FreeDiamondReport.com

Compare your round diamond with an ideal cut Hearts & Arrows diamond for free.

Fill in the form below with values from your GIA, AGS, IGI, or EGL report.

Measurement Hearts & Arrows
Ideal Range
My Diamond Perfect Proportions,
Same Diameter
Perfect Proportions,
Same Depth (mm)
Perfect Proportions,
Same Carat Weight
Min Diameter, mm
Max Diameter, mm
Table Percent 53 - 58%
Depth Percent 59.5 - 62%
Crown Angle 33.8 - 35°
Pavilion Angle 40.5 - 40.9°
Girdle Percent 3 - 3.5%
Color
Clarity
Carats
Price
How to Read This Report
Analyze a Sample Diamond

Issue Index

Deep Cut

When a diamond is cut too deep, light hits the pavilion at a sharper angle, causing it to immediately reflect to another pavilion. The light is forced to retract and pass through the bottom of the diamond. As this happens, light is dulled and the diamond becomes less vibrant and radiant.

A perfectly cut diamond with the same girdle diameter would have the same face-up size when mounted in a setting. However, that diamond's light performance would likely make it appear larger. Additonally, that diamond would cost less than yours because it would have a lower carat weight.

Shallow Cut

When a diamond is cut too shallow, light hits the pavilion at a low angle. In these cases, light travels through the diamond and escapes out the sides, instead of reflecting back through the table to your eyes.

A perfectly cut diamond with the same girdle diameter as a shallow diamond would have the same face-up size when mounted in a setting. However, that diamond's light performance would likely make it appear larger. Additonally, that diamond would cost more because it would have a higher carat weight.

Shallow diamonds are typically cut shallow for two reasons. First, shallow diamonds give the appearance of larger size without a large increase in price. Retailers may show a customer two diamonds with the same carat weight and price but a 5% difference in diameter and 10% difference in face-up size - one near-ideal and another shallow. This can lead the buyer to believe the shallower diamond is a better value.

The second reason for cutting a diamond too shallow is that it will have a higher weight than an ideal cut diamond with the same depth. When cutting the diamond, if there is extra rough available width-wise but not depth-wise, the cutter may opt to keep it rather than excise it, resulting in a heavier diamond and thus a higher sale price.

How Cut Affects Price

There is a large monetary incentive for cutters to cut diamonds to deep or shallow proportions rather than ideal because more carats means a higher price.

Often, this extra bit of rough causes the diamond's weight to "step up" into the next highest price band. This is because the price-per-carat of diamonds jumps at distinct intervals - 1 carat, 1.5 carats, 2 carats, etc.

By way of example, a GIA Triple Excellent Round 1.45 Carat H VVS2 trades around $111 per hundredth-carat. However, a 1.50 Carat H VVS2 trades around $133 per hundredth-carat - 20% more. This translates to retail price difference of:

(1.50 carats * 100 * $133) - (1.45 carats * 100 * $111) = $19,950 - $16,095 = $3855.

In this case, retaining just 4% additional weight translates to a 24% higher sale price. Depending on the rough available, that extra 0.05 carats may be obtained by cutting the diamond shallower or deeper. Regardless, the end result is the same: a small increase in total carat weight and a disproportionately larger increase in sale price.

The phenomenon of step-up pricing means it can be very difficult to find a diamond in the Hearts & Arrows Ideal Range which weighs just below the step-up level. There is simply too much extra money to be made by cutting the diamond a touch heavier. You are likely to find that the supply of Hearts & Arrows Ideal Range diamonds falls off sharply at weights 0.15 carats or less under step-up levels - 1.35 (1.5 step), 1.85 (2.0 step), 2.85 (3.0 step). This is especially true for large, high clarity, high color diamonds where the price difference between levels is largest in absolute dollars.

Buying Tips

Very few diamonds are cut to perfect Hearts & Arrows proportions, but a good retailer is definitely able to locate a diamond within the Hearts & Arrows Ideal Range shown above that is also rated GIA Triple Excellent or AGS Triple Zero.

Once your retailer locates a diamond within these parameters, you should view it in person and analyze it using an ASET or Light Scope and Hearts & Arrows viewer to confirm its light performance, cut quality, and optical symmetry. If your retailer is unwilling to help you use these tools to analyze your diamond, find a new retailer. If you would like our help finding a retailer, email us and can put you in touch with one we recommend and who we know is more than happy to perform these services with you.

It's also fine to ask the retailer to pre-screen the diamonds for these qualities for you, saving you effort and time traveling to the store. Confirm the diamond's performance in person when you finally do visit in person.

Note that not all GIA Triple Excellent or AGS Triple Zero diamonds fall within the Hearts & Arrows Ideal Range shown above. Additionally, not all diamonds in the Ideal Range will be graded GIA Triple Excellent or AGS Triple Zero. This is because GIA and AGS cut ratings also consider symmetry and polish, so the dimensions could be ideal but poor symmetry or polish would lower the rating.

An excellent resource for analyzing how diamond cut proportions translate to grading is available at this webpage.

Ask for Help

For personalized help evaluating diamonds, send an email to info@FreeDiamondReport.com with the subject "Diamond Help".

How to Read This Report

The goal of FreeDiamondReport.com is simple: help consumers understand how their diamond's cut proportion's compare to an ideal stone. We achieve this goal by analyzing your round diamond versus three imaginary reference stones each with perfect proportions.

If your diamond is too shallow, there are three theoretical ways to make it have "ideal" proportions:

  1. Add vertical rough.
    The diamond becomes taller but preserves its width and face-up size.
    Weight and therefore cost is increased.
  2. Remove horizontal rough.
    The diamond becomes thinner but preserves its depth.
    Face-up size is reduced.
    Weight and therefore cost is reduced.
  3. "Maintain" the total rough but re-form the diamond into the ideal shape.
    The diamond's face-up size is reduced, and it appears slightly smaller.
    Weight and therefore cost is held constant.

These three ways correspond to the three right-most columns in the diamond report.

Conversely, if your diamond is too deep, there are three theoretical ways to make it have "ideal" proportions:

  1. Remove vertical rough.
    The diamond becomes shorter but preserves its width and face-up size.
    Weight and therefore cost is reduced.
  2. Add horizontal rough.
    The diamond becomes wider but preserves its depth.
    Face-up size is increased.
    Weight and therefore cost is increased.
  3. "Maintain" the total rough but re-form the diamond into the ideal shape.
    The diamond's face-up size is increased, and it appears slightly larger.
    Weight and therefore cost is held constant.

Again, these three ways correspond to the three right-most columns in the diamond report.

Why Should I Buy an Ideal Cut Diamond?

Contrary to what you may think our goal is, we do not necessarily advocate that consumers only buy ideal cut diamonds.

Instead, we simply advocate that buyers know what they're buying, particularly with regard to cut proportions. Cut is the only part of a diamond directed by human hands and thus it follows that it is the only part of the diamond that can be manipulated to deceive the human.

By understanding the exact trade-offs of the diamond's cut you're considering buying, you will be well-equipped to know that you're getting a fair price.

In general, for deep cut diamonds, our strong advice is to price these diamonds below the cost of an ideal cut stone with the same diameter (Perfectly Ideal Proportions, Same Diameter in the report). A deep cut stone has worse optical performance than an ideal cut stone, but appears the same size. Thus, these extra carats only hurt the diamond! For that reason, the seller should give you some financial incentive to buy this deep stone versus an ideal cut stone with the same diameter (which weighs fewer carats). If you aren't provided with that incentive, there is zero reason to buy the deep cut stone.

For shallow cut diamonds, our counsel is to price them around the cost of an ideal cut stone with the same depth in millimeters (Perfectly Ideal Proportions, Same Depth (mm) in the report). How much discount you'll demand depends on your perceived value of face-up size versus optics since the shallow stone will appear larger than the ideal cut stone. Typically, the shallower the stone, the larger the discount since the optical performance will worsen. Stones that are just a touch shallow may trade at prices nearly equal to ideal cut stones of the same weight.

Why Should I Buy a Round Cut Diamond?

We do not necessarily advocate that consumers only buy round cut diamonds. However, the round cut is the only cut that GIA grades for cut quality. GIA does not grade fancy cut stones for cut quality. (If a jeweler provides you a cut grade of a fancy shape diamond, that cut grade has not been provided by GIA.)

Because GIA grades cut for round diamonds, the overall analysis of the round diamond is more objective than for fancy shapes. There is less disagreement between buyer and seller over "which diamond is better", and as a result the buyer/seller negotiation tends to be more straightforward. Objectively better round diamonds will be priced higher than objectively worse round diamonds. Provided the buyer can understand what goes into the analysis of a round diamond, he should be able to establish and pay a fair price for whatever diamond he purchases.

The Diamond Value Buyer

The Diamond Value Buyer is someone who understands that every diamond is a worthwhile purchase at some price. Consider the hypothetical scenaria of two diamonds for sale: a perfect 2 carat stone for $30,000, or a slightly shallow 2 carat stone for $1. Which would you buy? If you said the shallow stone, then you understand what value buying is.

Each of us has a different tolerance for imperfection. Some people only buy new cars, while others are perfectly happy to ride around in something with three prior owners which was bought for a cheap price. If you can't stand the idea of driving a pre-owned car, then to you it would never make sense to buy a used car for yourself, no matter the price. Alternatively, if you loath the idea that a new car depreciates 10% the second you drive it off the lot, then you probably shouldn't buy a new car.

Diamonds are similar to cars in this way. First, you have to decide what criteria are so absolutely important to you that you cannot live without them, and once you've narrowed that down then search for a good deal within that selection of diamonds. The most common of these criteria for most buyers are: "Are you OK seeing inclusions with the naked eye?" and "Are you OK seeing yellow tint in the diamond?" because answering "yes" to these questions can bring down your cost tremendously.

The most important thing is always to end up with a diamond that makes you and your partner happy to wear and own. Being emotionally happy with the purchase you've made should always be the first priority. If on top of that you can pay a great price, terrific. But it's more likely that you'll pay a fair price rather than a great price.

And remember, "At a great pennyworth pause a while." Take your time with such an expensive purchase. There will be more diamonds for sale tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.


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