The Anatomy of a Diamond and the Diamond Cut

For most of us, getting engaged and thinking about a diamond engagement ring is the first time we have ever really thought about diamonds. Sure, we all know that diamonds are a girl's best friend, that they are forever, and that they sparkle, but how many of us have heard of a girdle when referring to diamonds?

A cut diamond that is set in any piece of jewelry or engagement ring has an anatomy. The anatomy of a diamond, as well as, the relative proportions of that anatomy plays a significant role in the amount of light that is reflected from the stone, and how that light is reflected. It has everything to do with how much sparkle, brilliance and fire a diamond has and contributions significantly to determining its value.

Facets, angles and edges are the different components of a cut diamond that make up the various parts of its anatomy.

The upper part of a diamond is called the "Crown". It is made of a series of faces and is capped by the "Table" which is the flat facet at the top of the stone and usually the largest facet of a cut diamond. The crown ends at the "Girdle" which is the widest part of the diamond, forms a band around the stone, and is the dividing line between the crown and "Pavilion".

The pavilion, which is the lower tapered end of a diamond, is composed of facets and sometimes ends with a "Culet" which is a tiny facet that cutters often include to protect the tip of the pavilion.

It is the relative proportion of these parts and the placement of the individual components within a diamond's anatomy that brings the stone to life and determinates the quality of the diamond cut, which is one of the 4Cs of diamonds that is so often discussed.

A well cut diamond's purpose is to reflect the most light by having light enter the stone and reflect back out through the table. If the proportions within a diamond's anatomy are off, light will escape through the pavilion or bounce sideways. And, if the individual components within each part of a diamond's anatomy (facets, angles and edges) are poorly placed or misaligned, the light that passes through the diamond will not be as concentrated and will affect the quality of the cut.

By understanding the anatomy of a diamond, one is able to appreciate the balance a master cutter must achieve when faced with a diamond in the rough and the importance of how a diamond is cut. A diamond's beauty lies in its ability to reflect light and it is a diamond's anatomy and how each part of that anatomy works in harmony that determines how well a diamond will perform and absolutely its value.


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