Cutting diamonds and other gems is a fine art. Not everyone knows how to do it, and even less know how to do it well. People often use the words “cut” and “shape” as synonyms; however the cut has to do with how well your gem interacts and reflects light, while the shape is quite literally the shape of the gem.

When it comes to cuts diamonds, because they’re so hard, require their own special methods for cutting. The Mohs hardness scale, created by the German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs in 1812, rates minerals according to how many (and which) other minerals can cut them. Since the diamond is the hardest mineral in existence, it can be cut only by its own dust.

When cutting stones, a gem’s index of refraction must also be taken into consideration. If this figure is high, and the gem is transparent, it usually must be cut to include many facets set at different angles to allow light to pass through the stone and be reflected from these facets.

In the case of diamond, there is a “brilliant” cut of 58 facets, which gives it that blindingly sparkly look. The diamond must be cut properly so most of the light that enters from the top facet is re-reflected upwards from the back facets, illuminating the entirety of the diamond even if it’s set in a ring.

A well-cut diamond adheres to the four C’s, which are:

  1. Cut: This is how the stone’s been cut. A well-cut stone is ranked higher than a shallow-cut stone by jewellers.
  2. Clarity: This is based on inclusions one would see in a diamond that’s been magnified ten times. Inclusions are often hidden once a stone has been mounted, and therefore won’t ruin the look of the gem.
  3. Carat: Each diamond is weight by metric carat (which is different than the term karat we see when talking about gold).
  4. Color: Every gem has a colour (or absence of colour) to them. The colour of the gem being used can determine which metal it would look better being set it.

The better these four C’s interact among themselves, the rarer and more expensive the diamond.

If you’re looking for well cut, beautifully set diamond engagement rings, be sure to check out the wide selection from Radnor Jewellery. For more information, or to speak with one of their experts, call: (416)342-7496.