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             26 November, 2020
 

    
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Diamond Cutting Basics

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2006-12-10 22:25:40     
Article by Michael Russell

The art of diamond cutting is not particularly old in the western world. It is believed that Europeans traveling to India first picked up the basic idea from the Indians but it was not until the sixteenth century that anything of value came out of the early experiments. Some of these early cuts were called rose cuts because they resembled the look of roses. Basically, they were triangular shaped facets cut in a symmetric pattern on the top of the diamond with the bottom of the diamond left flat for mounting into something. However, it was not until the 20th century that a full application of the technology of reflecting light was applied to diamond cutting. Today mathematical calculations on computers are often used to help determine the cut of a diamond. There is still an art to cutting diamonds but science is the bigger factor in modern cut diamonds.

Diamonds when they are first mined are relatively bland looking. You could easily mistake one for just a simple shiny rock or over look it completely. It is estimated that 98 percent of the brilliance of modern cut diamonds comes from the cut, not the clarity, size or color, so the cut of a diamond is extremely important. The cut or make of diamonds is actually the sum of 3 separate factors:

1. The proportions of the cuts, 2. The finish or polish of the diamond and 3. The symmetry of the diamonds facets.

The complete purpose of all three is to reflect as much light back out of the diamond as is possible, to figuratively light up a dark room.

Of these three the proportions represent the actual finished overall shape of the diamond. Although the exact dimensional ratios for an ideal cut diamond have not been agreed upon internationally, the terminology used is standard around the world. Table, crown, crown height, crown angle, girdle, pavilion, pavilion depth and pavilion angle are the basic standard terms used to describe the proportions of a cut diamond. If you look down at a diamond set in a diamond ring the top most flat part is called the table. The largest diameter of the diamond as you look down on it further is called the girdle. This top part of the diamond from the girdle up to the table is called the crown and of course the crown height and crown angle refer to the depth of this part of the diamond and the angle from the girdle up to the table. The part of the diamond that you don't see when you look down at a diamond ring is called the pavilion, the part from the girdle down to the bottom of the diamond. The bottom of a modern diamond is generally pointed. The distance down from the girdle to this point is called the pavilion depth. The angle from the girdle edge to this point is the pavilion angle.

The polish of a diamond is pretty much self-explanatory. It is a lot like when you polish your car. Sometimes there are marks left and sometimes the car wash does a better job than other times. In a similar fashion, the diamond finish is graded by the diamond industry. Good, very good, excellent and ideal for example are grade designations for polished diamonds.

The symmetry of a diamond refers to the shape, size and proportions of the facets cut into the crown. Are the facets all of consistent shape around the crown of the diamond? Do the points of one facet align perfectly with the next facet? Are the lines of the cuts straight or wavy? Are the facets perfectly flat? These are questions used to define the symmetry of a modern cut diamond.

Specialized in: Diamonds
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