Diamonds 101 – Cut

Here at James & Sons, your jewelers in the Calumet area, Chicago area, and Northwest Indiana, we talk a lot about diamonds. We talk about diamonds for engagement rings, for other jewelry, and just for the fact that they’re beautiful. But for someone new to jewelry buying, all the jargon about diamonds can be a little overwhelming. Which cut is best? What does carat mean? Are some colors better than others? Well, we’re here to help. In a series of blog entries, we’ll give confused jewelry buyers the quick and easy version of what all those buzzwords mean, and hopefully have you on your way to finding the perfect diamond for you or your loved one.

The first, and possibly most important, thing to discuss is cut. How a diamond is cut affects not only the shape you see, but the brilliance and sparkle of the piece. Cut is so important, in fact, that even diamonds whose size has been cut in half will often still have greater value than an uncut stone twice as large, thanks to the skill a good cut takes. The most important aspect of a diamond cut is the depth. The depth of the cut is what most affects the internal fire of a diamond, and the brilliance it shows off to every observer. Cut too shallow, and light will get out of the diamond through the bottom where no-one can see it, and make the diamond appear dull. Cut too deep, and the light will filter out through the sides, making the diamond appear dark. But the perfect cut will reflect the light the diamond absorbs back out towards the observer, giving the diamond its signature sparkle.

While shape is important, it is almost secondary to the depth of the cut and the skill of the diamond cutter. After all, it’s easy enough to look at a shape and decide that you like a round cut diamond, but aren’t a big fan of an emerald cut. When you’re shopping for diamond jewelry, go with the shape you like – but be sure to look at the brilliance of the diamond in whatever shape, and remember that the depth of the cut is key! If you need a hands-on look, just stop by any James & Sons location, and we’ll be happy to show you what a perfectly cut diamond should look like.

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