antiquated facet, found at the very bottom of the diamond. Its primary purpose is to prevent abrasions and chipping. A large culet, commonly found in antique diamonds, can have a very negative impact on its cut grade. Thus, having little to no culet is currently considered ideal.
Ideal polish is pretty self-explanatory. The smoother and more detailed it is, the better it will be at reflecting light. If the polish is poor, the diamond will look dull and hazy.
So there are your five basic things to know about a diamond’s cut. For more in-depth information on the subject, feel free to browse our Education section. In addition, you can always call, email, or livechat us during our business hours. There’s a lot to know about how to find the right diamond, and we’re always eager to educate our customers. In the end, you’ll know if it’s an ideal cut when you’re asked to keep it covered in all places that prohibit flash photography.