What is a brilliant cut diamond?
Have you ever heard the expression, Rome wasn’t built in a day? The same applies to the creation of the perfect diamond cut. Today, the most popular diamond shape for an engagement ring is the round brilliant cut diamond. The diamond took more than six centuries and multiple craftsmen from one generation to the next to create. This resulted in a dramatic transformation of the diamond cutting process throughout the years. But what exactly is the brilliant cut diamond and why is it considered to be the ideal cut?
Before 1939 diamonds had no universal grading system to determine the quality and value of the stone until GIA (Gemological Institute of America) established the 4C’s: Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight. While nature may dictate the colour, clarity and carat weight; the cut of the diamond is in the hands of a master craftsman. Therefore, the cut of the diamond is the only characteristic that is not determined when a diamond is formed.
Over time, the round brilliant cut design was created
THE ROUND BRILLIANT CUT DIAMOND
Diamonds that were cut and polished before the great Kimberley diamond rush; that followed the first discovery of diamonds in South Africa in 1867, looked significantly different to the brilliant cut diamond that we see today. Over the years the anatomy of a diamond has changed; each drawing closer to achieving the perfect cut. Table facets have become larger and lower half facets and star facets became longer. The culet of the diamond also appears smaller than before. The new cutting techniques were perfected over time to make sure the maximum fire, scintillation and brilliance of the diamond is achieved.
A DIAMOND OF IDEAL PROPORTIONS
In 1919 a Belgian-born gemologist and mathematician named, Marcel Tolkowsky established the best way to design, cut and polish the ideal diamond. He spent years determining the perfect symmetry and proportion for a diamond to reach its full potential. According to Marcel, a diamond is simply a system of mirrors and windows. The table of the stone was therefore mathematically designed to capture as much light as possible.
Marcel Tolkowsky wrote a thesis on the ideal diamond cut
When a diamond is cut and polished according to Marcel’s scientific calculations, light will enter the diamond through the top and exit back through the top giving it that maximum fire, brilliance and scintillation. In order for a stone to be deemed a brilliant cut diamond, it has to have 57 (58 facets if it is polished with a culet). The crown of the diamond has to have 1 table facet, 8 bezel facets, 8 star facets and 16 upper girdle facets. The pavilion, on the other hand, has to have 8 main pavilion facets, 16 lower girdle facets and a culet.
But that’s not all, the pavilion, crown and table has to be in specific proportion to each other. If the table of the diamond is too small, not enough light will reflect from the stone. If the table is too large, too much light will escape from the diamond. When it comes to the pavilion it cannot be too deep or too shallow, otherwise, the light will get lost through the bottom, resulting in less brilliance.
In addition to the cut, the round shape was designed to give the ring that feeling of warmth, empathy and dependability. The shape also contributes to the symbol of love and commitment – perfectly capturing your relationship. Another reason brides considered the round brilliant cut for the ideal engagement ring.
EIGHT HEARTS DIAMOND CUT, A TRUE HEARTS AND ARROWS DIAMOND
When a diamond is cut to perfect proportion and symmetry you will get a Hearts and Arrows diamond, also known as the Marcel Tolkowsky Super Ideal Cut diamond – Shimansky’s Eight Hearts diamond. But what exactly makes the Marcel Tolkowsky and the Eight Hearts diamond different from the average round brilliant cut diamond? When you view the diamond from the top you will see eight perfect arrows, while from the bottom you will have eight perfect hearts. This is visual proof that the diamond has been polished to perfect proportion and symmetry.
The Hearts and Arrows pattern is visible in the Eight Hearts diamond
THE BRILLIANT 10
Jewellery manufacturer, Shimansky took the round brilliant cut diamond to a whole new level. After years of research and in the constant pursuit for perfection, the jeweller set out to create the world’s most brilliant cut diamond. The result, a round brilliant cut diamond that consists of 71 facets, with 10 arrows when viewed from the top and 10 hearts when viewed from the bottom. The result? A diamond that is 25% more brilliant than any round brilliant cut diamond in the world.
Yair Shimansky developed the famous Brilliant 10 diamond cut
Throughout the years the art of shaping a diamond has evolved from being beautiful to absolutely magnificent. With Tolkowsky’s research, the world’s most skilful craftsmen create diamond rings that reach their full potential. Today, brides-to-be across the world have the opportunity to wear a ring with the maximum fire, brilliance and scintillation.