A well polished diamond is the work of a master cutter. It is their efforts during every stage of the fashioning process that reflects the maximum amount light back to the eye. Most round brilliant-cut or fancy-shaped diamonds have 58 or more carefully angled flat surfaces, called facets. It is the precision of each facet's placement that will affect he amount of fire, brilliance, and ultimately beauty of your diamond.
When a round brilliant diamond has been cut to ‘ideal proportions’, all of the light entering from any direction is dispersed and totally reflected from its heart up through the table, creating brilliance beyond compare. Such perfect symmetry is only achieved by a master diamond cutter.
The Ideal Cut. No other material on Earth can capture and reflect light the way a diamond does. But transforming light into brilliance requires exceptional human skill. Cut most dramatically affects the beauty of every stone. Most diamonds are cut to retain maximum weight from the original rough stone, sacrificing potential sparkle. Achieving an Ideal Cut is more difficult and costly, yet it provides much more brilliance.
When a stone is cut too deeply or too shallow, light is lost through the bottom and sides; the diamond may appear dark and glassy. A round brilliant diamond cut with 57 facets and perfectly symmetrical proportions captures and beams back light in all its brightness and sparkle
Diamonds are found with a range of colors. While the majority of gem diamonds appear to be colorless, others can contain increasing shades of faint yellow to brown (sometimes known as champagne color). However, the less color a diamond has, the rarer it is. The color grading scale varies from totally colorless to light color or tinted. The difference between one grade and its neighbor is very subtle. Experts never try to remember color; they use master diamonds of known color for comparison, or they use the latest technology: the Gran Colorimeter.
To determine a diamond’s clarity, it should be viewed under 10-power magnification by a trained eye. Most diamonds contain very tiny natural birthmarks known as inclusions. These are, in fact, nature’s fingerprints, and do not mar the diamond’s beauty nor endanger is durability. Without high magnification, you may never see these inclusions. However, the fewer there are, the rarer your diamond will be.
The carat is the unit of weight for diamonds. One carat is divided into 100 “points” so that a diamond of 25 points weights .25 carats. Carat-weight is the easiest of the 4 C’s to determine. But two diamonds of equal weight can have very unequal value, depending on their cut, color, and clarity.