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Cut is the factor that fuels a diamond's fire, sparkle and brilliance. The traditional 58 facets in a round brilliant diamond, each precisely cut and defined, are as small as two millimeters in diameter. But without this precision, a diamond wouldn't be half as beautiful. The allure of a particular diamond depends more on cut than on anything else.

Though extremely difficult to analyze or quantify, the cut of any diamond has three attributes:

  • Brilliance - the total light reflected from a diamond.
  • Fire - the dispersion of light into the colors of the spectrum.
  • Scintillation - the flashes of light, or sparkle, when a diamond is moved.

As a value factor though, cut refers to a diamond's proportions, symmetry and polish.

Diamond Cut by Depth

A Diamond Cut by Depth is the ultimate feature for its brilliance and fire.

Shallow Cut: Shallow Cut will allow light loss through a diamond's bottom causing it to appear dull.

Ideal Cut: Ideal Cut is considered as the best cut and it will reflect most or all of the light that enters in the diamond back to the eyes.

Deep Cut: Deep Cut will allow light to be lost through a diamond's sides causing it to appear dark.

The cut grade of the diamond goes beyond simple measurements of width and depth. The proportions of a diamond refer to the relationships between table size, crown angle and pavilion depth.

A wide range of proportion combinations are possible, and these ultimately affect the stone's interaction with light.

Diamond Anatomy

Diameter: Width of a diamond measured through the Girdle.

Table: Largest facet of a gemstone.

Crown: Top portion of a diamond extending from the Girdle to the Table.

Girdle: Intersection of the Crown and Pavilion which defines the perimeter of the diamond.

Pavilion: Bottom portion of a diamond, extending from the Girdle to the Culet.

Culet: Facet at the tip of a gemstone. The preferred Culet is not visible with an unaided eye (graded "none" or "small").

Symmetry & Polish

Polish and symmetry are two important aspects of the cutting process. The diamond polish expresses the smoothness of the diamond's facets whereas the symmetry refers to alignment of the facets. A poor diamond polish, or rough facets, can diminish a diamond's brilliance, as well as its value.

Cut Grades of a Diamond

Ideal/Excellent: Maximum fire and brilliance. Reflects nearly all of the light that enters the diamond, creating exceptional sparkle and life.

Very Good: Properly reflects most of the light that enters the diamond, producing superior fire and brilliance. Under normal lighting conditions, appears very similar to Excellent Cut, but for a lower price.

Good: Reflects a majority of the light that enters the diamond, for an above average appearance. An excellent value compared to higher cut grades.

Fair: Allows much of the light entering the diamond to escape from the sides or bottom, reducing perceived fire and brilliance.

Poor: Allows most of the light entering the diamond to escape from the sides or bottom. The diamond may appear noticeably dull and lifeless, even to an untrained eye.