The Art of Diamond Cutting: How Shapes Affect Sparkle and Value

the art of diamond cutting

The appearance of rough diamonds is nothing special as they only resemble typical gray stones. However, when these unremarkable-looking stones are cut into the shapes we are used to seeing in diamond jewelry, by the process of diamond cutting, the transformation is rather astonishing, thanks to diamond cutters and polishers.

Diamond cut is different from the diamond shape. Diamond cut refers to the symmetry of a diamond’s facets, the dimensions of its angles, and many other factors. On the other hand, diamond shape refers to the exterior form of a diamond, which might be round, oval, cushion-shaped, or heart-shaped.

The Cutting is one part in the process of creating an exceptionally beautiful finished diamond. The Four C’s refer to the other components that make up the grading of a diamond – the colour, the cut, the clarity and the carat weight.

rough and brilliant cut diamond
Rough and Cut Diamond – Source: DepositPhotos

Why Is a Diamond’s Cut Crucial?

A diamond’s cut significantly impacts its overall beauty and value, making it one of the most crucial variables to consider when making a purchase.

The durability of a diamond is also influenced by its cut. A well-cut diamond will have sturdy facets that will aid in preventing damage to the stone. Because of its weak and ill-secured characteristics, a poorly-cut diamond is more prone to cracks and chips. This is despite it being the hardest mineral known, measuring 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.

The cut of a diamond has an impact on its value as well. Generally speaking, a well-cut diamond in a popular shape will be worth more than a poorly-cut diamond in the same shape. It is because a well-cut diamond will be more beautiful to the eye and durable, making it a more enticing investment.

In summary, a diamond’s cut is crucial since it significantly influences the stone’s overall beauty and worth. A diamond that has been properly cut will be more shiny, sparkling, durable, and valuable. Along with the diamond’s shape, clarity, and carat weight, the diamond’s cut is an essential factor to consider when purchasing one.

Diamond Cutting

The Most Common Diamond Cuts Used in Fine Diamond Jewelry

brilliant cut diamond
Brilliant Cut Diamond – Source: DepositPhotos

More than 70% of diamonds are cut into round shapes (brilliant round cut). All diamonds in pavé settings use brilliant cut diamonds. We refer to all additional cuts (shapes) as “fancy cuts.”

Fancy cuts include:

  • The baguette (which resembles a French loaf of bread).
  • The marquise.
  • The princess (square).
  • The briolette (rose cut).
  • The pear cut.

Today, the diamond cutting sector is being exposed to fresher cuts. Among these are the “cushion,” “radiant,” and “Asscher” cuts, which resemble princess cuts but have rounded corners (square emerald cut). These cuts frequently benefit from improvements in diamond-cutting technology, which allow diamonds to have more facets cut into them, enhancing the sparkle and brightness of the stone.

You might come across allusions to “fancy colored” diamonds as an aside. These are diamonds of any color other than the usual white or clear diamond.

gemstone and diamond cuts
Gemstone and Diamond Cuts. Source: DepositPhotos

What Are the Procedures for Cutting a Diamond?

Diamond cutting requires a multi-step procedure to make a rough diamond into a brilliant jewel. The process demands a thorough understanding of a diamond’s mathematics, geometry, and characteristics, making it both an art and a science.

As diamonds are such uniformly hard gemstones – measuring 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale – diamond cutters don’t need to take this into account and vary their cutting as much as they do with other, softer and more vulnerable gemstones.

Planning and Marking

Planning the basic shape of the diamond is the first step in the diamond cutting process. The cutter will establish the ideal proportions of the diamond using mathematical methods and the diamond’s natural crystal structure. The cutter will mark the diamond with the cutting plan once the rough shape has been established.


Cleaving is fracturing the diamond at its inherent weak points, which is the next step. It is done using a cleaver, a specialized saw, or a diamond blade. Cleaving is done to produce a rough diamond that is as close to the intended shape as possible.


The third step, bruiting, involves sculpting the diamond and forming its unpolished facets. It is accomplished with a bruiting wheel, a unique type of grinding wheel. The cutter must follow the ideal dimensions and symmetry of the diamond to make the facets with exact measurements and angles.


After the rough facets of the diamond are made, polishing comes next. The facets of the diamond are polished and smoothed throughout this process. A polishing wheel covered in a fine abrasive powder is used for this. The cutter must combine expertise and accuracy to give each of the facets a smooth and shining surface. 

Final Inspection and Grading

The diamond will be meticulously examined by the cutter for flaws or imperfections, and its quality will be assessed using a defined diamond grading system. After that, the diamond will be verified and offered for sale.

brilliant cut diamond ring
Brilliant Cut Diamond Ring Source: Depositphotos

How To Choose the Shape of a Diamond?

Choosing the shape of a diamond from a rough diamond can be tricky since it necessitates a thorough knowledge of the diamond’s intrinsic qualities and the properties of light. With the correct information and strategy, you may choose the optimal shape for the raw diamond that will highlight its most incredible beauty and worth.

Think about the diamond’s inherent shape first. The ideal form for the finished diamond will be determined by the natural shape of the raw diamond, which will reveal the crystal structure of the diamond. For instance, an octahedral-shaped raw diamond will usually be cut into a round or cushion form.

Next, think about the inclusions in the diamond. Natural flaws called inclusions are present inside diamonds and can change how the stone appears. The ideal form for the completed diamond can be determined partly by the number and size of inclusions. For instance, a round shape could be the perfect choice if imperfections are found in the corners of the raw diamond because it will conceal the inclusions.

Think about the diamond’s clarity and color as well. The overall appearance and value of the diamond will depend on its color and clarity. The completed diamond’s form should be chosen to reduce the prominence of any color or clarity flaws.

Lastly, think about the diamond’s weight. The size and price of the finished diamond will depend on the weight of the rough diamond. The cutter must strike a balance between weight, symmetry, and proportion to highlight the diamond’s inherent beauty and increase its brightness.

In Summary

To sum up, selecting the shape of a diamond from a rough diamond is a challenging operation that necessitates a thorough comprehension of the natural qualities of the diamond and the properties of light. It takes many years to become an expert in this intricate art of diamond cutting. The final diamond form should be determined by the natural shape, inclusions, color, and clarity of the stone, as well as its weight. The cutter should work to enhance the diamond’s beauty and value.

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