You go shopping for a special diamond setting. You want something blingy that won’t look cheap and won’t completely break the bank. Where to start?
Cuts and Shapes
Cut is different from shape, although these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Here’s the difference: shape refers to, well, the shape of the stone, i.e. round, square, oval, etc. Cut, as the name implies, refers to the way the diamond cutter cut the stone to bring out different aspects of its sparkle. The cuts have different names, such as princess, marquise, and so forth. We will discuss each according to their classifications.
Diamonds are graded according to how closely they resemble a classic cut such as the brilliant cut. Of all diamond cuts, the round cut is the most well defined. Your diamond may be classified as a round cut, but deviate from the standards, so that it is graded differently than a standard round cut. This terminology may be confusing, because the round cut is a shape, after all, but it is cut in a certain way to maximize its brilliance and has very well defined standards. If a stone has flaws and imperfections, they will be better disguised by the round cut.
Some cuts are classified as “brilliant”. These cuts, as you might imagine, are cut a certain way to bring out the sparkle of the diamond. Others are classified as “step” or “mixed cut”. The most common type of diamond you see is the round shape brilliant cut. The step cut differs from the brilliant in that its cuts are parallel to its edges and don’t have the sparkle of the breilliant cut. Emeralds are generally cut this way, and so would be classified as “emerald cut”, even if they are not emeralds. Mixed cuts can have a combination of cuts. Thje radiant cut is an example.
Fancy cuts are everything else. Facets can be arranged in a variety of ways, and each way of cutting the stone will result in a different look. Some of these are pear, oval and heart cuts.
How Cuts Are Classified
Here are some of the cut classifications:
- Emerald or Asscher
Round cuts, as stated above, bring out the brilliance of the stone and have very well defined standards. Princess cuts differ from round cuts in that they are square and don’t have quite as much brilliance. Emerald cuts have facets parallel to the sides. If they are square, they are called Asscher cuts. Of course, this design makes flaws more visible.
The cushion cut looks similar to the emerald cut, but has rounded corners like a pillow. It is still a form of brilliant cut. The radiant cut has the corners further rounded and can be more brilliant than the cushion cut. The oval cut, also brilliant, is very like the round cut, with added length. Marquise cut is oval too, but has pointed ends. Care must be taken to avoid chipping the ends.
Pear cut has one rounded and one pointed end, assuming the shape of a pear. Heart cuts look like a heart. The two sides should match each other in shape. Trilliant, or trillion, cuts have a triangle shape, and the points on all these cuts need to be protected in the setting..
Now, when you are shopping for that perfect diamond ring or pendant, you will have the vocabulary of a jewelry expert.