Fancy Colored Diamonds at 30% Plus Below Retail



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GIA CLARITY SCALE

While clarity or freedom from inclusions or internal flaws is critical in the grading of brilliant white diamonds, it is far less important in the evaluation of a fancy colored diamond.  The main criterion in evaluating a colored diamond is:  COLOR, COLOR, COLOR.  However, a prospective gem must be "eye clean", which means than even if it is SI1 or SI2, Slightly Included, the inclusions must not be distracting or obvious without the use of a 10x loupe.  It is more important that the color emanating from the colored diamond be as uniform as possible without a significant number of facet areas appearing with what is called "weak light return" or a washed out coloration.

CLARITY Symbol

Literal Meaning

Definition

Example  

F

Flawless

Free from all inclusions or blemishes.

 

IF

Internally Flawless

No inclusions visible at 10x magnification.

Internally Flawless

VVS1

Very Very Slightly Included Level 1

Inclusions that are extremely difficult to locate at 10x.

Very Very Slightly Included Level 1

VVS2

Very Very Slightly Included Level 2

Inclusions that are very difficult to locate at 10x.

Very Very Slightly Included Level 2

VS1

Very Slightly Included Level 1

Minor inclusions that are difficult to locate at 10x.

Very Slightly Included Level 1

VS2

Very Slightly Included Level 2

Minor inclusions that are somewhat difficult to locate at 10x.

Very Slightly Included Level 2

SI1

Slightly Included Level 1

Noticeable inclusions that are easy to locate at 10x.

Slightly Included Level 1

Sl2

Slightly Included Level 2

Noticeable inclusion that are very easy to locate at 10x.

Slightly Included Level 2

I1

Included Level 1

Obvious inclusions. Somewhat easy to locate with the unaided eye.

Included Level 1

I2

Included Level 2

Obvious inclusions. Easy to locate with the unaided eye.

Included Level 2

I3

Included Level 3

Obvious inclusions. Very easy to locate with the unaided eye.

Included Level 3

 


Diamond Shapes
(incorrectly referred to as "cuts", but who's telling)

Anatomy of A Diamond

Definitions of a Diamond's Component Parts







Round Brilliant Cut Diamond Shape

ROUND   
The 58 facet full-cut round diamond represents the highest advances in diamond cutting, maximizing fire and brilliance.  Round cut fancy colored diamonds usually have shorter pavilion depth in order to internally reflect more light back up through the table.

Emerald Cut Diamond Shape

EMERALD  
The emerald shape is a rectangle with corner facets and broad, flat planes. It is given a step cut creating rows or steps of elongated facets which act like mirrors. The emerald cut has 58 facets (25 crown, 8 girdle, and 25 pavilion).  The emerald cut stone reveals a classic beauty and elegance not seen in other cuts.  Inclusions and body color are much more obvious in this shape because of the open and large facets.  Recent trends in emerald symmetry are toward the more square shape with a length to width ratio close to 1.30.

Princess Cut Diamond Shape

PRINCESS  
The princess cut is called a square or rectangular modified brilliant in GIA grading reports.  It may have either 50 facets (21 crown, 4 girdle, 25 pavilion) or 58 facets (21 crown, 4 girdle, 33 pavilion) depending on how the pavilion is cut.  The princess cut tends to be the smallest of the shapes for the same carat weight since the cut is basically an upside-down pyramid with most of the carat weight in the pavilion.  The sharp, squared-off corners of the princess cut require great care when mounting the gem in a setting.

Radiant Cut Diamond Shape

RADIANT
The radiant cut, also known as a cut-cornered, rectangular (or square) modified brilliant on GIA grading reports, was developed in the 1970's to bring the brilliancy of the round "ideal" cut to a rectangular diamond. It has 70 facets (25 on the crown, 8 on the girdle, 37 on the pavilion).  The truncated corners assist in minimizing chipping when being mounted in a setting.  It actually combines the emerald cut (step cut) on the top of the diamond (crown) and the brilliant cut facets on the bottom of the diamond (pavilion); it is thus the first cut to have a complete brilliant facet pattern applied to both the crown and pavilion. This cut has the advantage of the brilliance of the "ideal" cut and the advantage of the emerald cut with its ability to show off the color of a diamond. As such, it is a much more dazzling and brilliant diamond than the traditional emerald cut.  The true radiant cut is a eight sided diamond (in that they have '"cut" corners).

Trillion Cut Diamond Shape

TRILLION 
(not normally found in Fancy Colored Diamonds)
The trillion cut was developed in the late seventies. The cut is an adaptation of the radiant cut but it is in a triangular shape. The trillion is a triangle that has equilateral sides and is a combination cut of the step cut and the brilliant cut diamond and, when cut correctly, trillion cut diamonds have a wonderful brilliance. They are often cut shallow and resultantly look large for their carat weight. Trillion diamonds are beautiful when flanking a center diamond, or in a more avant-garde piece as a center diamond. 

MARQUISE  
The marquise (pronounced "mar-keys") cut is a variation of the standard brilliant cut with 58 facets in which the girdle (edge) outline is boat shaped and each end comes to a point. Facet composition is 33 crown facets and 25 pavilion facets, the same a the round brilliant cut.  However, the pavilion can be cut with either 4, 6, or 8 pavilion main facets.  The crown cut in the marquise is sometimes modified to form what is called a "French Tip", where the bezel facet at the point of the stone is eliminated.  There are no standard proportions to the marquise cut.  If the proportions creating brilliance are not cut precisely, often there appears to be an area in the center of this cut that shows a lack of brilliance that appears as a darker "bow-tie" in the diamond (as it's known in the trade). This is able to be corrected with re-cutting the diamond proportions slightly so that the bow tie will disappear.  The marquise cut has a very big surface area for the carat weight, i.e., a big, long look for fewer carats and, thus, fewer dollars.

Pear Cut Diamond Shape

PEAR  
The pear shape usually has the 58 facet brilliant pattern, but can be cut with different numbers of pavilion main facets of 8, 7, 6, or 4.  In a pear, look for a well-shaped head and even shoulders.  The teardrop-shaped pear makes a beautiful ring.  It's cut is a cross between a brilliant and marquise. 

Heart Cut Diamond Shape

HEART  
The heart shape is a brilliant cut which can be modified so that the number of pavilion main facets may be 6, 7, or 8. It is like a pear shape, but with a cleft at the top. The cutter's skill comes into play in creating a stone with an even shape of perfect symmetry at the two top lobes (or arches) of even height and breath, and an overall well-defined outline that is pleasing to the eye.

Oval Cut Diamond Shape

OVAL  
The oval, an elliptical shape based on the brilliant cut, is seen most frequently in the standard 58 facet brilliant pattern, but can have a varying number of pavilion main facets of 4, 6, to 8.  Look for even, well-rounded ends with a full body.  Ovals provide a bigger surface area than a round with the same carat weight.

Asscher Cut Diamond Shape

Asscher 
In 1902, Asscher Diamond Company patented a rectilinear diamond cut. Developed by Joseph Asscher, the squarish step cut’s deeply cut corners give it an almost octagonal outline. It features a small table, high crown, broad step facets, deep pavilion and square culet. The Asscher cut was inspired by the table cuts of the Renaissance period; however, it was a big departure from the brilliant cuts that dominated the 1800's and was a forerunner of the standard emerald cut. Because of its high crown and small table, the Asscher cut has more light and fire than an emerald cut.

Cushion Cut Diamond Shape

Cushion
The cushion cut diamond was one of the most popular cuts of diamonds ever. For more than 70 years from 1830 to 1900, this was how diamonds were cut. Sometimes referred to as a "pillow cut", the cushion cut has an open culet (the bottom of the diamond) and a rectangular to square shape with rounded corners and a facet plan to give the diamond depth. The cushion cut diamond was cut for candle light. This is quite different from today's diamonds which are cut for brighter, denser electric light. The beauty of a cushion cut is the depth of the diamond. The facets allow the eye to travel into the diamond. It is a calmer more soothing cut than a modern cut ..... and at a romantic candlelight dinner, the cushion cut is at its best. 


When it comes to Fancy Colored Diamonds, the term "fancy" refers to the non-traditional shapes, those other than the most prevalent round brilliant, that we have displayed above.  Below are some guidelines in determining the desirability of the proportions of the cut for any fancy shaped diamond, clear white or colored.  But always remember that the saturation of color in the original rough or uncut colored diamond is often unevenly dispersed throughout the gem, so that the diamond cutter has to often be creative with the dimensions of the cut diamond to maximize color saturation and intensity.  Here is where art triumphs over science.

SHAPE

IMAGE

DESIRABLE

TOO
LONG

TOO
SHORT

 

 

Length

Width

Length

Length

Marquise

marquise.gif (1094 bytes)

1.75
to
2.25

1.00

2.50  +
(sliver)

- 1.50
(stubby)

Emerald

emerald.gif (777 bytes)

1.50
to
1.75

1.00

2.00 +
(lean)

- 1.25
(squarish)

Pear

pear.gif (1656 bytes)

1.50
to
1.75

1.00

2.00 +
(gaunt)

- 1.50
(stubby)

Heart

heartbig.gif (1173 bytes)

1.00

1.00

1.25 +
(indented pear)

- 1.00
(stubby)

Oval

oval.gif (958 bytes)

1.33
to
1.66

1.00

1.75 +
(thin)

1.25
to
1.10
(fat)

Princess

Not Applicable


 


carat weight

The old adage of only buying one carat and above for a brilliant white diamond does not apply to fancy colored diamonds because of the much higher rarity of the latter, and, hence, cost per carat of fancies.  In common terms, One Carat weighs 7 / 1,000th's of an Ounce, but in industry terms One Carat is equal to 200 milligrams.  This diamond weight system  is also subdivided into 100 points per carat.  So a 0.50 carat diamond is also expressed as being 50 points in weight.  WCM feels that fancy colored diamonds from 0.50 carats to 2.50 carats offer the best value right now, and this will be the range that we will concentrate on acquiring for presentation to our clients.