Diamond Cut

Discover how a diamond’s cut determines its brilliance, fire, beauty and sparkle.

What Is Diamond Cut?

Cut describes the symmetry, balance, proportion and polish created by the diamond cutter, not the stone’s actual geometric shape. A diamond’s inherent beauty is determined directly by the expertise of its cut. Stones cut the most skilfully will refract and reflect the most amount of light. Diamond cutters have a special understanding of the ways in which light penetrates and radiates through diamonds. Cutters follow a special set of exact angles and proportions to maximise each diamond’s intrinsic brilliance and showcase its sparkle.

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Types of Light Reflection


Brilliance is the term used to describe the bright, white light we see reflected by a diamond. Light is diffused into a spectrum (rainbow colours) after penetrating the top of the gem (its ‘table’). The rays of light reflect back and forth within the stone’s interior, bouncing and ricocheting off the facets which act like mirrors. The light beams combine again when they shine through the table in a dazzling display of white light.


The play of light you see when a diamond moves is called 'scintillation'. This is the gemstone’s surface sparkling. Its ability to reflect and refract light in all directions determines diamond’s beauty and value.

Dispersion (Fire)

Dispersion refers to the spectrum (rainbow) we see reflected by diamonds. Light entering the top or table of a diamond breaks down into the spectral colours and bounces all around the stone’s internal space, off the facets. When this light exits from the crown, it remains separated and is seen as flashes of colour.

What Diamond Cut Grading Do We Recommend?

To maximise brilliance, we recommend a cut grading of Excellent or Super Ideal for round diamonds, and Very Good, Excellent or Super Ideal for fancy shapes (non-rounds)

What is the difference Between 'Excellent' & 'Super Ideal' Cut?

Both 'Excellent' and 'Super Ideal' represent outstanding diamond cut grades. Diamonds with these cut gradings are cut with the strictest tolerances so that the crown angle, table size and pavillion angle all work together to achieve maximum scintillation and brilliance. Selected from diamonds with Excellent cut gradings, Super Ideal cut diamonds have even tighter, more stringent requirements and tolerances necessary to achieve this grading. Although there is a slight premium for Super Ideal diamonds, Diamond Exchange believe they still represent fantastic value.

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