The final and most complex of the Four C’s to explain and understand is Cut. The Cut of a diamond is often confused with the Shape or Style. Style or Shape of a diamond is completely separate from the Cut of diamond. Shape is the look or design of the diamond itself, whereas the Cut of a diamond refers to the Proportions, Symmetry and Finish of a ring. The combination of these three characteristics is referred to as the “make” of the diamond.
A diamond with a “good make” is bright, fiery, symmetrical and sparkles when observed in the light.
As explained in the Carat Weight section of the Wedding Bands Wholesale Diamond Education Guide, what makes diamond cutting so difficult is the fact that there are many different ways to cut a diamond in order to make the most of its rough form. The optical characteristics of a diamond, or the characteristics of a gemstone which determine how it interacts with light, are brought out by cutting a diamond to different Proportions and Symmetry. Observe the following diagrams:
As you can see, a diamond is most simply broken down into three parts when trying to understand Cut. The Crown is the top of the Diamond Head or what you would see when looking down into a diamond from above. The next section of a diamond is called the Girdle, and this section makes up the widest points of your diamond all the way around. Lastly, the Pavilion of the diamond is measured from the bottom tip of your diamond, called the Culet, to the Girdle and accounts for the majority of the diamond.
The Pavilion depth in the first example is cut too deep and therefore allows light to escape the inside of the diamond through the sides. When Pavilion depth is too shallow, as pictured in the third example, the light will also escape from the bottom and sides of the diamond. The loss of light through the sides of a diamond means that the Crown or top view of your diamond will loose its sparkle and fire. A well-cut diamond will direct light through the diamond Pavilion and upward through the Crown to maximize the sparkle and fire a diamond produces. An example of a well-cut diamond is shown in the second example above. As you can see, the light enters the diamond and is reflected through the center of the Pavilion.
A diamond is cut in many different ways to play with the light reflection of the diamond. Round Brilliant diamonds, for example have been mathematically perfected to produce maximum fire, clarity and sparkle. This is the most brilliant style of diamonds and also the most popular because of its excellent cut and efficient use of light. Below are some examples of Round Brilliant Diamonds.