Many diamond buyers who are in the market for a Fancy Shape diamond are searching for an “Excellent Cut” diamond. “Fancy Shape” – is the generic terminology for an Oval, Cushion Cut, Emerald Cut, Pear Shape, Princess Cut , Radiant Cut and all other non-round diamonds. These buyers must be aware that there is no such thing as an Excellent Cut in regard to a Fancy Shape diamond – at least to the extent of a GIA grading report!
As a result of the lack of cut grade – for Ovals or Cushion Cuts or any other fancy shape diamond, many consumers are under the mistaken impression that the Polish and Symmetry grades for these shapes are integral to the beauty of the diamond. There is no truth to this assumption. Polish and Symmetry have nothing to do with the overall beauty or Cut of a fancy shape diamond.
I happen to think that many fancy shape diamonds are ugly. I also think that there are fancy shape diamonds that are spectacular. In most cases, what makes one fancy shape diamond nicer than another is all about the diamonds “cut”. However, the “cut” that makes a fancy shape diamond spectacular almost never has anything to do with Polish and/or Symmetry.
In my personal experience, I often prefer fancy shape diamonds in which the Polish and/or Symmetry is only “Good”. Many times I find that the fancy shape diamond that has “Good” polish and/or symmetry is much more beautiful than another fancy shape diamond that is Very Good or Excellent.
This is not to say that the fancy cut diamond is more beautiful because the Polish and/or Symmetry is only “Good”. It is because the Polish and Symmetry is usually inconsequential to the big picture – which is “How beautiful is the diamond?“.
Unfortunately for the consumer, the Polish and Symmetry grade on a grading certificate does not give even the slightest inkling of whether or not a particular diamond is beautiful. The beauty of a fancy cut diamond is about the proportions of things such as length by width – or the depth and table. It is about the brilliance and “life” of the diamond. It is about what the diamond looks like when you actually look at it as opposed to looking at a grading report!
The overall beauty of a fancy shape diamond has nothing to do with Polish and Symmetry. Most fancy shape diamonds have Polish and Symmetry grades of “Good” or Very Good. Unlike Round diamonds in which “Excellent” or “Very Good” is more common, a grade of Good” in Polish and/or Symmetry is the “norm” for fancy shape diamonds.
This is one of the issues of buying a diamond online or strictly buying a diamond based on the certification paper. The simple truth that I know after spending a lifetime in the diamond trade is that the beauty of a fancy shape diamond – whether it is a Cushion Cut, an Oval, or an Emerald Cut or any other fancy shape – has nothing to do with the Polish and/or Symmetry grade (except in cases of Fair or Poor). The beauty of a fancy cut diamond is about the diamond itself. It is about how that diamond disperses light.
Unlike a round diamond in which there are scientific parameters when cutting which provide for maximum brilliance, there is no scientific formula for cutting a fancy shape diamond. Most often when cutting a fancy shape diamond, the diamond cutter is working within the parameters of the rough diamond that he starts with. The beauty of the finished diamond is the direct result of the diamond itself.
The creation of a fancy cut diamond is similar to the work of a sculptor. A diamond cutter cuts the shape and dimensions from a rough diamond that has been extracted from the earth. Trust me in that the minor detail of the facet alignment or the smoothness of the surface is inconsequential to the overall appearance of this diamond. A sculptor may achieve a beautiful smooth finish that one could say is “Excellent” or “Very Good”. But that may overlook the fact that the sculpture is ugly!
The bottom line is this. Stick to “Excellent” and/or “Very good” in a round diamond. Understand that in a fancy shape you are fooling yourself if you think that the Polish and Symmetry grade gives you any inkling of the beauty of the diamond.
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On the subject of EXCELLENT CUT in a Fancy Shape diamond I recently came across this comment on a diamond discussion forum that reinforces my discussion in the above blog post from someone who asked about the ‘best” specifications” of an Oval diamond. Here is the response to that inquiry . .
“Welcome to Pricescope!
A few things stand out immediately to me
First- I would not limit polish/symmetry to EX.
The reason is that the difference between EX,VG and G are not perceptible to the eye 99% of the time. “