“True friends are like diamonds – bright, beautiful, valuable, and always in style.” – Nicole Richie
A great diamond is all about fire. But when they come in so many different cuts, it can be difficult to know which one will make the brightest impact and gleam most prominently on your finger. Here are some pointers to guide you to the fairest and fanciest diamond of them all.
On Clarity and Cut
Diamonds get their sparkle from the way that they are cut. It takes finesse and skill to cut a glorious diamond so that it reflects light intensely. A thick girdle, a large table and exaggerated angles all decrease a diamond’s ability to reflect light, resulting in an inferior diamond. An expert cutter is adept at the art of shaping light. This is why South African Ideal Cut Diamonds are so sought after by diamond connoisseurs. They’re cut to maximise their sparkle.
Clarity is also important. Internal flaws in the diamond can lead to a stone looking cloudy or dull. The right combination of the cut and clarity create a stone with brilliant sparkle.
Experts describe three components that contribute to the light-filled beauty of a diamond. The first, “fire” refers to how the white light scatters into all the colours of the rainbow. The second, “scintillation”, comes from the internal pattern of light and dark found naturally in the diamond’s structure. Finally, there is “brightness”, the diamond’s ability to create deep internal and external reflections of pure white light.
It is well-known that round brilliant cut diamonds have the greatest sparkle. The cut’s numerous facets bounce light from the bottom tip (the cutlet) of the diamond all the way to the top (the table), back and forth for a dazzling appearance.
However, other cuts of diamonds also have their charms and should not be overlooked.
Similarly shaped to the round cut diamond, oval cut diamonds give off ample sparkle. Plus, their length can elongate the fingers of the wearer. You stand out from the crowd when wearing an oval cut diamond. The majority of diamond rings sold are round cut, so the oval cut is a great alternative that doesn’t compromise on sparkle factor.
Diamonds cut in this fashion gain their sparkle from the light that refracts spectacularly in the corners of the jewel. Princess cut diamonds have numerous facets which make their fire comparable to that of a round cut diamond. Since princess cut diamonds can be more affordable than round cut diamonds they represent a good balance of sparkle and value.
Expert Tip: The more facets a diamond has, the more it sparkles as the light has more faces to bounce off. Depending on the individual jewel, round brilliant cut diamonds have about 58 facets and oval cut diamonds around 56. On the lower end of the scale, emerald cut diamonds have around 49 facets.
Cushion cut diamonds could be called “fire and ice” diamonds. They are renowned for their intense fire yet have the look of classy crushed ice. For nearly 200 years this was the standard ring cut, so today it evokes a bygone glamour and classic romance. Shape-wise, cushion cut diamonds combine the best of two cuts as they have rounded edges and are rectangular in shape.
These diamonds combine a lean rectangular shape with graceful lines. The emerald cut is the best way to showcase the clarity of a diamond. Plus, it happens to make any stone look larger. Although an emerald cut diamond has less overall brilliance, a hall of mirrors effect is created with flashes of brilliance off the long facets. The effect is that of subtle elegance. Angelina Jolie, Beyonce, Grace Kelly and Amal Clooney have all been gifted show-stopping emerald cut engagement rings. So if you choose this cut you will certainly find yourself in good company.