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Diamond Tutorial

Diamond Tutorial

A Diamond is a form of carbon that crystallizes in the crystal system of highest symmetry known as the cubic system born hundreds of miles underneath the surface of the earth. It possesses a hardness far surpassing that of any other substance known in nature with 100 years in the making of its formation. Diamonds were formed more than 70 million years ago when diamond-bearing ore was brought to the surface through volcanic eruption. After the magma cooled, it solidified into blue ground, or kimberlite, where the precious rough is still found today.

The durability of a gem depends on both its hardness and toughness. Diamond, although highest on the scale of hardness (rated 10 on the Mohs scale), is not as tough as some gems because of its good cleavage. (Cleavage is the tendency of a diamond to split in certain directions where the carbon atoms are furthest apart.) Diamonds have a very high degree of transparency, refractivity and dis persion or fire which gives rise in cut diamonds to a high degree of brilliancy and a display of prismatic colors. A diamonds fiery brilliance makes it cherished above all other gemstones by the majority of people. Diamonds occupy a position of incomparable demand.

5 Cs of Diamond

Diamond Shapes

Round- This is by far the most popular diamond shape and also the most optically brilliant, because of its 360-degree symmetry. The ideal round brilliant cut was calculated by gem enthusiast and mathematician Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919, to reflect and scatter the maximum amount of light. The round silhouette works with almost every mounting, from classic solitaires to the most avant-garde designs.

Round diamonds can be set in prongs, in which they are visible from all sides, or into bezel mountings. In general, well cut round diamonds should be set with the least possible amount of metal around the stone, so that it is held securely but can still have light entering it to show off its sparkle and brilliance.

The traditional choice for all occasions and preferred by many for their personal investment portfolio. The depth percentage should range between 58 to 63 percent and the table percentage should range between 55 to 64 percent. The most desired percentages are the 60 percent, and perfectionists will look for depth of 59 through 62 percent and table of 56 through 58 percent.

Oval - This cut makes the most use of the sparkle of a round-brilliant cut, and combines this with an elongated outline which is particularly flattering on the hand. The oval cut diamond is based upon the traditional configuration of the round brilliant diamond and thats why its technical name is oval modified brilliant diamond.

The oval was invented by Lazare Kaplan in the early 1960s. A length-to-width ratio of 1.5:1 is almost universally considered a pleasing shape for oval diamonds, with any variation beyond 1.4:1 or 1.6:1 beginning to be noticeable and become an aesthetic issue.

However as with all fancies, a certain degree of individual taste is always factored into the desirability of a particular diamonds shape. Fifty-six facets are typical for oval brilliant diamonds. Over the last year or two ovals have become very popular as center diamonds for engagement rings

Generally this is cut so that the length is twice the width, but this depends, of course, on personal preference. The oval shape is very versatile, and works well in almost any setting.

Princess - This has become particularly popular over the last few years - developed in 1970, the Princess is now second only to the round in popularity. The Princess Cut Diamond is a brilliant style shape with sharp, uncut corners. This is the perfect choice for a combination between a square or rectangular outline with the brilliance of a round cut.

Brilliant style refers to vertical direction crown and pavilion facets instead of step style horizontally facets. A princess Cut Diamond generally has 76 facets, giving it more brilliance and fire than the round brilliant. The Princess Cut diamond is fast becoming one of the most popular cuts in the United States.

This gives a classic shape and beautiful sparkle. Although a square outline is largely preferred, some stones are cut in a slightly more rectangular shape. The princess cut works excellently as a solitaire, but is also particularly attractive paired with side stones such as trillions or smaller princess-cut diamonds.

Princess cut diamonds are amongst the smallest diamonds in the diamond pool. They are inverted pyramids and carry most of their weight at the bottom. Though they are small, they look electrifying.

Emerald -This is considered among the most classic of diamond shapes. It is always cut with blocked corners, usually to a rectangular outline, although some are cut to be more square.

Because of its simpler faceting, larger inclusions tend to be more visible to the naked eye, so diamonds cut in this shape need to be of a higher clarity. Diamond purists love the emerald cut for its simplicity.

The flat planes of the outside edges allow for a variety of side stones shapes. Typical pairings would be two or three side baguetts,two half-moons, and other smaller emeralds, but not trillions ,as their sparkle makes the center emerald cut look flat. The length-to-width ratio should be between 1.5:1 to 1.75:1.

Radiant -The Radiant Cut Diamond is a straight-edged rectangular or square stone with cut corners. Radiant diamonds show resemblance to emerald cut diamonds with respect to shape.

The radiant cut diamond has 62-70 facets. Radiant are principally used for important center stones primarily for rings but also for pendant. They are rarely used for earrings or as side stones because they are hard to calibrate and match.

These diamonds are also square or rectangular in shape. But they glitter more than the emerald shaped diamonds because of the difference in the number of facets. Since radiant diamonds have more number of facets than the emerald diamonds, they look more stunning.

It is cut with the combination of the step-cutting towards the culet that the princess and emerald cuts display, and some of the triangular faceting of the brilliant cut.

This is extremely effective as a solitaire but also works well in combination with other stones, particularly cut into baguettes, trillions and princesses. Usually, a radiant-cut stone is set with special prongs to ensure that the blocked corners are securely held.

Heart - The Heart Shaped Brilliant bears some similarity to the Pear Shape, except that there is a cleft at the top. In fact, often the reason cutters may choose a Heart shape over a Pear may be that the Rough Diamond contained an inclusion located in the cleft.

The skill of the cutter can make a great difference in the beauty of this cut. The "Shape Appeal" is especially important with Hearts.

Romantic perfection for the special occasions. The perfect stone for the special occasion requirements. The Heart shaped brilliant is the hit item on Valentines day. Usually the width will be 10% wider than the head-to-point length.

Marquise - The Marquise Cut takes its name from a legend relating to the Marquise of Pompadour. This is an elongated shape with tapering points at both ends. Its shape successfully flatters the finger, making it appear longer, so is a popular cut for gemstones in designer jewellery.

According to the legend, the Sun King desired a stone to be polished into the shape of the mouth of the Marquise.

It is important to consider that a length-to-width ratio between 1.75:1 to 2:1 is most pleasing. As with other fancy shapes, the consumers individual taste constitutes an element of the evaluation as well. The typical marquise diamond contains 56 facets.

This works equally well in a simple solitaire setting or with side stones, particularly baguette or trillion shapes. A marquise-cut diamond is traditionally mounted with six prongs: four positioned on the sides to hold the body of the stone securely and two V-shaped prongs to protect the points at either end.

Pear - The Pear Shaped Brilliant is a combination of a Round brilliant and a Marquise cut. Pendants looks very nice set with a Pear shape as do earrings, due to the "Teardrop" shape.

The pear shaped brilliant diamond is based upon the traditional configuration of the round brilliant diamond. More than other fancy shapes, length-to-width ratio is a matter of taste when it comes to pear shaped diamonds.

Because pears may be used for engagement rings, suites in necklaces, earrings, and integral parts of custom designs, a wide variety of shapes is considered desirable. The typical pear shaped diamond will contain 58 facets.

This feminine diamond shape, with one rounded end and a tapering point at the other, is a classic and extremely popular. A ratio of 1.5:1.0 is common, so that the length of the stone is about 1 ½ times the width of the stone.

The symmetry of a pear cut diamond is vital, as this ensures the light is evenly reflected, particularly in the point. This cut is usually mounted with five prongs - two to hold the rounded end, two to hold the curved sides of the stone and one special V-shaped prong to hold the point at the end, the most vulnerable part of the stone, securely.

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