Buying a diamond is an important investment and at JBD we offer our customers as much advice and assistance as possible in selecting the perfect stone. It is important to find out all you can about diamond quality (cut, colour, clarity and carat weight), size and shape and what will best suit your budget.
Cut is most important in evaluating diamond quality and is the only factor influenced by man. This refers to the arrangement of facets cut into the stone and gives the diamond its brilliance and radiance through the reflection of light between the facets.
Inclusions that occur naturally within a diamond determine its clarity, which is assessed when viewed under 10-power magnification. Diamonds with no or few inclusions are the most valuable.
The colour of a diamond is graded from D to Z and relates to the degree to which the diamond is colourless. D represents the most rare and colourless diamond, while Z corresponds to stones with slight yellow colour.
Carat measures the weight of the diamond, with one carat consisting of 100 points.
The shape refers to the look of the diamond when viewed from above. Each shape has its own features and selection of course comes down to personal preference.
Common shapes include:
Round Brilliant Cut – The most popular shape, particularly for engagement rings. A Round Brilliant Cut has 58 facets (33 in the crown and 25 in the pavilion or base). The proportions between the 58 facets is what makes the grade of the cut of the diamond. Polish and symmetry are also very important aspects, so it is important to consider these as well. The three top grades of the Round Brilliant Diamond are Ideal, Excellent and Very Good.
Princess Cut – The Princess Cut is a generally a square shape with pointed corners. The length to width ratio of the diamond will determine how it will look when viewed from above. Ask your jeweller about the recommended ratios. Selecting a colour grade of between D to H is recommended and for the most brilliance, the three top grades are Ideal, Excellent and Very Good.
Emerald Cut – The Emerald Cut is generally rectangular, although the shape can also vary in terms of the length to width ratio, which also dictates how the diamond will look from above. Ask your jeweller about the recommended ratios. With such a wide crown (top), imperfections are more obvious and therefore it is recommended to select a cut that is classed as Ideal, Excellent or Very Good; a colour grade of D to H and a clarity grade of FL to VS2.
Asscher Cut – The Asscher Cut is very similar to the Emerald Cut with the exception that it is square. The pavilion (bottom) of the diamond is cut with rectangular facets that generate broader flashes of brilliance. It has an open top which makes colour/cut flaws more visible and therefore it is recommended to select a cut that is classed as Ideal, Excellent or Very Good, a colour grade of D to H and a clarity grade FL to VS2.
Marquise Cut – The Marquise cut is dramatic, with pointed ends making it look long and thin, although they can range through to short and wide in shape. The ratio of length to width will determine how the diamond will look from above. Due to its shape, it can maximise carat weight. The better the cut, the more brilliant the diamond. The recommended colour grade is D to H and cuts of Ideal, Excellent or Very Good.
Pear Shape Cut – This cut is also known as the Teardrop Cut. Pear shaped cuts can differ in dimensions of length to width, affecting how it will appear when viewed from above. A traditional pear shape will have a length to width ratio between 1.45 and 1.75. . The recommended colour grade is D to H and cuts of Ideal, Excellent or Very Good.
Radiant Cut – This cut combines the Princess Cut with its many facets and the Asscher Cut or Emerald Cut with trimmed corners. The Radiant Cut can also vary in their rectangular shape. Imperfections are more obvious in the crown of this cut, so it is recommended to select a cut grade of Ideal, Excellent or Very Good, a colour grade of D to H and a clarity grade of FL to VS2.
Oval Cut – The Oval Cut sparkles almost as brilliantly as the Round Brilliant Cut. The shape of the Oval Cut can also vary in length to width ratios, affecting how the diamond is viewed from above. For the most brilliance, it is recommended to select one of the three top grades of cut – Ideal, Excellent or Very Good.
Heart Shape Cut – This cut is a very romantic shape and can also vary in length to width ratios, influencing how the diamond will look when viewed from above. For a traditional heart shape, the length to width ratio is between 0.9 to 1.10. Colours are more noticeable in this shape where the facets join together in the corners, so it is recommended to choose a cut grade of Ideal, Excellent or Very Good.
Cushion Cut – This shape is cut with larger facets, increasing brilliance and highlighting clarity. This cut can vary in shape from rectangular to square and the length to width ratio will affect how the diamond is viewed from above. Inclusions can be highlighted in this cut due to its larger facets. It is therefore recommended to select a cut grade of Ideal, Excellent or Very Good.
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