carat weight and "appearance"

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Nov 17, 2002
I have heard from several friends that have bought loose diamonds that a smaller carat weight can actually appear larger depending on how a diamond is cut.

I am looking at ideal cut round diamonds. Do all ideal cuts look true to their size? Are there any hints I should know about what optimal dimensions of a round diamond make it look the largest regardless of carat weight?

I am trying to educate myself as much as possible and not fall into size trap based on weight not appearance.

i appreciate any advice!


Sep 2, 2002
That's right. The tutorial on this site has more detailed information. You don't want a diamond that will look as large as possible for the carat weight--that would be a really flat, shallow diamond that wouldn't reflect light well, and would probably just look like a piece of glass. You want something in the middle, i.e. an "ideal cut". The Holloway Cut Advisor will give you precise comparisons of spreads, which vary a bit even among ideal cuts.


Oct 30, 2002
What you are talking about is called 'spread'. The tutorial on this site and the site will have much info on this. (also check out the table size, pavilion and crown angle info on the HCA site as it describes spread a little more there as well)

I was originally searching for an ideal cut diamond which balances out appearance and weight with the right proportions to maximize the beauty of the diamond. HOWEVER, we went with a diamond with a slightly larger table (61.4%) that, lucky for us, appears beautiful in person, and has a spread of .13 carats. The diamond is a 1.23c, but in person appears to be more of a 1.35-1.40. I love it!! It was the perfect way for me to get a little extra appearance of size without having to give any extra $$. Anyhow, we were very lucky in that our stone performed well on the HCA (very brilliant), and the appraisal turned out great, but from what I hear, it doesn't *always* turn out this way for larger tabled stones-if they are not cut right then they will not look as attractive as an 'ideal'.

anyhow the prev. poster was right, when you are close to purchasing, run the diamond and specs through the HCA and see what it says about Spread. Anything with Very Good or Excellent spread should be what you are looking for if you are looking for a slightly larger looking diamond.
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