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Diamonds | The 4 C's of Diamonds - Cut

Diamond Cut Quality

The way a diamond is cut is mostly dependant upon the original shape of the rough stone. The cut gives the diamond it's brilliance and fire (how well it sparkles); don't confuse a diamond's "cut" with its "shape". Shape refers only to the outward appearance of the diamond, and not how it is faceted.

The Importance of Cut Quality

When a diamond has a high quality cut (ideal cut), incident light will enter the stone through the table and crown, traveling toward the pavilion where it reflects from one side to the other before bouncing back out of the diamond's table toward the observer's eye. This is referred to as "light return", which affects a diamond's brightness, brilliance, and dispersion. Any light-leakage caused by poor symmetry and/or cut proportions (off-make) will adversely affect the quality of light return.

Deep Diamond Cut Ideal Diamond Cut Shallow Diamond Cut
Deep Diamond Cut Ideal Diamond Cut Shallow Diamond Cut

In shallow and deep cuts, when the light reaches the pavilion facets, it leaks out from the sides or bottom of the diamond rather than reflecting back. When less light is reflected back to the eye, it means it has less "Brilliance".

Names of Grades

There is no universal measurement for cut gradings, however the terms that the GIA uses are the most commonly cited. The GIA uses the word "excellent" to describe the highest quality cut diamond, followed by very good, good, fair, and poor. The AGS uses a system very similar to the GIA, but has "ideal" as its highest grade, followed by "excellent" and the rest of the GIA-named grades.


Round brilliant diamonds are mathematically best when cut with 58 separate flat surfaces. These are known as facets. The Facets are placed at precise angles in order to best reflect and refract light through the diamond.


The Diamond Cut


Fancy Diamond Cuts (Shapes)

The shape of the cut is a matter of personal taste and preference. However, the quality of the cutter's execution of that shape is of primary importance. The shape of the diamond cut is heavily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone. The round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron, as two stones could be cut from one crystal. Asymmetrical raw crystals such as macles are usually cut in a "Fancy" style. Several basic diamond shapes are shown below.

Diamond Baguette Diamond Emerald Trillion Diamond Pear Diamond Marquise Diamond
Baguette Emerald Trillion Pear Marquise
Princess Diamond Radiant Diamond Oval Diamond Round Diamond Heart Diamond
Princess Radiant Oval Round Heart

Adamas Goldsmiths has access to almost any cut or shape of diamond. If you have any questions, or are interested in a fancy shape diamond, please call us at (780) 434-9479.


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