4 C's of Diamonds: Cut

Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat -- everyone knows these are the 4 C's of diamonds. In this blog, we are going to take a closer look at one of those C's to help you become a diamond expert!

Diamond cut doesn’t refer to the shape of the diamond (round, princess, cushion, etc.) but rather the polish, symmetry, and proportioning of the diamond. The diamond’s polish refers to the smoothness of its facets. Poor polish can create a dulled and blurred look. Often, a poor polish diamond will have grain lines visibly running across facets. Symmetry and proportioning refer to the alignments of the facets.  Poor symmetry can lead to light being misdirected as it enters or exits a diamond, which will lower the quality of light being reflected.

Cut is possibly the most important of the 4 C’s, as it plays the biggest role in determining a diamond’s sparkle and brilliance. Even a high quality diamond can appear less radiant if it is cut improperly. If a diamond is cut poorly, light will trickle out of the bottom or seep out the sides of the diamond instead of sparkling out of the top (often referred to as the table).

    A higher quality cut will create the most attractive balance between brilliance, fire, and scintillation, the three types of light reflection. Brilliance refers to the white light that is being reflected from the diamond and exiting through the table. Fire, or dispersion, refers to the color rainbow that is being reflected and appears as a flash of eye catching color. Lastly, scintillation is the sparkle of the diamond seen when in motion.

      The cut of the diamond is one of the most difficult aspects for a consumer to judge. However, there are grading and certifications available for diamond cut. The GIA (Gemological Institute of America), a well-respected laboratory known for grading diamonds, based their grading system on a comprehensive study with 70,000 observations of 2,000 diamonds. Their grading scale uses simple terms: “Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor”. See the table below for more information about diamond grading.


      These diamonds have the best proportion and polish, creating exquisite quality and a desirable combination of brilliance, fire, and scintillation. These diamonds reflect the majority of light that enters it and fall within the top 3% of diamond cut quality.

      Very Good

      Exceptional cut that reflects much of the light that enters the diamond.


      Quality cut that that enhances the size without forgoing excellence or attractiveness.


      Satisfactory cut that reflects some light while making the most of the weight of the diamond. Not as brilliant as previous cuts, still a quality diamond.


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