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Are you looking to expand your knowledge on diamond cuts? If so, you may be interested to learn about the Carré cut, a less commonly known type of step-cut diamond. Discover the beauty of Carre Cut Diamonds - a unique and elegant choice for your next piece of jewelry.
In this article, you will learn about the Carre cut diamond's history, characteristics, and why they're a popular choice among diamond enthusiasts. Find out everything you need to know about Carre Cut Diamonds in this comprehensive guide.
What is a Carre Cut Diamond?
The Carré cut is a less frequently seen type of step-cut diamond. Other step-cuts include the asscher, baquette, and emerald cuts. Unlike the triangle- or kite-shaped facets found in brilliant cuts, step-cut diamonds have longer facets that run the length of the stone, which imitate a set of stairs cascading toward its center.
The Carré cut is square-shaped with 90-degree corners and a large upper facet. It was originally created to make the most use of rough stones. These square faces appear similar to a pyramid when viewed from above.
Carré cut diamonds can be rectangular or off-square, but their most defining feature is the internal X shape visible when viewed head-on. This X shape is due to the presence of corners, which gives the Carré cut only four sides compared to the eight sides of an Asscher or emerald cut. The straight step-cut facets on these four sides meet at the bottom of the stone, creating a pronounced cross shape instead of the windmill sail pattern found in other step-cut stones that have had their corners removed.
The Carré cut highlights the stone's clarity and color through long, open facets. Unlike the brilliant cut, which has many arranged facets for maximum sparkle, the Carré cut focuses on the diamond's subtle beauty instead of its flashy shine. This cut is famous for its impressive fire, especially when viewed in natural light such as sunlight or candlelight. Carré cuts have less sparkle and may even resemble glass. However, it exudes an air of refined elegance, making it a popular choice during the Art Deco Era.
Consider purchasing a Carré cut diamond if you prefer uniqueness over sparkle and brilliance.
Carre Cut Diamond History
The Carré cut diamond has a rich history dating back to the early days of diamond cutting. It was first introduced in the 15th century and quickly became a favorite among the wealthy. However, its popularity declined in the 18th century. In recent times, there has been a renewed interest in this type of diamond, with its popularity on the rise once again.
As with other step cuts, the Carré cut was popular during the Art Deco period, but it is now rarer to find. Although the pointed corners of these stones are beautiful, they are vulnerable to damage if not handled carefully during setting, storage, and wear. As a result, many of these stones have been recut after losing a point due to accidental damage.
Discovering a vintage or antique ring that features a Carré cut diamond is a special moment, as it represents a rare piece of history that should be cherished.
Pros and Cons of Carre Cut Diamonds
Due to their elongated facets, Carré cuts exhibit a remarkable display of fiery brilliance. In this context, fire refers to the colored flashes of light emanating from a diamond.
Light entering the Carré cut diamond refracts at different rates, producing red, yellow, blue, and orange hues. This is distinct from brilliance, which refers to the white light that sparkles from brilliant cuts. If your Carré cut has exceptional symmetry and polish, it will exhibit a significant amount of fire.
Carré cuts cost less per carat than other cuts because there is less demand for them, resulting in lower prices. They also waste less of the original diamond, using 60-65% of it compared to only 45-51% for round cuts. Consider a Carré cut if you want a larger diamond for less money.
Alternative to Popular Cuts
Carré cuts provide an option for engagement rings that are different from the usual popular cuts like round, princess, and marquise. Some buyers prefer a more unique diamond shape. Carré cuts are not commonly used as the center diamond, making them stand out. They can also be used to surround a different diamond shape in an engagement ring.
Fewer Options Available
Due to their lack of popularity, diamond sellers offer fewer options for certain cuts. Notably, major retailers like James Allen and Blue Nile do not sell these cuts as loose diamonds but rather only as part of pre-set jewelry pieces.
Carré cuts are known to have less brilliance compared to other cuts. This is because their facets are not designed to collect and return as much light as possible, hence the dull appearance compared to many brilliant cuts. Instead, their large, elongated facets produce a subtle glimmer by leaking light.
Susceptible to Chips
Carré cuts have a disadvantage compared to other cuts because their sharp corners make them more prone to chipping. If one of the four corners is hit hard or the diamond is dropped, it is more likely to break than a diamond with a rounded or straight edge. Protecting the edges with a strong setting will help mitigate this.
Additionally, it is recommended to avoid choosing diamonds with inclusions in vulnerable areas as they may represent weak points in the diamond's structure.
Doesn't Hide Inclusions or Color
If you want a diamond that appears colorless, it's important to consider the cut. The Carré cut, with its large, deep facets, can show inclusions and color more than other cuts. To minimize this, it's recommended to choose a higher color grade such as H or G.
Additionally, flaws within the diamond, such as twinning wisps and feathers, may be more noticeable with this cut. Starting your search at SI1 on the clarity scale is a good idea, but you may need to consider VS2 or VS1 to find an eye-clean diamond.
A Carre cut may be right for you if:
- You're looking for a step-cut diamond with fire
- You want a low cost-per-carat
- You value having a diamond with a distinct cut that is not commonly found on other rings.
- You're willing to protect its sharp corners with a strong setting
Best Settings for Carre cut Diamonds
Because Carré cuts are susceptible to getting banged up at the corners, you want to protect those corners with a strong setting. The types of settings that work well with Carré diamonds are:
- Prong setting with a prong at each corner
- Bezel setting that surrounds the diamond in metal
- Antique settings that have milgrain beads around the shank
The Carré cut diamond is a sharp, clean, geometric design that looks striking and contemporary and works as a solitaire as well as shoulder stones or even accent stones calibre cut into a band ring.
Carre cut vs Asscher Cut
Many people often mistake the Carré cut for the Asscher cut because they look similar. However, there are differences between the two diamond cuts. The Carré cut has corners, while the Asscher cut does not.
The Asscher cut is a square with corners cut off, creating an eight-sided figure with shorter edges. Viewing it from the top, it looks like a windmill with contrasting facets on the shorter and longer edges. On the other hand, the Carré cut has four sides forming an X-shaped pattern at the center. The sides converge at a sharp point, creating a clean, transparent appearance with a square pattern.
Although they may look similar at first glance, the number of corners sets them apart as distinct cuts.
Carre cut vs Princess Cut
To understand the difference between a Carré cut and a princess cut, we need to compare the characteristics of square cuts in general. The primary difference is that princess cuts have a length-to-width ratio equal to or near 1.00, sharp corners, and brilliant cut facets. Other square cuts frequently have higher length-to-width ratios, sloped edges, or step-cut facets.
Princess cut diamonds are called "square modified brilliants," referring to their squarish shape and triangular facets.
Carre cut vs Emerald Cut
An emerald cut gemstone is rectangular with cut corners. It is a step cut, with facets that run parallel to one another, creating a "hall of mirrors-like" effect that is more flashy and less brilliant than other diamond cuts. Emerald cut diamonds have a large surface table and deep clarity. Most emerald cut gemstones have length-to-width ratios from 1.30-1.50. An emerald cut typically has 57 facets.
The large horizontal facets of the emerald cut produce large and relatively slow flashes rather than the smaller, faster sparkle of brilliant styles.
Carre cut vs Baguette Cut
Baguette cuts are rectangular in shape with perfectly square corners and have ratios of either 5:1 or 3:1. It's uncommon to see a baguette cut in square form. With only 14 facets, baguette cuts reflect less light and aren't as brilliant as other cuts. Nonetheless, they provide exceptional clarity with a subtle sparkle and brilliance, making them an ideal option for side stones.
The Carré diamond represents a square version of the Baguette cut.
Carre Cut vs French Cut
A French-cut diamond is a square or rectangular cut with a high crown and crisscross triangle-shaped facets. Creating a French Cut diamond involves grinding the top of a crystal gemstone. This results in a crown with only nine facets and a table facet that is placed diagonally to the square or rhombus-shaped crown. The unique arrangement creates the optical illusion of a four-pointed star and produces a breathtaking display of light.
How Much Sparkle do Square Cuts Have?
Every square cut has its unique way of bending light, resulting in a display of fire, sparkle, or flashes of white light.
- The Carre cut is known for its bold patterns and high contrast, with mostly white light.
- Baguette cut diamonds are understated yet classic, with long facets that can appear dark at certain angles. They tend to have more white light than colored fire.
- The Asscher cut offers a nice mix of white light and colored fire.
- French cut diamonds are another classic option with high crowns that perform well even when viewed off-angle. They offer a mix of white light and fire.
- Emerald cut diamonds, through their long step cuts, offer abundant reflections both of colored and white light.
- Princess cuts have 58 facets, so they offer a high level of sparkle.
Where to Buy Carre cut Diamond Jewelry
Shopping for antique and vintage diamond jewelry is a thrilling experience for me as it allows me to acquire a piece of history. Although Carré cut diamond jewelry can be purchased new, I prefer searching for an old heirloom piece.
I've looked through Etsy to find some of my favorite Carré cut diamond rings to show you. These are all from trustworthy shops that have a record of satisfying their customers.
My Favorite Carre Cut Diamond Rings
1920 Art Deco Platinum Carré cut Diamond Ring
This platinum ring is size 6.75, weighs 2.3g, and has a .83ct diamond with GIA report number. The diamond is E color, VS2 clarity, Carré cut, and measures 5.27mm x 5.28mm x 3.39mm. The side stones are .15ct, F/G color, and VS clarity, cut in an antique European style. The stone sits 5mm from the finger, and the ring is in excellent condition.
Antique Art Deco Platinum Carré cut Diamond and Ruby Eternity Band
This is a stunning wedding band with an Antique Art Deco design, made of high-quality platinum. It features alternating white Carré cut diamonds and vibrant red rubies encircling the entire ring and is in excellent condition.
The diamonds have an estimated total weight of 2.25 carats, a G color, and a VS2 clarity. The rubies have an approximate total weight of 2.50 carats.
Art Deco Carré cut Diamond Band
This is a stunning, timeless ring that is sure to catch the eye. It features five Carré cut diamonds with a total weight of 1.00 carats. These diamonds are graded G/VS2 for quality.
The ring has a weight of 5.2 grams and measures 4.5mm at its widest point. It is stamped with the mark for Platinum and "1.00" to indicate the carat weight. Currently, the ring is a size 6.25 but it can be resized for an additional fee.
White Gold 3 Stone Natural Carré cut Diamond Trilogy Engagement Ring
This stunning engagement ring features three rare and natural Carré cut diamonds, arranged in a trilogy design. The diamonds are of the highest quality, with exceptional clarity and color. The ring is made of 18k white gold. It has been professionally cleaned and polished and comes with a new diamond certificate. Although the gold is unmarked, it has been fully tested and confirmed as solid 18k white gold.
Antique Carré cut Diamond Engagement Ring
This ring is a size 4 and is made of hallmarked and tested platinum. It weighs 3.1 grams and has a center diamond that weighs 1.00 carat. The diamond is an antique Carré cut, with a color grade of E/F and a clarity grade of VS1. The side diamonds have a total weight of 0.25 carat, are antique single cut, and have a G color grade and VS clarity grade. The measurement from the finger to the top of the stone is 5mm, and the condition of the ring is excellent.
Antique Art Deco Platinum Carré Cut Old European Diamond Engagement Ring
Presenting a stunning platinum engagement ring, featuring a Carré Cut diamond at the center, encircled by old European cut diamonds. The ring has a unique shape, with one side bulging outward. It is in pristine condition, with its original design intact. The ring weighs 3.4 grams and fits a size 7 3/4. The diamond is approximately 1 carat with a color grade of H and a clarity grade of VS2-SI1.
Vintage and antique jewelry has become increasingly popular over the years, with more and more people seeking out unique, one-of-a-kind pieces with a rich history. While the market for vintage diamond jewelry can fluctuate, it's important to note that high-quality pieces with exceptional craftsmanship tend to hold their value well. Additionally, antique diamonds often have a character and charm that is hard to replicate in modern jewelry. If you're considering investing in vintage diamond jewelry, it's important to do your research and work with a reputable dealer who can guide you through the process.
If you're on the hunt for a sparkly diamond that's a bit more subtle and sophisticated, you may want to consider the Carre cut. While many people are familiar with popular cuts like the princess or Asscher, the Carre cut offers a unique and elegant option that's sure to stand out. With its sleek edges and pointed corners, this diamond shape exudes refinement and class. So why not choose a Carre cut diamond for your next purchase and add a touch of understated elegance to your jewelry collection?
Let us know what you think of Carre cut diamonds in the comments below!