Many people confuse cut with the shape of a diamond. The shape you select is a matter of individual taste, and today your choice is only limited by the skill and imagination of the craftsman.

Let's take a look to cover cut in detail to understand how it affects the price.

The cut is the most critical component of the 4C's, since the value of two diamonds with exactly the same carat weight could vary by up to 50% depending on the quality of cut. Just as fine cloth needs an expert tailor to create a quality garment, the diamond cutter controls the fire and brilliance of a diamond.

Cut of a diamond refers to how well a stone is cut and faceted to bring out the full beauty of the rough crystal. Good proportions, symmetry and polish affect the beauty of a diamond much more than perfect color or clarity.

The cutting grade is determined by the diamond cutter's effort to maximize the refraction of light during every stage of the fashioning process. Most brilliant-cut or fancy-shaped diamonds possess fifty-eight carefully angled flat surfaces, called facets, whose placement will affect the fire, brilliance and ultimate beauty of your diamond.

Proportion is the single most important factor, because it determines the flow of light more than other quality factors. Proportions that are too deep or too shallow both allow light to leak out the bottom and lessen the amount of light that strikes your eye.

Dimaond Cut

Because cut is so important, several grading methods have been developed to help consumers determine the cut of a particular diamond. In general, these grades are: Ideal, Premium, Very Good, Good, Fair & Poor Selecting the grade of cut is really a matter of preference. To make the best selection, you need to understand the various grades. Please note that the descriptions below are general guidelines.

This cut is intended to maximize brilliance. Ideal cut diamonds generally have smaller tables, complemented by a great deal of light dispersion, or fire. GIA's Excellent stones, as well as AGS 000 stones fall into this category. This category applies only to round diamonds and most valued.

Also intended to provide maximum brilliance and fire, premium cut diamonds can be generally found at slightly lower price points than Ideal cut diamonds.

These diamonds reflect most of the light that enters, creating a good deal of brilliance. With these diamonds, the cutters have chosen to stray slightly from the preferred diamond proportions in order to create a larger diamond.

Diamonds that reflect much of the light that enters them. Such stones result from the cutter's choice to create the largest possible diamond from the original rough crystal, rather than cutting extra weight off to create a smaller Premium quality diamond. Diamonds in this range offer an excellent cost-saving to customers who want to stay in a budget without sacrificing quality or beauty.

A diamond graded as fair or poor reflects only a small proportion of the light that enters it. Often these stones are bought and re-cut into Ideal or Premium cuts, such that a more brilliant stone is produced by sacrificing some weight.

With all the attention given to the 4C's of diamond grading and evaluation (cut, color, clarity and carat weight), the cut is actually the single greatest factor in the beauty. Color, shape, clarity and carat weight determine the rarity and value of a diamond, but the cut determines its beauty. Without any cutting, bruting, faceting or polishing, a rough diamond might very well go unnoticed in a pile of rocks. It is the diamond's unique combination of durability, rarity and potential beauty that makes it so valuable.

Read about other C's