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Diamond Shape vs. Diamond Cut

Two of the most confusing terms when learning about diamond characteristics are diamond shapes and diamond cuts.

The terms "shape" and "cut" are frequently interchanged with one another and many first time buyers believe they both refer to the same thing. However, these two terms are very different and are both important to understand.

Diamond shapes are covered on the home page briefly and there are pages dedicated to each individual shape on the right. Each of these pages will describe the shape and give you the history of the shape as well as a few things to consider when purchasing the diamond shape you are looking for.

Diamond cut has been perfected over many years and refers to the proportion and symmetry of a diamond shape. This quality determines the diamond’s ability to return light to the viewer.

An ideal cut, which is the industry standard for a perfect cut, will be much more fiery and luminescent than a poorly cut diamond which may look dull and lifeless. The more symmetrical and proportionate the cut is, the more light that will be returned to the viewer, and the more brilliance it will display.

You generally want to avoid diamonds that have shallow cuts or deep cuts. With a shallow cut diamond, light is lost out of the bottom of the diamond. With a deep cut diamond, light escapes out of the edges of the diamond. An ideal cut diamond provides maximum reflection and sparkle.

With the modern technology available for cutting diamond shapes, more brilliant cuts are available with lest error and waste than just a hundred years ago. Lasers and computer aided design have brought and continue to bring radiance and consistency that were once thought impossible.

When shopping for diamonds, the ideal proportion of the diamond cut varies greatly from shape to shape. Most reputable diamond retailers know these proportion’s in and out and can assist you with your loose diamond search. However, as a cautious buyer you should always do your research ahead of time.

Each of our diamond shape articles features information on the ideal cut proportions for your selected shape. While diamond cut and diamond shape are both important factors when diamond shopping, make sure you also take time to learn about diamond colour, diamond clarity, and diamond carat size, the other three remaining diamond characteristics.

For detailed information on the basic parts of diamond cut such as table, crown, girdle, pavilion, culet, depth, facet, and symmetry, please visit our diamond anatomy page.