Does a diamond with more facets sparkle more?
In most cases, it’s considered a good thing to have more, rather than to have less. A reason why most people would easily assume a diamond with more facets will give more sparkle. But, is giving a diamond more facets truly what it takes to achieve more brilliance, fire and scintillation? When it comes to the design of a diamond, industry experts would agree, a diamond’s fire, brilliance and scintillation depend on the perfect proportion and symmetry of the facets rather than the amount of facets. The purpose of the crown and pavilion facets, therefore play a completely different role in the performance of a diamond’s brightness.
A diamond with the perfect symmetry and proportion will feature a lot of sparkle
WHAT IS A DIAMOND FACET?
Firstly, it is important to understand what a diamond facet is and the role it plays in the design of a diamond. A facet is a flat surface on the geometric shape of the diamond. For example, if you would take a look at the brilliant cut diamond you will see the stone consists of 57 facets; the crown of the diamond has 33 facets on the top part of the girdle and 24 on the pavilion, which is underneath the girdle. Some round brilliant cut diamonds have 58 facets depending on whether the culet is included. The facets are arranged in such a way to make sure the right amount of light enters the diamond, as well as reflect from the diamond. Here’s a breakdown of why the facets on a crown and pavilion are considered to be completely different compared to the symmetry and the proportion of a diamond, which usually affects the brightness of the gemstone.
A facet is a flat surface on the geometric shape of the diamond
The crown of a diamond can be described as the window and frames of the gemstone; the function of a crown is to allow as much light into a diamond as possible. In this instance, each individual facet has two parts that work independently from each other:
THERE’S THE WINDOW: The window will help the light enter the open spaces and transform it into coloured light or dispersion.
THERE’S THE FRAME: The frames are the lines and sharp intersections that separate the individual facets. Unlike, the windows the frames will not absorb light, but rather dispersed and neutralised the light; this will usually have an effect on the sparkle and scintillation of a diamond.
The crown facets acts as the windows and frames of a diamond
The function of a pavilion is a lot less complicated than the crown. While, a crown acts as the windows of a diamond by helping light enter the gemstone, the pavilion will help redirect the light back to the eye of the wearer or observer.
Even though facets contribute to the fire, brilliance and scintillation of a diamond the question still remains, does a diamond with more facets give more sparkle? The answer to the question is a very simply, ‘no’, a diamond with more facets will not give a diamond more sparkle.
The pavilion of a diamond redirects light back to the observer and the wearer
By giving a diamond more facets will only result in a gemstone having more reflections rather than having an effect on the brilliance and sparkle of a diamond. For example, by giving the diamond more facets you will only be giving it more windows in the same amount of space. This could result in the diamond having smaller windows and multiple added frames that will only cause less light to enter the diamond and reflecting back to the wearer and observer.
For a diamond to reach its full potential it needs to be cut correctly by a skilful craftsman. When a diamond is cut to perfect proportion and symmetry light will reflect in a way in which the diamond appears brighter. If a diamond is cut to shallow it will result in the light leaking out of the bottom of the diamond. The same will happen if the diamond is cut too deep, the light will escape from the sides of the diamond. Therefore, it is the proportion and symmetry of a diamond that will have an effect on the brightness and not the amount of facets. For a more in-depth view of a diamond’s facets book a guided tour at the Cape Town Diamond Museum and witness some of the world’s most famous diamond replicas like the Taylor-Burton diamond.