Diamonds - Cut

The American Gem Society believes a diamond should be polished to maximize brilliance, scintillation and dispersion.

"brilliance--the total of internal and external reflections of white light.

scintillation--the flashing or sparkling of light reflection from facets

dispersion--the spreading of white light into its component spectral (or "rainbow") colors."

The American Gem Society states, "The maximum beauty of a diamond can be displayed only if the stone is properly and symmetrically cut to precise angels, and then carefully and correctly polished."  Deviation from these characteristics changes the relative beauty of the diamond.  Poorly cut diamonds may appear washed out or slightly dark to completely dark in the center of the stone.  A diamond with an overly large table would show "flash" to the detriment of fire or scintillation.

In an article titled "Ideals: Worth the Trouble to Those Who Cut Them" appearing in the Rapaport Diamond Report, March 7, 1997 the merits of the ideal cut diamond were summarized.

" Tom Gorman maintains that the difference between an average cut and an ideal is visible even at some distance, even to the uneducated observer.".... "He asserted that "999 out of 1,000 times" an ideal cut stone will look more brilliant, even to the uneducated viewer, than a stone of average cut proportions."  

"Robert Mason concurred that the difference is "apparent in the life of the stone."

Tom Gorman and Robert Mason work for firms that specialize in diamonds cut to the "American"  idea proportions.


Karen Nestlebaum, the author of the article, quotes Robert Mason, "...a buyer will pay about 15 percent more for an ideal cut over a superior cut stone of the same size, color and clarity.  The differential between an ideal and an average, well-cut stone on the market, he said is 20 to 25 percent." 

A wholesale publication, indicates cut classifications can have a profound effect on a diamond's value.  Well cut stones, in some instances, can demand a premium in excess of 20% over published prices.  Poorly cut diamonds will sometimes sell for a discount in excess of 40%.

In Conclusion:

The jewelry industry places a distinct, qualitative value on the cut of a diamond.  Unfortunately, this characteristic of a diamond's value is often overlooked by the consumer.  The cut of a diamond, just as all the other characteristics of the 4 C's can be analyzed ,demonstrated, and explained in clear concise language.  When you are in the market to purchase a diamond insure this information is shared with you.


princess cut diamond ring



Soot from a smoky candle soft, black, opaque, so worthless it is wiped away as a nuisance. This is the element called carbon. The diamond in a queen's tiara - harder than any other natural substance, colorless, transparent, flashing with the brilliance of fresh dew, so costly it is worth king's ransom-this also is carbon, nothing more, nothing less. The difference between them is this: soot forms at ordinary temperature and pressure; diamonds at a temperature and pressure so high it is equivalent to that exists 150 miles below the earth's surface."


"The Mystique of Diamonds" A diamond is forever brochure.