Diamonds are cut into a number of shapes, depending on the nature of the rough stone. The most popular are round, oval, cushion, emerald, radiant, pear, marquee and heart. The choice is largely a matter of personal preference. Whatever the shape, however, a well-cut diamond is the work of a master diamond cutter.
The cut is not strictly the shape of the stone, but also the proportions. When cut to good proportions, the diamond is better able to handle light, creating more scintillation and sparkle. When a diamond is cut to excellent proportions, light is reflected from one facet to another and then dispersed through the top of the stone. Cut is rated as; Good, Very Good and Excellent.
Diamonds are found with a variety of colors, from faint yellow or brown through to the very rare pinks, blues, greens, and other colors are known as “fancies”. However, the best color for a diamond is no color. It is a totally colorless diamond that allows white light to pass effortlessly through and be dispersed as rainbows of color. Completely colorless stones are rare and unique and include stones in this D E and F range.
Diamonds, more than any other gemstone, have the capability to produce the maximum amount of brilliance. To determine a diamond’s clarity, it is viewed under 10-power magnification by a trained eye. Most diamonds contain very tiny natural birthmarks known as inclusions. However, the fewer and smaller the inclusions are, the less likely it is that they will interfere with the passage of light through the diamond, and the more beautiful the diamond will be to the naked eye.
Carat weight is the weight of the diamond measured in carats. One carat is equal to 100 points, so a diamond of 75 points weighs .75 carats. Carat weight is the easiest of the 4Cs to determine. But two diamonds of equal weight can have very unequal values, depending on their cut, color, and clarity. Fine quality can be found in diamonds of all shapes and sizes.