Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Understanding the flame of a Round Brilliant diamond

The Flame of the Round brilliant diamond.

Few people even know what the flame of a round brilliant diamond is let alone its importance.
Firstly the flame of the Round brilliant diamond is the little shadow that forms around the point (culet) of the diamond.

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Flame of the Round Brilliant Diamond

The flame is only prominent once the bottom and the crown are blocked ( basically shaped) yet its formation begins at the blocking stages of the Pavilions (bottom first 8 facets). The flame indicates some very important aspects of the diamond namely

  • Correct bottom angle
  • Good symmetry 
  • Correct degrees of the Pavilion facets from each other.
  • Correct depth of pavilions

How can you see a diamond symmetry by its flame?

Let me explain...the flame in our picture above forms a nice 8 sided shadow very similar to a stop sign shape.
This indicates that the facets are all on the same angle and at the correct depth. The flame is just slightly off the culet meaning the facets are around 41 degrees. When the flame is to big it means the pavilions are to flat and when the flame is to small it means  the pavilions are to steep. Either way its not a good sign...read on

Large flame on a diamond



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Flame is to large indicating the pavilions are to flat


Not only is the flame to large its extremely scattered meaning that the overall bottom facets are skew or not at 45 degree angles from each other. The 8 sides of a diamond works in angles of 45 degrees so 0 - 45 - 90 etc.. A to large flame can cause a fish eye effect on a diamond that leaves the overall appeal seriously lacking and rather difficult to sell.


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Fish eye diamond

Small flame on a diamond  

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A small flame is equally bad for a diamond the main reason is that it means the diamond is to steep and therefore very likely hiding weight in in its depth. A example will be that a very well cut 1 carat diamond should be a around 6.5 mm in its diameter with a 59-63% depth. Diamond cutters who don't have the correct diameter for a 1 carat (6.5mm +) will then use the depth to keep the weight. A fine example would be they would have a 6.35 mm diamond weighing 1 carat with a depth from 63% upward....meaning you just got shafted without knowing it.Yes the weight looks right but the diameter and depth is simply not ideal standard. Small flames can make a diamond look very dark at times and can be another good reason why its just not selling or showing up nicely in a setting.

Off centre flame on a diamond 

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Off centre flame on diamond


A off centre flame can indicate some very serious errors on a diamond for example the whole culet is off centre. This would mean that the overall diamond is cut very poorly and may take a bit of weight to fix it to ideal standards.
Off centre culet

A scattered flame on a diamond 

Its there or there about but the scattered flame is still indicates poor diamond cutting and that all is not right with the diamond. Some facets are straight while others are skew indicating poor symmetry.

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So next time you look at a Round Brilliant diamond....check the flame first and you will know much more than you could imagine.
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