Education Diamond Cut

When you are looking at buying a diamond you generally start to look at the clarity, the color, and the carat value.  These all have a large impact on beauty (and value) of the stone, but new diamond buyers often forget about the cut of the diamond.

The cut can make a huge difference to the look of the diamond. But the diamond cut is not its shape, but the way the diamond is crafted to accentuate the inner fire and reflective glint that comes from it.

That glitter of light you see shimmering from a diamond ring when it captures the sun – it’s all down to the cut.

Despite the cut of a diamond being an often overlooked factor, it does have one of the largest quality impacts on the diamond.  A good cut will have a far superior sparkle and shine, while a poor cut diamond can be disappointingly dull, with little reflection.

But how can you tell the difference, what makes a diamond cut ‘perfect’ and what impact does it really have on the diamond you want to buy? Read on below to have all these questions answered, and more!

What Makes the Perfect Diamond Cut?

The perfect diamond cut is one that balances depth and symmetry with a large number of facets.  A larger number of facets vastly improves the brilliance of the diamond, whilst the depth and symmetry both help improve the intensity and luminance of the stone.

These factors often come together spectacularly in the brilliant round cut.  This is one of the most common modern diamond shapes, and gives off a beautiful sparkling refraction of light thanks to over 58 facets in its base design. While the round cut is one of the best cuts, sit is also very common, some people prefer to choose a cut with slightly less brilliance that looks a little more unique.

When you are looking at diamond cuts you will start to see some basic terminology very regularly.

  • Table Size
  • Crown Angle and Height
  • Pavilion Angle and Depth
  • Depth

The Crown and Pavilion refer to the ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ of the diamond, and the diameter of girdle shows you the width of the stone.  The table refers to the flat surface at the top of the stone.

These figures give you the shape of the diamond, and you can compare these figures with the figures of various international cuts to see the quality of the diamond you are looking at.

How Do You Tell the Difference?

Judging the quality of a diamond cut by eyesight alone can be difficult for someone who hasn’t spent decades studying the craft.  Judging the proportions and the symmetry is a daunting task. Fortunately there are some simple stats you can look at to check on the quality, without having to judge from looks alone.


The easiest way to judge the cut of a diamond is to look at the grade. Grades range from ‘Poor’ to ‘Ideal’. Ideal being the perfect proportioned and faceted diamond (Only round diamonds can reach an ‘Ideal’ grade.  Generally you want to buy a diamond that is graded at either ‘Premium’ or ‘Ideal’ quality. When you start to look at Diamonds of Grade ‘Very Good’ or lower, you will begin to find diamonds that sacrifice perfect proportions for slightly larger diamond weight.


Symmetry is the most important factor in judging the quality of the cut, this is normally judged verbally, and ideally you are looking for an ‘excellent’ quality. After grades, the symmetry of the diamond is the best way to find how much inner fire the diamond will have.

Due to modern diamond cutting techniques, it is surprisingly rare to find a diamond with a low quality cut even in cheap diamonds. You should always check this though, as a lower level of symmetry could leave you disappointed.

But what impact does the cut have on the diamond?

It’s hard to describe the difference sometimes, but if you have been looking at a few diamonds, you have probably noticed that some just seem to sparkle a little more than others.  Some seem to have an inner source of light, and some entrance you.

The cut of the diamond is more important that you would expect, for hundreds of years master jewelers have honed and crafted different cuts to affect the way light travels and reflects through the diamond for maximum effect. 

While some of the technical specifications might seem a little overwhelming, they could be telling you whether it is a lifeless dud, or a vibrant, shimmering diamond!

Fortunately, you don’t need to calculate any of this, just look for the ‘ideal’ cut, and you will have  a diamond ranked by the masters!

What if the really high ideal quality cut diamonds are out of my price range?

We would all love to have that heavy weight ideal quality diamond worth hundreds of thousands.  Sometimes looking at higher quality cut diamonds can seem a little daunting, but don’t despair.  There are some surprisingly cheap ideal cut diamonds available, that can give you the perfect look at a price you can afford.

If you are having trouble finding the diamond you want though, don’t despair. You can also choose a slightly lower quality cut to get the size and look you want, and often with only a small reduction in the quality of the reflections and sparkle!