The table is an eight-sided central flat facet on the upper part (crown) of the diamond. Experts in light refraction have determined that diamonds whose table’s width is between 53%-58% of the stone’s entire width have the most attractive appearance. The wider the table, the more brilliant the diamond because the larger table will admit more reflected light. A larger table also results in a shallower diamond with decreased depth percentage (depth percentage = depth/width). The lower the depth percentage, the larger (wider) the diamond appears to the viewer. On the other hand, as the table expands it causes the facets on its sides to decrease in size; this results in less scintillation and less fire. Scintillation occurs when you look at the diamond through one of the crown’s side facets. The sloping facet bends your line of vision, allowing you to see deep into the diamond. As the stone rotates, the angles of reflected light change and you see flashes of light from within. Smaller upper facets also mean less fire because the upper facets help to break reflected light into beautiful rays of color that give the stone its fire.
Not only table size but crown angle — the angle formed between the table and the surrounding bezel facets — affects the jewel’s appearance. A crown angle between 34 degrees and 34.9 degrees bests reflects incoming light, making it exit through the table, which adds to the stone’s brilliance.
Although the diamond’s width and depth percentages are important contributors to its overall beauty, its “cut grade” is the best indicator of quality. The cut grade is a measurement determined by multiple factors beyond width and depth percentage, such as pavilion height (one of the key factors contributing to a stone’s brilliance). When buying a diamond ring, first ask about cut grade. Once you have chosen a selection of stones at a particular cut grade, go on to compare their widths and depths to further refine your selection process.
Best of luck in your diamond selection experience!