Simply put, diamond cutting is about the style and design used when sculpting the diamond before it is polished. There are a number of different diamond cuts that each have their own unique characteristics associated with them. The cut does not necessarily refer to the shape of the diamond, but rather the symmetry, proportion and the eventual polish of the diamond. A diamond’s cut significantly affects its brilliance, which means if it’s badly cut, it will be more likely to be dull and lackluster. The history of diamond cuts goes back to the 13th century, in India, when the natural point cut diamond became a symbol of mystical power and royalty.
The original natural “point cut” is not actually a “cut” at all, as the technology did not exist to cut diamonds until almost a century later. In fact the term point-cut comes from the diamonds natural dodecahedron or octahedron shapes. For many centuries to come natural point cut diamonds would remain the most precious of all and would remain in their natural uncut form.
Somewhere around the mid 14th century, significant advancements in diamond cutting techniques occurred, and some adjustments and improvements were made to the natural point-cut by shearing off some of the octahedrons top half to create the flat looking table cut. This was usually reserved for colored gemstones rather than diamonds due to its duller luminosity.
The rose cut first appeared in the 16th century and was most common during the Victorian and Georgian eras. The rose cuts key features are that of a flat bottom, a dome-shaped crown and the single apex on top. The Rose Cut is far more complex when it comes to diamond cutting than that of the table cut, and it features anywhere between 3 and 24 facets, a rose cut diamond somewhat resembles the shape of a budding rose, hence the name.
Single Cut and Full Cut Modern Brilliant Cut
The single diamond cut is one of the oldest cuts and dates back to as early as the 14th century. Its main features are the large table top and the octagonal girdle and it usually features at least 18 facets. This cut made way for the full-cut or modern Brilliant Cut which is a more complex version of the single cut and features 57 or 58 facets. The rounder full-cut became prominent in the Art Nouveau period in the early 20th century and is still popular to this day. The Brilliant cut enables more light to shine through due to its complexity and therefore appears to be more luminous than other cuts.