Diamonds 101: Introduction To Diamond Cut

When you hear diamond cut, your mind probably goes straight to what shape your diamond will look like – round, oval, heart, pear, etc.. But don’t be fooled; diamond cut is actually a completely different aspect of a diamond than shape!

Diamond cut refers to the proportions of the diamond that determine its fire, brilliance, and scintillation (Basically – How sparkly is it?). Diamond cut is a measurable factor and is critical in making sure you pick out the right stone.  The finer the cut, the better its fire, brilliance, and scintillation.

The proportions that need to be taken into account when analyzing the cut of a diamond are the table, width, and depth.


A diamond’s table is the flat face of a diamond that can be seen when the stone is face-up. The diamond table percentage in relation to the rest of the stone should not be too large, or else light won’t reflect well off of the various angles and facets in the crown.

With a higher table percentage, light will more easily escape out of the top of the diamond, which means you’ll lose the beautiful reflections of colors that you get with a smaller table percentage. If it’s too small, though, light will become trapped inside and not be emitted through the top where your eyes can appreciate it the most.


The width factors into determining how proportionate the diamond is. It also plays a role in determining the shape of the stone. These are signified by the length to width ratio, which is measured by dividing the length of the diamond by the width.


The depth percentage is the measurement of the height of the diamond. This is determined by dividing the depth (in milimeters) by width. A lower depth percentage makes a diamond of the same carat weight appear bigger, but if the depth percentage is too low, it can diminish how effectively the diamond reflects light.

Depending on how these three factors interact with each other, you will get a shallow, ideal, or deep cut. Shallow Cut

If the cut is too shallow, the light exits through the sides rather than out the top where you can see it. Even though shallow cuts appear bigger because of the larger table size, they are nowhere near as radiant as those with better cuts.

Deep Cut

A diamond that is cut too deep will appear smaller and have light that hits at a sharper angle and will reflect immediately and forced out the bottom of the diamond, creating a dull look.

Ideal Cut

Just as the name implies, an “ideal” cut is the best option for a diamond cut. The way these stones are cut will create the optimal environment for brilliance and fire to shine bright!

The cut of a diamond should not be compromised on – it really is the most important factor in getting the diamond to look like your dream stone. Certain cuts are meant to maximize brilliance (white light) over fire (rainbow color light), and vice versa.

Frederick’s #1 Source for Superior Diamond Jewelry

Let the experts at Gold Thumb Jewelry help you find a diamond cut that’s right for you. Since 1979, we have been the Frederick, MD, area’s premier source for quality engagement rings, diamond and gemstone jewelry, and custom jewelry design. Contact us today for a piece that will last a lifetime.

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