Facets are flat surfaces on gemstones and diamonds. They are cut into the stone in order to improve the appearance. There are hundreds of ways that you can cut facets into a stone. The most common is the round brilliant cut which was created in 1919.
There were originally 57 facets included in the round brilliant cut, but over time small improvements have been made, including one additional facet known as the cult. The culet is the facet at the bottom of the diamond, which typically comes to a point.
The purpose of a facet is to make the diamond shine by reflecting the light inside the diamond. Facets are cut throughout the diamond. In the brilliant cut diamond, there are 33 facets on the crown of the diamond. This is the upper half of the diamond.
There are 25 facets in the pavilion of the diamond, which is the bottom half. Many diamonds are also faceted on the girdle, which is the middle of the diamond. The number of facets on the girdle varies greatly from 32 to 100 facets, and these facets are excluded from the facet total.
Sometimes extra facets are included in the crown or the pavilion to help reduce imperfections in the diamond. However, a diamond’s cut should be symmetric and having extra facets might cause the diamond to be considered less valuable.
If a diamond is very small, it typically is cut with a lot fewer facets. If you cut a very small diamond with 58 facets, it would appear white or “milky.”
This is because the point of a facet is to reflect the internal light and this can’t be accomplished with a small diamond. In the same manner, very large diamonds typically have extra facets cut into them to make the best use of the diamond’s size.