PART 2 – A Well Cut Diamond
After the carat weight of a diamond (Part 1 – Choosing a Diamond series), the cut of the stone is probably the most important quality to examine in purchasing a diamond for an engagement or wedding ring. The best cut diamonds give you the best brilliance and a high quality stone, although some gem cutters sacrifice a brilliant cut for the weight of the stone as you will see later in the post in order to get the maximum price. Let’s start with the breaking the cut of a diamond into two separate categories:
The first category being the overall shape of the stone (ie. round brilliant, emerald cut, marquise, etc.) and the second being the quality of how well the stone was cut as no two stones are cut exactly the same. You can have a beautiful rough uncut diamond, but it if is not cut well you will lose much of the stone’s potential beauty and brilliance. For this post, we are going to focus on the quality and get into the shape on the next post.
A Quality Cut Over Weight
Keep in mind that much of what gives any gemstone its brilliance is a combination of refraction (or how much light bends as it travels through the stone) and reflection. The refraction of any stone will be a given depending on the type of stone. A diamond for example has a refractive index of 2.42, which means that light bends more through a diamond than most other gemstones, which is one of the main reasons that diamonds are so brilliant. Reflection takes place mostly on the back facets of a gemstone as light enters the diamond, then reflecting back out through the top of the stone.
One very important thing to know is that most typically gem cutters will cut a stone to retain as much of the original weight to maximize their investment in the stone. With that in mind, not every gemstone including diamonds are cut to perfect or ideal proportions. A stone cut too shallow will allow some of the light entering the stone to pass through the bottom of the stone rather than the top. Other stones might be cut too deep, which will cause a percentage of the light entering the diamond to go out through the sides. This can be seen when looking at the illustration from my earlier diamond post. Of all of the various qualities that can and will affect the purchase price of a gemstone, the quality of the gem’s cut will give you the greatest rewards as far as the brilliance of a gemstone for the least amount of cash out of pocket.
Please contact me if I can be of any help in your engagement ring search.