Why does cut of a diamond matter?

Why does cut of a diamond matter?

When diamonds emerge from the earth, they are rough and unrefined. It takes numerous hours of cutting to turn a rough diamond into the beautiful stone as we know it.

The cut grade is our primary consideration when making our stone selections. The fire in a diamond is not ignited without proper cutting proportions. The cut shows brilliance, dispersion and scintillation. As she begins to gaze deep into the soul of this diamond something may be missing without it, no matter the size (Carat Weight) of the diamond or how colorless (Color) or how clear (Clarity) it may be.

To get a little more technical…only when comparing two diamonds of identical Cut grade should the individual components of Cut (such as girdle width, symmetry, polish, depth%, table%, and culet size) be used as further refinements or tie breakers. 

Be aware

…of diamond sellers who assign their own cut grades against the G I A grade. Many popular websites and retail stores display their own, making a more generous cut rating that can result in an inflated value.

Cut descriptions from a GIA Cut grade


Maximum fire and brilliance. Reflects nearly all of the light that enters the diamond, creating exceptional sparkle and life.

Very Good

Properly reflects most of the light that enters the diamond, producing superior fire and brilliance. Under normal lighting conditions, appears very similar to excellent cut, but for a lower price.


Reflects a majority of the light that enters the diamond, for an above average appearance. An excellent value compared to higher cut grades.


Allows much of the light entering the diamond to escape from the sides or bottom, reducing perceived fire and brilliance.


Allows most of the light entering the diamond to escape from the sides or bottom. The diamond may appear noticeably dull and lifeless, even to an untrained eye.

At Frederic Owen we want the fire in your stone to catch you and others off guard! Whether it’s your center stone or your accent side stones, we carefully select each stone to be of consistent quality and it all begins with the cut.

For more info please visit us at fredericowenfinejewelry.com & gia.edu

Mark O. Berman
G.I.A Graduate Jeweler Gemologist
G.I.A. Alumni 1995

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