The Diamond Pro

Diamond Symmetry

By Michael Fried
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Diamond Symmetry Chart

What is Diamond Symmetry?

Diamond Symmetry refers to how well aligned the facets of a diamond are.  i.e., do the edges of the facets on the top and bottom of the diamond line up along the girdle?  Are the facets aligned symmetrically around the diamond?

How does Symmetry impact a Diamond?

Symmetry impacts how well a diamond interacts with light and how brilliant a diamond is. A diamond with good symmetry allows light to travel through the diamond as it should. Light bounces off the facets and angles, back through the table to your eyes.

A diamond with poor symmetry sends light through at defective angles, meaning light might exit through the bottom or sides of the diamond. When light doesn’t reflect back to the eye, the diamond looks dull. That’s why symmetry is critical to the beauty of a diamond.

How Symmetry is graded in Diamonds?

Symmetry grades are measured by the GIA as Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. The symmetry grade is based on the visibility and presence of deviations at 10x magnification (a standard jeweler’s loupe). Several aspects come into play when a diamond is graded for symmetry, including misalignment, missing facets, extra facets and an off-center table.

Here’s a breakdown of the symmetry grades:

Excellent: Diamonds with Excellent symmetry have very few, if any, deviations. Their tables are centered and they don’t have any extra or missing  facets.

Very Good: Diamonds with Very Good symmetry have a couple of slight deviations. There might be a slight misalignment or a misshapen facet.

Good: Good symmetry diamonds have a few deviations. The brilliance of the diamond might be impacted by aspects such as a pavillion angle variation or a missing facet.

Fair: Fair symmetry diamonds have several deviations. The brilliance of the diamond is lowered by misalignments, variations and misshapen features.

Poor: Diamonds graded with Poor symmetry have several obvious deviations. The diamond is likely to look dull. It could have a combination of an off-center table, missing facets, variations and misshapen facets.

Is Diamond Symmetry any more important than Polish?

The simple answer to that question is: not really.  Take a look at the diagram above.

Each of the problems mentioned there (off-center culet, off-center table, misshapen facets, out-of-round circumference, crown and pavilion misalignment, and a wavy girdle) can definitely take away from the beauty of a diamond. That’s not the issue.

Telling the Difference between Diamond Symmetries 

The issue is that, I, the diamond expert with 6+ years of experience can hardly tell the difference between a diamond with “Good” symmetry and “Excellent” symmetry.

You will only see noticeable defects in symmetry as found in the diagram above in diamonds with a “Fair” or “Poor” symmetry grade.  So like Polish, there’s no need to spend any additional money to buy a diamond with a “Very Good” or “Excellent” symmetry grade.

About the author
Mike learned the diamond business from the ground-up at Leo Schachter Diamonds - one of the world's top diamond manufacturers. He has been recognized as a diamond industry expert by Time, PeopleMoney, The Daily Mirror, NerdWallet, The Times Herald, Yahoo Finance Australia, The Art of Charm, The Washington Diplomat, The Next Web, and more. See more
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