copy of a symbol of success the birdies collection banner

A Guide to Diamond Cuts

Diamonds are precious gemstones that ranks number one as part of the ‘big four’, the four precious gemstones that make up a vast majority of the world’s fine jewelry, including rubies, sapphires and emeralds. Diamonds are rare, highly valuable and a solid investment. But much like different tastes in clothing or lifestyle choices, different people prefer different diamond cuts for their jewelry. There’s also more to diamond cuts than just preference as some may vary in value, size and brilliance. In this blog we will share everything you need to know about what makes a good diamond cut.

Anatomy of a Diamond

anatomy of a diamond
A diagram which shows the essential measurements that make up a faceted diamond.

Colorless diamonds as well as fancy colored diamonds, are graded according to the same factors which are the 4C’s, their color, cut, clarity and carat weight. When it comes to singling out a diamond’s value based solely on its cut, many factors come into play. For this we need to understand the anatomy of a diamond and its main components. These include measurements such as the table size, total depth, crown height and angle, pavilion depth and angle, girdle thickness and culet size.

The top part of a diamond is called the crown which lies between the table and the start of the girdle. Here the angle of the crown is an important measurement. This is followed by the middle portion known as the girdle. Thick girdles often lead to the diamond to be more brilliant and have more fire. However, it may also lead the top of the diamond to appear smaller so a balance of proportions is important. The lower part of the diamond beneath the girdle begins is the pavilion. It begins as the widest part of the diamond and ends at the narrowest point known as the culet. The culet is a fine point that is crucial to the appearance of the diamond to make it look more symmetrical as well as the most vulnerable part of the diamond. While it is okay for the culet to be virtually non-existent, it is not recommended for the diamond to have a large culet as it will impact its appearance negatively.

The Ideal Round Brilliant Cut Diamond

Round brilliant cut
The Round brilliant cut is one of the most common and popular diamonds cuts.

Round brilliant diamonds are by far the most commonly found cut in diamond and engagement jewelry. This cut is all about the right proportions so that it reflects light better, resulting in its signature brilliance and fire, maximizing its brightness and shine. Not only that, but the foundation for this cut is essential for other modified brilliant cuts, such as the oval brilliant diamond cut. 

It is important to sustain symmetry and so the culet needs to be pointed or not present. The girdle should be thin to slightly thick. The most important feature would be the table and depth ratios as these ensure that the diamond is not too deep or shallow. For the round brilliant cut, these should be between 54 to 57% for the table and 59 to approximately 62% for the depth.

The Ideal Oval Brilliant Cut Diamond 

Oval brilliant cut
Oval brilliant cut diamonds provide the same sparkle as round brilliant diamonds with an elongated shape. 

Oval cut diamonds are actually modified round brilliant diamonds that have a more elongated shape, and hence they possess a similar brilliance and fire to their round brilliant counterparts. Oval cut diamonds appear larger than a round brilliant diamond of the same carat size and looks more slender when worn which makes them a popular choice.

Like most elongated fancy shapes, the oval cut tends to display an effect known as the ‘bowtie’ effect wherein the diamond looks darker in the middle and forms the shape of a bow tie. While most diamonds have this effect to an extent, oval cut diamonds that have a less noticeable bow tie are considered more desirable. While there is no guaranteed method to reduce or remove the bowtie, some cutters are able to reduce it by cutting off some of the width or depth, at the cost of an imbalance ratio which may in turn affect other factors. The ideal table ratio for this cut is between 53 and 63% and depth ratio less than 63%.

The Ideal Pear Cut Diamond 

Pear cut diamond
Pear cut diamonds combine the beauty of round brilliant cut diamonds with the chiselled tip of marquise cut diamonds.

Pear cut diamonds are a combination of round brilliant and marquise diamond diamonds, a blend of a pointed tip and round end that forms a teardrop shape. This particular cut can hide inclusions exceptionally well, so this is a safe choice if you’re going for a pear diamond of a higher carat size. Ideally, the pear cut diamond should have excellent symmetry. The length to width ratio is a personal choice and can differ.  

The best pear cut diamonds have a table ratio of between 53 and 65% and a depth that’s less than 68%. Additionally, like most diamonds with pointed edges or corners, the color is more concentrated at the tip, so the best option would be to choose a pear diamond that has at least a G or H color grade.

The Ideal Cushion Cut Diamond 

Cushion cut diamond
Cushion cut diamonds are a popular choice for fancy colored diamonds.

Cushion cut diamonds are often a popular choice for fancy colored diamonds due to their ability to enhance the color with their brilliant fire. Cushion cut diamonds are larger in size but less expensive than their round brilliant counterparts, which makes them a desirable choice. The beauty of the cushion cut diamond lies in its soft, curved edges that accompany its square or rectangular shape. 

Look for symmetrical proportions that are at least labelled ‘very good’, and the same goes for the polish. Even proportions can have a very positive impact on the color and shine of this particular diamond. The ideal cushion diamond would have a table ratio that’s less than 68% and a depth between 61 to 68%.

The Ideal Emerald Cut Diamond

Emerald cut diamond
A type of step cut, the emerald cut brings out the beauty of high clarity diamonds.

Emerald cut diamonds combine an elongated shape with linear facets and chamfered edges to prevent fractures and snagging, making them a a safe as well as beautiful choice of cut. The Emerald cut is a kind of step cut, which usually requires a higher clarity to look good since the steps make the inclusions more obvious. 

Since this cut requires a higher clarity, naturally the color should also be lighter in order to conceal any hints of color. The better the color, the more beautiful an Emerald diamond will be. The ideal emerald cut diamond would have a table ratio of between 60 and 68% and a depth between 61 and 68%

The Ideal Radiant Cut Diamond

Radiant cut diamond
The radiant cut combines step cuts with brilliant facets.

Radiant cut diamonds are often a popular choice for fancy colored diamonds due to their ability to highlight the color of the diamond to its full potential. As the name suggests, this diamond offers more facets compared to step cuts, which adds to its brilliance. Not only that, this cut is also more affordable as there is less wastage in forming its facets. It lies somewhere between a cushion and princess cut diamond in appearance.

Look for symmetrical proportions at the corners as they should not be too small or too wide. Some radiant diamonds may have the bow tie effect, mostly in those that are more elongated and negligible if they have square proportions. The ideal radiant cut diamond would have a table ratio of between 61 and 69% and a depth less than 67%.

The Ideal Princess Cut Diamond

Princess cut diamond
Princess cut diamonds are a modern diamond cut with more facets and a square shape.

Princess cut diamonds are considered a modern diamond cut and a popular choice when it comes to engagement rings. The multiple facets of the Princess cut diamond lends brilliance and excellent fire to it. Like most diamonds with pointed edges or corners, the color is more concentrated at the tip, so the best option would be to choose a Princess diamond that has a lower color grade.

Since this cut has sharper corners, it is best to choose a set that would protect the corners so as to avoid snagging. Usually a prong setting does the job well. The ideal radiant cut diamond would have a table ratio of between 69 and 75% and a depth between 68 and 75%.

The Ideal Asscher Cut Diamond

Asscher diamond cut
The Asscher diamond cut is a specialized cut that gained popularity in the Roaring Twenties in Art Deco style jewelry.

The Asscher diamond cut is a specialized cut which is a combination of the emerald and princess style cutting. A kind of step cut similar to the emerald cut, it also requires a higher clarity to look good since the steps make the inclusions more obvious or highlighted.

Since this cut requires a higher clarity, naturally the color should also be higher color grade in order to conceal any hints of color. The ideal asscher cut diamond would have a table ratio of between 60 and 68% and a depth between 61 and 68% 

Diamond Cuts-Conclusion

Much like the pear cut diamond, heart shaped diamond, marquise cut and trillion cut diamonds also require a high level of symmetry to bring out the best of the diamond. Some cuts like the heart cut diamond are one of the rarest and most expensive diamond cuts due to the expert precision and skill required for faceting these diamonds. 

Marquise diamonds are also tricky since the table and depth ratios vary and it depends on how wide or elongated you’d want your marquise diamond to be. Trillion cut diamonds, though mostly used as accent stones, also require a great level of expertise to balance the diamond from all three directions, but are more forgiving when it comes to the level of color and clarity required to make the most of the cut.

While all diamond cuts have something to offer, it all comes down to personal preference and the pros and cons of each diamond shape in terms of value and all the other factors that make up the 4C’s. We have made all of the aforementioned diamond cuts available as part of our offerings from our colorless and fancy loose diamonds catalogue. We also offer customised services where you can pick a diamond of your liking and have us create personalized jewelry according to your requirements. For more details visit https://galtandbro.com/personalized-creations/