Cut - the most important “C” for you to consider
A diamond’s cut is a not just a description of its shape, it also determines how effectively it returns light back to the viewer’s eye - or how well the diamond performs. A well-cut diamond will appear more brilliant and fiery under a wider range of lighting conditions. A poorly cut stone can appear dull and lifeless by comparison, regardless of color or clarity. A well-cut diamond may also appear larger than other stones within the same carat weight range.
One distinct difference at Brian Gavin Diamonds is our emphasis on “cut” as the most significant of the 5 C’s (4 C’s plus 1). Brian Gavin is both a world-renowned diamond cutter and a jewelry designer. His knowledge and expertise has been gained from five generations of master diamond cutters. This experience has proven that a well-cut and symmetrical diamond will reveal all the inner brilliance and fire that that the essence of the stone contains. And a well-cut diamond will outperform any other diamond of similar carat weight, color and clarity but with a lesser cut…period.
Grading the quality of cut
Other diamond sellers may not emphasize cut as much as we do at BrianGavin Diamonds. That’s because many of the diamonds sold in the general market are likely to be of average cut quality. We always recommend that you ask for the AGS or GIA grading certificate of the diamond you’re considering. There are many grading laboratories, and their results can vary significantly. Though carat weight has been standardized, the color and clarity grades a diamond is given by different labs may differ by two or more grades.
How Different Labs Grade Cut?
AGS and GIA grading standards
The most reliable and strict grading laboratories in the U.S. are the American Gem Society (AGS) and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). These laboratories are recognized worldwide and maintain the highest, most traditional standards of diamond grading. You can trust their evaluation of your stone’s overall quality. The AGS “Ideal” and GIA “Excellent” specifications are the top grades these two laboratories give for a diamond’s cut. The AGS “Ideal light performance” grade is given to less than 1% of all diamonds, in shapes where cut is graded. This is because the AGS evaluates the diamond in three dimensions. The GIA Excellent grade is also considered an elite rating, but it uses a two-dimensional system and is therefore an easier grade to receive than the AGS Ideal rating.
The ideal cut diamond is cut to “ideal” mathematical proportions in which every facet is placed at exact angles to create an ideal balance between optimum brilliance (return of light to the eye) and the scattering of light, or “fire” (this is the prism effect that separates white light into its spectral colors). To achieve this optimum reflection and refraction of light, the cutter must be willing to sacrifice valuable carat weight to yield a smaller diamond with superior beauty.
All Brian Gavin diamonds are graded by either the AGS or the GIA. For Brian Gavin Signature Hearts and Arrows diamonds, the AGS has a new grading document called the “Platinum Light Performance Diamond Quality Document.” This document has the same features as the original Diamond Quality Document™ but also includes a Light Performance Map. The Light Performance Map is the only one of its kind on any diamond grading report. It is a computer image of the actual diamond's light performance characteristics.
Lesser grading services - IGI and EGL
Other common grading services used include the International Gemological Institute (IGI) and the European Gemological Laboratories (EGL). Their grading standards may be “softer” or less strict and average diamonds may receive better grades.