Single Cut VS Full Cut Diamonds: What's the Difference?

Cut plays a major role in determining a diamond's sparkle, brilliance, and beauty. It takes billions of years for diamonds to form under conditions of intense heat and pressure deep beneath the surface of the Earth. They are lumpy, dull, and lack sparkle when found - very different from the faceted diamonds that we know and love in fine jewelry.
How a natural diamond will be cut depends on a variety of factors. As a general rule, the choice is determined by the stone's shape, size, color, clarity, and the need to utilize as much of the raw diamond as possible.
Classic 6 Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring
Classic 6 Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring
There is a small but significant difference between single cut diamonds (or 8-cut diamonds) and full cut diamonds. This can completely transform the appearance of that diamond, as well as any stones it complements.
In this blog, we'll explore the fascinating world of diamond cuts, focusing on the crucial differences between single cut and full cut diamonds. These distinctions hold the key to unlocking the true splendor of these precious gems, helping you make an informed choice when it comes to adorning your jewelry with the perfect sparkle.

What Are Single Cut Diamonds?

Single cuts do not have as many facets on them as full cut diamonds. Modern round brilliants have 57 facets (58 if the culet has a facet rather than being pointed) . Single cut diamonds generally consist of 16-18 facets, with 16 very common. This means 8 facets on top and 8 facets on the bottom and usually a culet at the tip or an extra facet on the crown.
Deriving from the early 17th Century, the Single Cut is typically cut smaller and used as accent stone and providing a little extra sparkle to to center gemstones or diamond center stones such as the round brilliant cut, princess cut, marquise cut, emerald cut and cushion cut.
Usually, round brilliants are shaped into single cuts first, and the additional facets are added afterwards, making the stone into a full-cut diamond. In some cases, diamonds will not be cut further and will remain single-cut stones. This is most common with smaller diamonds, for which having fewer facets doesn't make much of a difference.
Full cut diamonds came into fashion when more precise tools to add the extra facets were developed. Today, single cuts are not produced in large quantities as they are not widely used in modern jewelry.

Where Are Single Cut Diamonds Used?

Simon G. MR2526 Fabled Crisscross Diamond Engagement Ring
Simon G. MR2526 Fabled Crisscross Diamond Engagement Ring
Single Cut diamonds can be used in any type of jewelry, including rings, bracelets, necklaces, brooches and earrings. They are typically very small stones, and usually weigh less than 0.10ct. You are most likely to see single cuts in antique jewelry.
In larger stones, their sparkle is quite low, but in smaller diamonds, their large open facets give the single can create subtle but interesting eye-appeal. Thus, single cut diamonds are used as accent stones, either in pavé settings or in clusters surrounding a principal stone.

What Are Full Cut Diamonds?

A full-cut diamond is a stone that is shaped into a round brilliant cut and has 57 or 58 facets. Usually, rough diamonds are cut into single cuts first as those first facets are the building blocks of a modern cut, and then further faceted and refined to become a full cut. Any number of facets below 57 is not considered a true full cut diamond.
As a full-cut diamond requires more precision, time, and loss of carat weight to create a round brilliant cut, it is more expensive than a single-cut diamond.

Where Are Full Cut Diamonds Used?

Verragio INS-7074R Braided 3 Stone Engagement Ring
Verragio INS-7074R Braided 3 Stone Engagement Ring
Round brilliants, or full cut diamonds, are the classic diamond shape and account for over 75% of all diamonds.
When light hits the facets of the full cut, it is dispersed everywhere, giving it fire and brilliance in all directions. Frequently in engagement rings with a center stone, smaller full cut diamonds create a beautiful accent for modern diamond shapes such as round brilliants, oval cuts, radiant cuts and modern cushion cuts.

Looking For Sparkle? The Ultimate Diamond Pedigree

At the pinnacle of Whiteflash's exquisite diamond collection stands the unparalleled A CUT ABOVE® Round Hearts and Arrows Super Ideal Diamond, revered as the monarch within the Whiteflash "Royal Family" of diamonds.
In addition to meeting all required specifications and passing all imaging tests, the A CUT ABOVE® Round must exhibit a perfect pattern of Hearts and Arrows demonstrating that it has been cut to precise three-dimensional symmetry. These diamonds are considered by experts to be the "best of the best" in the realm of diamond cut quality and light performance.
What truly sets these diamonds apart is the flawless pattern of Hearts and Arrows that optimizes the light reflecting capability of each of its 57 facets.
This precise three-dimensional symmetry is not just a reflection of elite craftsmanship; it's the secret to unlocking the diamond's full potential for sparkle and beauty.
Impeccable optical symmetry ensures that every facet of the diamond is optimally "tuned," with each tiny facet aligning perfectly with every other in 3D space, creating a harmonious dance of light within the gem and back to the eye.
The result is a diamond that possesses the extraordinary ability to reflect, refract, and return to the beholder the maximum quantity and quality of light possible, transforming it into a scintillating masterpiece that's second to none - in stock and available only at Whiteflash.

Single Cut VS Full Cut Diamonds: What's the Difference?

Single Cut vs Full Cut Diamonds
When examining smaller diamonds, you might notice that the disparities between single cut and full cut varieties are rather understated at first glance. However, the true magic lies in the way light interacts with these diamonds.
Full cut diamonds, owing to their higher number of facets, exhibit a remarkable capacity to refract light, resulting in a breathtaking display of brilliance and sparkle.
Interestingly, in the world of melee stones, full cut diamonds continue to dominate the scene. In fact, many seasoned jewelers have gradually shifted away from using single cut diamonds altogether, opting for the unmatched brilliance of the modern full cut round.
A number of factors impact the cutter’s decision on whether to leave the diamond as a single cut or to make it into a full cut. These reasons include the size, color, clarity and overall quality of the stone. Each of these elements plays a pivotal role in guiding the cutter's choice, ultimately determining whether the diamond will shine as a mesmerizing full cut gem or exhibit its unique old world charm as a single cut.

How Cut Affects Diamond Prices

One of the factors determining diamond prices is the amount of labor it takes to create a saleable stone. Not surprisingly, since cutting fewer facets into a diamond takes less work, single-cut diamonds are typically cheaper than full-cut ones.
The process of cutting 57 or 58 facets on a small diamond is more challenging and labor-intensive than on a larger stone, so it's reasonable to assume that cutting the stone fully would add additional cost. As diamonds of this size (0.10ct) are difficult to cut, minimizing facets reduces their cost.
The purity and clarity of a single cut diamond is extremely important. Although dark spots, milky, cloudy diamonds, or feathers are hard to see with the naked eye, they can affect a diamond's brilliance and value - and sometimes their durability.
It is normal practice for the small diamonds on certain pieces of jewelry (especially antique jewelry or antique reproductions) to be single-cut - this will not detract from the overall beauty of the piece, and may add to its charm.
When it comes to modern diamond jewelers, it's important to work with those who understand and prioritize cut quality.

Which Diamond Cut is Right For My Jewelry?

Flower Cluster Diamond Pendant
Flower Cluster Diamond Pendant
Is it better to have more facets? After all, full cut accent diamonds are designed to look like their larger cousins, modern round brilliant diamonds. There are a few important differences to keep in mind here. Neither cut is necessarily better than the other. The characteristics of each make them suitable for different jewelry pieces.
In a full cut diamond, more facets reflect and refract light, creating a fiery and dynamic appearance. The full cut's more brilliant appearance makes it ideal for complementing center stones with similar faceting styles. Full cut diamond melee is particularly beneficial to brilliant style center diamond shapes such as round brilliants, oval cuts, marquise cuts, and pear shapes.
Nevertheless, in some settings and ring designs, the center diamond does take center stage; for example, in channel, cluster, or pave settings. In such designs, you'll often find jewelry designers using single cut diamonds.
The strength of single cut is that melee stones are by their nature smaller in size. Vintage looks are best achieved with single cuts; step cut center stones, such as emerald cuts, are particularly good examples.
As melee stones, each has its own strengths and complements larger stones in different ways. It becomes apparent that seeking assistance from a seasoned professional is not only beneficial but also essential, given the profound impact that the cut has on a diamond's allure.
Consulting with an experienced jeweler, such as Whiteflash, can offer you invaluable insights into the intricate world of diamond cuts, enabling you to make a well-informed choice that perfectly aligns with your unique preferences and aspirations.
Reach out to our trusted professionals who can guide you through the process, ensuring that the diamond you select becomes a true reflection of your style and personality.

Unlocking the Brilliance: Why Cut is the Crown Jewel at Whiteflash

When it comes to diamonds, cut is king. This is because we focus on the sparkle, light performance, and the exceptional beauty of a diamond.
These factors are what creates the optical quality of the diamond and makes them stand out from the crowd. With this in mind, it’s best not to compromise on cut when selecting a diamond for your center stone. We recommend opting for the best cut that your budget allows for - lab-grown diamonds can be an excellent way for some shoppers to avoid compromising diamond quality factors while still staying in an affordable budget range.
Each diamond cut has its own beauty and the potential to change the entire look and mood. So whatever you choose, do pick a piece of diamond cut that conveys your own unique sense of aesthetics and style.
We are internationally known for expertise in the field of diamond light performance and cut quality. Explore our exceptional collection of diamonds and get in touch with our experts. We're here to assist you in finding the perfect diamond that resonates with your unique style and preferences.
Your dream diamond awaits – reach out today!

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