The love of diamonds and our admiration of their fire and brilliance has meant the creation of many different cuts for diamonds. There are still some of the earliest styles of cuts – such as round and emerald-cut, but nowadays there are many more – some having been patented by their designers and costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The round, brilliant cut is still the most popular cut for a diamond ring today. It was developed in Venice in the 1600’s. It is still the preferred cut when the raw crystal is in an octahedral formation. During the cutting of this style, up to half of the stone can be cut away in the process. More unusually-shaped stones are used for fancy cuts, such as a marquise, pear or heart-shaped diamond.
The earliest brilliants or diamond cuts had 17 facets on the top of the stone. This was termed the double-cut. This was later improved and stones were then cut with 33 facets – triple-cut brilliants.
In the 19th century, better gem-cutting tools were developed, which led to more diamond cutting styles being developed.
In 1919, Marcel Tolkowsky combined the art of cutting with the science of light and refraction and published his book, Diamond Design. The calculations and ideas from this book formed the basis for much of diamond cutting work today. This also led to other, more precise mathematical models being created to enhance the fire and brilliance of diamonds.
There are now newer cuts such as the princess cut, trillions, ovals, pear and heart-shaped. Some innovative cutters have even fashioned star or butterfly-shaped diamonds! One patented cut, the Ashoka diamond, is an oblong cut with rounded, brilliant ends, and requires a stone 3 carats or larger. Tiffany has also patented a cut of diamond called the Lucida cut.