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 Round Brilliant Cut

The round brilliant cut is the most popular diamond shape sold throughout the world today. The modern variation of the cut has its origins from the mid-17th century from the Mazarin cut, but now resembles a cut first executed by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919.

Thanks to years of iteration and improvement, the modern round brilliant cut provides more sparkle, or lustre, than any other cut of stone. This is likely because the medium sized table allows a large amount of light to reflect against the conical pavilion and also due its infinite planes of symmetry. The relatively large star facets surrounding the table disperse light, thus creating exquisite flashes of colour to add to the brilliance of the stone’s appearance.

Grading of the round brilliant cut is unique, in that it is awarded three grades for quality of the cut instead of the usual two that are assigned to other ‘fancy cut’ diamonds. These grades are: cut, polish and symmetry.

Cut

This grade, only used when grading round brilliant diamonds, indicates how well the facets of the diamond have been engineered. If the angles and proportions of the facets are well engineered, it will allow light to reflect, refract and disperse, creating a bright and colourful sparkle. A poorly cut stone will let light pass through, creating a duller effect.

Polish

The polish grade denotes how well a stone has been polished after it has been cut into shape from rough. A poorly polished stone will leave defects on the surface of the facets, which can be visible to naked eye, or even interfere with the flow of light through the stone. A perfectly polished stone will leave the facets completely smooth, even under magnification, and give a sharper and more refined look.

Symmetry

The symmetry of a diamond refers to how symmetrically it has been cut, and also accounts for how well balanced the proportions of the facets are. A perfect symmetry allows a stone to refract light better than a stone with any degree of geometric irregularity.

Our Advice

The round brilliant cut diamond shape is the classic engagement ring diamond, this will give a vast amount of brilliance compared to all other shapes. The perfect shape of diamond for the undecided proposer.

Princess Cut

The princess cut is a bright, sparkling square diamond shape that has become the world’s second favourite cut over the past two decades. Originally conceived by Arpad Nagy in 1961, then called the profile cut, it has received over 50 years of iteration to become the popular cut it is today. The name princess cut is actually a patented title, so it is sometimes referred to as a ‘square modified brilliant.’

While usually square, princess cuts are sometimes cut into a rectangular shape for a unique look, and are referred to as a ‘rectangular modified brilliant.’

As with any fancy cut, its cut quality is determined through two factors: Polish and Proportions & Symmetry.

Polish

The polish grade denotes how well a stone has been polished after it has been cut into shape from rough. A poorly polished stone will leave defects on the surface of the facets, which can be visible to the naked eye, or even interrupt the flow of light through the stone. A perfectly polished stone will leave the facets completely smooth, even under magnification.

Proportions & Symmetry

The symmetry of a diamond refers to how symmetrically the stone has been cut and how uniform the proportion of equivalent facets are. A symmetrically perfect diamond allows light to refract better and will exhibit a superior optical symmetry. A well-proportioned diamond will possess a fine balance between all major internal angles and other dimensions of the stone, thereby, maximising the degree of reflection and refraction.  A diamond possessing superior proportions will be visually more appealing than a stone with poor or unusual proportions.

Our Advice

The princess cut offers the most brilliance of all the fancy diamond shapes. For someone looking for the more modern diamond shape, without compromising on sparkle, the princess cut could be the best option. We recommend that you try to achieve as close to 70%-75% depth, as this generally allows for a superior interaction with light and creates a bigger surface area across the top of the stone (a bigger spread).

Emerald Cut

The emerald cut is a unique rectangular cut, sometimes called the ‘Step Cut’ due to the pavilion facets being layered in a straight step-like manner. It is the most popular cut worldwide in the shaping of coloured gems. This is due to its large, open table which allows a gemstone to demonstrate its deep colours. With diamonds, the effect is very different: the large table creates a window into the stone, creating a gleaming effect, rather than scattered, refracted light.

It is called the emerald cut as green emeralds were cut predominantly in this shape in the early days. Stones being cut into this diamond shape were most prominent in the art-deco period of the 20th Century, where the stark, straight lines complimented the fashion at the time.
Emerald cuts make excellent pendants, three stone and single stone engagement rings.

As with any fancy cut, its cut quality is determined through two factors: Polish and Proportions & Symmetry.

Polish

The polish grade refers to how well a stone has been surface-finished after it has been cut into shape from its rough form. A poorly polished stone will leave defects on the surface of the facets, which can be visible to the naked eye, or even disturb the flow of light through the stone. A perfectly polished stone will leave the facets completely smooth, even under magnification.

Proportions & Symmetry

The symmetry and proportions of the stone refers to how symmetrically the stone has been cut, and assesses how well balanced the facets are. A perfectly symmetrical stone allows a stone to reflect and refract light better than a poorly cut stone, and well-proportioned diamond shapes will be more visually appealing than a stone with unusual proportions.

Our Advice

The royal choice: The Emerald Cut tends to be the preferred choice of The Royal Family. The beauty of this cut will appeal to those who desire a simple yet elegant look.

Internal inclusions can be more visible than in other cuts. Therefore, we would advise a clarity of SI1 and above due to the open nature of the emerald cut. However, should you wish to choose a SI2 clarity, we would recommend that you speak to one of our diamond consultants so that a particular diamond can be tailored to your requirements.

Marquise Cut

The first recorded example of a marquise cut was commissioned by King Louis XV of France to mirror the shape of the lips of Madame De Pompadour, his Maitresse en Titre (Chief Mistress). Since then, the cut has been used in a variety of jewellery, but is now most often used in a single stone ring where the shape most often lies down the finger. The length of the stone compliments long, elegant fingers, where other shapes would appear smaller and less prominent.

The marquise cut appears in a variety of length: width ratios; some clients enjoy the look of wider stones, and others prefer thinner, lengthier diamond shapes. The elegance of this version is unmistakable.

As with any fancy cut, its cut quality is determined through two factors: Polish and Proportions & Symmetry.

Polish

The polish grade denotes how well a stone has been polished after it has been cut into shape from rough. A poorly polished stone will leave defects on the surface of the facets, which can be visible to the naked eye, and even interrupt the flow of light through the stone. A perfectly polished stone will leave the facets completely smooth, even under magnification.

Proportions & Symmetry

The symmetry and proportions of a diamond refer to how symmetrically the stone has been cut and how well balanced the dimensions and the facets are. A perfectly symmetrical stone allows a stone to refract light better than a poorly cut stone, and a well-proportioned diamond will be more visually appealing than a stone with unusual proportions.

Our Advice

If a lady prefers a bolder look, then the marquise may be the ideal choice to make a statement. The optimum length: width ratio is 2:1 for a well-balanced, smooth appearance. However, if a specific variation in dimensions is required, our diamond consultancy service should help to identify the ideal diamond to suit your needs.

Pear Shape

The pear shape, sometimes called teardrop, was first cut by Lodewyk van Berquem in 1400 and was referred to as a Pendeloque cut at the time. The cut was greatly admired at the time, but rarely used because it was considered quite wasteful; a lot of excess diamond material would have had to be removed in order to achieve the teardrop shape.

A pear shaped stone not only offers brilliant lustre, thanks to its large surface area across the top plane, but the added elegance of a pointed tip, similar to a marquise. Whilst beautiful set as a single stone in an engagement ring, the teardrop shape lends itself to many other uses, such as being set into a pendant, or a pair of matching stones complimenting a round brilliant centre (or other cut).

As with any fancy cut, its cut quality is determined through two factors: Polish and Proportions & Symmetry.

Polish

The polish grade denotes how well a stone has been surface-finished after it has been cut into shape from the original rough diamond crystal. A poorly polished stone will leave defects on the surface of the facets, which can be visible to the naked eye, or even interrupt the flow of light through the stone. A perfectly polished stone will leave the facets completely smooth, even under magnification.

Proportions & Symmetry

The symmetry and proportions of a diamond refer to how symmetrically the stone has been cut, and how well-proportioned the facets are. A proportionally well balanced and symmetrical diamond allows it to refract and reflect light better than a poorly cut stone, and will thus be visually more desirable.

Our Advice

To achieve a beautifully balanced pear shape, we recommend that that you aim to achieve a length divided by width value of between 1.5 and 1.7.  Keeping the colour at H or above may be a safer option due to the openness of the pear shape’s cut.

Oval Cut

The oval cut diamond, also known as the oval brilliant cut, was conceived by the diamond cutter Lazare Kaplan in 1960. Kaplan is still regarded as an exceptionally talented diamond cutter, renowned for his ability to turn irregular and imperfect diamonds into exquisite pieces.

An Oval diamond shape is ideally suited for clients who wish to avoid the stark, sharp lines and points of a square or Marquise stone, but would like an elongated stone to sit along their finger. As with any fancy cut, its cut quality is determined through two factors: Polish and Proportions & Symmetry.

Polish

The polish grade denotes how well a stone has been polished after it has been cut into shape from rough. A poorly polished stone will leave defects on the surface of the facets, which can be visible to the naked eye, and even interrupt the flow of light through the stone. A perfectly polished stone will leave the facets completely smooth, even under magnification.

Proportions & Symmetry

The symmetry and proportions of a diamond refers to how symmetrically a stone has been cut, and defines how well balanced the proportions of the facets are. A perfectly symmetrical stone allows light to reflect and refract better than a poorly cut stone, and a well-proportioned diamond will be more visually appealing than a stone with unusual proportions.

Our Advice

Due to its symmetrical form, the Oval Cut is very popular among women with smaller hands or shorter fingers as the elongated shape gives a flattering illusion of length to the hand and finger. We recommend a length divided by width value close to 1.5 to get a beautiful elongated shape. If you prefer a slightly thinner or more rounded oval diamond shape, please contact our team so that the ideal stone can be tailored to your specifications.

Cushion Cut

The cushion cut was first developed in the 19th century and was known as the ‘candlelight’ or ‘pillow’ cut. The cushion cut shape is a square diamond shape with rounded corners, literally like a cushion. With its 58 facets, it is ideally suited for clients who would appreciate a square stone, but with a softer, more elegant edge. The cushion cut can be produced in a rectangular shape, with a varying degree of elongation.

As with any fancy cut, its cut quality is determined through two factors: Polish and Proportions & Symmetry.

Polish

The polish grade denotes how well a stone has been polished after it has been cut into shape from rough. A poorly polished stone will leave defects on the surface of the facets, which can be visible to the naked eye, and even interrupt the flow of light through the stone. A perfectly polished stone will leave the facets completely smooth, even under magnification.

Proportions & Symmetry

The symmetry and proportions of a diamond refer to how symmetrically the stone has been cut, and the harmonious balance of the facets. A perfectly symmetrical stone allows a stone to reflect and refract light better than a poorly cut stone, and a well-proportioned diamond will be more visually appealing than a stone with unusual proportions.

Our Advice

The cushion cut, or cushion brilliant cut, is closely related to the round brilliant cut and so delivers fantastic brilliance. Several unique designs, including ‘halo’ designs (smaller diamonds surrounding the centre stone) make optimum use of the cushion cut and create a sumptuous effect.

Radiant Cut

The original radiant cut diamond was created by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company in 1977, and has held its reputation as a niche alternative to the princcess cut. A radiant cut offers a tremendous amount of sparkle, with its 70+ facets refracting an immense amount of light.

As the radiant is a patented cut, it may sometimes be referred to as a cut-cornered square modified brilliant, or a cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant if the stone is elongated into a rectangular shape. As with any fancy cut, its quality of cut is determined through two factors: Polish and Proportions & Symmetry.

Polish

The polish grade describes how well a stone has been polished after it has been cut into shape from rough. A poorly polished stone will leave defects on the surface of the facets, which can be visible to the naked eye, and even interrupt the flow of light through the stone. A perfectly polished stone will leave the facets completely smooth, even under magnification.

Proportions & Symmetry

The symmetry and proportions of a stone refer to how symmetrically a stone has been cut, in terms of the angles and facets. A perfectly symmetrical stone allows a stone to reflect and refract light better than a poorly cut stone, and a well-proportioned diamond will be more visually appealing than a stone with unusual proportions.

Our Advice

The radiant cut is an interesting alternative to the more clinical appearance of the princess cut. When cut well, a radiant cut can offer tremendous fire and brilliance and delivers it in its own unique way.

Clients who like the shape of the emerald or Asscher cut, but require extra fire and brilliance from their diamond should strongly consider the radiant cut.

Asscher Cut

The Asscher cut diamond, named after its creator Joseph Asscher, was originally developed in 1902 and became a popular cut during the Art-Deco period. An asscher cut stone offers a gleaming effect, like the emerald cut, but looks especially modern thanks to its square symmetry.

As with any fancy cut, its cut quality is determined through two factors: Polish and Proportions & Symmetry.

Polish

The polish grade denotes how well a stone has been polished after it has been cut into shape from its original rough form. A poorly polished stone will leave defects on the surface of the facets, which can be visible to the unaided eye, and even interrupt the flow of light through the stone. A perfectly polished stone will leave the facets completely smooth, even under magnification.

Proportions & Symmetry

The symmetry and proportions of the stone refer to how symmetrically the stone has been cut, and how proportionally balanced the facets are. A perfectly symmetrical stone allows a stone to refract light better than a poorly cut stone, and a well-proportioned diamond will return more light and appeal more than a stone with unusual proportions.

Our Advice

Essentially a square emerald cut, this diamond shape may appeal to those who appreciate the simplicity of the straight lined appearance of the emerald cut, but prefer the more contemporary square shape.

As with the emerald cut, the asscher is a very open stone and a higher clarity is advisable. However, if you wish to consider SI clarity, we recommend that you contact our team of diamond consultants, so the correct diamond can be tailored to your particular requirements.

Heart Shape

Traditionally, heart shaped stones were only cut upon request for specialist, bespoke items, and have appeared sporadically throughout history. Usually, heart diamond shapes are cut in a very similar way to a teardrop shaped stone, but with a cleft to mimic the shape of a conventional heart.

Heart shaped diamonds make excellent pendants, but add charm and sentimentality when set into engagement rings.

As with any fancy cut, its cut quality is determined through two factors: Polish and Proportions & Symmetry.

Polish

The polish grade denotes how well a stone has been polished after it has been cut into shape from rough. A poorly polished stone will leave defects on the surface of the facets, which can be visible to naked eye, or even interrupt the flow of light through the stone. A perfectly polished stone will leave the facets completely smooth, even under magnification.

Proportions & Symmetry

The symmetry and proportions of a diamond refer to how symmetrically the stone has been cut, and how well-proportioned the facets are. A perfectly symmetrical stone allows a stone to reflect and refract light better than a poorly cut stone, and a well-proportioned diamond will be more visually appealing than a stone with unusual proportions.

Our Advice

The cut of a heart diamond shape is of increasing importance, as an inferior ‘model’ with poorer symmetry will present with noticeable irregularity.

Trilliant Cut

The Trilliant, sometimes called Trillion or Trillian, was conceived in Amsterdam in 1962. It is the principal cut in use today which resembles a triangle, and is very rarely cut as a lot of diamond material is wasted during the cutting process itself.

Very rarely used in a single stone ring, Trilliants are more commonly used in pairs to compliment a larger centre stone, usually a square. A trilliant diamond is also effective as a single stone pendant.

As with any fancy cut, its cut quality is determined through two factors: Polish and Proportions & Symmetry.

Polish

The polish grade denotes how well a stone has been polished after it has been cut into shape from rough. A poorly polished stone will leave defects on the surface of the facets, which can be visible to the naked eye, and may even disrupt light flow through the stone. A perfectly polished stone will leave the facets completely smooth, even under magnification.

Proportions & Symmetry

The symmetry and proportions of a diamond refer to how symmetrically balanced the stone has been cut, and also accounts for the proportions of the facets. A perfectly symmetrical stone allows a stone to reflect and refract light better than a poorly cut stone, and a well-proportioned diamond will be more visually appealing than a stone with unusual proportions. The central positioning of the culet of the diamond is of added importance due to its triangular nature.

Our Advice

If you are searching for something totally unique, the trilliant cut may well be worth considering.