The cut of your diamond

Transforming rough diamonds into the bright, sparkly gems with which we are so familiar did not begin until the fifteenth century.

The early discoverers of diamonds in India over 2,500 years ago, focused on the double pyramid, octahedral crystal, as shown here, but of course broken crystals were also discovered and some of the natural facets on these stones showed how a diamond could sparkle if only it could be cut.

It was not until early stone cutters discovered that you could use another diamond, and the diamond dust generated by the process, to grind facets onto stones that the path towards the modern brilliant cut diamond began.

The first cuts were random flat shapes dictated by the original shape of the crystal, in which only the minimum of diamond was removed to create facets. Even at this early stage it was noted that some stones were brighter than others and it was then only a matter of time before the cutters discovered the best arrangement of facets to maximise a diamonds ability to bend light. It is this effect, called refraction, that helps to produce the flashes of brilliance that we call the fire of a diamond.

Rough diamonds are sorted into over 500 different categories of shape, colour and clarity and in many cases more than one polished gem will be cut from a single piece of rough.

The prime object of the cutter is always to achieve the best sparkle or brilliance and the maximum size diamond or “yield” from the rough.