Many people confuse types of diamond cuts with diamond shapes. The shape is the geometry or shape of the stone while a diamond cut (in terms of the 4 Cs) refers to how a diamond is cut or chiseled out of the diamond ore.
More specifically, it's about the proportions of the stone and how it is faceted (all the little bits and angles that make up the shape) because these two elements have a direct relationship to a diamond's brilliance and sparkle.
The facets (flat surfaces) of the diamond are cut the way they are to make the best use of light. It is the quality of a stone's cut that gives it that gorgeous sparkle and dictates how light enters and exits the diamond.
It is the only one of the 4 Cs that is the result of man's intervention rather than a natural quality found within the stone, which makes it the most important as far as we are concerned.
You can have great clarity, color, and a good carat size in an engagement ring but if the diamond is cut poorly, none of that matters—it all boils down to the cut.
Working our way from top to bottom, the table is the flat top of the diamond and is part of the crown. The girdle is the 'ridge' or border between the crown and the pavilion. And, at the base of the diamond, you'll find the culet.
Any diamond cut has three qualities assigned to it regardless of what type of cut it is. They are:
It's these three elements combined that give our engagement rings the Bling! we all want and desire.
Cut quality is often classified by: Ideal, Fine, Shallow or Deep while the Gia's cut scale uses Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor.
To illustrate the different types of diamond cuts and why cut is so important we are going to show you (based on the first set of classifications) how the cut effects how well a diamond performs.
Ideal cut - just as the name implies, this is the ideal cut. It has been cut to the correct proportions creating awe-inspiring brilliance and sparkle. Light is reflected back up through the crown and the diamond couldn't be cut any better.
Fine cut - these are cut well but not perfectly. Much of the light will still be reflected properly. This is a great money saving option because you can reduce the cost of the diamond without having to sacrifice much in the way of cut quality.
Shallow cut - The pavilion (the bottom part of the diamond) is not long enough in this case. This cut will decrease the brilliance of the stone, since light is getting lost through the bottom instead of being reflected back out through the top.
Deep cut - The opposite of shallow cut, here the pavilion is too long. Light will escape through the sides of the diamond, reducing the desired sparkle.
Engaging Tip: Since many buyers don't know their 4C's and assume that bigger is better when it comes to the diamond in an engagement ring - diamond cutters will increase the carat weight of a diamond with a deep cut. The uneducated consumer will then end up paying more for the stone because of the carat weight while at the same time lose brilliance and sparkle.
Now let's move on to the next of the 4Cs: Diamond Clarity.