What is the Pavilion of a Diamond?


If you’re buying a diamond for someone you care about, you’ve probably spent your fair share of time online looking at articles about “the best kind of diamond.” But if you’re new to the diamond world, you may find that these articles are full of jargon you just don’t get.

But never fear—Brilliance has your back! In this article, we’ll discuss one aspect of diamond anatomy that can change the entire look of your stone: the pavilion.

So What Exactly is the Pavilion?

Simply put, the pavilion is the “bottom half” of the diamond. While the pavilion is usually hidden under a ring setting, it is an important part of a diamond’s overall look, as the pavilion contains facets that help light bounce, enter, and reflect through the diamond, giving it brilliance and fire. There are three areas within the pavilion: the girdle, the pavilion facets and the culet. Once you understand these terms, you’ll have a much easier time talking about the cut of your diamond with your jeweler.


How the Pavilion Affects a Diamond's Sparkle

A diamond’s pavilion plays a big role in making it sparkle and shine. When light passes through a diamond, it moves through the table and crown and down into the pavilion. Here, the pavilion angles will make a crucial difference in the way light refracts and sparkles through the stone.

If the pavilion is too shallow, light will simply pass through the diamond and out the bottom, near the culet. If the pavilion is too deep, the light will refract at too low a point, and the light will again leave the stone near the culet.

How the Pavilion Affects a Diamond's Sparkle

The Perfect Diamond Shine

An ideal pavilion angle will bounce light from one side to another, and then send it back through the table again, creating the beautiful look we all know and love. Without that perfectly-cut pavilion, your diamond simply won’t look as stunning. When you’re shopping for a diamond, be sure that you take some time to examine the diamond’s cut. Is the pavilion the proper depth (the exact range varies on the shape of stone) you’re looking for? Are the facets cut well? While these may seem like little details, they will make all the difference in finding that perfect diamond.


The Perfect Diamond Shine
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