Ideal Cut Diamonds are an Ideal Best Friend

What's better than a flawless diamond? It's not a trick question. Only a small number of loose diamonds are so perfect and brilliant that they deserve high diamond cut grades (along with the price tags that come along with them). Ideal cut diamonds are the top of the diamond line — the highest quality subset of diamonds already considered flawless. They're the smallest percentage of all perfect diamonds, and rarest of all gemstones.



What does ideal cut mean for diamonds?

Ideal cut is a diamond cut grade. Ideal cut diamonds are diamonds whose symmetry, angles, light reflection, proportions and shine are as perfect as gemstones can be. Because ideal cut diamonds are so rare, they're only produced in two brilliant cuts: princess cut and round cut. Those are the only styles that meet the "ideal" specifications. (An emerald cut or pear-shaped diamond might be perfect for you, but be wary of anyone trying to sell you one as ideal cut.)


ideal cut diamonds light bounce

Where did the term "ideal cut diamond" come from?

Expert jewel cutter Marcel Tolkowsky created the ideal cut in 1919. When pursuing an engineering Ph.D. in London, he wrote his thesis on diamond grinding. Tolkowsky found that if a diamond was cut too deeply or at suboptimal angles, it would lose sparkle. His conclusion: For a diamond to achieve perfect sparkle, it had to be cut in 58 perfectly engineered facets.

Tolkowsky gave the ideal cut diamond the name by which jewelry professionals know it today. It's also known as the Tolkowsky Brilliant, the American Standard, and the Tolkowsky cut diamond. He established that ideal cut diamonds would be among the rarest of the world’s gemstones. Diamonds that aren't "ideal" still make lovely jewelry; they're just not perfect.



Things to consider when shopping for ideal cut diamonds

You’ve probably noticed something: The more you learn about diamonds, the more you can get lost in the details. But getting engaged is exceptional, and we want shopping for your loose diamond and engagement ring to be exceptional, too. To stay out of the weeds and walk away with the diamond of your dreams, here’s what you need to keep in mind while shopping for ideal cut diamonds.



Know which size you want before you start shopping

It’s easy to get caught up in the beauty of ideal cut diamonds as you're shopping. But the bigger the stone is, the higher the carat weight will be — and, correspondingly, so will the price tag. If you go in with your desired carat weight predetermined, you’ll save time (along with the inconvenience of choosing a ring that catches your eye but overdraws your bank account).



Be willing to sacrifice size for brilliance

All ideal cut diamonds shine brilliantly. But larger stones may stretch the light further, giving the diamond even light reflection throughout the entire pavilion. A smaller diamond might have more shine and sparkle, and therefore a greater impact than a diamond that's technically larger.



Remember how rare ideal cut diamonds really are

This one's all about priorities. How important is it to you that your diamond be ideal cut? We already know it's not available in all diamond shapes, but the ideal cut's rarity means that it may require some searching and waiting even in a princess or round cut. Start shopping early.



Are ideal cut diamonds worth it?

That depends on her priorities and personal style! If sparkle is her thing — and she loves the classic, traditional appeal of a princess cut, round cut, or brilliant cut diamond — an ideal cut diamond can be worth the price. You'll know you've purchased a diamond with the highest level of fire and brilliance.

Have more questions about ideal cut diamonds or diamond cut grades? Our expert on-staff gemologists are happy to walk you through the process. Contact one today.

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