The Windows of your Diamond

Let’s start with a definition of a Diamond Facet.  When a diamond is transformed from rough to dazzling gem, it will be cut to create the best beauty and sparkle.  To enable maximum light interplay within the diamond it is cut with facets, which are different shaped and sized areas on the diamond’s surface.  Don’t confuse a diamond facet with the anatomy of a diamond.

Each facet is positioned and polished to create the angles which will best allow the light to enter and reflect back out of the stone.  Quality facets will enhance the diamonds durability and brilliance, resulting in superb brilliance and fire.

Facet Beginnings

When Louis van Berquem of Belgium discovered that diamonds could be cut by their own dust, he created a polishing wheel, called a scaif, which would make it possible to cut facets into the diamond.  He worked on the idea that facets needed absolute symmetry for best results. Subsequently diamonds became used as precious stones in jewelry and ornaments, and the science of diamond cutting was developed and enhanced.

Different Types of Facets

Not all facets are the same.  Depending on their position and the shape which they’re forming, different type of facets will be formed. Using the most common and light effective shape, the round brilliant cut, lets take a look at the facet types.

Diamond Table

The flat facet at the top of the diamond, this is the largest of the facets on any diamond. It is the facet usually seen when looking at a diamond in the face up position (as it would be in a jewelry setting).  This facet could be envisioned as the window into the depths of the diamond.

Star Facet:

Eight facets are cut, connecting on one side each with the table.  When viewed from above these facets create a star shaped effect, hence the name.

Kite Facet:

These facets connect down from the table to the girdle, they are shaped like, you guessed it, a kite!  Also sometimes referred to as a bezel facet.

Upper Girdle Facet:

These join the bezel facets with the girdle and border the top of the girdle.


The band which runs around the widest part of the diamond, it is sometimes faceted itself ( it may also be smooth or granular).

Lower Girdle Facet:

These join the girdle with the pavilion facets and border the bottom of the girdle.

Pavilion Facets:

These facets  connect to the girdle at a point to the cutlet creating another “star effect”.   They are shaped like an elongated kite.


The culet, pronounced Q-let,  is the tip right at the bottom of the diamond.  Sometimes, in order to prevent its chipping it is polished as a flat facet itself.  It is important that the culet is not cut too big as it can allow for light to pass through it downwards and appear as an inclusion.

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