The 4 C’s: Cut

Diamond Cut and Shape

Diamonds come in all shapes and sizes. But how are you supposed to know which one to choose? Check out our guide to learn more about the types of diamond cuts to choose from for your engagement ring or custom jewelry.

Cut is a grade on how well light interacts with the facets of the diamond due to the quality of its depth, symmetry, and proportions. After decades of studying diamonds, grading how the light enters a stone is more of a science. Cutting a stone, however, is definitely an art.

Join us in an educational series about how diamonds are cut and graded below.


How is a Diamond Cut Graded?

Per GIA, the diamond industry’s grading standard, there is only one cut of diamond that is eligible for a diamond cut rating – the ever-classic round cut diamond. When it comes to grading the quality of a cut – it’s all about the math. A diamond’s cut grade represents how well a diamond reflects light.


Primary Grading Features:

  • Table Size
  • Star Length
  • Girdle Thickness
  • Crown Height
  • Crown Angle
  • Pavilion Angle
  • Total Depth
  • Pavilion Depth
  • Lower Girdle/Half Fact Length
  • Culet

Grading Facts

5 Cut Grades:

  • Poor – Typically has a poor weight ratio and a thick girdle.
  • Fair – A shallow crown and shallow pavilion angle can lead to a diamond being graded fair. These diamonds do not have enough contract of light and dark areas.
  • Good – A shallow pavilion angle limits this stone’s scintillation.
  • Very Good – Some darkness within the stone, which is typically caused by a combination of proportions.
  • Excellent – This diamond has an even pattern of dark and bright areas within the diamond to really deliver an outstanding sparkle

What is the Difference between Cut and Shape?

Though they are often used interchangeably, Cut is not the same as shape. Shape refers to the outline, or silhouette of a diamond. Cut refers to how the facets in a diamond are crafted. When a diamond is being graded, the cut is what is taken into consideration.

What are the Different Cuts?

There are 10 official diamond cuts to suit your individual taste. Find out what makes each one unique.

Round Brilliant

Universally popular for its ability to produce maximum sparkle, you’ll find the Round Brilliant diamond showing off its magnificent brilliance mostly in solitaire diamond engagement rings.


A clear rival to the awesome Round Brilliant cut, the Princess Cut is often chosen as a stand-alone solitaire diamond engagement ring. Ideally a perfect square, it can also take on a rectangular shape.


A squarer step-cut with an almost octagonal outline, the Asscher Cut was modified from an Emerald Cut and when compared contains more fire and light.


A squarer step-cut with an almost octagonal outline, the Asscher Cut was modified from an Emerald Cut and when compared contains more fire and light.


Cut with two pointed ends, the Marquise Cut is the most delicate to produce and the most expensive of brilliant cuts. But what an outcome to the eye! With 56 light-capturing facets, it’s very popular for engagement rings.


Possessing an impressive 56 facets, the Oval Cut diamond delivers great brilliance and fire. If cut well, the Oval Cut diamond can rival the light show within a Round Brilliant shaped diamond engagement ring


Stand back and prepare for some fire! You get the better of two diamond worlds here where the elegance of the Emerald shape if cleverly combined with the brilliance of the Princess, culminating in between 62 and 70 facets.


The Pear Cut, or teardrop cut, contains 56 to 58 facets. Another popular diamond for stand-alone brilliance, the Pear Cut is a wonderful choice for an engagement ring for smaller fingers.


The Heart Cut holds great sentimental value for its love heart shape. Typically containing 59 facets, a skilled gem cutter is required to obtain its maximum brilliance


The Cushion or Pillow Cut diamond varies from square to rectangular. Each Cushion Cut will possess rounded corners. Larger facets serve to improve the brilliance and clarity.

Diamond Educational Series

Click below to learn more


Diamonds come in all shapes and sizes. But how are you supposed to know which one to choose? 


Protect your investment with a full appraisal report ready for your insurance provider. 


Clarity is an important factor in determining a stone’s value. In this article you will learn more about diamond.


Carat is the unit of measurement for the weight of diamonds, gemstones and pearls. A stone’s carat is determined by weighing the stone and calculating the carat from there.

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