Diamond CutsIn their natural form, diamonds are just lumps of glittering stone. To turn them into gems suitable for jewelry you buy in stores they need to be carefully cut and polished. Diamond cutting is a highly skilled job and can also be highly stressful - one slip and a valuable stone can be ruined.
What Are Diamond Cuts?The objective of cutting a diamond is to turn the rough stone into a faceted gem. The nature and quality of the cut is one of the Four Cs by which diamonds are usually graded and valued, so the choice of most appropriate cut is important. The decision as to which cut to use depends on the shape and size of the original stone, prevailing fashions and the experience of the cutter.
The art of diamond cutting has advanced along with modern technology and the availability of sophisticated cutting tools. Early cuts were much simpler than the modern fancy variety. Antique diamonds from long ago are more likely to have a simple old mine or cushion style cut.
In theory any gem can be cut in any way, however over the years a number of "standard" diamond cuts have appeared. These include:
A round cut designed to maximise brilliance
An elongated form of the Round often used as the centre of a three-stone arrangement
A pointed oval resembling an American football from above
A square cut that remains one of the most popular "fancy" cuts
A rectangular cut with stepped sides, also known as the Step Cut
Somewhere between the Round and the Emerald
An deeper, square form of Emerald cut
A cut designed on mathematical principles
A triangular cut
Round brilliant and square princesss stones are usually graded for cut according to the AGS scale.
There are, of course, many variations on those themes. At the end of the day your buying choice needs to be guided not just by the cut of the diamond itself but how it will suit its intended use - and recipient.
Diamond Design by Marcel Tolkowsky