Cut is a main factor in the appearance of a polished diamond. But let’s not overlook the role of the diamond setting and shape. Thanks to Mother Nature, every rough diamond is uniquely formed, varying in color, size and inclusions. In the hands of a skilled diamond cutter, the rough is crafted into a polished diamond that maximizes its visual beauty. Diamond setting and shape are key in creating the diamond’s overall look and feel, based on its size, clarity, and play with light.
Diamond Setting: Make Your Gem Stand Out
While most US consumers want larger diamonds, many can’t afford them. But a few easy tricks of the trade can fool the eye into thinking a diamond is actually larger than its carat weight. This is a cheaper option for cash-strapped customers. Diamond settings that encase the stone, such as Bezel or Halo, create an illusion of a larger diamond. The Bezel setting uses a rim of metal that encircles the diamond completely, making it look larger from a distance, while the Halo uses melee diamonds to surround the center stone. Since melee diamonds are less expensive than a larger diamond, this diamond setting makes the diamond look bigger, at a more affordable price. Thinner bands, tall settings, and traditional prong settings can also lend a larger appearance to the diamond.
Shape the Diamond Appearance
For consumers who like bright, shiny diamonds, most experts would advise purchase of a round brilliant diamond. Round brilliants have a deep cut, which means they are excellent at creating shine. This is because the crown is relatively small for its carat weight. Diamond settings holding diamonds with a larger axis, such as oval, pear or emerald shape, tend to look bigger. Unfortunately, just as the round brilliant sacrifices the appearance of size for shine, the larger shapes sacrifice some of their brilliance for size.
Setting Color Enhancement
Diamonds appear more prominent when mounted in settings that complement their unique characteristics. Metal color is very important to how the diamond looks in its setting. The setting color changes the appearance of the diamond’s color by one grade on the spectrum. So the diamond will appear one level whiter or one level more yellow, depending on its contrast to the metal color. In general, white metal will lend a slightly cooler appearance to the diamond while yellow metal will create a warmer look.
White gold or platinum will generally enlarge the overall appearance of the stone because the metal is a closer match to the white of the diamond. However, if the stone has any trace of color, a white setting will show the coloring more than a yellow setting would. For that reason, diamonds that are grade K or lower are generally best set in a yellow gold setting, so the stone’s coloration is less noticeable.
The truth is, it’s easy to make a diamond look good. Cut, Color, Carat and Clarity all play a role in the diamond’s individuality, yet to enhance it even further, the proper diamond setting can really work magic.