18 Aug How the Cut of a Diamond Affects Its Value and Beauty
These four key factors impact a diamond’s value: clarity, carat, color, and cut. But the cut is not the same thing as the shape, as some may believe. Although cut and shape are interrelated, they’re not synonymous. A diamond’s cut grade significantly affects the price. Knowing how the cut of a diamond affects its value and beauty is key to understanding price: better-cut diamonds are more desirable, making the rings more expensive.
A Short History on Cut
Before we dive into diamond cut and its impact on price and beauty, let’s talk a bit about the history of cut grading systems. In 1919 Marcel Tolkowsky claimed to have deducted what proportions made the ideal cut for round diamonds.
Tolkowsky believed cut was all about parameters and symmetrical facets. But many factors influence the diamond’s cut. And Tolkowsky didn’t account for girdle, which is vital in round diamonds. Despite this, his formula was an incredible discovery for the time.
The American Gem Society and Cut
In 1966—before the diamond experts saw the problems with Tolkowsky’s model—the American Gem Society (AGS) adopted it as the ideal cut standard. They made a few alterations but, for the most part, accepted his model for a perfect cut.
When the AGS graded diamonds, they gave 0 deductions to those that fell within “perfect” proportions. An AGS 0 received the title for polish and symmetry, while some diamonds earn AGS Ideal or AGS 000. AGS trademarked its term “AGS Ideal” to differentiate itself from other diamond labs.
The Gemological Institute of America and Cut
In the 20th century, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) didn’t have a cut standard, so they only issued grades for polish and symmetry.
But in 1996, the GIA started a new study titled “Path of Light,” which investigated and tested the behavior of light in a diamond. Through this, they discovered the flaws in Tolkowski’s model. The GIA found that every facet in a diamond matters; it’s not about parameters, and they realized this by working with three-dimensional models.
The Testing Results and Cut
Soon after GIA made their discovery, the AGS started a study of their own; ten years after both studies, the two published their results. The GIA adopted a “parameter” based cut standard that only accounts for a handful of facet angles. However, the AGS model looks at the light performance of every facet.
It’s crucial to note that the GIA parameter-based system has flaws. For this reason, we here at Fire and Ice Diamonds use the AGS model. Every diamond holds a unique beauty, just as your love has a story to tell.
What Makes Cut Important?
So, what makes cut grade so important? It has a lot of history, and two major diamond labs have conducted studies on it. Diamond-cut impacts overall light performance, so a diamond with poor light performance won’t shine as it should. But those with the ideal number and alignment of facets shine brighter.
Of course, as we discussed while talking about the history of cut, facets aren’t the only thing that gives a diamond its shine. And if you’re still a bit confused about the truth about the ideal cut, compare it to a hall of mirrors. When light shines on one, it reflects off them in a perfect situation. And this is what the GIA and AGS discovered in the 90s. But both labs look at cut differently:
- The GIA only evaluates cut on the 58 facet round brilliant diamonds, not issuing cut grades otherwise.
- The AGS assesses the cut and light performance of diamonds with various shapes and facet patterns.
But shape matters. You can get an ideal cut with a brilliant round but not a heart, making cut grade important to all diamonds.
How Cut Gives a Diamond Beauty
Cut gives a diamond that highly desired sparkle because light reflects properly off each facet within it. So, you could lose this when the diamond cutter does a poor job or cuts for weight rather than beauty. When you cut diamonds improperly, they won’t shine the same. The deeper you cut a diamond, the less it sparkles.
Diamond and Diamond Cutters
Cut can largely influence the size of a diamond, and there are two things to keep in mind about the diamond cut:
- Diamond cutters make money based on the weight of the gem, not its beauty.
- When you cut to maximize light return, you yield size.
Because of this, two diamonds with the same carat weight can look entirely different. Depending on the cut, and it may affect the size of a diamond.
How This Influences Price
Since cut grade affects both beauty and size, it makes sense that it’d also impact value. Yes, diamonds with an ideal facet pattern shine more because of the way they reflect light. And yes, this is more desired by the bride-to-be. But the way the gem’s cut holds a significant influence on this.
Diamond cutting isn’t just a skill, it’s a profession, and they want to make money for the work they do. But many are willing to sacrifice beauty for weight. This is important because:
- When the cut is too deep, light leaks on the sides.
- Removing rough material increases beauty but is also expensive.
Cutters have a decision to make each time they work with a diamond. The question is, will they choose price or beauty? Ultimately, the decision is up to them. While a gorgeous gem sells great in the jewelry shop, it weighs less, and they make less money off it.
As you begin shopping for your dream engagement ring, remember cut is among the most important factors to consider. Diamonds with higher cut grades earned them because of their ability to reflect light brilliantly. Knowing how the cut of a diamond affects its value and beauty helps you decide what you’re shopping for and narrow your options.
Shop for a diamond with an Ideal cut grade at Fire and Ice Diamonds. We’ve perfected the art and never sacrifice beauty for price. Whether you want a solitaire diamond ring with a gold band or some beautiful earrings, you’ll find it here. We know its uniqueness is what makes a diamond special. This gem symbolizes the love shared between two people, and the ring should always reflect that.