Diamonds are renowned for their ability to transmit light and sparkle intensely. We often think of a diamond's cut as shape (round, heart, oval, marquise, pear), but what diamond cut actually does mean how well a diamond's facets interact with light. Precise artistry and workmanship are required to fashion a stone so its proportions, symmetry and polish deliver the magnificent return of light only possible in a diamond.

Achieving the best cut for a diamond reflects in the stone's final beauty and value. And of all the diamond 4Cs, it is the most complex and technically difficult to analyze. To determine the cut grade of the standard round brilliant diamond – the shape that dominates the majority of diamond jewelry – we calculates the proportions of those facets that influence the diamond’s face-up appearance. These proportions allow  us to evaluate what the best cut for a diamond is, by studying how successfully a diamond interacts with light to create desirable visual effects, such as:

  • Brightness

    Internal and external white light reflected from a diamond
  • Fire

    The scattering of white light into all the colors of the rainbow
  • Scintillation

    The amount of sparkle a diamond produces, and the pattern of light and dark areas caused by reflections


The distance from the bottom of the girdle to the culet is the pavilion depth. A pavilion depth that's too shallow or too deep will allow light to escape from the side of the stone or leak out of the bottom. A well-cut diamond will direct more light through the crown.

  • too deep

  • ideal

  • too shallow

  • Perfect for classic looks, the round brilliant diamond cut has been carefully engineered to produce the most sparkle. With a well-cut round diamond, the brilliance and dispersion will impress in any engagement ring.

  • Other than an eye-catching shape, pear-shaped diamonds have some great advantages over traditional round-cut diamonds. Because of their elongated shape, pear cuts look larger than a round diamond. But it's not just appearance, they're actually 8% larger on their top surface!

  • The princess cut is one of the most brilliant diamond shapes. Although princess cuts have a slightly smaller face-up size, their long diagonal measurement makes them seem larger. The most popular of the fancy shapes, princess cuts look great in any setting!

  • Oval-cut diamonds still have most of the brilliance of rounds, but their elongated shape has a lengthening effect on the finger. They're also a popular choice for East-West settings.

  • Instead of the usual brilliance and fire, emerald cuts are step cuts with a different kind of sparkle. These diamonds reflect light in a beautiful and subtle “hall of mirrors” effect. Because of their elongated shape, emerald-cut diamonds have a slimming effect on the finger. They're also a great choice for an understated East-West ring.

  • Cushion-cut diamonds show excellent fire! The angles in this cut are made for those flashes of colored light. Although one of the oldest diamond cuts, the cushion cut has seen a recent resurgence in popularity.

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