Diamonds – The Variety of the Cut

The engagement ring modern Western culture tends to be fairly standardized. A diamond, sometimes surrounded by other, smaller stones, set into a band of precious metal. However, the cut of the diamond or diamonds has a huge impact on the appearance and tone of the ring. Diamond styles include round, princess, radiant, emerald, oval, pear, asscher, flanders, heart, cushion, marquise, old miner and trillion cuttings. Each has certain defining characteristics, and each tends to rise and fall in popularity in accordance with the times.

The most common cut for a diamond today is the brilliant cut, which takes full advantage of the diamond’s potential sparkle. The numerous facets of the style and the conical shape of the stone maximize light return through the top of the diamond, enhancing the gem’s sparkle. This style of diamond cut was invented in Italy in the middle of the 17th century. A modern round brilliant cut diamond has 58 facets, 33 on the crown and 25 on the lower portion of the stone.

Princess cut diamond engagement rings are quite popular at present. This shape accents the fire and sparkle of the stone rather than its luster. The diamond is square when viewed from above and pyramid-shaped when seen from the side. The square appearance makes the diamond fairly unique in appearance, a contributing factor to its popularity. Princess cut diamonds are a fairly recent advent, having been invented only in 1979.

Marquise diamonds are basically ovular in shape, but the ends are pointed. The legend is that the shape was inspired by the smile of the Marquise de Pompadour, a well-known courtesan and famous mistress of King Louis V. The long shape of the diamond is flattering to the hand, giving the illusion of added length.

Pear cut diamonds, sometimes called teardrop cut, are considered a fancy cut. The shape, when viewed from above, is similar to that of a pear, with a broad base that extends to a point. This style is most attractive on hands with small or average-length fingers. It is not commonly used for rings today, although it was more popular in bygone eras.

The emerald cut is a very dramatic style. It is so named because the shape was originally developed for the green gem rather than the diamond. Emerald cut diamonds are basically rectangular, featuring long, clean lines. They tend to be less fiery than brilliants or princess cuts, but they do produce broader, more dramatic flashes of light. Emerald cut diamonds lend a sophisticated, elegant air to an engagement ring.

Radiant cut diamonds combine the appearances of brilliant and emerald cuts. Such diamonds are generally rectangular in shape, but with rounded corners. The radiant diamond has 70 facets, ensuring a great deal of light and color refraction. The design requires that more weight be directed toward the diamond’s depth in order to maximize brilliance.

The cushion cut diamond is a relatively antique style, although it is currently enjoying a small resurgence. It is ovular in shape, but differs from an oval cut in the size of the facets. Cushion diamonds are not as fiery or brilliant as many of the newer styles, but it has a romantic and classic look that makes it stand out.

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Source by Victor Epand

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