Modern Diamonds

 

Emerald Cut

Emerald cut diamond by leon megeThe supreme elegance of an emerald cut cannot be disputed. Its clean lines come from step-cutting or parallel line facets.

It is always cut with blocked corners and is usually cut to a rectangular outline, less common are square emerald cuts that often are misrepresented as Asscher cuts.

An emerald cut with uncut corners is called a baguette.

The Emerald cut is the only common step cut diamond, most often step cut faceting is found on side stones.

Because step cut faceting makes inclusions more visible to the unaided eye, it is recommended to consider a VS1 clarity or better.

Length-to-width ratio is an important factor for an emerald-cut diamond. It's a matter of personal taste but most people prefer 1.4-1.5 ratio.

Emerald -cut diamonds with 1.3-1.4 length-to-width ratio are the most pleasing to an eye when they set in a solitaire or in a halo.

A well-balanced three-stone ring design usually calls for more elongated stones, those in the 1.4-1.6 range.

For those who slept through the math class in the middle school: the stones ratio is calculated by dividing its length by its width.

An emerald cut is loved by purists and looks especially elegant in a conservative platinum mounting.

 

 

Modern cushion

modern cushion diamond leon megeThe modern cushion cut (modified cushion) is what happened when a beautiful antique cushion got mixed up with a wrong crowd.

The trailer park darling, the "modified cushion" is really a radiant with rounded corners, speaking properly it should be called "Modified RADIANT".

Modified cushion diamonds are known for their "crushed ice" look - a cancerous brilliance that is dramatically fractured due to numerous small facets and their arrangement.

The contrast between the areas of darkness and lightness produced when light bounces off a diamond are what produces its brilliance.

The majority of modified cushion diamonds have washed-out brilliance because of the lack of the contrast.

Some modern cushions are classified as "Cushion brilliants" which is usually a mixed breed of traditional old-cut cushions combined with elements of modern faceting.

Cushion brilliants usually have a fully faceted pavilion, lacking four mains bulges found on a modified-cut pavilion and therefore they are much more appealing.

For those worried that a diamond doesn't have enough "sparkle", yet unwilling to pay a premium for a round brilliant, or the modern cushion diamond offers a reasonable option.

 

 

 

Radiant Cut

radiant diamond cut leon megeThe radiant- and emerald-cuts share the same outline - a rectangular shape with clipped corners, but each of the two has own, distinct type of faceting. The radiant- and emerald-cuts share the same outline - a rectangular shape with clipped corners, but each of the two has own, distinct type of faceting.

There are more differences than commonalities between elegant emerald and South Beach-like delight of the radiant cut. 

An emerald cut is a step cut, it has rectangular- or trapezoid-shaped facets running in parallel steps to each other, while a radiant cut is a brilliant cut with its kite- and triangular-shaped facets radiating from the center. 

An emerald cut exerts a sophisticated elegance by breaking light into a mysterious rainbow of spectral colors called "fire", while a radiant cut has less fire, but a lot of dizzy sparkles brought in by its boundless brilliance, similar to the brilliance of a princess cut. 

The radiant cut has one obscure specialty - it intensifies a diamond color. Almost all fancy colored diamonds are cut into radiants for that reason. For fancy colored diamonds, this is a case when too much of a bad news is a good news. 

Fancy colored radiant diamond is a very good and very economical choice.

 

 

Round Diamond

Perfect round diamond by Leon MegeThe round brilliant cut is often synonymous with the very word "diamond."

In a world where diamonds are a commodity, the bestseller is always the one that appeals to the most people. The most versatile, non-engaging, and least imaginative is declared the winner. The Round Brilliant is the diamond equivalent of a plain vanilla.

Because of their bland look, round diamonds do not threaten the imagination of the average, esthetically challenged consumer.

A modern round brilliant has a total of 58 facets, 33 on the top and 25 on the bottom. Modern stones usually lack a facet on the diamond’s point, which is called a “culet.”

In the early 1900’s, a rat race to invent the “perfect” diamond cut was fueled by the flood of South African diamonds into Europe. Production speed took a priority over the yield from rough, and from that time forward the round became the most common diamond shape.

A round brilliant possesses the 8th order of rotational symmetry, so faceting a round stone is very easy to automate. It is also very convenient for sorting, classification, standardization, and most of all - mechanized production.

Marcel Tolkowsky, the “Father” of a modern diamond, was a Polish engineer who calculated and published, as part of his PhD thesis, specifications of the new “American Standard” diamond cut. Using proprietary mathematical formulas that no one could neither understand nor repudiate, he came up with what is widely considered to be a balanced approach to a diamond’s brilliance and fire.

 

 

Princess Cut

princess cut diamond leon megeThe princess cut is an ultra-modern, square, sometimes rectangular, brilliant cut stone. This is the shape of choice for those who like the crushed ice look coupled with a gigantic table and an almost non-existent Crown. Developed in the 1970s, the princess cut is a wildly popular item at shopping malls around the country.

High yield during the cutting process contributed to the relatively low cost of this cut. The corners of the princess cut are extremely vulnerable during the process of setting. It is important to protect the vulnerable corners with a prong at each point.

Contrary to popular opinion, V-prongs are not the best choice for setting and protecting the corners. A single claw prong is a much better option.

Pear Shape

pear shape diamond leon megeThe pear shape is a beautiful, feminine diamond shape with a rounded end on one side and a tapering point at the other. It is lovely as the center stone. As with many fancy shapes, the length-to-width ratio is usually within 1.5 ratios. The shape of the stone should resemble a teardrop with natural curves to look elegant.

Properly proportioned pear shape diamonds are gorgeous. Chubby pear shapes are outright ugly. Elongated pears are pretty but tend to be fragile. Mr. Megé personally loves elongated pear-shaped diamonds for earrings, pendants, or a pair of drop earrings. Poorly cut pears commonly show the BOW-TIE effect. The Pear-shaped diamond is also Mr. Megé's favorite choice of side options for a round diamond. The asymmetrical shape should be considered when setting a pear cut, which looks beautiful as a solitaire, or with side stones, especially smaller pear-cut stones or baguettes.

A pear-shaped diamond could be safely mounted in a five or three prong setting. A V-prong is common but is not necessary to secure the point. A single claw prong is a better option.

 

 

Oval Shape

Oval diamond example leon megeThe oval diamond has a lot of brilliance similar to a round diamond. An oval cut is beautiful in a ring, accentuating slender fingers and making larger knuckles less visible.

 Claimed to have been created by Lazare Kaplan in the late 1950s, the oval brilliant cut has an elliptical shape and brilliant style faceting. Being upset that too many marquise diamonds were chipped by diamond setters and left laying to waste away in his strong box, he decided to round off the broken tips. These diamonds were initially sneered at by the public. They viewed the first ovals as "Roval" traditional cushions. However, later it became accepted as the leading cut used in necklaces.

 

 

Marquise Cut

Marquise diamond example leon megeAn elongated shape with pointed ends. Also known as a navette cut diamond. An old wife's tale attributes the inspiration for cutting the first marquise shaped diamond to the suggestive smile of the Marquise de Pompadour. It was said to be commissioned by Louis XIV, who wanted a diamond to match it.

Marquise diamonds are best used as accent stones in earrings and necklaces. A marquise diamond longer than the span of a regular female finger will look gorgeous set East-West (across the finger).

A very large marquise diamond (larger than a 5 carat) is indeed as beautiful as a solitaire. A long finger seems to stretch even longer with the stone. Short fingers will not benefit from this cut. Smaller marquise diamonds actually make fingers look shorter.

 

 

Heart Shape

heart shape diamond leon megeThe heart shape diamond is considered the most romantic of all diamond cuts. It does not matter that modern science proved long ago that a heart is just a blood-pumping organ lacking any spiritual or romantic qualities.

The ancient avatar is back to business, crystallized in a double lobed shape familiar to us from childhood. It had been invented in the 15th century as one of the red suits in playing card decks.

The heart shape given to a particular stone is not the first choice by a diamond cutter. Ideally, they would cut a pear shape. However, due to an inclusion, a decision was made to cut a cleft - an indentation that splits the rounded end of the stone into two lobes, thus removing the inclusion.

The ideal ratio for a heart shape is 1:1.

The world's most famous heart shape diamond is The Blue Heart - a 30.62 carat fancy blue stone. Hearts look great in pendants and solitaire rings.