Early in the days of “Let Them Eat Cake,” we dissected the four c’s of picking the perfect diamond: cut, color, clarity and carat. For anyone picking just the right diamond, the four c’s are crucial to the process and the more educated you are on each, the easier it will be to make sure you get the right diamond and the best deal.
Today, we’re talking all about the cut and shape of a diamond, as well as making sure you look at color.
CUT AND SHAPE
The cut of a diamond is how well proportioned a stone is, which affects how the facets interact with the light. A facet is a flat surface on a jewel. Shape is the actual form or outline of the diamond, for example round, Princess or Emerald cut. To simplify, the cut is a measure of the symmetry and proportion of the diamond and its facets and the shape refers to silhouette of the outline.
There are eight popular shapes of diamonds most common for engagement rings.
Marquise is an oval shaped cut with points and each end.
Cushion has rounded edges and takes on a cross between a rectangle and oval shape.
An Emerald cut is a rectangular diamond, usually longer than a cushion shape, with cropped corners and long, stair-like facets.
Asscher is similar to an Emerald shape, but more square and octagon-like.
The Princess shape is a square stone.
Round is the most popular cut and shape and often considered a classic cut. The round diamond has 58 facets giving it the most sparkle of them all.
The Heart-shaped diamond is exactly what you may think and is in the shape of a heart.
The same can be said for a Pear shaped diamond, which is in the shape of the pear fruit.
When a stone or diamond is graded, it is given a letter to identify its value. All of the 4 Cs are based on a grading scale from Gemological Institute of America, the largest and most respected nonprofit source of gemological knowledge in the world. The color scale, was developed by the GIA. From the GIA 4 Cs Guide app: “a chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue, like a drop of pure water, and consequently, a higher value.” Ratings of this scale begin at the letter D (colorless) and continue to Z (heavily tinted). Investing in a diamond that is in the DEF range or at the worst, an H or I is a good benchmark.
Below is the chart developed by GIA to determine the precise color of your diamond.
DEF – colorless
GHIJ – near colorless
KLM – faint
NOPQR – very light
STUVWXYZ – light yellow