Everyone who has ever indulged in a search for diamonds – whether as a long-term lightweight and portable investment or to be mounted in a piece of jewelry – soon finds out about the four Cs, those factors that make the difference between a really good stone and a rather poor one. These factors: carat, clarity, color and cut, are given equal weighting by people who talk knowledgeably about diamonds from outside the industry, but in fact, they are not all equal.
A high carat stone that is poor in color and clarity will not be worth the same as a good quality stone a mere fraction of the size. And the other three features do not matter if the cut is bad: the diamond will not sparkle and throw out that brilliant rainbow fire that makes a diamond such a popular gem. Let us see just why the cut matters so much.
Helps the Sparkle
As mentioned above, a poor cut can kill the sparkle and glitter of a diamond in light, but a good cut can actively boost these qualities. The round brilliant cut (and many others too) has been mathematically calculated to absorb every scrap of light before directing it out through the top of the stone.
Too deep a cut and the light will reflect out the sides of the stone, and too shallow a cut allows it to escape through the bottom of the stone – neither look wonderful when most diamond jewelry is designed to have the top or table of the stone as its most visible facet.
Hides the Flaws
A badly occluded or included stone (occlusions and inclusions are flaws, feathering and cracks in the stone, the former showing on the outer surface of the stone, while the latter are contained within the gem) will have a low clarity rating, which will negatively impact the price of the stone.
A skilled cutter can take a large stone with an inclusion and cut and shape it in such a way that the flaw is either removed entirely, or its effects are minimized, not affecting the sparkle and brilliance of the diamond in any meaningful way. Cutters will often work with jewelers to decide on the mounting of the finished stone, and the cutter can take pains to ensure that the stone’s flaw will be disguised by the setting that the jeweler plans to use.
Maximizes the Value
A good cut can increase the resale value of the diamond, by making it look bigger and more impressive than it is by enhancing the brilliance, fire and scintillation thrown out by the stone. A good cutter is perhaps the most important person with whom the diamond will come into contact, as simply choosing the right shape and cut – even in a diamond with few flaws – can result in a better jewel that can command a higher price.
For example, choosing a princess cut for a large and seemingly flawless stone allows the cutter to retain much of the original mass of the stone, while an emerald cut lends itself particularly well to flat shallow stones. Looking at a rough diamond – unshaped, pebble-like and quite unimpressive! – and ‘seeing’ what it can become with skill, time and a little bit of luck, is a diamond cutter’s super power. And its importance should not be dismissed when you have a search for diamonds to undertake!
Disclosure: This article was written by a guest author.