How Many Facets Does a Diamond Have?

how many facets does a diamond have

The magic of a diamond lies in the little cuts within the stone. These intricate etchings—called facets—act like prisms to refract light, bouncing the beams throughout the stone to create those flashes and sparkles that make diamonds so stunning. Each facet is cut perfectly and precisely and the art of the cut can increase the value of the diamond considerably.

How Many Facets Does a Diamond Have?

The answer depends on the shape of the diamond…and the perfection of the cut. However, as a guideline, the brilliant cut that was created and mastered by Marcel Tolkowsky boasts 58 facets (including the culet!). This is considered the gold standard for all diamonds. According to Diamond Cutter’s International’s foremost diamond expert, Fred Cuellar (aka “The Diamond Guy”), round brilliant, marquise, oval, cushion, heart, pear and emerald shaped diamonds all feature 58 facets. There are, however, shapes that do not conform to the 58 facet brilliant cut.

How Many Facets Does a Diamond Have?

Princess Cut Diamonds

Princess cut diamonds can have as few as 50 facets, but the number can be modified to increase the diamond’s sparkle. While some princess diamonds are cut with more facets (up to 144!), you’re more likely to find a princess diamond in the lower facet range, around that “gold standard” 58 facets. As such, the princess cut diamond may be a little less fiery than a modern round brilliant, but there’s a trade-off: the princess cut hides inclusions masterfully, which allows buyers a little more flexibility if they need to price down for clarity. However, color imperfections will become more noticeable in this shape’s square dimensions. Opt for near colorless when choosing the princess shape.

Princess Cut Diamonds

Asscher Cut Diamonds

The beautiful vintage Asscher cut diamond includes 57 facets in its cut. However, these cuts are not the brilliant kite-like prisms. The Asscher (and the Emerald) are cut with step facets. These unique facet cuts resemble a staircase within the stone. Step facets create a sleek and sophisticated design but do not project the fiery, dancing light so often displayed by the brilliant cuts.

Asscher Cut Diamonds

Radiant Cut Diamonds

Boasting the most facets of any diamond shape, the radiant lights a fire with 70 facets. The radiant has the dimensions of an emerald cut diamond with the spark of a round brilliant cut. Radiant diamonds are the best mix of subdued sophistication and sparkling celebration.

Radiant Cut Diamonds

Trillion Cut Diamonds

Most often used as a side stone, there are 50 facets in a trillion-shaped diamond. This cut isn’t as deep as other shapes and shallow depth can take away from the shape’s brilliance. However, the equilateral shape is a unique design for buyers looking to go beyond the confines of circles, squares, or pears! This less-brilliant but striking shape is also well-suited to be featured in three-stone engagement rings, as accent stones framing a center diamond.

Trillion Cut Diamonds

Ashoka Cut Diamonds

Most buyers have never heard of the Ashoka cut. Only the most flawless diamonds can be cut into this unique design, which makes the Ashoka rare…and expensive. The cut was created by William Goldberg and features 62 facets. Reese Witherspoon’s engagement ring from her husband, Jim Toth, is an Ashoka solitaire.

 

While the number of facets for most shapes of diamonds is the same, how those facets are cut and where they are cut makes all the difference. Symmetry is everything in diamonds. Before the brilliant cut, diamond facets were almost always step facets, and the actual cut of those facets were far from perfection. However, today’s diamonds are cut with precision and designed with mathematical acuity for optimum fire and certain brilliance.

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