All of the world’s diamonds are distinguished based on their unique characteristics. Addressing the uniformity in categorisation, the 4C’s have been widely used as the globally accepted standards for assessing a diamond’s characteristics and value. While all the 4c’s essentially contribute to the overall evaluation, the Cut stands out as one of the most important and complex factors. It inherently affects the overall structure and pricing of these gemstones.
A diamond cut is often simply thought of as its shape. However, it is much more than that. A cut is an indication of how well a diamond’s facets interact with light. Of all diamond shapes, the round cut is the most excellent cut, exhibiting immense fire, brilliance and scintillation. These characteristics result from a resource-intensive cutting process and the facet settings, known as single and full-cut melee. While these terms may be relatively unknown, they determine the final appearance of polished diamonds to a great extent.
A single cut, also referred to as a signal melee, is the faceting style used for smaller round cut diamonds that usually weigh less than 0.10ct or 10 points. These round diamonds are first shaped into single cuts and adorned with additional facets afterwards, bringing the total to an arrangement of 17 facets. With eight facets on the crown and eight on the pavilion accompanied by a larger table facet, single cut diamonds typically feature an 8/8 facet arrangement. Getting the name from this arrangement, they were also popularly known as eight-cut diamonds in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Later, the advent of a new transitional cut- the 16/16 melee proved to be atransformational period for the single cut. This style doubled the number of facets of the classic single cut and featured a 16/16 arrangement of facets. However, it enjoyed only a short period of popularity.
As technological advancements made it possible to incorporate the full cut arrangement into smaller stones, this style took over the transition in the 1980s. The full-cut, also popularly known as the round brilliant cut, features an arrangement of 57 or 58 facets. It is designed to maximise the reflection of light within the gemstone and results in excellent fire and brilliance. With this arrangement, the round cuts are cut to look like round brilliants.
While the visual difference between the single and full-cut melee is very subtle, the impact is significant. This is because the light refraction in full-cut diamonds is much higher. As a result, a single melee is usually seen with a subdued sparkle, allowing a more extensive reflection of distinctive flashes. Comparatively, the full cut melee presents a fiery appearance with an excellent light and colour reflection.
While determining the melee of a round diamond, cutters mainly focus on maximum utilisation of the raw gemstone considering the stone’s size, colour and clarity. For the full-cut melee, the cutting process is often devised to enhance the visual appeal of the gemstone.
Comparing the prices and value of the single and full-cut melee, It might be commonly misunderstood that lesser facets make the single cut melee more affordable than the full cut melee. But in reality, the scarcity of the single-melee combined with its strong demand from the high-end watchmaking industry has altered the pricing dynamics of these diamonds. Today, the single melee is only found with smaller boutique diamond manufacturers, while the full cut melee is found in abundance. As a result, a few high-quality single cut diamonds sustain higher pricing than full-cut diamonds.
Closely observing the changing dynamics of the industry for over four decades, Laxmi Diamond has witnessed the standard round brilliant cut being the most mastered and consistent cut in history. The appealing lustre and the versatility across different jewellery settings have been among the significant reasons contributing to the popularity of this shape. Along with other standard fancy pear and marquise shapes, Laxmi Diamond deals in the full cut melee that makes an excellent choice for people across different generations, cultures and traditions.