NEED TO KNOW: DIAMOND CUT
The shape you choose for your diamond is one thing, but it’s cut can make or break its quality and overall appeal.
With any shape of diamond – be that round, emerald, princess or anything else – the cut is paramount. This is about the precise angles, symmetry, proportion, balance of facets and polish that a skilled cutter will be able to achieve. A well-cut diamond will take in and reflect light perfectly, so that the radiance, fire and sparkle of the stone are at their absolute best. Many hundreds of years of study and experimentation have allowed for an increased scientific knowledge of the way diamonds work, and how light reflects and refracts within their crystals. Now, we are able to maximise the natural brilliance of diamonds through the careful cutting of exact measurements.
Reflection: The Many Varieties of Sparkle
To fully understand the way cuts work, it’s helpful to have an idea of the way light behaves inside a diamond. It may come as a surprise that when jewellers use the following terms, they are referring to specific elements of a diamond’s light-giving properties.
Dispersion, otherwise known as fire, refers to the coloured light that has been split into its full rainbow spectrum. While white light enters and exits through the table, flashes of colour are visible when light is propelled out from the centre of the stone and through the crown.
When we talk about brilliance, we are really discussing how bright a diamond is – that is, how much white light it exudes and reflects out. The way this works is a little like a mirror. The wide table at the top of a diamond takes in natural light, which is then split apart into the full spectrum of colours. These rebound and reflect within the main body of the diamond before being projected upwards and out through the table, exiting once again as pure white light.
Lastly, scintillation. This is the glitter and twinkle – it is the way in which light bounces and plays off the facets of a diamond when it is moved. When a diamond is well cut, light will emanate from every angle, and provide the mesmerising sparkle we all know and love.