The term cut refers to the facets and their proportions on the surface of the diamond. Diamonds should always be cut for beauty, not weight. Properly cut the diamond reflects more light and brilliance. There are many measurements that go into the cutting of a diamond to maximize the refraction of light. Facets must be cut at exact angles relative to one another; the top and bottom halves of the stone should have the proper depth relative to one another; the flat surface on top must be correct size, relative to the overall size of the stone. And most important, the facets on top and bottom must align correctly with each other. Therefore a stone cut too shallow of too deep loses the ability to maximize its brilliance.
Diamonds come in a variety of shapes. While the round shape is the most popular there are plenty of other shapes to choose from that also produce brilliance and fire.
Round Brilliant – The round brilliant is by far the most popular and has the best angles to produce maximum brilliance.
Asscher – often referred to as the square emerald cut. It is step cut and with cropped corners.
Oval – similar to the round in sparkle. Very popular for 3 stone anniversary rings, with 2 matching diamonds on the side.
Princess – A square cut diamond that has refractive properties almost near the round brilliant.
Emerald – a more traditional shape, the emerald is not as popular as it once was.
Radiant – popular before the princess shape was found. The radiant has more facets that a princess, but has corners trimmed like the emerald shape. This shape is not very popular.
Heart – some people prefer for sentimental reasons, but it has low demand.
Marquise – an elongated stone with a point at each end. This is probably the fourth most popular shape behind the round, princess and oval.
Pear – combines the brilliance of a round and the elongated elegance of the marquise.
Determining the best shape is what appeals to you and looks good on your hand. There are differences in the various shapes that affect their brilliance, size and value. Quality for quality the round is the better buy over other shapes. It shows the most brilliance and hides any imperfections the best. However, if you want a diamond that looks as big as possible, even if it doesn’t weigh much, a fancy shape like the marquise or pear shape, will appear bigger and longer than a round diamond of the same carat weight.
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