For many years, cut did not appear on grading reports, and jewelers basically ignored it. In the last decade consumers have become more aware of cut, but we are a little worried they have become too aware.
There is no question that cut is important, and certainly a well-cut stone can substantially enhance its natural brilliance. However, of the four C’s, color is the most visible to the naked eye. Yet they all are important. They call them the “Four C”s for a reason — they all play a role in determining a diamond’s beauty.
The biggest problem we see is people “buying by the paper.” Even after 45 years in the business, we still don’t buy the paper. We can’t tell you how importance it is to buy based on the look of the particular stone.
For example, a lot of American buyers are not too interested in clarity, but clarity matters. Even a small inclusion can impact how light reflects on the stone.
Lately, we have seen customers who rate cut above all else. We have consumers who ask for SI2, low color stones, who ask for “excellent”/”excellent” polish and symmetry, thinking that it will help “cure” the bad color and clarity. But if you have a very included or low-color stone, even the best cut isn’t going to make it colorless, or clearer.
In addition, even after looking at thousands of diamonds, we are still not sure of the difference of the difference between “excellent” and “very good” polish and symmetry. Perhaps people in the labs who grade the stones can tell, but we can’t, and we don’t think many consumers can either.
So while it’s great consumers are learning more, in the final analysis you have to find the right balance between the “C”s depending on your budget, and not just look at one factor above all others.