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Diamond Cuts

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We focus on facts to ensure you have the information to make the right choices when buying diamonds. Sit back and watch our videos or read our articles to get the whole story. Our impartial advice will help you make the right decision, because Diamonds are Forever...

History of Diamond Cuts


Prior to the Middle Ages diamonds were worn rough, or cut and polished only on the upper surface. They were used to ornament temples, goblets, reliquaries and crowns. In 1458 Lodewyk (Louis) van Berquem of Brugge, Belgium is credited with creating the first brilliant diamond Cut. Diamonds then became popular as ornaments in jewelry and the different techniques and styles of diamond cuts were gradually developed. Click one of the following links for facts and information about each of the following diamond cuts:

Diamond Cutting

Ideal Cut Diamonds

Rose Cut Diamonds

Asscher Cut Diamond

Brilliant Cut Diamond

Cushion Cut Diamond

Emerald Cut Diamond

Heart Cut Diamond

Marquise Cut Diamond

Oval Cut Diamond

Pear Cut Diamond

Princess Cut Diamond

Radiant Cut Diamond

Round Cut Diamond

Trilliant Cut Diamond

Lapidary - Diamond Cutting
Lapidary is the name given to the art of cutting, shaping, polishing and creating jewelry from stones. The most appropriate of the diamond cuts is selected by the lapidary to enhance their lustre, transparency, refraction and dispersion of light. The Art of Diamond cutting is described in detail via the following link:

Diamond Cutting

Diamonds are Forever...
An Impartial Guide to Diamonds

What are the different Diamond Cuts?
What are the different diamond cuts? The names of the most popular diamond cuts are Asscher, Brilliant, Cushion, Emerald, Heart, Ideal, Marquise, Oval, Pear, Princess, Radiant, Rose, Round and Trilliant or Trillion Cut Diamonds what shape are they? What are the Fancy Cut diamonds? What are Step cut or Table cut Diamonds? The following table is a quick guide to diamond Cuts.

Shape - Styles & Names of Cuts

Round - Brilliant, Eight Cut or Single Cut, Old Cut, Swiss Cut, Rose Cut, Round

Square / Rectangle - Asscher, Emerald, Princess, Radiant, Cushion Cuts

Oblong - Oval, Pear, Princess Cut

Triangular - Trillion (aka Trilliant, Trielle)

Fancy Cuts

Emerald, Marquise ( Navette ), Heart, Oval, Pear, Baguette, Teardrop,
Trillion and Princess Cuts

Step Cuts

Asscher, Marquise, Emerald and Oval Cuts

Step Cut Diamonds - Square, Oblong or Rectangle Shaped Diamonds
Many Square, Oblong or rectangular diamonds are 'Step cut' or 'Table cut' which the cutting style is often used in Marquise, Emerald and Oval cut diamonds. The facets on a 'Step cut' are cut in steps.  The crown, pavilion, and the table are all cut in rectangular facets. These diamonds are bright, clear and shiny in appearance as its facets usually span the length or width of the stone, the facets gradually decreasing as they approach the table.

Facets produce the sparkle
Facets are the smooth surface areas of a stone which have been cut, polished and positioned at different angles which allow light to enter and reflect back from diamonds. The depth and width and the uniformity of the facets control the brilliance and the durability of diamonds. The quality of the facets are the major determining factor in enhancing the diamond's ability to sparkle or reflect light and facets play a large part in the resulting brilliance of the stone.

Diamond Facets

Fancy Cut Diamonds
Fancy cut diamonds and other stones include the  Emerald, Marquise, Heart, Oval, Pear and Princess. Fancy cuts are all ways of cutting diamonds or other stones to maximize the carat weight. Rough diamonds which might only yield a half carat whereas in a Brilliant Cut the same stone might yield another 50% if cut into one of the above shapes. Fancy cuts allow the cutter to use the best attributes of rough diamonds and eliminate inclusions and blemishes. Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (French for a small rod), "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat), "Princess Cut" aka Square Brilliant Cut, "Heart", "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut), Pear (teardrop), and the Trillion which is triangular in shape.

Good Diamond Cuts and Common Problems
What constitutes good diamond cuts? Good diamond cuts are effected by several different elements:

  • The Width and Depth of the stone have a large impact on a diamond's brilliance
  • Shallow Cuts appear lifeless as the light travelling through the stone is lost out of the bottom of the diamond
  • Diamonds which are cut too deep appear lifeless as the light travelling through the stone is lost out of the sides of the diamond
  • Diamond Symmetry refers to the alignment of a diamond's facets which should be cut to achieve the best play of light
  • Diamond Polish - the surface of the facets should be smoothly polished to enable light to pass through them
  • A misaligned, broken, chipped or missing culet is a common problem as are misaligned or extra facets

Diamond Inclusions and Clarity
Diamond Clarity is one of the 4 C s of diamond grading (Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight)  and is a measure of a diamond's blemishes and internal flaws and impurities ( called inclusions ) which effect the brilliance of a diamond and its sparkle because they interfere with the passage of light travelling through the diamond. Diamonds are graded for clarity on a scale ranging from flawless to imperfect. For detailed facts and information about inclusions and the 4 C's please click one of the following links:

The 4 C's to Diamonds

Diamond Clarity

Diamond Color

Diamond Cut

Carat Weight

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