Author Topic: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?  (Read 10922 times)

Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Part of the advertising campaign for diamond involves the "4 C's"
They are
Color
Clarity
Carat Weight
and
CUT

A lot is made of the fourth "C"- Cut- nowadays- and with good cause. The manner in which a diamond is polished really affects how it looks.
GIA grades the cut of Round Brilliant Diamonds- which certainly simplifies things for buyers.
But what about fancy shapes?
They are not graded for Cut quality by GIA.
Part of the reason is that there's so much variation within each of the shapes- unlike round, which is fairly standardized there's a huge variety of shapes that comprise "radiant cut".
Shape- that means LxW and the size of the corners- are only one aspect we need to look at.

We also need to look at how deep the diamond is, how large the table is ( that's the large flat facet on top)- and the crown and pavilion angles.
The top of the diamond is the "crown" the bottom is called "pavilion"- separating them is the "girdle"
The point at the bottom is called the "culet"
I've labeled these below



In this example, we are going to look at a stone which is a very shallow cut.  Why would they cut it this way?
The reason has to do with the available piece of rough.
it might have been a very shallow piece- or this diamond was a piece sawed off the top of an octahedron.
The stone they came up with made excellent use of the rough- I'm sure they lost a far smaller percentage than the stone I used for comparison.
Say you start with a piece of rough diamond that weighs 1.65cts- that might polish out to a 1.00ct diamond.
In this case they might have started with 1.30cts rough

You'd expect there to be some penalty visually for this.
Fancy colored diamonds are really a different animal than colorless and near colorless stones.
I did not expect to like this stone- given it's large table
ITEM #: R4354
Radiant Cut Diamond, Loose

  WEIGHT: 1.02ct
  SHAPE: Radiant Cut
  COLOR: W-X, Natural Light Yellow
  CLARITY: SI1
  MEASUREMENTS: 6.32 x 5.75 x 3.32 mm
  TOTAL DEPTH: 57.7%
  TABLE SIZE: 80(est)%
  FLUORESCENCE: FAINT

Here it is from the side


Below next to a stone with a taller crown


On many fancy shaped stone, crown height- expressed as a percentage- is sometimes considered.
Cuts like our Old Mine Brilliant stones have very tall crowns.
This stone has a crown I'd estimate at 7-8%
The stone in the diagram above has 13.5% crown height
 It might be "logical" to assume such a stone would pay a heavy price visually.
This stone belies that.
Here it is face up next to the stone I used for comparison- a fancy intense yellow 1.03ct



There certainly is a price for the cut financially.
This is a one carat stone, that looks like a carat and a third- yet costs like a 3/4ct.

The fact that it's a diamond cut to emphasize it's yellow color- which it does successfully as well, I might add- give it different parameter as compared to a colorless stone.

Summation: We can point to the weakness of a diamond like this when judged against a benchmark that values crown height.
But we can also note that the cutter was able to produce a very lively stone- with a pleasant light return and fantastic size for it's weight.








« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 08:53:05 PM by Diamondsbylauren »
David
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Offline clgwli

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2011, 08:57:02 PM »
So much wonderful in this post!  I actually was wondering how this stone would look when you showed the profile, but wow, this is a beautiful stone!  I really am for getting a beautiful stone, but "cut grades" even for rounds don't mean much to me all the time.  For example look at old cuts.  Not the best on paper but still stunning beauties.  I really do like seeing a stone with my eyes and coming to you means I get tons of pictures and videos for something before I purchase. 

In a lucky case I get to pick something out in person too LOL
Elaine aka Squiggly
elaine@diamondsbylauren.com

Offline sherylsbuys

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2011, 09:15:26 PM »
DBL - I always thought that CUT trumped all the other Cs by far!  I always thought that if you didn't have a good cut, you didn't want the diamond.  I was wrong. Thanks for the fantastic education!!!

  :david:  :rock:  :goodpost: :party-smiley-052:

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2011, 03:40:33 AM »
Sheryl - I think you still don't want the stone if it doesn't have a good cut. The problem (or opportunity) is that simplistic rules about how to define a "good cut" don't work so well. Particularly with fancy shapes, seeing is believing.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 03:40:53 AM by oldmancoyote »

Offline sherylsbuys

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2011, 05:51:50 AM »
Sheryl - I think you still don't want the stone if it doesn't have a good cut. The problem (or opportunity) is that simplistic rules about how to define a "good cut" don't work so well. Particularly with fancy shapes, seeing is believing.

Thank you for pointing that out, OMC.  And I'm so glad that we have DBL to find those gems of opportunity for us - or I would be penniless and homeless.....

Offline Trinkette

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2011, 11:12:47 AM »
You're such a kill-joy, OMC.  ::)

Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2011, 11:19:10 AM »
It's a very good point.
There's a lot of "information" out there which purports to tell us what the "best" table size, depth, etc are.
Although the cut of this stone is unconventional, I would not say it's "badly" cut- but I suspect others might.
They'd be wrong.
BTW- the other aspect of this type of cut is the money you save- it's a large looking one carat for around $2k- and that's very hard to find
David
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Offline Trinkette

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2011, 11:40:17 AM »
For me, the true test of "cut" is the end performance. Knowing what is considered "perfection" in RB cut grading, is helpful as a guide, or place to start, but, that's it. I kind of use it as a jumping-off point when evaluating fancy colored and fancy shaped diamonds, as well as round brilliants.

Also, it helps me to know what is currently in vogue as regards to performance qualities. For example, these days, brilliance trumps fire. So, cut perfection is leading us toward a most brilliant stone, not a most fiery stone. Who says one is more valuable than another? Someone did. So, this is where we are today. However, since I often prefer fire over brilliance, cut grading is less important to me than looking at ALL the stats collectively, as well as a diamond's IRL appeal.

The cool thing about DBL is that David often ends-up with these amazingly beautiful diamonds that don't fit the mold. Our gain. Everyone else's loss.

Offline ah2bqat

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2011, 12:12:16 PM »
Hear!  Hear, Trink! :party: Well said!
Auntie Dammit :Heart: DBL!

Offline Trinkette

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2011, 12:26:37 PM »
I was going to end with something like:

THIS IS WHY, IN ADDITION TO REPUTABLE GRADING REPORTS, IT IS BENEFICIAL TO HAVE A TRUSTED DIAMOND GUY (OR GAL) WITH AN EDUCATED EYE AND EXCELLENT SOURCES, WHO KNOWS YOUR PREFERENCES AND TASTES, TO CULL THROUGH POTENTIAL STONES IN ORDER TO FIND AND SECURE THE BEST DIAMOND FOR YOU!

However, I thought that statement might be a little repetitive (I keep writing it over and over on CDI), and in yer-face. 

I mean, it is obvious, right? ::)

Offline ah2bqat

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2011, 12:32:18 PM »
One might think so, Trink; but perhaps it's more a factor of those of us who have taken the plunge and own a piece from DBL.  We KNOW D's worth.

Um, only problem is, most of us can't stop with just the one!  :gimi: :gimi: :gimi:
Auntie Dammit :Heart: DBL!

Offline lovecolor

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2011, 01:19:06 PM »
For me, the true test of "cut" is the end performance. Knowing what is considered "perfection" in RB cut grading, is helpful as a guide, or place to start, but, that's it. I kind of use it as a jumping-off point when evaluating fancy colored and fancy shaped diamonds, as well as round brilliants.

Also, it helps me to know what is currently in vogue as regards to performance qualities. For example, these days, brilliance trumps fire. So, cut perfection is leading us toward a most brilliant stone, not a most fiery stone. Who says one is more valuable than another? Someone did. So, this is where we are today. However, since I often prefer fire over brilliance, cut grading is less important to me than looking at ALL the stats collectively, as well as a diamond's IRL appeal.

The cool thing about DBL is that David often ends-up with these amazingly beautiful diamonds that don't fit the mold. Our gain. Everyone else's loss.


 ???...I was under the assumption that a brilliant cut stone was considered fiery...maybe I need an explanation of what fiery is opposed to brilliant...anyone care to help???   ??? 

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2011, 01:22:30 PM »
Brilliance: amount of light reflected.
Fire: light diffracted ("rainbow") through the stone.

A mirror is very brilliant, but not fiery at all. A prism designed to split a ray of incoming light into a rainbow is practically all fire and no brilliance.

Brilliant cut is a style of cutting where the pavilion facets start from the girdle and converge to a point (rather than being arranged in tiers parallel to the girdle, which is what is known as a step cut).
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 01:25:12 PM by oldmancoyote »

Offline lovecolor

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2011, 01:46:21 PM »
Okay...I am a lover of firey stones then!  Love my Emerald cut ER and Love my Asscher cut pendent...Love my rainbows!

Thanks OMC!   :bighug: 

Offline sherylsbuys

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2011, 06:51:00 PM »
It's a very good point.
There's a lot of "information" out there which purports to tell us what the "best" table size, depth, etc are.
Although the cut of this stone is unconventional, I would not say it's "badly" cut- but I suspect others might.
They'd be wrong.
BTW- the other aspect of this type of cut is the money you save- it's a large looking one carat for around $2k- and that's very hard to find

And this is the reason why I LOVE DBL!  I hope there is a little black box under the tree for me on Dec 25th!!! :20:

Offline Trinkette

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2011, 10:39:07 PM »
Another way to distinguish brilliance from fire when you are examining a stone is to know that brilliance generally appears like flashing white to your eye - the sparkle - as opposed to the rainbow colors of fire. Some stones show all colors of the rainbow, others display fewer (or none, I suppose). Certain colors show more readily/frequently than others.

The modern brilliant cut aims to create maximum brilliance, or white light, reflected to the eye. Again, someone, somewhere, decided this is the most desired look for diamonds. So, generally, this is how round stones are judged today. If you cut more for brilliance, in theory, you will "loose" some fire. So, each potential buyer has to find his/her own happy medium.

The appeal of the modern brilliant cut is its liveliness and the brilliant, splintery flashes of light. The stone comes out to meet you. Compared to a step cut, like an emerald cut or Asscher, where the appeal is more about the stone quietly drawing you IN to it. In a way, one type is about movement and excitement, and the other type is about depth and stillness (and crystal... but, don't get me started)!

The facet patterning on older style cuts for roundish diamonds, like Old Mine Cuts and Old European Cuts, have excellent potential for maximum fire. Think how beautiful these diamonds must have looked in candlelight and early incandescents... light sources much more common in the past, and certainly, they made the best of these cutting styles. However, these older style diamonds are less inclined to be killers in the brilliance department. Obviously, when you find one that has the desirable qualities of both, you have found something truly special...

Offline sherylsbuys

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2011, 11:07:27 PM »
Trinkette - you and OMC blow me away with your extensive knowledge of diamonds!  After reading your post I finally know why I prefer a brilliant cut to an emerald cut - I want the stone to come out and meet me!

Thank you so much! :rock:

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2011, 04:18:14 AM »
Ah, Cristal... or did you mean something else, T?  >:D


Offline sherylsbuys

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2011, 06:45:16 AM »
Okay...I am a lover of firey stones then!  Love my Emerald cut ER and Love my Asscher cut pendent...Love my rainbows!

Thanks OMC!   :bighug: 

Lovecolor - So the next time we have a play date in DBLs safe (I can see DBL shuddering as he reads this)- you get the emerald cuts and asschers, and I get the cushions and pears.  I want my diamonds to come out to meet me and play nice.  OK? 

Offline Trinkette

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2011, 07:08:45 AM »
Nooo, OMC, you are correct (as always). "Cristal" is EXACTLY what I meant.

Is that bottle of bubbly for me...?

 :bunny7:

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2011, 07:20:18 AM »
 5158 :5160

Offline Trinkette

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2011, 07:24:59 AM »
 :5160 5158

Offline sherylsbuys

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2011, 07:29:39 AM »
OMC - Trinkette said "crystal" in her post - I'm saying "Cristal" in my post.  So, it's obvious to the casual observer that the bottle of bubbly is MINE!  :smarty:

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2011, 07:35:25 AM »
Don't worry. One whole case available! (Actually, I prefer Alfred Gratien - liquid panettone, as I call it).


Offline sherylsbuys

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Re: We all know "Cut" is important- can a poorly cut diamond look good?
« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2011, 07:36:55 AM »
Trinkette - next time we're both in NYC, we've got to go out to lunch, and I'll treat if you teach me more about diamonds!!!