Skip to content Skip to footer

Everything you need to know about diamond cut grades

What is a diamond cut?

Diamond cut is often considered the most important of 4Cs when buying a round diamond because of its ability to eclipse other imperfections of the stone. Not to be confused with diamond shapes, a diamond cut refers to the technique used to cut a diamond, and more commonly, it refers to the cut grade that represents the quality of the face-up appearance of the finished stone.

The grading systems offer by industry authorities usually divide round brilliant diamonds into five cut grades, sometimes six. The final cut grade is often based on the individual grading of these seven factors: brightness, fire, scintillation, weight ratio, durability, polish and symmetry. The final cut grade is usually determined by the stone’s lowest grade for these grading factors.

Excellent (EX)

The best cut grade available in most cases, Excellent cut diamonds have maximum brilliance, fire and sparkles, because of that they also demand the heftiest price tag.

Very good (VG)

A Very Good cut diamond reflects the majority of the light that enters it. Sometimes these diamonds appear to have the same amount of sparkle and brilliance as Excellent Cut diamonds.

Good (G)

Good cut diamonds to some are the best bargain for their price and quality balance

Fair (F)

Fair cut diamonds have a little sparkle and are often used as decorative side stones

Poor (P)
Little to no sparkle or brilliance due to poor interaction with light. While an excellent cut can elevate a diamond with lower clarity or colour grading, a poor cut can discredit a diamond with excellent clarity and colour condition, and make it appears duller.

Do and don’t when choosing a diamond

  • Do have a general idea about the shape and the type of metal you want to go for before choosing the diamond.
  • Choose excellent/ideal diamonds only for maximum brilliance
  • Give more importance to the symmetry and polish grades on the report
  • Don’t compromise cut quality for carat, or anything else
  • If you want a bigger-looking stone, you may want to go for fancy-shaped diamonds, such as maquise cut or oval cut, these shapes have a bigger face-up area that makes them appear bigger to the naked eye than a round diamond of the same carat. The drawback, however, is that any imperfections are more visible and some cuts are more vulnerable to daily wear. Also, note that fancy-shaped diamonds do not come with a cut grade.

Photo by Edgar Soto on Unsplash