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Diamond Facets: Understand What Makes a Diamond Shine Bright

Angelica Frey | March 30, 2023

Angelica Frey | March 30, 2023

Diamond facets are the small, flat, and polished surfaces located on the crown and the pavilion of the diamond, and the individual angles of facets contribute to the diamond’s uniqueness. Ways to facet a diamond include a brilliant cut, a step cut, mixed cut, a rose cut, and a single cut. VRAI created diamonds come in different cuts including Round Brilliant, Oval, Pear, Marquise, Emerald, Asscher, Cushion, Radiant, Princess and Trillion, and they’re all cut with utmost attention to faceting. Facets, in fact, directly influence a diamond’s fire, brightness, and brilliance. Speak with an expert to see how facets impact a diamond’s appearance.

What are Diamond Facets?

Diamond facets are small, flat, and polished surfaces located on the crown and the pavilion of the diamond. The placement of the facets determines a diamond’s cut: the main distinction is between Brilliant cuts, which have triangular and kite-shaped facets, and step cuts, which have facets running parallel to each other. Rose-cut facets entail a flat bottom surface and a domed top with 3 to 24 triangular facets.

What are the Different Types of Diamond Facets?

There are different ways to facet a diamond. Different types include Brilliant-cut facets, where the majority of the facets are kite or triangle-shaped and angled towards each other, creating a kaleidoscopic effect. A Step cut diamond has facets angled parallel to one another. Single cut is a type of faceting used for smaller-sized diamonds used in pavé jewelry. Mixed cuts feature a combination of brilliant and step facets. Usually, the step facets are on the crown and the brilliant facets are on the pavilion, but sometimes it’s the other way around. Another way to facet a diamond is specific to individual brands, and that is known as branded cut.

How Do Diamond Facets Impact the 4Cs?

Diamond facets directly impact a diamond’s cut grade: the grading criteria used by GIA includes The quality of the workmanship or craftsmanship that went into aligning and polishing the diamond’s facets. Cut is the most complex of the 4Cs, as it takes both nature and craftsmanship into account. Cut, however, only receives a standardized grade in Round Brilliant diamonds. For the other cuts, you should be mindful of the symmetry grade. “For the most part, symmetry refers to the arrangement of the facets on the diamond, length to width ratios, out of roundness, and inline cutlets,” writes Fred Cuellar, the founder and CEO Of Diamond Cutters International in his book How to Buy a Diamond. Symmetry, however, does not paint the full picture. “Symmetry, excellent or otherwise, does not infer great proportions or the relationship between crown and pavilion angles,” Cuellar warns.

What’s the Difference Between Facets and Diamond Shape?

Facets determine a diamond’s cut, where the main distinction is between brilliant cut diamonds and step-cut diamonds. In fact, a diamond’s cut refers to the way its facets interact with light. As for the shape, the shape of the original rough diamond and the position of the inclusions determines what shape the diamond will be cut into: an octahedron-shaped round diamond, for example, will likely be cut into two Round Brilliant diamonds. Generally, diamonds can be recut in any shape or size, but it will likely cause the loss of a certain amount of carat weight in the process — this is especially true of Round Brilliant cut diamonds.

How Many Facets Does a Round Diamond Have?

A Round Brilliant diamond is known for its classic elegance, the balance of proportion and symmetry, and its brilliance. It has 57 or 58 facets, triangular or kite-shaped. The Round Brilliant cut is the most popular of all diamond shapes, and its popularity is reflected on its price tag: at the same carat weight, color, and clarity, a Round Brilliant will cost at least 15% more than other cuts.

How Many Facets Does an Oval Diamond Have?

An Oval diamond is known for having the same brilliance as a Round Brilliant diamond and an elongated, flattering shape. An Oval is a modified brilliant cut, and as such, it has the same number of facets as a Round Brilliant, namely 57. Thanks to its surface area, it maximizes carat weight.

How Many Facets Does a Pear Cut Diamond Have?

A Pear cut diamond blends round and marquise shapes and symbolic teardrop design, and it contains 56 facets, both triangular and kite-shaped. Much like the Oval cut, it appears larger than other diamond shapes of the same carat weight. Proportionally, the facets and table of a Pear cut diamond are quite large, so they show clarity characteristics and color quite clearly.

How Many Facets Does a Marquise Diamond have?

The Marquise has a long and narrow navette-like, elliptical shape that spotlights both carat weight and brilliance. It has 56 triangular and kite-shaped facets. The Marquise has a large face, which means that carat size should come last for maximum brilliance.

How Many Facets Does an Emerald Diamond Have?

The Emerald diamond has clean, linear lines, achieved through long, symmetrical, and narrow step-cut facets running down the sides to draw attention towards the center of the stone. An Emerald diamond has 49, rectangular facets. Step-cut facets demand you prioritize clarity, as they can easily display inclusions and blemishes.

How Many Facets Does an Asscher Diamond Have?

The Asscher cut diamond might, at first glance, appear as a square version of the Emerald cut, but it actually has an X shaped pattern achieved through 24 trapezoidal and triangular facets. The facets are quite large in proportion to the stone’s size, and this shape tends to show color.

How Many Facets Does a Princess Diamond Have?

A Princess cut diamond combines brilliance with square edges, and is a modern cut invented in 1979. It has a Chevron-like pattern achieved through its 57, triangular and kite-shaped facets. The Princess cut has a large table, so clarity does impact the overall look of this diamond shape.

How Many Facets Does a Radiant Diamond Have?

The Radiant cut combines the unmatched brilliance of the Round Brilliant with the distinct silhouette of the Emerald. It has 70 brilliant-cut facets, which successfully conceal clarity characteristics. Overall, this shape hides both color and inclusions quite well.

How Many Facets Does a Cushion Diamond Have?

The Cushion has a pillow-like appearance achieved through a square shape, rounded corners, and a brilliant cut, with large facets that maximize radiance, brightness and fire. A Cushion diamond contains 77 Brilliant-cut facets.

How Many Facets Does a Trillion Diamond Have?

With its three equal sides, the Trillion cut diamond combines geometry and brilliance. It has 37, triangular and kite-shaped facets

Shop for Diamonds with our Experts

Seeing how facets interact with light is one of the most exciting components of diamond shopping. Our experts can assist you in any step of your diamond-buying journey, both in educating you and in guiding you towards a purchase of a heirloom-quality diamond.


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