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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 Cut

The most popular cut for diamonds is the ever-classic round cut diamond. Round cut diamonds are popular because they maximize the brilliance and fire possible within a diamond. No other cut displays the brilliance and fire as well as a round cut diamond. These stones have been fine-tuned by gemologists for decades and are the only cut to receive an official Cut Grade.

The round cut diamond has either 57 or 58 facets (sides). In a perfectly cut round diamond, all the facets will meet in one singular point. If they do not meet in one point, and instead have a flat bottom, the round cut diamond will have 58 facets. This extra facet at the bottom is referred to as the “culet.”

The Round Cut Woman – Classic, Tasteful & Everlasting

Princess Cut

Princess cut diamonds are another popular cut for diamonds. They blend classic style with a modern and crisp finish. Available in both square and rectangle shape, these diamonds are special because they emit light and show fire in the middle and the corners. The princess cut is the most sparkly of the square diamonds, so if you want something truly dazzling and modern, the princess cut is perfect for you.

Princess cut diamonds are special because they use a lot more of the rough stone. This means that princess cut diamonds typically provide savings when compared to a comparable round cut diamond.

The Princess Cut Woman – Modern, Dazzling & Classy

Marquise Cut

If you are looking for style and elegance, look no further than the Marquise cut. This football-shaped stone creates the illusion that the gem is bigger than it is. It is perfect for a vintage loving Woman. Its unique shape elongates and slims the fingers. One famous marquise cut diamond was the first ring David Beckham gave to his wife Victoria Beckham.

The marquise cut diamond has a somewhat steamy history. Originally commissioned in the 18th century, this diamond was crafted to resemble the lips of King Louis XV’s mistress.

The Marquise Cut Woman – Unique, Flirtatious & Graceful

Cushion Cut

Cushion cut diamonds are like princess cut diamonds with one slight difference; these stones have rounded corners as opposed to the sharp corners of a princess cut. They are available in squares or rectangles and are known for retaining as much of the original diamond weight as possible.

These diamonds have been popular for centuries and were originally inspired to reflect the light from a burning candle. Cushion cut diamonds are named for their resemblance to pillows. Don’t sleep on these diamonds though – their larger facets make them stunningly brilliant.

The Cushion Cut Woman – Gentle, Patient & Kind

 

Emerald Cut

Emerald cut is a unique way to showcase a diamond. Marked by rectangular step-cut facets, this cut really showcases the clarity of these diamonds. The nature of the facets in these diamonds means that most imperfections will be visible to the naked eye, so make sure you choose a higher clarity diamond if you want this shape.

Emerald cut diamonds do not sparkle like other cuts do. Rather they showcase long, clean lines that make the stone look much larger than it really is. Because it is easier to see imperfections in an emerald diamond, you need a stone with impeccable clarity. As such, Emerald cut diamonds only represent 3% of all the diamonds sold today.

The Emerald Cut Woman – Powerful, Regal & Sophisticated

Asscher Cut

If the 1920’s are calling your name, the Asscher cut diamond is the stone for you. Asscher cut diamonds are similar to Emerald cut stones but they are squares with cropped corners instead of rectangles. These stones balance the clarity of an Emerald cut stone while emitting dazzling brilliance.

One of the most famous diamond rings is the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond – a 33-carat Asscher cut ring.

The Asscher Cut Woman – Elegant, Unflinching & Bold

Radiant Cut

If you are taken by the brilliance of a round cut and the lines of an emerald cut, then the radiant cut diamond is perfect for you. Radiant cut diamonds did not come into popularity until very recently. This modern style sparkles beautifully and can pair well with other accent diamonds like rounds, trapezoid cut diamonds, and others, if needed.

Another hallmark of a radiant cut diamond is the stone’s durability. This unique cut makes the stone less likely to chip or catch. This makes radiant cut diamonds an excellent option for center stones on engagement rings and other jewelry pieces.

The Radiant Cut Woman – Dazzling, Strong & Trailblazing

Oval Cut

Oval cut diamonds are a wonderful alternative to the round cut diamond. Crafted similarly, Oval cut diamonds add a modern twist to the classic diamond shape. Elongate and slim fingers with this stunning cut. They also look bigger (and more expensive) because of their shape. This is a great option to get a good bang for your buck.

Oval cut stones are another durable option if you have an active lifestyle. No hard or pointy edges means your stone is less likely to get snagged on anything.

One of the most recent notable recipients (and giver) of a 12ct oval cut diamond is Blake Lively, who tied the knot with Ryan Reynolds in 2012.

The Oval Cut Woman – Balanced, Easy-Going & Active

Pear Cut

For a delicate bride, look no further than the Pear-shaped diamond. Its unique teardrop shape is another cut that will slim the fingers and hands of the lucky lady that wears it. If you want a diamond known for its brilliance, Pear cut diamonds are an excellent choice. And if you’ve never tried on or considered a pear shape diamond, you could be missing out on stunning surprise!

Pear cut diamonds take an exceptional level of skill to cut correctly. Finding a perfectly cut pear diamond is extremely rare – and therefore more valuable. Even more impressive is matching pear shape diamonds for accent stones or earrings. Only approximately 4% of diamonds are pear cut.

The Pear Cut Woman – Delicate, Loyal & Inspirational

Heart Cut

There’s no greater way to show off your undying love than a heart shaped diamond. This style is a modified brilliant cut and features two identical halves. Heart cut diamonds start originally as a pear-shaped stone that end up being modified even further.

Because of their incredible intricacy, only the best gem cutter can create a heart shaped stone. It’s important to note that due to the complexity of the heart cut, these diamonds should be a minimum of 0.5 carats to showcase the beauty of the stone.

Heart shape diamonds are perfect for Ladies and Queens; Lady Gaga and her estimated 6-7ct heart shape diamond and Queen Elizabeth II and her Cullinan Diamond V weighing an estimated 18.8cts, just to name a couple.

The Heart Cut Woman – Quirky, Creative & Lovable

Diamond Educational Series

Click below to learn more

Cut

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

Color

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

Clarity

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

Carat

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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