Author: Sutiyo Na
Diamonds in the rough are as ordinary as any regular stone, sometimes uglier. But once these are cut into shapes into the diamond jewelry that we are familiar with, the transformation is simply magical.
Diamonds are usually cut to accentuate their brilliance, fire and color.
Diamonds are mostly cut into familiar round shapes (round brilliant cut). Those that are not are known as 'fancy cuts'.
Fancy cuts are the baguette (like the French loaf of bread), the marquise, the princess (square), briolette (rose cut), and the pear cut.
Today, newer cuts are introduced into the industry, perhaps to liven it up. These include the 'cushion', the 'radiant' (like princess cuts, only with rounded edges), and the 'Asscher' cut (square emerald cut).
Fancy-colored diamonds are mostly cut in these new styles. However, these fancy cuts are not held to the strict standards of diamond cuts.
These precise standards were set by mathematician and gem enthusiast Marcel Tolkowsky. He calculated the exact angles and dimensions of the diamond's facets (surfaces) to reflect the most light and gives the diamond its famed brilliance.
Like any other man-made ornament, diamond cuts are also heavily influenced by the fashion of the day. In the Art Deco period, the baguette (it accentuates a diamond's luster but plays down the fire) was the favorite.
Today, the princess cut is gaining popularity, mostly among younger women. It is a favorite among diamond cutters because it uses most of the crystal in the original stone.
Since the past decades, there had been modifications of diamond cuts. These new cuts are seen to be more on trying to adapt a brand differentiation rather than actual improvements.
The round diamond is the most popular today. It has 57 facets (or 58 including the culet). By far, it displays the most fire and scintillation among all.
Cut into a square with 90 degrees angle on each corner, the princess cut brings out a tremendous amount of brilliance, second only to the round.
Heart-shaped diamonds are the most sentimental of all. It is also the hardest to find.
Radiant diamonds are rectangles with rounded corners. What make it special are the patterns of the facets that makes it look like cracked ice.
Invented in the 60s, the oval diamond is similar to the round brilliant, except for the ovate shape. One can see a visible "bow-tie" on top.
Designed in 1902, the Asscher is often called the square emerald cut. It has cropped corners that give it a distinctive elegance.
The emerald cut, rectangular or square, has beveled corners. It has a window-like transparency giving it a classic beauty.
The marquise has 56 facets, elongated and has pointed ends. Reportedly, it had been inspired by the smile of the Marquise de Pompadour and created for Louis XIV.
The pear cut looks more like a teardrop. It shows off best as a pendant or on earrings.
The cushion cut or the candlelight has larger facets and rounded corners to increase their sparkle under candlelight.
The corners of a triangle diamond may be pointed or rounded. The body shape is defined by the cutter or the stone's characteristics.
By far, one can see that the many shapes of diamond jewelry are all geared to accentuate the beauty of the stone, its own unique elegance. Which one would look best on you?
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