Diamonds 101 - Cut

Posted by Vijay Agarwal on

It you're thinking about buying a diamond bridal engagement ring, there are 4Cs of diamonds - Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat weight. In this post, we'll focus on Cut.

Cut describes the outline of the stone and pattern of the facet arrangement. A stone can be cut in various shapes, such as Round, Princess, Heart, Oval, Baguette, Emerald, Marquise or Pear. 

Round cut diamonds are the most popular, and they make up approximately 75% of all diamonds sold, and about 60% of all engagement rings.

Your diamond’s cut – how its facets and angles are cut and polished − affects its overall appearance – its “Wow” factor.

A beautifully finished (cut) diamond is dazzling; every facet displays the craftsman’s skill and care. When it interacts with light, each facet and angle affects the amount of light returned to the eye. This is what gives a diamond its face-up appearance and what makes it appealing – or not.

The GIA Cut Grading System applies to the most popular cutting style – the standard round brilliant – and all clarities across the D-to-Z color range. There are five cut grades: Excellent (EX), Very Good (VG), Good (G), Fair (F) and Poor (P).

A diamond with an Excellent cut grade is very bright. It shows an even pattern with good contrast between light and dark areas, so the reflections appear crisp and well-balanced. This tells you that the cutter made the best possible use of the rough.

The Good cut grade diamond isn’t quite as bright – reflections aren’t as sharp and there’s more darkness or dullness in the diamond.

The Poor cut grade diamond has much more prominent dark areas or dullness. Given the choice, most people would pick either of the first two diamonds instead of this stone.

If all else is equal, an Excellent cut grade pretty much guarantees an extremely attractive diamond. Diamonds in the Very Good and even Good cut grades are also beautiful; they only suffer by comparison with the very best stones.

 Established in 1931, GIA is the world’s foremost authority on diamonds, colored stones, and pearls. A public benefit, nonprofit institute, GIA is the leading source of knowledge, standards, and education in gems and jewelry.


diamond brilliance Diamond cut Diamond rings Engagement rings

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