Factors That Influence the Quality of a Diamond Cut

Understanding the truth about a diamond’s cut is crucial to buying the right gem. Unfortunately, the industry followed a flawed model for years and even adopted it as the ideal. Cut is about more than facets—it’s about the relationship between the facets and how they make a diamond sparkle. Learn about the true factors that influence the quality of a diamond cut.

The American Standard

Who was Marcel Tolkowsky, and what was his model for an ideal diamond? In 1919, Tolkowsky announced he had discovered the ideal proportions for a round diamond. By 1966, a few alterations had been made to Tolkowsky’s model, which later became known as the American Standard.

Tolkowsky’s cutting system did have some flaws. In fact, it didn’t quite represent the perfect diamond, as many people assumed. He theorized that the factors that influence the quality of a diamond cut were all about parameters. According to his formula, a perfect diamond had 58 symmetrical facets. However, we now know that facets alone do not give a diamond its signature sparkle.

What Is Cut?

A diamond’s cut grade refers to how precise its cut is. The American Gem Society later deemed Tolkowsky’s model flawed because they realized that light performance, not facets, affects a diamond’s brilliance most. The number of facets doesn’t make a diamond sparkle—a common misconception—and adding extra facets won’t increase a diamond’s brilliance, because facets alone doesn’t give a diamond shine.

A Hall of Mirrors

But how does light performance affect a diamond? You can understand the truth about the “ideal cut” by thinking about a hall of mirrors. If you had 58 perfectly aligned mirrors and shined a light in one, it would bounce off all 58 facets and then back to you. This is ideal light performance. The slightest movement or inaccuracy will change the way the light reflects. What matters isn’t parameters, but the way light performs—it’s a science. You could easily move the mirrors around and get the same results.

Brilliance isn’t about parameters, as Tolkowsky and many others believed—it’s about performance. Fire and Ice Diamonds only sells high-end diamonds with ideal brilliance. Buy the diamond that speaks to you—every diamond tells the story of your love, and like your love, each one is unique.