Cut is the only one of the four Cs that is not naturally created when the diamond is formed in the earth. The cut gives the diamond its shape and brilliance, as the angles and facets cut into the stone dictate the diamond's shine and return of light.
A diamond will only ever be cut by master skilled craftsmen who have years of training and experience. The craftsmen also polish tiny facets into the rough stone to create different aspects of a cut diamond, such as the crown, table, girdle and pavilion.
A selection of the most popular cuts are:
- Round brilliant cut (or brilliant full cut) - this is the most popular cut for diamonds and has been specially created to produce exceptional brilliance.
The shape resembles that of a cone and provides maximised light return through the top of the diamond.
This cut has at least 32 facets, plus the table on the upper part, and 24 facets on the lower part, giving the best light refraction and sparkle to a diamond.
- The princess cut diamond is a very popular shaped diamond and gives exceptional brilliance.
The top of a princess cut diamond is square with pointed corners, while its overall shape is a pyramid.
Princess cut diamond engagement rings are a contemporary alternative to the classic round brilliant diamond engagement ring.
- The marquise cut maximises the diamond's carat weight and has a brilliant cut. Marquise diamonds work beautifully as a central stone in a diamond engagement ring or as an accent stone in diamond jewellery.
- The eight cut is normally for diamonds that are too small for a full cut. This cut has 8 facets on the upper and lower parts, as well as a table on the upper.
- An emerald cut diamond has a rectangular top with cropped corners and is cut to accentuate a diamond's lustre. This style of cutting was originally used for the cutting of emeralds, but is equally effective with other gemstones, including diamonds.
- The oval cut is a modern version of the traditional round brilliant cut. Oval is a relatively new diamond shape and a very popular cut. It has numerous facets in both upper and lower parts and is normally a very brilliant cut. Its face shape is always oval.
There are many different types of cuts available. These include:
- Square cut
- Baguette cut (long rectangle)
- Octagon cut
- French cut (base and table square, triangular facets)
- Pear cut or pear-shaped
- Briolette cut (pear-shaped with crossed faceted bands).