Of the 4C values of diamond features, only the cut feature depends on human ability. Since each diamond is cut in different ways, the value of the resulting products varies according to the cut quality and shape. Those diamond shapes include round, princess, baguette, marquise, oval, and radiant cut diamonds. The round shape diamond is the one we generally know and can find in most jewelry stores. So what about fancy diamond shapes?
A fancy shape or fancy cut is a diamond cut differently from a round diamond cut (rose-cut or single cut). Fancy shapes include princess, marquise, oval, baguette, Asscher, radian, drop, heart, and cushion cuts. In this article, I will provide information about fancy diamond shapes, their cutting conditions, and other features.
What Are Fancy Diamond Shapes?
The term fancy shape is used for diamonds that are cut differently from a round diamond cut. There are many famous diamonds cut with a fancy shape. The main reason for this is that more weight is gained when a fancy-shaped diamond is cut from a rough diamond. So many people will wonder why more and more round diamonds are cut. There are several reasons for this. A round diamond cut diamond gives maximum shine, sparkle, and shimmer.
In a fancy-shaped diamond, it is impossible to achieve the ideal cone angle in a round-cut diamond. Therefore, loss of shine and radiance is inevitable. This is one of the main reasons why the round diamond cut is popular. Another reason has to do with the cutting process itself. Cutting a fancy diamond is more difficult and takes more time than cutting a round diamond.
For example, a marquise and pear-shaped diamond are more difficult to roll than a round diamond. A third reason why round diamonds are more popular than other fancy shapes is that at low clarity grades some blemishes are less noticeable on round diamonds than on other fancy shapes. Because round diamond-cut diamonds have more sparkle and shine. The same is true for lower color grading.
Terms Related to Fancy Diamond Shapes
The surface arrangement in fancy shapes is directly derived from the surface shapes in round diamonds. The main differences are the number of crown or cone surfaces. If the diamond is symmetrical, and the value and attractiveness of the diamond are not affected, these minor changes are not taken into account. To simplify the matter of fancy shapes and to describe the different parts of diamonds, special terms are used:
- high shoulders
- tip or nose
- slit or groove
- spine line
- different cone major surfaces
Head: This term is used to describe the rounded end of a pear-shaped diamond.
Shoulders: The term “shoulders” is used to describe the right and left portions of the rounded end of a pear-shaped diamond. This term is used for the same purpose for heart-shaped diamonds.
Wings: This term describes the regions found between each tip and center of marquise-shaped diamonds. It is also used for similar parts of the heart, oval, and pear-shaped diamonds.
Navel: The term “navel” is used to describe the center section of pear, oval, or marquise-shaped diamond.
High shoulders: This term is used for specific parts of pear, oval, heart, or marquise-shaped diamond that adds extra weight from the rough diamond.
Tip or nose: The terms “tip” or “nose” are used to describe the particular arrangement of certain crown surfaces that can be seen in heart, pear, and marquise-shaped diamonds. The end bezel surfaces are eliminated, and the star and arch surfaces are arranged differently.
Slit or groove: The terms “slit” or “groove” are used to describe the pit found between the two shoulders of a heart-shaped diamond.
Spine line: This term describes the line formed at the junction of the conical main surfaces and the lower arch surfaces, located in the center of the lower part of a diamond of any fancy shape, such as a heart, oval, or marquise. This line can be compared to the keel line.
Different cone major surfaces: This term refers to the number of cone major surfaces found in a fancy diamond-shaped diamond.
Choice of Color, Clarity, and Shape in Fancy Shaped Diamonds
- Factors affecting fantasy shape selection
When cutting a raw diamond, different choices are possible for the cut shape. Several considerations are taken into account in the selection of the cut shape: the weight that can be obtained from the rough diamond, the stains found in the rough diamond, the color, and shape of the rough diamond. The diamond cutter will try to choose the most suitable shape.
The weight to be obtained from the raw diamond is the most important factor. It is possible to cut diamonds of different shapes from the same piece of a rough diamond. Weight is not the only factor to consider. Sometimes weight loss may be required to achieve a better clarity quality. The same goes for color. By choosing one fancy shape over another, the concentration of color seen in rough diamonds can be avoided.
- How the color grading of fancy shaped diamonds is done
The technique and procedure for grading fancy-shaped diamonds are the same as for round-cut diamonds. However, the color is not very obvious in fancy-shaped diamonds and special care is required when grading these diamonds.
When grading a marquise, pear, or heart-shaped diamond, inspect the tips, not the center. In diamonds shaped like this, the color is concentrated at the ends, not the center. Some diamonds display their darkest color in the prone position. Therefore, you should not forget to examine this form of position as well as others. (Longitudinally and diagonally).
- How clear grades are given to fancy shaped diamonds
The clarity grading technique and procedure for fancy-shaped diamonds are exactly the same as for round diamonds. In certain areas of some shaped diamonds, some spots are less noticeable or even not visible at all. In this regard, shaped diamonds pose a challenge. Some spots are barely visible on the tips of marquise, heart, or pear-shaped diamonds, or are not visible at all. This is because the arch is reflected when looking at a diamond from the prone position. An unpolished belt is unattractive and can easily be mistaken for stains.
Grading the Dimensions of a Fancy Shape Diamond
When evaluating the proportions of a fancy-shaped diamond, it should be kept in mind that there are no “ideal proportions” for shaped diamonds. The proportions of such diamonds are entirely up to personal taste. This creates some problems. This is because different diamond cutters and dealers have different ideas about the effect that proportionality differences can have on the value of the diamond. For example, some sellers deduct 10% from the value of a diamond of some proportions, while another seller deducts only 4% from the value of a diamond of the same proportions.
However, while deciding the proportions of a fancy-shaped diamond is a matter of personal preference, there are also some factors that affect the beauty of a fancy-cut diamond. The most important factors are shine, shimmer, and twinkle. They are influenced by factors including the outline of a diamond’s shape and the ratio of its length to width. The next part of this chapter is about the symmetry and proportions of fancy cut diamonds. Measurements of fancy shapes are made with a millimeter measuring tool (diamond boy) or Leveridge measuring tool. Three different measurements are made. These are listed below:
The maximum length of the diamond
The maximum width or width of the diamond
Height of diamond
For percentage ratio, the number 100% refers to the width (the maximum width of the diamond), not the average diameter, as with round diamonds. For example, if a table is 60%, it corresponds to 60% of the maximum width of the diamond, not its length. Due to the aberrations in proportion seen in a fancy-shaped diamond, the optical effects are almost the same as in round diamonds.
The table outline of a fancy shape has approximately the same form as the arch outline. It will be seen that the radiance decreases as the table expands. As the crown angle decreases, the luminosity decreases. The brightness is affected by the change of the cone angle. If a fancy-shaped diamond is cut with a very flat cone, the diamond will have a dull appearance and the arch reflection will be visible. On the other hand, if a diamond is cut with a cone that is too deep, it will darken. The following proportions of a fancy cut diamond should be calculated: percentage of the table, crown angle, cone depth, arch thickness, average percent depth, and culet size.
- Table percentage
The direct measurement method is used to calculate the table percentage of a fancy-shaped diamond. The measurement is taken from the bezel end that is diagonal to the table to the opposite bezel end. In the emerald cut, the measurement is taken transversely from the center of the diamond. Table measurements should be taken even if the table edges of the emerald cut are parallel and the reference points are not in line. To calculate the table percentage, the table size is divided by the width of the diamond. Ideal figures for table percentage in a fancy section are between 50% and 58%. The numbers in this series of numbers will not affect either the value or the beauty of the diamond.
- Crown angle
The best way to measure the crown angle is to use the profile method. Use the same technique you use for round diamonds. Hold the diamond in the same position and calculate the angle formed by the belt plane and bezel surface.
- Cone depth
Differences in proportion have a direct effect on the appearance of a diamond. Therefore, it is very important to decide on the type and magnitude of proportional changes. Any change in the cone angle will directly affect the brilliance of the diamond and is therefore one of the most important considerations in the proportion grading. As seen earlier, the best cone angle for round diamonds is 40¾. Because this angle provides maximum brightness. Unfortunately, it is not possible to achieve the same angle from the arch to the culet when cutting the cone surfaces in an emerald or step cut.
Cone angles of heart, marquise, pear, or oval-shaped diamonds are not the same all around the diamond. Despite these problems, diamond cutters try to achieve as much of the ideal angle as possible. Since different surface arrangements are seen in fancy-shaped diamonds, the technique used in calculating the cone depth for round diamonds cannot be used with this type of diamond. When describing the cone depth of a fancy-shaped diamond, terms such as flat, normal, deep are used. There can be effects such as “fisheye” and “deep cone” in fantasy shapes.
The reason for this is the same as with round diamonds. A very flat cone will cause an arch reflection on the table. Even well-cut fancy shapes show arch reflection at the ends. However, this reflection will be more obvious when the cone is flattened. On the other hand, deep cones appear dark, and the deeper the cone, the darker the diamond will be due to the loss of light. This effect is defined as the “bow-tie” effect. “The bow-tie effect is seen as a dark zone when viewed from the table side of a fancy-shaped diamond. The “bow-tie” effect is a result of the difference in gloss between one region and another in the diamond. The greater the difference between the length and width of the diamond, the greater the “bow-tie” effect can be seen.
Whatever the cause, this effect will affect the beauty of the diamond, with or without its presence. Cone depth may sometimes appear “normal”, but in the prone position, the “bow-tie” effect can be seen even with the naked eye. A certain percentage will be deducted from the value of such a diamond. Consider size and darkness when assessing the “bow-tie” effect. In the case of an emerald diamond cut, the cone may have a “swelling effect”. The ‘swell effect’ is due to the diamond cutter’s attempt to gain as much weight as possible from the rough diamond, so the cone cuts the first row of surfaces at very deep angles. This effect causes a decrease in the price of the diamond.
- Belt thickness
Most fancy-shaped diamonds have a belted surface and are generally thicker than round-cut diamonds. The technique used to calculate the belt thickness is the same as for round diamonds, but with some minor exceptions for marquise, heart, and pear-shaped diamonds. At the extreme of these shapes, the belt is usually thicker to reduce the risk of breakage.
In the slit of the heart shape, the belt will always be thick. This is because of the cut shape. To calculate the arch thickness of a marquise, examine the area on the wings and the belly area. Assess the heart or pear-shaped area between the ends and shoulders.
- Average depth percentage
The average depth percentage is calculated by dividing the height by the width. The best numbers for the average depth percentage are the series of numbers between 55% and 65%. If less than 55%, the possibility of a flat cone is investigated, if more than 65%, a deep cone is searched. This sequence of numbers of the average depth percentage is defined as “normal”.
When a diamond’s average depth is considered “good,” this does not mean that the diamond is well proportioned. For example, a diamond with an average depth of 59% might have a crown height of 16%, a belt thickness of 5%, and a cone depth of 38%. The average of these three data is: 16% + 5% + 38% = 59%. The average depth of this diamond is in the “good” category, but its proportions can be described as “poor”. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate the data forming the average depth separately.
- Culet size
The culet size of a fancy diamond is usually judged the same as for round diamonds, with the only exception being the width of the culet being examined. The calculation must be made for an open culet.
The symmetry of Fancy Diamond Shapes
The symmetry of fancy shapes is of great importance because the visual appeal of these diamonds either makes them attractive or not. There are different factors that affect the beauty of the diamond: one is the location of the cullet and the other is the contour of the arch.
- Location of the culet
In an oval, marquise, or emerald-cut diamond, the location of the cullet is the center of the diamond, relative to its width and length. In a heart or pear-shaped diamond, the culet should be located in the middle of the entire width of the diamond from one end to the other. It should also be approximately centered with respect to the opposing bezels used when measuring the table size. If the culet is placed too high or low, it will reduce the shine of the diamond and the culet will be obvious to the eye. Examine the diamond with the naked eye and use the contrasting bezels as a guide when judging the location of the culet. An off-center culet is always considered a major symmetry error.
- Belt outline
There are several reasons why the belt outline of a fancy-shaped diamond is attractive and thus affects the beauty of the diamond. The first reason is the relationship between the width and height of the diamond. This relationship sometimes gives the diamond an unaesthetic appearance. The second reason may be an asymmetrical beltline. The third reason is the symmetrical beltline, which is unsightly due to its shape. These three problems that may be encountered are evaluated one by one and considered as potential large symmetry errors.
- Evaluation of the figure line
Evaluation of the shape line is very important because a poorly shaped line will reduce the value of the diamond. There are some deviations when trying to get the maximum weight from the rough diamond. The noticeable difference in cut found in pear-shaped diamonds is to change the head of the diamond to make it more triangular. This outline effect is known as “high shoulders” and is not very desirable among people.
Other contour differences are the “oily wings” seen on marquise and pear-shaped diamonds, and the squared tips seen on oval diamonds. It is very important not to confuse the shape line with symmetry errors such as the arch contour. These two factors should be analyzed separately and evaluated individually. Both affect the beauty of the diamond and therefore its value. However, if the evaluation is to be made for only one, the evaluation should not be made under the other.
- Calculating the ratio of length to width (length to width)
In fancy shape diamonds, the length-to-width ratio depends on the outline of the rough diamond from which the diamond is cut. As mentioned earlier, diamond cutters generally prefer to give the shape of a round diamond, but in some rough diamonds, the weight loss is too great when cut as a round diamond. The diamond cutter, therefore, chooses one of the fancy shapes for cutting. The aspect ratios of finished diamonds are largely determined by this factor. While the diamond cutter knows that some proportions are more popular than others, he may cut diamonds too short or too long to gain more weight. The neck-width ratio is calculated by dividing the neck by the width.
Some length-to-width ratios may be more attractive than others: two pear-shaped diamonds of the same weight and quality can vary widely in price due to different widths and lengths. There are no firm rules about how much the ratio will affect the value of a diamond. This is purely a matter of personal preference. If you find a diamond attractive and beautiful, no discount will be applied.
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