Diamonds, those exquisite gems that captivate hearts and adorn engagement rings, necklaces, and earrings, owe their allure not only to their innate beauty but also to their intricate cuts. In this in-depth exploration, we delve into the fascinating world of diamond cuts, demystifying their anatomy, history, and significance. Whether you’re an aspiring gemologist or simply a lover of all things sparkly, read on to discover the secrets behind these dazzling stones.

The cut of the diamond determines how well it reflects light. When a diamond is well cut, the light is reflected from one facet to another and is then dispersed through the top of the stone, making the diamond dazzling to the eye. However, if a diamond is cut too deep some of the light escapes through the opposite side of the pavilion, brilliance is lost, and the centre of the diamond will appear dark. If a diamond is cut too shallow, light escapes through the pavilion before it can be reflected, again brilliance is lost and the diamond will appear glassy and dark.

Hearts and Arrows is a modern term commonly used by most industry workers for the public to view and see eight hearts from the back of a diamond, view from the culet. Eight arrows clearly showing, viewed from the table under a heart and arrow scope ( a small device manufactured for that purpose).

Why Diamond Cuts Matter

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s understand why diamond cuts matter. Imagine a raw diamond—a mere rock with potential. It takes a skilled jeweller to transform it into a brilliant gem that sparkles and gleams. The cut, one of the famous “Four Cs” (alongside clarity, colour, and carat weight), significantly impacts a diamond’s appearance. A well-cut diamond reflects light beautifully, enhancing its brilliance and fire.

Anatomy of a Diamond

To appreciate the various cuts, let’s explore the anatomy of a diamond:

  1. Crown and Pavilion: A diamond consists of two primary sections—the crown (top) and the pavilion (bottom). The relationship between these sections affects the stone’s sparkle.
  2. Facets: These are the polished surfaces of a diamond. Key facets include:
    • Table: The largest facet at the top.
    • Culet: Located at the bottom tip (often invisible to the naked eye).
    • Girdle: A narrow band around the widest part.
    • Diameter: The width measured through the girdle.

Popular Diamond Cuts

1. Round Brilliant Cut

  • The classic round shape, with 58 facets, maximizes brilliance.
  • Ideal for engagement rings.
  • Most popular due to its timeless appeal.

2. Princess Cut

  • Square or rectangular shape with pointed corners.
  • Combines brilliance and modern aesthetics.
  • Often used in engagement rings.

3. Cushion Cut

  • A modern twist on the Old Mine cut.
  • Known for its pillow-like appearance.
  • Radiates warmth and vintage charm.

4. Emerald Cut

  • Rectangular with step-cut facets.
  • Highlights clarity and elegance.
  • Ideal for those who appreciate understated sophistication.

5. Oval Cut

  • Elongated shape with brilliant facets.
  • Creates an illusion of length.
  • Perfect for elongating fingers.

6. Marquise Cut

  • Boat-shaped with pointed ends.
  • Adds drama and elongation.
  • Great for statement pieces.

7. Pear Cut

  • Combines the brilliance of a round cut with the elegance of a marquise.
  • Resembles a teardrop.
  • Versatile for both rings and pendants.

8. Heart Cut

  • Symbolizes love and romance.
  • Requires precise craftsmanship.
  • Ideal for sentimental occasions.

9. Asscher Cut

  • Octagonal shape with X-shaped cross-section.
  • Vintage-inspired and distinctive.
  • Perfect for those seeking uniqueness.

10. Radiant Cut

  • Rectangular or square with brilliant facets.
  • Balances sparkle and versatility.
  • Works well in various jewellery designs.

Choosing Your Perfect Diamond Cut

When selecting a diamond, consider your personal style, the occasion, and your budget. Each cut has its unique charm, so explore and find the one that resonates with you. Remember, diamonds are forever, and the right cut ensures they shine eternally.

The Journey of a Diamond: From Rough to Radiant

In our previous segment, we explored the captivating world of diamond cuts—the facets that transform raw stones into dazzling gems. Now, let’s delve deeper into the journey of a diamond, tracing its path from the rough to the radiant.

1. Birth of a Diamond: The Rough Crystal

Diamonds begin their existence deep within the Earth’s mantle, where intense heat and pressure cause carbon atoms to crystallize. Over millions of years, volcanic eruptions propel these rough crystals toward the surface. Miners extract them from kimberlite pipes or alluvial deposits, unearthing the potential for brilliance.

2. Sorting and Grading

Once mined, rough diamonds undergo sorting and grading. Gemologists assess their clarity, colour, and carat weight. The rough shape and inclusions influence the choice of cut. Some roughs are destined for traditional round brilliants, while others may become fancy shapes like emerald or pear cuts.

3. Planning the Cut

The journey intensifies as master cutters analyze the rough’s internal flaws, crystallographic structure, and potential yield. Computer-aided design (CAD) software assists in optimizing the cut. The goal? To maximize brilliance while minimizing waste.

4. The Art of Cutting

With precision and skill, the cutter transforms the rough into a faceted gem. The process involves several steps:

  • Sawing: The rough is cleaved or sawn into smaller pieces.
  • Bruting: The girdle is shaped, creating the outline.
  • Faceting: Facets are meticulously cut and polished.
  • Polishing: The final touches enhance the gem’s sparkle.

5. The Perfect Cut

Achieving the perfect cut requires balancing proportions, symmetry, and light performance. The ideal cut reflects light internally, bouncing it back through the crown. Each facet plays a crucial role, from the table to the culet.

6. Famous Diamonds and Their Cuts

  • The Hope Diamond: A cushion-cut blue diamond with a fascinating history.
  • The Cullinan: A pear-cut diamond that yielded several stunning gems.
  • The Koh-i-Noor: An oval-cut diamond with a legendary past.

7. The Final Gem

After months of meticulous work, the diamond emerges—a radiant gem ready to adorn jewellery. Its cut determines its brilliance, fire, and scintillation. Whether it graces an engagement ring or a pendant, its journey—from rough to radiant—is a testament to human artistry and nature’s wonders.

Iconic Diamond Cuts in Australian History

Australia, with its rich geological heritage, has played a significant role in shaping the world of diamonds. From ancient times to modern innovations, let’s explore some famous diamond cuts that have left an indelible mark on Australian history.

1. Old Mine Cut Diamonds

2. Old European Cut Diamonds

  • Originating in the 1800s, the old European cut features a small table and a heavy crown, resulting in a circular shape. These diamonds exude vintage charm and elegance.

3. Rose Cut Diamonds

4. Briolette Cut

  • Derived from the rose cut, the briolette cut takes the form of a three-dimensional teardrop. With 48 to 88 facets, it adds sophistication and allure to jewellery designs.

5. Asscher Cut

6. Oval Cut

7. Radiant Cut

  • Combining the brilliance of round and emerald cuts, the radiant cut boasts a rectangular or square shape. Its versatility makes it a popular choice for various jewellery pieces.

8. Heart Cut

9. Pear Cut

  • Invented in 1458 by Flemish diamond polisher Lodewyk van Bercken, the pear cut resembles a teardrop. Its unique silhouette adds grace to rings and pendants.

10. Round Brilliant Cut

  • The timeless classic, with 58 facets, maximizes brilliance. It remains the most popular choice for engagement rings worldwide.

These diamond cuts, each with its own story and allure, continue to dazzle and inspire. Whether gracing a royal crown or adorning a cherished ring, they remind us of the enduring beauty found within Earth’s treasures. ????✨

In Conclusion: A Tapestry of Diamond Cuts

As we conclude our journey through the facets of diamonds, we find ourselves immersed in a tapestry of brilliance, history, and artistry. Let’s recap the highlights:

  1. Diamond Cuts Matter: The interplay of light and angles defines a diamond’s allure. Whether it’s the timeless round brilliant or the vintage rose cut, each cut tells a story.
  2. Australian Legacy: Australia’s geological wonders have yielded remarkable diamonds. From old mine cuts to Asscher gems, these stones bear witness to Earth’s ancient processes.
  3. Craftsmanship and Beauty: The journey from rough crystal to radiant gem involves skilled hands, precision, and passion. Each cut reflects the union of human ingenuity and nature’s bounty.
  4. Iconic Gems: The Hope Diamond, the Cullinan, and the Koh-i-Noor—these legendary diamonds, with their unique cuts, continue to captivate hearts and minds.
  5. Choosing Your Sparkle: When selecting a diamond, consider not only its cut but also your personal style. Whether it’s a romantic heart shape or a brilliant round, let your heart guide you.

Remember, diamonds are more than mere adornments; they symbolize enduring love, resilience, and the timeless beauty that transcends generations. So wear them proudly, cherish their stories, and let their brilliance light up your world.

At Varoujan Jewellers, we are certified diamond graders from the Diamond High Council in Antwerp and it is our duty to show you and explain to you why one diamond’s cut is better than another.

Thank you for joining us on this sparkling adventure!