Think Diamonds and we swoon over their mesmerizing sparkle, brilliance and fiery pop of colorful flashes. Ever wondered how diamonds fascinate us with their glint!
This is where the expertise and precision of the craftsmen who cut the diamonds into best proportions, come into play.
When you shop for diamonds, you’ll often come across terms like ‘Triple Excellent’ or ‘GIA Triple X’ for premium diamonds sold at higher prices than those without triple excellent grading.
In this blog we explain “what is a triple excellent diamond”, its features and whether it is the ultimate choice for the best quality diamond. Let’s explore!
What Is A Triple Excellent Diamond?
In the diamond industry, the term Triple Excellent or Triple X/ 3EX/ 3X refers to those diamonds that achieve the highest grade possible of ‘excellent’ for their make – Cut, Polish and Symmetry.
Many savvy buyers prefer triple excellent diamonds, because they are reflective of best quality craftsmanship that brings out maximum sparkle, fire and brilliance with attractive patterns and proportions in a diamond.
In a GIA grading report, GIA will not feature the diamond as ‘triple ex’, rather it will simply mention these three characteristics with the grades listed alongside them.
The grade scale ranges from Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair to Poor.
While cut is precisely measurable, polish & symmetry are more subjective, but they all need to work in harmony and achieve an excellent grade for a diamond to be called a triple excellent. Even if one fails regardless of how much or how little, the diamond will not earn the coveted label of triple ex.
What Is A Diamond’s Cut?
In the world of diamonds, cut is the king.
No diamond can be truly attractive unless it sparkles, and it won’t sparkle unless it’s properly cut.
Cut determines a diamond’s proportions, size and angle of the facets, which in turn affects the beauty & brilliance of a diamond.
When viewed from the perspective of value and investment, getting a better cut is much more valuable than getting a bigger carat weight diamond.
Not to be confused with shape (heart, oval, round, pear), a diamond’s cut grade is an evaluation of how well its facets interact with light and returns it to the eye of the observer.
Factors Of A Diamond Cut Grade
There are various factors that are taken into account while determining the cut grade.
Some of these include:
- Total Depth Percentage
- Table percentage
- Culet Size
- Girdle Thickness
- Crown Angle
- Pavilion Angle
What Is An Excellent Cut Diamond?
Excellent cut diamonds are quite valuable. Precise artistry and workmanship is required to fashion the stone so that its proportions deliver a magnificent return of light to the viewer.
A diamond that is of excellent cut grade meets all the required parameters, which enables it to give off maximum brightness, fire and brilliance.
It radiates with intense sparkle as almost all the incoming light is reflected through the diamond’s table.
Characteristics Of Excellent Cut Diamonds
- Exhibits an even pattern of bright and dark areas (scintillation).
- The height and width of the stone should be equal.
- It should be cut neither too shallow nor too deep.
- The Table percentage should be 52%-62% in round brilliants.
- The crown angle should be 31.5-36.5 degrees, while the pavilion angle should be 40.6-41.8 degrees.
What Is A Diamond’s Polish?
The Polish of a diamond refers to the overall finish & smoothness of the diamond’s surface and facets. Thanks to its hardness, diamond will take the best polish of any gemstone.
A well polished diamond allows light to enter the stone & create the dazzle which is actually the phenomenon of ‘total internal reflection’.
On the other hand, an unpolished diamond appears dull as the facets cannot act as mirrors and light is not reflected properly.
While polishing any diamond, tiny bumps, pits and polishing lines that might be present are also smoothened out.
Diamond Polish Features
Some polish features that are considered in polish assessment include:
- Abrasion: Area of minute scratches or pits along a facet edge.
- Pit: A tiny opening on the surface which appears as a white dot.
- Nick: A small notch on a facet junction such as the girdle or at the culet.
- Polish lines: Parallel lines left by the polishing process.
- Scratch: A surface mark that appears as a straight or curved white line.
- Rough girdle: Irregular/granular surface of a girdle due to pits and nicks.
A diamond with excellent polish grade has smooth, mirror like facets which allow light to be transmitted freely without any distortions and create maximum scintillation.
It has no polish defects on its surface under 10x magnification.
Almost every diamond has some remnants of polishing marks on it. In case of an excellent polish rating, the polish lines are very fine or faint, and can be diagnosed only under high magnification.
What Is A Diamond’s Symmetry?
Symmetry of a diamond refers to the precision and accuracy of its shape, and the arrangement & alignment of the facets.
If all sides of the diamond are symmetrical, it will be able to reflect light into glittering sparkles, unlike an asymmetrical diamond which will have lesser brilliance and diluted scintillation.
Types Of Diamond Symmetry Flaws
Some of the proportioning flaws that can affect a diamond’s symmetry include:
- Out of round: The diamond’s outline doesn’t appear round and may have squared-off areas.
- Off-centre table: The table facet does not appear to be in the centre of the diamond.
- Off-centre culet: From the face up view, the point where pavilion facets meet is not centered.
- Wavy girdle: The girdle is inconsistent and gives a wave-like appearance.
- Non-pointing: Facets do not meet into a single point at junctions.
- Misshapen facets: Facets that do not follow a uniform shape and size.
An excellent symmetry ensures optimal light return in a diamond and brings out a dazzling play of luminosity, fire & sparkle.
A diamond should have no symmetry flaws visible under 10x magnification to get an excellent rating.
Some features to look out for:
- All of the facets should be perfectly shaped and aligned to meet at the girdle.
- Table facet should be well-centered.
- Points of the crown’s bezel facets should align with the points of the pavilion main facets.
- Pavilion facets should meet at a perfect point at the diamond culet.
Is Triple Excellent Diamond Rare?
With advancements in technology and diamond manufacturing processes, a Triple X rating diamond is not a rare find anymore.
There are certain standardized and documented ideal cut proportions developed by the GIA for round brilliant cut diamonds, which generates attractive scintillation patterns like the 3 EX diamonds.
These defined ideal proportions and parameters are widely used in the industry by the diamond cutters to achieve Triple X quality-grading.
Many diamond manufacturing companies have machines that automatically cut diamonds to the best proportions possible.
Thus, Triple X diamonds have become common with their ever growing demand.
Should You Buy Triple Excellent Diamonds?
Every diamond is unique and has its own unmatched characteristics that give it beauty and brilliance.
In a truly beautiful diamond, every quality factor must work in harmony.
However, a triple excellent grading doesn’t automatically translate into a perfectly performing diamond. Cut, polish and symmetry grades need to be considered in relation to other quality factors as well.
Choosing a diamond that’s triple excellent is a good idea, as long as it also has the right proportions, color, clarity, carat, fluorescence and other features.
Many diamonds that receive a cut grade of excellent may have polish or symmetry grades that are below excellent, typically in the very good range.
With the naked eye, it’s virtually impossible to perceive any visual difference between a triple excellent diamond and a similar diamond that is graded excellent cut without perfect polish or symmetry.
Infact, you might save a few hundred bucks by going with the lower grades without compromising much on the visual impact of the stone.
That said, Triple Excellent stones are still at the top of the diamond choices.
They are proofs of delicate and intricate master-craftsmanship, giving off the maximum amount of fire and sparkle while having mesmerizing patterns.