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What Is a Facet on a Diamond?

Published by MarlowsDiamonds at Oct 02, 2023
What Is a Facet on a Diamond?

Facets are integral to a diamond's overall sparkle and brilliance. They blend skilled craftsmanship and natural beauty to magnify the aesthetic value of the diamond. As you prepare to choose a diamond engagement ring, having a basic understanding of diamond facets can greatly enhance the experience.

In this guide, we look at what are diamond facets and how diamond facets impact sparkle.

What Is a Diamond Facet?

A diamond facet is a flat, smooth surface on a diamond. They are often called diamond windows as they allow light to enter the diamond.

Diamond facets are meticulously crafted by skilled artisans during the diamond-cutting process. They are carefully arranged in a geometric pattern to allow light to reflect and refract, resulting in the signature sparkle and brilliance of diamonds. A diamond cutter will angle the facets to capture and reflect the most amount of light.

Types of Diamond Facets

There are a variety of facets, each with a unique role in enhancing the sparkle of a diamond. Before diving into the different types of diamond facets, it’s important to understand the anatomy of a diamond:

  • Table: The table is the flat surface on the top of the diamond.
  • Crown: The crown is the section of the diamond that extends from the table to the girdle.
  • Girdle: The girdle is the widest part of the diamond, forming a band around its circumference. It acts as a defining boundary between the crown above and the pavilion below.
  • Pavilion: The pavilion is the lower portion of the diamond, extending from the girdle down to the culet.

Here are the common types of facets you will encounter when looking for the perfect diamond for your engagement ring:

Table Facets

The table facet is the horizontal facet on the top of the diamond. Through this flat surface, light enters and exits the diamond, playing a fundamental role in the diamond's brilliance and fire.

Main Facets

Main facets, also known as primary facets, are the broad, flat surfaces that extend from the table down towards the girdle and from the girdle down to the culet. They direct light through the diamond in a way that enhances its sparkle and shine.

Break Facets

Break facets break the light into a rainbow of colours, adding to the diamond's fire. They are the smaller facets found between the girdle and the table or the girdle and the culet, acting as tiny mirrors reflecting a spectacle of colours.

Star Facets

Star facets are the small triangular facets that surround the table facet. They bridge the gap between the table and the upper girdle facets, creating a star-like pattern. Their role is to enhance the sparkle and to help distribute light throughout the upper portion of the diamond.

Pavilion Facets

Pavilion facets form the lower part of the diamond, extending from the girdle to the culet. Their primary role is to reflect the light entering from above back through the top of the diamond, contributing significantly to its brilliance.

Culet Facets

The culet facet is located at the bottom of a diamond and serves to prevent the diamond's tip from chipping or incurring damage. The size of the culet plays a role in how light passes through the diamond, affecting its overall brilliance and appearance.

How Many Facets Does a Diamond Have?

The number of facets a diamond has will depend on the diamond shape and cut. Every diamond shape has its own unique arrangement and count of facets, which significantly contribute to its overall appearance and brilliance.

The gold standard for facets is often considered to be the Round Brilliant cut, which traditionally consists of 57 or 58 facets. The Round Brilliant cut has become the benchmark against which other diamond cuts and facet arrangements are often compared.

Oval, heart, pear, emerald, Asscher, and cushion cut diamonds will typically have the gold standard of 58 facets. Princess cut diamonds will generally have 58 facets, but they can have as few as 50 facets. Royal Asscher cut diamonds will have 74 facets and Radiant cut diamonds will have 70 facets.

Does More Diamond Facets Mean More Sparkle?

When it comes to the sparkle of a diamond, facets play a crucial role. However, the relationship between the number of facets and sparkle isn't straightforward.

While more facets can potentially create more surfaces for light to bounce off, the overall effect depends on the quality of the diamond cut. A well-cut diamond with the appropriate number of facets for its shape will exhibit superior sparkle compared to a poorly cut diamond with numerous facets.

The arrangement and proportions of the facets are also critical factors that influence a diamond's brilliance. Diamond cutters meticulously plan the facet structure to optimise light reflection and refraction within the diamond. This means that the emphasis should be on the quality of the cut rather than on the quantity of facets.

Discover Sparkling Diamond Engagement Rings at Marlow’s Diamonds

Your journey towards everlasting love and commitment begins at Marlow’s Diamonds. Discover a variety of bespoke diamonds that are expertly faceted to enhance the sparkle of your engagement ring. We offer a stunning selection of diamond shapes with high-cut quality for your timeless symbol of love.

Get in touch to discuss the perfect diamond shape and facets for your engagement ring.

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