Understanding and grading a Diamond’s Cut
A diamond’s cut is arguably the most important factor in the 4C’s and it’s probably the characteristic that you will notice the most as having an influence in clarity and sparkle.
Diamonds can generally be characterized as having three different cut types:
Shallow Cut Diamonds – these are diamonds that are wider than they are tall – the width at the top is shallower but more broad across. It’s possible for a shallower cut diamond to appear bigger, but you’re compromising the brilliance of the diamond due to less idea light movement.
Ideal Cut Diamonds – these are diamonds where the light goes into one side, refracts and comes straight back to the eye. When you see that sparkle, you know it’s an ideal cut diamond.
Deep Cut Diamonds – these are diamonds where the top is less broad but taller, and the base of the diamond is taller – or deeper – and it causes the light to refract out to the side. These diamonds may appear smaller than the weight that the customer ends up paying for.
Technically speaking, we’re looking for optimal Light Performance – that includes brightness, fire and scintillation of the diamond. Also, the Table, referring to the largest facet of the diamond should be cut well to produce good light performance.
Grading the Cut of Diamonds
When choosing a diamond, since cut is one of the most important factors, choosing a better cut for your budget is a smart decision.
Grading a Diamond’s Cut – find the best diamond cut grade
Poor/ Fair Cut Diamonds – These represent about the 35% of diamonds in cut quality – a diamond with this grade may appear a little dull or glasslike.
Good Cut Diamonds – Representing the top 25% of diamonds in cut quality – these diamonds reflect most of the light that enters from the top and are generally a good value for customers seeking a larger diamond with good light characteristics
Very Good Cut Diamonds – These diamonds make up the top 15% of diamonds in cut quality and they reflect a great deal of light, as much as an Idea cut diamond, but tend to be slightly less brilliant compared to an Idea cut.
Ideal Cut Diamonds – These diamonds make up the top 3% of graded diamonds with cut quality and they reflect the most light that enters through the diamond. They are the best quality cut diamonds and tend to hold their value well.
Most online retailers will not show Very Good and Ideal Cut diamonds as primary options when you are shopping based on price. When you are comparing
When you are comparing carat weight versus price, keep in mind to note the cut of the diamond as an Ideal cut diamond may command higher price, but be much higher in quality.