What is the difference between a brilliant cut diamond and a step cut diamond?
It’s truly remarkable to see a diamond being transformed from a rough diamond into a beautiful faceted gem. It’s especially fascinating to see the various diamonds shapes and cuts that are polished from a rough diamond. There are essentially two broad types of diamond cuts, a brilliant cut and a step cut. But what exactly is the difference between the two?
It takes an expert diamond cutter with years of experience to accomplish a step cut
BRILLIANT CUTS VS STEP CUTS
Before a master diamond cutter decides on the particular cut of a diamond, they will assess the rough diamond and plot its unique inclusions and carat weight. This will influence the specific cut of the diamond before they start the polishing and cutting process. In most cases, a diamond will be octahedra, making it ideal for a round brilliant cut. The reason? A rough diamond will be cut and polished into two faceted gems without it losing too much carat weight. Therefore, a diamond cut determines the diamond’s fire, brilliance and scintillation levels; it’s the technical aspects used to maximise the diamond’s brilliance.
A diamond cut is determined by the size and shape of the rough diamond
In other cases, a twinned or non-octahedra rough diamond will be cut and polished into a fancy shape diamond. The term fancy shape diamond is often used to describe any diamond shape that is not a round brilliant cut. A perfect example of a fancy diamond shape is the step cut. Unlike, the round cut, which features facets arranged in a brilliant pattern, the step cut features parallel rows of facets for a clean, minimal look.
Step cuts were extremely popular during the Art Deco period in the 1920s
What is a step cut?
A step cut can be described as a diamond cut that features either a square or rectangular shape, where the facets are arranged parallel to one another. The cut derives its name from the way in which the facets are arranged; the facets appear larger than a brilliant cut diamond and look like steps. The unique diamond cut is known for its beauty and clarity. Here are a few popular step cuts that are adored by many:
Popular step cut diamonds:
Emerald Cut Diamond
The emerald cut diamond represents sophistication and glamour
The step cuts in an emerald cut diamond consist of large facets that run the length of the diamond, parallel to each other. With the emerald cut, the diamond is polished in a way to help the truncated corners give the diamond an octagonal appearance. The appeal of the rectangular emerald cut is not the same as a brilliant cut diamond. The magnificent design debuts a sense of glamour and sophistication, making it a favourite amongst royalty, the rich and the famous.
Baguette Cut Diamond
The baguette cut is a spectacular addition to a larger faceted diamond
The baguette diamond cut is similar to the emerald cut, but with fewer facets and is generally used to enhance a larger diamond. A baguette cut diamond is typically used as side stones in a diamond ring design or set in an eternity ring.
Square Emerald Cut Diamond
The Asscher diamond was first introduced by Joseph Asscher back in 1902
The square emerald cut diamond, also known as the Asscher cut diamond, is similar to an emerald cut diamond, but instead of the diamond being rectangular it is square in shape. The extra depth diamond with a striking octagonal shape was first introduced by Joseph Asscher back in 1902 and like the emerald cut, also gained popularity during the Art Deco period in the 1920s. The diamond cut is known for its large step facets and high crown which give the diamond a unique look like no other. The diamond is often described as an endless hallway with reflective mirrors.
Popular brilliant cut diamonds
A brilliant cut diamond is a rough diamond that is cut and polished into a faceted gem with exceptional brilliance. When viewing a brilliant cut diamond, the shape is often described as a cone. The table and the girdle is polished and cut in a way to give the diamond maximize fire, brilliance and scintillation. Here are a few brilliant cut diamonds that remain popular around the world:
Round Brilliant Diamond
The round brilliant cut diamond is one of the most popular diamond cuts of all time
The round brilliant diamond is one of the most popular diamond cuts of all time due to its exceptional beauty. The diamond is cut and polished according to the precise mathematical calculations that help optimise the fire and brilliance of the gemstone. The diamond contains 57 facets in total and is perfect for a bride looking for a timeless, yet traditional shape engagement ring.
Oval Shape Diamond
The oval shape diamond is a modified brilliant cut diamond
The oval shape diamond is a modified brilliant cut diamond that was created by Lazare Kaplan in 1960. The diamond shape was created to give future brides the brilliance of the round brilliant cut diamond, but with a unique twist. As an added benefit, the diamond gives the illusion of a bigger size gemstone once it’s placed on a setting.
Pear Shape Diamond
A pear shape diamond is a combination of a round brilliant cut diamond and marquise shape diamond
A pear shape diamond is the perfect combination of a round brilliant cut diamond and marquise shape diamond. The unique cut debuts a tapered point on the one side of the diamond, which makes the wearer’s finger appear longer; the narrow end is usually worn pointing down. The diamond comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes with a very good symmetry.
When it comes to a diamond cut the 4Cs of diamond grading play a very important role in grading process; a diamond cut describes the intricate steps that were taken to ensure the gem’s quality and brilliance. Both step and brilliant cut diamonds offer a unique perspective on diamond shapes and cuts. While step cuts are favoured for their clean, minimal yet glamourous look, the brilliant cut diamond shapes offer a unique brilliance of their own. Together, a brilliant cut and step cut create a wide variety of options in the jewellery industry, giving onlookers an array of breathtakingly beautiful jewellery pieces. Discover what your diamond shape says about you.