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Diamond Shapes and Colors

The shape of the stone is chosen based on the rough crystals optimal yield.  It takes a lot of effort to find the best possible solution to maximize yield and produce the most desirable color.  Some diamonds can await months or years before the first cut is made.  Today, there are computer programs helping make this job easier but the cutter is still the authority and can spot potential problems where a computer can't. 

Diamond Shapes

diamond shapes

There are twelve common shapes found in commercial diamond supply, although there is practically an unlimited amount of variations which can be created for special order.  The main shapes are Round, Princess, Oval, Marquise, Heart, Emerald, Pear(teardrop), Asscher, Radiant, Trilliant, Baguette and Cushion.  You may notice that an Emerald cut and Asscher cut are practically the same, the difference being that one is square while the other is a rectangle.  The Baguette is a simple cut used for side stones mostly.

Some untraditional cuts can be very beautiful.  As a matter of fact there are many branded cuts including the Princes cut, 101 facet cut and more.  The value of a diamond does change with the cut and each has its own price range.  Usually a round diamond is more expensive and all other fancy shapes are discounted by 25 percent or more.  This is true because more rough is wasted when cutting a round stone.  Some women would like to know they have a whole carat or two and wouldn't mind having a shape other then round.  Note, the larger the stone the less the price depends on the shape and when it comes to large stones rounds are rare.

What is Old Mine Cut and Old European Cut

Old European Cut
The two cuts where developed in the early 1800th century.  They are a predecessor of todays round brilliant cut and the cushion cut.  In 1905 a mathematician, named Tolkowsky, proved that certain diamond proportions where better then others leading to the modern round cut diamond.  The difference between todays round diamond and the Old European Cut is that the later has a much smaller table, a taller crown, a very very large culet and the lower girdle facets extend only 20 percent down the pavilion.  The stone comes out much deeper and smaller looking from the face up view.  This cut allowed more rough to be saved over the modern round brilliant, which makes it cheaper to buy.  The same is true for Old Mine Cut when compared to the modern Cushion Cut.  Consider buying a poorly cut Cushion Cut diamond if you find the Old Cuts romantic.

Diamond Colors

color diamonds

As I have already mentioned in previous sections, diamonds come in many colors.  The most common is yellow and colorless.  Other colors include blue, pink, red, green, orange, brown and more.  When the yellow is slight it falls in the colorless range and is considered to be undesirable.  When it becomes vivid or strong enough to become noticed the value begins to grow.  More on this in the 4Cs section.

The color of a diamond depends on impurities in the carbon diamond crystal as well as on crystal structure which may be altered by natural radiation.  In fancy color diamonds the job of the cutter to place the color zoning in such a way that the color will reflect as much as possible intensifying the effect.  In colorless stones the job is the opposite, to minimize the visible color by grinding away the color part or placing it in such a way that it will not be noticed.