Diamond Education — Cut

Round Brilliant

The Round Brilliant shape is by far the most popular; in fact, it has been the top-selling diamond shape for more than a hundred years. The round brilliant most effectively displays a diamond’s unique ability to reflect light and to sparkle. The oval and pear-shaped cuts are variations of the round brilliant. When cutting Round Brilliant diamonds, the cutter must adhere to a set of strict guidelines that will maximize the diamond’s brilliance. Notice that the facets on Brilliant diamonds are triangular or kite-shaped.

Fancy Cuts

All other shapes of diamonds are referred to as “fancy” cuts …

All other shapes of diamonds are referred to as “fancy” cuts, and there are many. Among rectangular stones, the brilliance of the round standard is rivaled only by the square princess cut and its cropped-cornered cousin, the radiant cut. The emerald cut is elegant and always popular and is an example of a “step-cut” diamond, so-called because its facets are rectangular shaped, like steps.

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Sparkle and Brilliance

In grading, “cut” evaluates the skill in the cutting …

In grading, “cut” evaluates the skill in the cutting of the diamond. Cut is arguably the most important element because it is directly responsible for the diamond’s sparkle and brilliance.

A well-cut diamond is cut precisely to the proportions that yield the most light return. Here’s the reason a diamond sparkles: Light enters through its table (top) and reflects off the cone-shaped pavilion until it comes back through the top, giving the stone that spectral sparkle. But if a diamond isn’t cut well, the light never comes back up; it leaks out the bottom or sides of the stone. It has little sparkle and life.

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Proportion, Symmetry and Polish

Three components comprise “cut.” They are: proportions, symmetry, and polish. Do the cuts on the diamond meet the angle guidelines for maximum dispersion of light? Is the stone symmetrical? Are the stone’s surfaces smooth? Can you see sanding marks? All three of these elements greatly affect the quality of the cut and the diamond’s value, brilliance, and beauty. A grade is assigned to the Cut.

Diamonds have an image of purity and light. They are given as a pledge of love and worn as a symbol of commitment. — Peter Singer