A Beginner’s Guide to Diamond Cuts

When a diamond comes from the mine, it is a misshapen piece of rock that may not look very imposing. It takes on its shape and brilliance only after diamond cutters have plied their trade. When combined with carat weight, clarity and color, the cut is a major determining factor of a diamond’s retail value.
Since diamond cutting has its roots in the Middle Ages, it is sometimes possible to ascertain the age of a stone by the cut it initially received. Cutting ensured the creation of facets, which of course increased the luster of the gem. One of the oldest cuts is the point cut. It creates an octahedron, which specifies eight triangular facets with a point at the apex and another at the antapex.
Approximately one-hundred years later, diamond cutters began altering the point cut by removing almost half of the octahedron. Naming this creation the table cut, some artisans improved on it by adding a culet rather allowing the pointy end of the bottom to remain. They also added four more corner facets. To separate this cut from the table cut, they would refer to it as the old single cut.
The year 1476 marked the time that Flemish diamond cutters began to experiment with facet symmetry. This led to the creation of diamonds in the shapes of briolettes and rosettes. Connoisseurs began to demand more and more facets since this number had a direct impact on the brilliance of a diamond.
The most skilled artisans were happy to comply and in the 17th century, the Mazarin cutemerged. It contained an amazing 17 facets. Vincent Peruzzi improved on this design with the Peruzzi cut, which allowed for the creation of 33 breathtaking crown facets. When girdling became a common practice in the diamond business, the time was ready for the old European cut. This is the type of diamond you may find in antique pieces dating back to the 18th century.
As diamond cutting tools improved, artisans continued to work on altering cuts to meet the demand for increased brilliance. Buyers were looking for diamonds that reflected the most amount of white light and were not afraid to pay hefty sums for just the right gems. This led to a revolutionary discovery by Polish diamond cutter Marcel Tolkowsky. Working in 1919, this artisan applied mathematics to the art of diamond cutting. He sought to maximize brilliance and fire in the stones by playing with facet symmetry, quantity and location.
The results of his finding have revolutionized the presentation of diamonds. While the round brilliant cut is now common, back in history it presented an unheard of 58 facets. Jewelry makers took the new understanding of diamond cutting and created a variety of fancy cuts that appealed to buyers throughout the decades. There is the boat-shaped marquise cut, the trillian, the pear cut and the step cut, which was a favorite during the Art Deco period.
Located at 1137 High Ridge Road in Stamford Connecticut is Peter Suchy Jewelers and we carry many diamonds in all cuts—from vintage to antique to estate to new designs so we invite you to visit our showroom.
We also list many of our diamond jewelry on eBay so pop over and browse the jewelry in our store.
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