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Five Myths About Fancy Cut Diamonds

A fancy cut diamond, is defined as anything other than a standard round brilliant. The most popular include: Princess Cut, Emerald Cut, Asscher Cut, Cushion Cut, Pear Shape, Oval Shape, Radiant Cut, Heart Shape and Marquise Cut. However, many diamond buyers are still confused, especially when it comes to the cut quality of fancy shapes, as to what they should buy.

Here are five myths that we have come across that seem prevalent with fancy cut diamond buyers:

1. A Shallower Depth Equals A Better Diamond

Unfortunately, nothing can be further from the truth. In princess cuts, a shallow depth, below about 70% will inevitably produce a “glassy” type look, whilst in most other fancy shapes, an overly shallow diamond may produce too much contrast or bow-tie. To demonstrate, below are ASET images of two princess cut diamonds. The first has a depth of 65% and the second, a depth of nearly 70%. Needless to say, the second one is a lot brighter stone.

Bad ASET Image  Good ASET Image

2. Any Bow Tie is Bad

To me, this is a completely outrageous statement. In rounds, the contrast of the diamond is revered, and sometimes called Hearts and Arrows. However, it seems that in pears, ovals, cushions, marquises and radiants it is akin to the devil.
The bow tie effect is essentially caused by head obstruction – that is when your head, or other object blocks the light, the bow tie effect is seen. However, when there is no obstruction, the bow tie area produces the most intense light. Therefore, rather than no bow tie, buyers should look for a nice even bow tie in the shape of two arrows that will produce the most pleasing face up appearance.

3. More Facets are Better

In my opinion, more facets usually contribute to a “crushed ice” look of a diamond – that is more, smaller facets that act like windows, rather than mirrors thereby making a diamond look like a bunch of crushed ice. This couldn’t be more true in the case of cushion cuts, where the more traditional cut stones with less facets outperform the modern cuts with more facets.

4. They Can’t Be As Bright As Round Brilliants

Whilst most fancy cuts are a lot less bright than round brilliants, there is an increasing amount of patented cuts, as well as ideal cut princesses, that are just as bright as round brilliants. Below are two examples.

Square H&A ASET   Ideal Princess Cut ASET

5. You Can Tell The Exact Cut Grade From The GIA Certificate

A lot of people think that a fancy cut’s cut grade is directly attributable to the following factors listed on the GIA certificate:

  • Polish
  • Symmetry
  • Table %
  • Depth %
  • Length to Width Ratio
  • Girdle

Unfortunately, in every shape, apart from maybe princess cut, these factors have little to no bearing on the cut quality of a diamond. In order to get an accurate cut grade, it is best to use the AGS ASET – a tool that all quality diamond vendors use.

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