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Cut | Color | Clarity | Carat Weight | Certification | Care | About Diamond Cutting | History | Q & A

Many gemologists consider the cut of a diamond to be its most important characteristic. The cut determines how light is reflected within the diamond and how brilliant it will be. In other words, a diamond with a poor cut will appear dull, even if it has the perfect color and clarity.

The first important factor of a diamond's cut is the width and depth. If a diamond is too deep, light escapes out the sides, causing the diamond to appear dark and dull.

Another important factor of the diamond's cut is its proportions, which determine how well light will reflect and refract within the diamond. The proportions are measured by the depth compared to the diameter, and the diameter of the table compared to the diameter of the diamond.

To find out more about diamond cutting, play our movie The Souls of New York

Also check the GIA Cut Estimator


The width of the diamond as measured through the girdle.


The largest facet of a gemstone.


The top portion of a diamond extending from the girdle to the table.


The narrow band around the widest part of a diamond.


The bottom portion of a diamond, extending from the girdle to the culet.


The facet at the tip of a gemstone. The preferred culet is not visible with the unaided eye (graded "small" or "none").


The height of a gemstone measured from the culet to the table.

Cut Diagram

Two important aspects of the cutting process, which are graded for every diamond, are polish and symmetry. The polish grade describes the smoothness of the diamond's facets, and the symmetry grade refers to the alignment of the facets. A poorly polished diamond results in a blurred or dull sparkle. Poor symmetry causes light to be misdirected as it enters and exits the diamond. The polish and symmetry grades are clearly listed in each diamond detail page and within the GIA or EGL diamond grading report.

For the most beautiful diamond, look for a symmetry grade of:
Ideal (ID)
Excellent (EX)
Very Good (VG)
Good (G)

Avoid diamonds with symmetry grades of:
Fair (F)
Poor (P)

The Grading of a Diamond's Cut
Ideal Cut:

An exquisite and rare diamond. Represents the top 3% of diamond quality. Reflects nearly all light that enters the diamond. Considered the most expensive cut.

Very Good Cut:

A high quality diamond. Represents the top 15% of diamond quality. Reflects nearly as much light as the ideal cut, but for a lower price.

Good Cut:

A quality diamond. Represents roughly the top 25% of diamond quality. Reflects most light that enters, less expensive than a very good cut.

Fair cut:

Still considered a quality diamond. Represents roughly the top 35% of diamond quality. A fair cut will not be as brilliant as a good cut.

Poor cut:

All diamonds below the standards of a fair cut. The cut is deep and narrow or shallow and wide, resulting in a dull appearance. Diamond Cutters does not carry 'Poor Cut' diamonds.

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