Because the relationship of angles between the crown and pavilion has the greatest affect on a diamond’s appearance, the cut grade is based upon this.
The five most common diamond shapes are as follows:
1. Round Brilliant
Each shape has its own unique characteristics that give it its beauty and brilliance.
The Round Brilliant
This cut is the most widely embraced of all diamond cuts. This shape has 58 facets, or small, polished planes.
This includes 33 facets on the crown, which is above the girdle, or rim of the diamond, and 25 facets on the pavilion, which is the lower half below the girdle. The 58th facet is called the culet, which is the bottom tip of the diamond where the pavilion facets meet. Unlike any other diamond shape, round brilliant cut diamonds are given an overall cut grade.
If a diamond is cut too deep or too shallow, it allows for light to escape; therefore, the diamond is not as reflective and does not possess a high quality of brilliance.
The Princess Cut
Sometimes referred to as square modified brilliant, the princess cut is has completely square edges and can be square or rectangular in shape.
Its uniqueness lays in its ability to possess a high quality of brilliance with a step-modified cut crown and a chevron shaped facets in the pavilion creating a cross-shaped reflection when viewed from the top.
This cut includes either 50 or 58 facets, depending on the way it is cut. Princess cut diamonds are usually slightly cheaper in price compared to round brilliant because they retain 80% of the diamond rough instead of 50%.
The Cushion Cut
Similar to the princess cut, the cushion cut has a square or rectangular shape with rounded edges. This cut has 58 brilliant style facets that cause it to resemble a pillow, hence the
name cushion cut.
Many of the older cushion cuts are referred to as Old Mine Cuts, where the diamond has steep crown and pavilion facets and an extremely thin girdle. Because of this, older cushion cuts are often chipped.
There is no right or wrong ratio for a cushion cut; therefore, you should choose which ever one you like best.
To the left are examples of the three basic facet patterns for cushion cut diamonds. The first two are considered Cushion Brilliant and the third is a Modified Cushion Brilliant because it has an extra row of facets just below the girdle. For more information visit http://www.diamondsourceva.com/Education/Shape/diamonds-shape-cushion-cut.asp.
The Emerald Cut
Emerald cut diamonds are special because of the classic beauty they possess without a lot of brilliance. This cut includes 58 facets that are step-cut, which means there are rows of facets that resemble a staircase when viewed directly through the table.
Historically, rectangular emerald cuts are more popular; however, in the last decade, square emerald cuts have increased in demand and are often referred to as asscher cut diamonds. Because of the large facets emerald cut diamonds possess, we often recommend purchasing a diamond with a higher quality of color and clarity.
The pear cut, or “Pear Modified Brilliant”, is a combination of round and marquise brilliant cuts, which typically includes 58 facets depending on the way it is cut.
This teardrop shape resembles an oval on the top and a marquise on the bottom. Perhaps the most famous pear shaped diamond is De Beers’ Millennium Star. Weighing 203 carats, it is the world’s only internally and externally flawless diamond, that took three years to cut.
Another famous pear shaped diamond was given to Elizabeth Taylor that weighed 69 carats.
Regardless of size, color, or clarity, when choosing a diamond shape, it should most significantly reflect the personality of the receiver. While these shapes currently own the Top 5 spots, the future can determine otherwise.
For more information on our diamond inventory, visit http://www.intagems.com/diamonds/search/.