Do More Facets Mean Better Sparkle?

Loose Cut Diamonds

Diamond Industry

Diamond Facets Facts

In a lot of things, more is better. With jewelry diamonds, whose sparkle is an important factor, a higher number of facets would seem best when picking a stone. However, that alone does not suffice to maximize fire, brilliance, and scintillation, which form the gist of a diamond’s appeal. Experts agree that it is the symmetry and proportion of the facets that have a greater bearing on these qualities. This shines a distinctive light on the importance of the pavilion and crown facets.

What are Diamond Facets?

A facet is one of the many flat surfaces on the outside of the diamond. A brilliant cut stone would have 57 of these, with the crown taking up 33, and the pavilion 24. Some round brilliants have 58 facets including the culet. The arrangement of these facets takes into account the intended light entry and exit.

The Crown

The crown essentially makes up the windows and frames in a stone. It is there to let in as much light as possible. The window helps light enter, and disperses it into colored parts. The frames comprise the sharp intersections and lines which divide the surface into facets. These have nothing to do with light absorption; instead, they impact the scintillation and sparkle.

The Pavilion

This part of the diamond is much simpler than the crown when you consider function. Instead of helping light enter the diamond the way the crown does, the pavilion assists in sending the incident light back to the observer’s eye.
In short, stepping up the number of facets in a diamond does not guarantee more sparkle. All it brings is more reflections because you have technically increased the number of windows inside the given space. This can make each window smaller and add more frames, which would in fact reduce the light entering the stone and make it look darker.

To ensure a diamond achieves its full potential, it needs to be carefully cut by a skilled diamond cutter. By giving the stone perfect symmetry and proportion, it can be made to look brighter than otherwise. A relatively shallow cut would cause light leakage through the bottom, while a deeper cut would spill light at the sides. Finding a balance between these two is essential, which is why it is important to make sure the stone you pick was handled by a master craftsman.