The different cuts of a diamond and the history of them

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Cut
This is understood to mean the creation of the stone. The shape in which the stone is cut is a part of this. The product relates to the quality of the grinding and the proportions of the grinding form. The essence lies in the right “proportions” and the “refinement” of the cut stone. The proportions include the height of the crown, the crown angle, the depth of the pavilion side, the table reflection and the ratio of the roundness to the total depth of the stone.

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Refinement is understood to mean the precise finishing of the total product. How regular is the round-distant, is the column heavy or light, are there symmetry differences between the crown and the pavilion side, do the facets fit straight together, is the column exactly in the middle or is the table decentralized?

All these things have a direct influence on the play of light in the stone. The product is human, in contrast to the purity, colour and partly the weight. It is therefore a major price determining factor in the four “C”‘s: a stone with a nice round weight, flawless and the highest colour in a brilliant cut may look like a top stone, but if the stone is cut too deep (nail) or too shallow (fish eye) then the light play in the stone is dead and the stone has a lower value.

Carat
The mass of gemstones is expressed in carats (1 carat = 0.2 grams). The carat is divided into 100 points and is always expressed in two decimals, for example 0.24 carat or 24 points. The carat has its origin in a standard weight used in ancient times: that of a seed of the carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua).

Clarity
The purity of polished diamonds. The stone can have both internal and external characteristics. The inside usually consists of glitches (internal cracks), carbon residues that are not fully crystallised or nitrogen inclusions. They occur in all kinds of forms but also in various degrees of intensity. These are growth lines that show the structure of the raw stone.

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There are also external characteristics such as “beard”, which remains when the stone has been cut too hard, and “nerve”, which remains when the stone has been cut too sparingly. Both characteristics can be seen on the rim. All these characteristics determine the purity of the stone, which is classified in different categories: LC, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, P1, P2, P3. The assessment is always done visually with a magnifying glass and under a lamp that emits a light equivalent to daylight. The magnifying glass has a magnification of 10 and is an achromate, free of spherical and chromatic aberrations. This means that the diamond can be seen through the lens of the magnifying glass in full sharpness and without colour deviations.

Der Blaue Wittelsbacher, a 31 carat Fancy Deep Blue diamond.

How a colour diamond is judged is rather subjective. A pure diamond is colourless. Usually, the less color, the purer, so the more valuable. Certain relatively common discolourations, such as yellow, reduce the value of the diamond. Of course these stones remain valuable; in 2011 a yellow diamond was auctioned for about 8 million euros. Less common colours such as pink and blue on the other hand increase the value; in 2010 a pink diamond yielded the record amount of 34 million euros. Black diamonds, which may be of extraterrestrial origin, are also rare. In 2011 and 2012, scientists discovered for the first time celestial bodies that according to them consist mainly of diamonds, although the claim from 2011 is disputed.

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The colour is determined on the basis of a set of so-called calibration stones (the so-called masterstones). This is a collection of stones judged by several leading diamantairs with different colors in the highest grades, which are considered standards. The assessment is usually done visually (with the eye). There are also electronic assessments possible, for example by a photo spectrometer.

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