Cut is widely considered to be the most important characteristic of a diamond. A well-cut diamond has a brilliant sparkle that comes from the center of the stone, while a poorly cut diamond can appear dull even if it has perfect color and clarity. The angles and finish of a diamond determine how it handles light and contribute to its overall brilliance.
When a diamond is cut well, light enters through the table (the flat surface at the top of the diamond) and travels to the pavilion (the lower part of the diamond). As the light reflects off the sides of the pavilion, it bounces back up through the table and out of the diamond, creating a bright and fiery effect. The width and depth of the diamond influence how light travels within the stone and how it is reflected back out as brilliance. If a diamond is cut too shallow, light can escape out the sides, causing the diamond to lose some of its brilliance. If it is cut too deep, light may escape out the bottom, making the diamond appear dark and dull.
Expert Tip #1: It can be difficult to distinguish between an Excellent cut and a Very Good cut diamond, as both produce similar patterns of light. For this reason, it is generally recommended to choose a diamond with an Excellent or Very Good cut. If you need to stick to a budget, a Good cut diamond can be a good value alternative without making major compromises. However, it is important to avoid diamonds that are cut too deeply, as they may appear smaller than their actual carat weight.
Ideal Cut: This represents the top 3% of diamond quality based on cut. It reflects almost all the light that enters the diamond and is a beautiful and rare cut.
Excellent Cut: This represents the top 15% of diamond quality based on cut. It reflects almost as much light as the ideal cut, but at a lower price.
Shallow Cut: This represents the top 35% of diamond quality based on cut. It is still a quality diamond, but it will not be as brilliant as a better cut.
Deep Cut: This refers to a diamond that is cut too deeply and narrowly, or too shallow and wide. These diamonds tend to lose most of the light out the sides and bottom, resulting in a less brilliant appearance.