Knowing what makes a diamond valuable is priceless knowledge. Too shallow of a cut, for example, allows light to escape and risks an overall lackluster appearance. Too deep of a cut is also not ideal.
The Fundamental Parts of a Diamond
The priority is radiant sparkle. How a diamond cutter achieves various levels of bling is dependent upon several factors.
First, the depth and cut are both monumental parts of a diamond. The depth of a diamond is the total height of a stone, measured from the tip-top to the very bottom.
An ideal cut is well-proportioned and well-angled for maximum brilliance. An engagement ring with a diamond cut too deep won’t allow light to bounce back up through the top of the diamond, giving it a dull, muted appearance. Too shallow of a cut means light can escape through the sides, diminishing the amount of refraction, which in turn means a less brilliant look as well.
The pavilion, the v-shaped part of the diamond below the girdle (which we’ll get to shortly), makes up a good portion of the stone’s overall depth. Acting in more of a behind-the-scenes supporting role, the pavilion reflects light through the crown—the space just above the girdle— back at the viewer, hence why the depth and cut are so crucial.
The top of the diamond, or crown, is the space where light enters and sets a stone’s brilliance in motion. Crown angles are usually 32-36 degrees; angles outside of that range can have an undesired impact on a stone’s appearance.
Lit from Within: The Science Behind a Diamond’s Facets
The average round brilliant-cut diamond has 58 facets. Fancy shapes can have even more! Facets are the smooth, polished planes that make up a diamond’s surface. Of all the parts of a diamond, facets are one of the most important.
The most significant facet on a diamond is called the table (sometimes called the “face”), which tops off the stone’s crown. The size of the table compared to the crown area (called the “table spread”) determines the amount of light let in and therefore informs the stone’s overall performance—facets allow light to be reflected throughout the stone, resulting in that desired bright and brilliant “lit from within” look.
More Terms You’ll Want to Know
The diameter of a diamond is the width of the polished gem, measured edge to edge. It’s generally also the width of the girdle, which is the perimeter of the outermost edge, and the part used to hold a diamond in place. Girdle thickness is essential to a stone’s strength: A too thin girdle can weaken the diamond, but too thick and it risks diminishing its brilliance. A thicker girdle also means a heavier stone, which could translate to a more expensive diamond without the surface size justify it.
All parts of a diamond have a role to play. Although diamonds are the hardest substance on earth, the very bottom point of a cut diamond is crucial to its overall durability. The culet is the facet cut at a diamond’s bottom tip and helps prevent splitting or cleavage (as in “to cleave” something in two. Yikes!). A culet cut parallel to the table can add further brilliance by upping the amount of refraction.
Start Your Search for the Perfect Diamond and Engagement Ring at Razny Jewelers
Here at Razny, we help couples say “I do” every day. We even feature couples who have recently gotten engaged and their sweet love stories on a dedicated part of our website. Let us help you celebrate your love story with the perfect diamond -- and a ring to match!
Call or stop by one of our Chicago, Highland Park, Hinsdale, or Addison showrooms to find the diamond perfect for you.
Don’t forget to tag us on social media with #LoveMyRaznyRing when you pop the big question!