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Diamond Cuts: What They Are & How They’re Graded

A diamond cut is a key factor to consider when choosing your next piece of diamond jewelry. The cut can greatly affect the look of a diamond, and different cuts are suited for different occasions. Our guide details exactly what is meant by a diamond cut, the differences between cut and shape, and how a cut is used to grade these precious gemstones.

The Meaning of Diamond Cuts

A diamond cut refers to the way in which a diamond is polished. The cut helps to create symmetry and proportion within a stone. This means the facets or sides of the diamond. These can impact the way light bounces through diamond jewelry.

The polish of a diamond refers to how smooth its surface is, if a stone is polished poorly it can lead to the surface being dull which will impact the light it can reflect. Whilst the symmetry of the gem describes how each facet aligns with one another - if not optimal light may enter and leave the diamond at the wrong points.

The Difference Between Diamond Cuts & Diamond Shapes

Whilst the diamond cut refers to the angles and facets in the gemstone, the diamond shape refers to the outline of the stone. A traditional diamond shape is the round shape, this has a circle outline but can be cut in a number of ways.

2 Types of Diamond Cuts

Each type of diamond cut denotes how many facets and in which design a diamond is polished.

Brilliant Cut

A brilliant cut can be used on both diamonds and other gemstones. Brilliant cuts resemble cone shapes and consist of 58 facets. This is one of the most popular types of diamond cuts and is traditionally used in engagement rings, but can look stunning in promise rings and eternity rings too.

Fancy Cuts

Any type of diamond cut other than brilliant, falls under the category of fancy cut. These tend to be used when the rough diamond shape doesn't suit a round brilliant cut. These cuts are often influenced by what is in fashion at the time, and aren't quite as prescriptive as brilliant diamond cuts. There are four categories within fancy diamond cuts: rose cuts, step cuts, mixed cuts, and modified brilliants.

  • Rose Cuts - a rose diamond cut has a crown that is made of 12 or 24 facets. These were very popular from the 16th century onwards, however are not seen much in modern jewellery.
  • Step Cuts - these are diamond cuts seen on rectangle or square shaped stones. You'll often see these in emerald cut or asscher cut diamonds.
  • Mixed Cuts - Mixed cuts combine brilliant and step cuts. They take advantage of the beautiful lustre that brilliants emit, whilst preserving as much weight of the gem as possible.
  • Modified Brilliants - these are diamond cuts that began as a round brilliant and have been modified into different shapes. These shapes can range from pears to hearts.

Diamonds are traditionally used for rings, and each of these cuts will look beautiful set in gold jewelry or silver jewelry bands.

How Diamond Cuts are Graded

According to the Gemological Institute of America, diamond cuts can be graded on a scale of excellent to poor. There are seven elements that go into this grading:

  • Symmetry
  • Polish
  • Brightness
  • Weight Ratio
  • Durability
  • Fire
  • Scintillation

The grading is classified by the lowest of 5 of these elements (brightness, weight ratio, durability, fire, and scintillation). So if a diamond cut has a poor brightness but a very good weight ratio, its overall grading will be poor.

The 4 Cs of Diamonds

A diamond cut is one of the 4 Cs of diamonds. These characteristics are what makes each diamond beautiful in its own way and are also used to value each individual stone.

When choosing the perfect diamond gifts you'll want to take into account each of these 4 Cs to ensure you find the right stone for your loved one.

Monica Vinader Ethical Diamonds

Aside from the diamond cut, another key factor in selecting your next dazzling gemstone is to ensure it is ethical. Ethical diamonds are those that are mined in safe working conditions with workers paid fairly. We only use ethical diamonds in our jewelry and abide by the Kimberley Process.

Monica Vinader's Contemporary Jewelry

We create beautiful modern jewelry from ethical gemstones and sustainable metals. Our range of gorgeous bracelets, engraved jewelry, and stacking rings will help elevate all of your ensembles.

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