Friday, July 12, 2013

Let's talk about Cut; the MOST important of The 4 C's!

Lisa here, sorry it's been a while!  What can I say, Summer has finally arrived in the windy city, I've completed my second boot camp of the year, and there is still only 24 hours in a day?!  That being said, I've missed my writing adventure, so let us get right down to it, shall we?

I was recently interviewed by My boss's lovely 15 year old daughter Isabel, for a geometry paper regarding the cutting of a diamond.  She could not have picked a more difficult and expansive subject!  People have been studying diamond cutting for as long as the gems have been prized for their beauty!

Cut not only refers to the shape of the diamond but more specifically how well it is cut from the rough.  When diamonds come out of the ground, they have no inherent beauty, it is up to the diamond cutter to unlock there beauty!  Based on the size, shape and where the inclusions are located in the stone, the cutter will decide the best way to cut the stone while maximizing the diamond's weight.  Makes sense, right?

There are two basic cutting styles for a diamond... Brilliant Cut and Step Cut.  A brilliant cut refers to facets radiating out from a center point, i.e. round brilliant cut, princess cut, oval, pear, cushion, radiant etc.  A step cut refers to a faceting style where the facets are cut into concentric rows like in an emerald cut or asscher.  With me so far?

No matter what shape or style of cut, light should enter the stone and then be returned to the eye in the form of fire, sparkle and brilliance! 

What is fire?

Fire is the breaking up of white light into the spectral colors of the rainbow.

What is sparkle or scintillation?

The sparkle of a diamond is know as scintillation, which is the play of light and dark flashes as a diamond is moved around.  This is very personal, and helps explain why a person might like the way one diamond "sparkles" over another.

What is Brilliane?

Brilliance is the combination of both fire and scintillation.

If a diamond is improperly cut, there will be light seepage out of the pavillion, or bottom, yielding a less brilliant stone.

Generally speaking any shape brilliant cut is going to sparkle the most, with round brilliant leading the pack.  The shape and general proportions of a round brilliant cut diamond are the most optimal for maximum brilliance!  Step cut diamonds, although brilliant, produce more of a "flash" like sparkle due to their facets of concentric rows.  Shape and cutting style are very much a matter of personal preference, the important thing to remember is to choose a well cut stone! 

As a GIA Graduate Gemologist it is my job to help my clients navigate The 4 C's and choose the most well cut and beautiful diamond of their dreams!!!

Diamond cutting is a VERY complex subject, and I've kept this post quite simple.  Please send any and all questions, as it will help me determine which direction and additional information I should expand on.

By the way, Isabel got an A on her paper!

Happy Summer!!!  ~Lisa

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