As far sparkle and brilliance go in diamonds, very few exude the class and sophistication as the radiant cut. In fact, it is among the only two square cuts that you can find in the diamond market. The other being the princess cut diamond.
Let’s find out why the radiant cut is among the most popular cuts there is, shall we!
What is the radiant cut?
There are some diamond cuts that go back centuries. The radiant cut is not one of them. In fact, it only came about in 1977 when the master gem cutter, Henry Grossband tried to combine the elegance of the emerald cut and the sparkle and brilliance of the round cut.
The emerald cut is noted for its clarity and glassiness. This is a result of the regular rectangular or square shape that allows maximum light to penetrate. The round cut on the other hand has a lot of faceting. This ultimately causes plenty of reflection giving it its sparkle and brilliance. And the match between the two, well, results in the radiant cut.
That said, the radiant cut takes things to a whole new level. Imaging the brilliance of the round cut which only has 58 facets. The radiant cut, on the other hand, has 70 facets. Now you can understand why it exudes so much power and class. The light going through the diamond is simply remarkable.
If you have even the slightest understanding of diamond cutting, then you will be in awe of the precision and work that goes into creating the radiant cut.
It is these many facets that cause the diamond to produce such a stunning light return. Indeed, this is where its name comes from. You can only describe it as, radiant!
Difference between the radiant cut and the Cushion Cut
There are some similarities between the radiant cut and the cushion cut. However, there are also very noticeable differences between the two. While both have corners that are trimmed resulting in a more stable diamond, the cushion cut has edges that are more rounded. The radiant cut has distinct edges.
Due to the numerous facets of the radiant, it is much more brilliant than the cushion cut. On the other hand, the cushion cut is well known for its immense fire.
Why understanding the features of both these cuts are important is because many people will often wonder which of the two to choose. A good way to make the right choice is to think about the person who is receiving the diamond. If you know them well, then it shouldn’t be too hard to decide.
The radiant cut diamond clarity grade
If there is one thing that makes the radiant cut unique, it is its ability to hide the inclusions. This again is owing to the facets. Due to its brilliance, it becomes quite difficult to notice any inclusions. Of course, as a buyer, it wouldn’t hurt to take advantage of this and go down a few grades on the clarity grade.
Always ensure that you watch a few videos or photos of the diamond you are interested in before making the purchase. Take a long look at the gem itself as well. The point is to ensure that there are no visible inclusions.
The following shows the GIA rankings on clarity:
- IF—Internally Flawless
- VVS1— Very Very Small Inclusions
- VVS2—Very Very Small Inclusions
- VS1—Very Small Inclusions
- VS2—Very Small Inclusions
- SI1—Small Inclusions
- SI2—Small Inclusions
You may be wondering what is the difference between, say VVS1 and VVS2. There is very little difference in appearance and the two are in fact not distinguishable with the naked eye.
Note that the diamond clarity grade will range from flawless to included. Naturally, the more the clarity the higher the price. When the carat of the radiant diamond is less than 1, you need to go down to VS2. If it is more than 2 carats, go down even further to VVS2. The larger the stone, the more visible the inclusions are going to be.
When you want to achieve the best value, search for a radiant cut diamond that has a lower clarity grade but one that looks clear to the eye.
It gets a bit tricky when you are shopping for your radiant diamond online. In this case, you will need to ensure that the seller can provide you with actual videos and photos of the diamond and not stick photo images of a random radiant cut diamond.
It is absolutely crucial that you never buy a diamond blind. This means buying a radiant cut without first taking a long hard look at the real thing. You may very well end up with a lot of problems later when the stone is in your possession.
Many people will make the mistake of relying just on the lab report. Don’t get us wrong, you do indeed need the lab report. However, while it will guide you on the clarity of the diamond, it will not tell you where the inclusions are.
The radiant cut diamond color grade
Something to always Keep in mind as far as the radiant cut color grade goes is that there is really no best choice. It all comes down to your budget and your personal taste.
But what do we mean by ‘color’?This refers to the tint in the diamond. It does not refer to the colorized diamonds as this is something entirely different. Due to the facets and the light action, radiant cuts show color much more easily than other diamond cuts. The table below shows you how to pick a color grade.
|Colorless||Near colorless||Near colorless||Near colorless||Near colorless||Noticeable color|
The D color grade is extremely rare. Both the E and the F are colorless such that the naked eye will not see any tint in the stone. The G and H are near colorless and the only way to distinguish them apart from a perfectly colorless diamond is to place them side by side.
Diamonds in the I and J have color that can be seen by the naked eye. Those that are between K and Z are almost completely yellow and are the poorest grade.
Simply put, when all else is equal between diamonds, the higher you go on the color grade, the higher the price. The colorless diamonds which are the D-E and F on the color scale are the most sought-after type of diamonds. They are also the priciest.
What is interesting is that while the color difference between these diamonds is not that noticeable, and may not even be noticeable with the naked eye, the prices vary considerably.
But the diamond is not the only thing to consider when looking making a purchase. You also need to factor in the color of the metal holding the diamond, whether it’s that ring or jewelry. If the metal you are going for is rose gold, you can opt for a near-colorless diamond or one that has a faint of yellow. This is simply due to the fact that when the diamond is placed or set against the metal, those tints will be even less visible.
But what if you prefer white gold, silver or platinum? In this case, it is advisable that you go for the D-Fcolorgrades. The metals, in this case, will show any hint of color that is in the diamond.
Let’s talk about fancy colored diamonds
It is a well-known fact in the diamond world that for fancy colored diamonds, it is the fancy shapes that are the best. For the radiant cut, this holds especially true. In fact, many colored diamonds will feature the radiant cut.
Why you may be wondering?
Because due to the many faceting, and the proportions of the cuts, the light action intensifies the color that is in the diamond.
The radiant cut results in an even and well-distributed color scheme throughout the diamond. Other diamond cuts may have some areas of intense color than others owing to the faceting.
Radiant diamond—Cut guide
Many people have their own preferences when it comes to the cut of the radiant cut diamond. A ratio of 1 is perfectly square while that of 1.05 will look just like a square when observed with the naked eye.
Others will prefer the traditional rectangular shape. Often this is the preferred choice for people who love the shape of the emerald cut but want more sparkle and brilliance in their diamond.
The table below shows the cut guide to help you pick the right cut for you.
|TABLE%||61-69||57-60 or 70-72||54-56 or 73-74||51-53 or 75-79||<51 or>79|
|DEPTH%||61-67||59-60.9 or67.1 to 70||57.58.9 or 70.1 to 74||54-56.9 or 74.1 to79||<54 or>79|
|GIRDLE||Very thin-slightly thick||Very thin-slightly thick||Very thin to thick||Very thin to very thick||Extra thin to extra thick|
The length to width ration of the radiant cut
Similar to the princess cut or the emerald cut, the radiant cut can come in two main shapes and these are the square shape and the rectangular shape. The method of cut is the same but the length to with ratio will be different.
If you prefer the rectangular radiant cut, go for a length to width ratio of 1.25 to 1.35. Of course, for a square shape, you will go for a length to width ratio of 1.
These proportions are especially important when shopping online. In the not so distant past, many buyers preferred the rectangular shape. In recent times, however, many are going for the square radiant cut. Again, it will all come down to your preference.
The durability of the radiant cut
Think of the marquise or the pear cut. These cuts have pointed edges which are prone to chipping or catching onto things. They are not therefore very durable cuts.
This is not so with the radiant cut, however. The beveled edges and trim corners mean that it will not easily chip or break. If you are choosing the ideal diamond cut for that engagement ring, the radiant cut is a great option. Thanks to its durability, it can be worn every day without having to remove it for protection.
Possible bowties in the radiant cut
Always keep in mind that the fancy shape cuts, which are in fact all the other diamond cuts except for the round brilliant, are not graded by the majority of the diamond grading labs. This includes the GIA.
Are there implications of this fact to the buyer?
Yes! This means that you will not have the best idea on the quality of the radiant cut without taking a look at the stone yourself. And that is where bowties come in. If the diamond is poorly cut, you can easily see bowties.
A bowtie is a dark area in the center of the diamond that resembles the bowtie that is worn by a man. They are much more visible in diamond cuts that have an elongated shape. These include the pear, the marquise or the oval.
The visibility of the bowties can be anywhere from invisible to severe. They are a result of facets that are misaligned. This prevents optimum reflection of light. The light, in this case, travels through the diamond on one side and comes out through the other side instead of being reflected back to the observer.
If the diamond was cut by an experienced cutter then the facets will have perfect alignment and therefore there will not be any bowties.
Back to the grading labs.
Since there are no grading reports, you can never really know whether there are bowties in the diamond unless you have a look at the stone yourself. This is one of the main reasons why you should never buy a diamond blind.
Picking the right setting for the radiant cut
Recall what we said about the durability of the radiant cut. This provides plenty of options when it comes to choosing a setting. It is especially true for engagement rings.
Among the most popular is the prong setting. This leaves the stone to shine without the interruption of the metal background. To achieve the most visibility of the radiant cut, go for the 4-prong setting.
There are also the 6 and the 8-prong diamond setting. These provide a much more secure hold on the radiant cut. For even greater security, there is a bezel setting.
If you want to combine brilliance and protection, consider the halo setting. It surrounds the center stone with smaller diamonds surrounding the main one.
Radiant cut diamond cost
The term that you are going to come across often when dealing with diamonds is the fancy cut diamond. Many people get the impression that this means that the diamond is expensive.
Actually, the truth is quite the opposite.
The round brilliant cut is actually the most expensive cut of all. In fact, the round shape will end up wasting about half of the rough of the diamond. Compare this to the radiant cut which will retain most of it.
This ultimately means that you are left with a much larger stone for a lower price. With the round diamond, you have a smaller stone at a higher price.
Where you can purchase the radiant cut
Note that the radiant cut is not the easiest diamond cut out there. This means that you may need to do a lot of searching to find it.
When you do finally get a retailer, it’s important to ensure that they are reputable. Always ask to see their certification. Learn the certifying lab and ensure that it is also recognized such as the GIA, EGL, and AGS.
Before making the purchase, make sure that the diamond you choose is eye clean. The benefit of choosing a retailer who is professional is that you will have access to the photos of the same diamond that you are interested in.
Also, you will have the best display technology allowing you to take a closer look at the radiant cut diamond and make the best choice.
A few buying tips
If you are looking to buy a radiant cut, it is always the best thing to go for the maximum size measurements of the stone. As a simple example, you may easily get drawn to a 1.0 carat radiant diamond that is 6.5×5.0 mm. However, you may fail to consider the 6.6x 5.1mm diamond with an ideal cut that has 0.98 carats and goes for a significantly lower price.
In such a case, if all the other parameters are equal between the two options, it is the second that would be the most ideal.