Everyone knows about the four C’s of diamond grading—carat weight, clarity, cut and color. Most of these are relatively straightforward—you want to buy the stone with the best grades your budget will allow. But cut, the most important characteristic of your diamond, is a little more difficult to understand. Cut does not refer to the shape of your diamond, a common misconception, but the quality of the cutting of the stone. Not being a diamond cutter yourself, it is difficult to judge the quality of the cut yourself. Therefore, it is important to educate yourself about the different levels of cut quality in order to make the best purchase possible.
The highest level of cut quality, a level which includes only 3% of jewelry diamonds, is the ideal cut. An ideal cut diamond reflects nearly all the light that enters it, giving it the most sparkle for its size. All diamonds reflect some light, but the beauty and sparkle of a diamond is largely determined by the quality of the cut—an ideal cut diamond’s symmetry allows the greatest “light return”, or what we would call sparkle.
The ideal round is one of the most sought-after diamond cuts available, and for good reason. The combination of the round shape and ideal cut precision create unparalleled brilliance in the stone. An ideal round diamond is used as the center stone of many solitaire engagement rings
, as its high degree of light reflection needs no complicated settings to make it shine.
Like the other elements of diamond grading, cut quality is an objective term that can be measured. The light performance of a diamond is a product of the depth of the cut—too deep and light does not reflect fully out of the diamond, too shallow and light escapes out the sides. The ideal cut is one in which most of the light is reflected through the table, or surface, of the stone.
Moving a step beyond the ideal round cut, the Hearts and Arrows cut offers a level of brilliance and precision that has to be seen to be believed. A Cut Above™ is the Whiteflash proprietary brand of Hearts and Arrows diamonds, stones that reach entirely new levels of cut quality. When viewed through a special scope, a Hearts and Arrows diamond displays an arrow pattern when viewed from the top and a pattern of heart shapes when turned over. On a round Hearts and Arrows stone, the 57 facets line up perfectly with each other, forming mirrors that reflect the light of the other facets and create a “super-ideal” level of brilliance and sparkle. This level of optical symmetry means that a Hearts and Arrows diamond can sparkle in dim candlelight as much as another diamond will glitter in bright sunlight.
Vatche Caroline Solitaire Engagement Ring
Less than one diamond in a million has the potential for true Hearts and Arrows patterning, and only the best of these are selected by Whiteflash to become A Cut Above™ diamonds.