November 27, 2013 | By: Gemtress || No Comments

If diamonds are a girl's best friend, what would a diamond's be?

Vintage style diamond ring by Toronto Made You Look artist Karen MacRae

Out of the four C’s – carat, colour, cut and clarity, hands down cut would win. In fact, some diamond graders consider cut to be worth 50% of a diamond’s value. While everyone gossips about the carat weight in an engagement ring they really should be impressed with how brilliant it is; that iconic round jewel is called a “brilliant cut” diamond after all.  The brilliance of a diamond relies on its interaction with light.

Interlocking white gold and diamond wedding rings by Toronto Made You Look artist Pamela Lauz

Pretty much any diamond, even a poorly cut one, is going to sparkle under the strong light of a display case, but take it out into a dull grey day and you might find the light has left the stone. Literally, the light has left the stone before the diamond could do its job. Science teaches us that when light hits a medium (such as diamond) some will be reflected back or away and some will pass through. Light doesn’t continue in a straight line through the diamond but bends or refracts and some of it is dispersed (think rainbow).

Reflection and refraction of light in a brillant cut diamond

When the angles of the diamond’s cut planes or facets hit the sweet spot, it comes alive. The perfect cut is designed to reflect some light – we call that lustre and then capture the rest inside the diamond creating the brilliance everyone covets.

Marquis diamond ring by Toronto MadeYou Look artist Jillian Maddin

Once inside, light is bounced off the bottom angles of the stone known as the Pavilion facet, but it doesn’t come straight back out again, oh no, it bounces to another Pavilion facet before being sent upwards to meet your eye. If the angles on the top part of the stone (the Crown facets) are correct, some of the light that reaches your eye is dispersed. Those mesmerizing flashes of rainbow light, called scintillation, are dependent on the total number and size of the facets.  It’s why tiny diamonds can seem lifeless to us. They may have the same number of facets as a bigger stone but because they are so small our eyes can’t “see” the reflections.

Diamond and 18k white “halo” style cluster ring

When choosing your diamond pay close attention to the quality of the cut, sacrifice a little bit of weight if need be. A well cut stone with lustre, brilliance and scintillation will often seem visually bigger than a stone of greater carat weight that lacks internal life.

If a diamond symbolizes the love you have for each other, make sure yours is beautiful, exciting and full of life, not just big.

18K gold and multi-diamond ring by Toronto Made You Look artist Alastair Crombie

All of our designers and goldsmiths at Made You Look have extensive contacts with trusted diamond merchants and are happy to help you find the perfect stone. Contact us to make an appointment or come down to Queen West and explore for yourself.

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