Diamond cutting is an art

Diamonds are like people – no two are alike.

The diamond cutter must ‘listen to’ and ‘understand’ each rough stone. Otherwise, the craftsperson cannot crack the code and open the stone’s beauty.

The importance of the diamond cutter’s assessment of the stone cannot be overstated. The size must be optimally estimated in order to maximise the carat weight of the finished diamond.

At the same time, it is vital that the stone is cut in such a way that the finished diamond has maximum brilliance and intensity. A single cutting error of just a few thousandths of a millimetre can drastically reduce the quality of the finished diamond.

Learn more about Cut

Diamond cutting with perfect proportions

The cut, clarity, and the angle of the facets relative to one another are key factors for the quality of a diamond.

The light enters the diamond through the crown, is reflected from facet to facet in the pavilion and then back up through the crown, where it is broken down into a rainbow of spectral colours.

Diamond cut quality

The quality of the diamond’s cut is determined by how well the symmetry, polish, and proportions of the diamond produce the most attractive light refraction.

The GIA uses the following descriptions on their certificates to grade diamond cut: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.

The highest quality of a diamond's cut is "3 x Excellent".

Brilliant cut

The brilliant cut has been developed over centuries. The facets are divided between the ‘crown’ (the surface at the top of the stone), the ‘girdle’ (the thin ribbon around the widest part of the diamond) and the cone-shaped ‘pavilion’ (or the lower portion of the diamond).

The exact location of each facet is determined according to a carefully designed formula for maximising the diamond’s beauty.

Diamond cuts – the various shapes

Diamonds come in many different shapes. The round-cut diamond is the most commonly seen cut, but Fancy Cut diamonds are becoming more and more popular.

Fancy Cut

Fancy Cut diamonds cover all diamond cuts other than the classic round brilliant cut. A Fancy Cut diamond is typically 30% less costly than a round brilliant cut diamond with the same carat weight.

The different diamond cuts

Brilliant Cut


The original round brilliant cut is the most popular. The cut was developed by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. The modern round brilliant cut consists of 57 facets.

Oval Cut


Oval cut diamonds are related to the marquise cut and were introduced in the 1700s. The oval cut is one of the most popular Fancy Cut cuts.



Also known as the ‘navette cut’. The marquise shape’s name originates from a legend about Louis XIV, who was in search of a diamond cut in the shape of the mouth of his mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour.



Pear shaped diamonds are a hybrid between the marquise cut and the round brilliant cut.



The heart-shaped diamond is a teardrop-shaped diamond with a cleft at the top. This diamond shape is considered by many to be the most romantic cut of them all.



As the name suggests, the emerald cut was originally developed to cut emeralds – not diamonds.



The princess cut is a popular and more modern diamond shape. It is a relatively new diamond shape that was created in the 1960s.



The cushion cut is an age-old diamond shape. It is also known as the ‘pillow cut’ or ‘candlelight diamond’. A reference to the time when diamonds twinkled in the soft glow of candlelight.

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