Diamonds get their sparkle and brilliance from how many cuts are made within the diamond and how deep those cuts go. A diamond with deep and numerous cuts will often sparkle more than a shallow diamond with fewer cuts.
Light is reflected in the cuts and facets of the diamond. The more cuts there are, and the deeper the cuts go, the diamond will sparkle bigger and brighter. That’s why knowing the cut of the diamond, which is one of the four c’s of diamonds, is so important.
A diamond cut should not be confused with diamond shape. Terms like princess cut or round diamond cut refer only to the shape of the diamond, not how many cuts are in the diamond to make it sparkle, which is what we’re talking about today.
The Six Different Diamond Cut Grades
The American Gem Society (AGS) classifies diamond cuts by grade. The cut grade determines how brilliant the diamond will sparkle. A diamond cut with a high grade can also improve the clarity of the diamond.
The six grades of diamond cuts are ideal, excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor. It is imperative that the diamond cut is graded using the AGS scale. Otherwise, the grade may not accurately depict the true sparkle and brilliance of the diamond cut.
The AGS grading scale also uses a numerical 0 to 10 scale to grade diamond cuts, with 0 being ideal and 10 being poor.
AGS Ideal - 0
An ideal cut diamond is excellent in the industry. It is a brilliant cut diamond that has perfect sparkle and shine. An AGS ideal diamond can also cause the diamond to look larger because of the reflections and brilliance of the deep cuts in the diamond. Only an estimated 3% of diamonds are considered to have an AGS ideal grade.
AGS Excellent - 1
The AGS excellent grade is also considered excellent in the industry. If a diamond cut has a grade of AGS excellent, it will be considered excellent in the industry and will have brilliance and sparkle that is almost as perfect as AGS ideal.
AGS Very Good - 2
About 15% of diamonds are considered to have an AGS very good grade. If you want a diamond that will sparkle but won’t break your bank, an AGS very good cut is a great option.
AGS Good - 3, 4
About 1 in 4 diamonds have an AGS good cut grade. The cuts are not as many or as deep as very good or excellent in the industry, but they are abundant enough to make the diamond sparkle without losing too much brilliance.
AGS Fair - 5, 6, 7
A diamond with an AGS diamond cut grade of fair will slightly sparkle and shine. It will have very shallow cuts that don’t reflect light as much as diamonds that have a good grade or better. Many jewelers will avoid selling diamonds with a fair rating because they are less than the standard by which diamonds should be sold.
AGS Poor - 8, 9, 10
A diamond with an AGS poor rating will have the least amount of sparkle, shine, and brilliance. They will appear dull and have a glass-like appearance. The cuts will be very few and very shallow. This causes the diamond to look small and dull with very little brilliance.
Which Diamond Cut Should You Choose?
Carat, color, clarity, and cut all play a role in how much a diamond will cost. To know which diamond cut you should choose, you will need to determine how much money you want to spend.
Diamonds with an ideal, excellent, or very good cut will cost more than diamonds with a fair or poor cut. You can have a large, nearly flawless diamond with very few shallow cuts, and the diamond will look dull and small. These cuts cause light to reflect, making the diamond sparkle.
Without these cuts, the diamond won’t be as brilliant, which will affect how much the diamond will cost.
We recommend choosing a diamond in your budget with as high of a diamond cut grade as possible. This will cause your diamond to sparkle and shine with brilliance, even if it is small with flaws.
The most expensive diamond cut will have an ideal cut grade with a GIA excellent grade. The sparkle and shine won’t get any brighter than a GIA excellent cut diamond.
Which Diamond Shape Shows Off the Best Cut?
Princess cut, round cut, radiant cut, and emerald cut diamonds are the most popular diamond shapes, but which shape shows off the best cut?
Ideal round cut diamonds have 58 facets that reflect light to create sparkle. Round cut diamonds are often considered the best diamond shape to show off the diamond cut because of how deep the cuts can go and how many facets will reflect the light off one another to create a brilliant sparkle.
Other diamonds like princess cut, radiant cut, and emerald cut don’t have as many facets; therefore, the sparkle isn’t as brilliant as it often is with round cut diamonds.
If you want a diamond shape to show off the best diamond cut, you should choose a round cut diamond. A round cut has the most facets that can create the most brilliance. The cuts can run deep, which will cause the diamond to sparkle and shine.
How Does a Diamond Cut Make a Diamond Sparkle?
Three components work together to create the sparkle in a diamond. They are brilliance, fire, and scintillation.
- Brilliance refers to how much light is reflected within the diamond
- Fire is used to describe the colors of the rainbow that are dispersed from the light
- Scintillation is the contrast between the light and dark areas made from the cuts within the diamond
An ideal or excellent diamond cut will have the maximum amount of brilliance, fire, and scintillation. White light and the colors of the rainbow will be reflected and dispersed from the cuts in the diamond. Combining this with the contrast of dark and light areas in the diamond will give a diamond a brilliant sparkle.
Is Diamond Sparkle Important?
Diamond sparkle is important because it makes smaller diamonds with less clarity look bigger and brighter.
You’ll need to consider all of the 4 c’s of diamonds to help you choose the right diamond for you, which means you’ll need to ask yourself how important diamond sparkle is.
If diamond sparkle is the most important, you’ll need to prioritize the diamond cut over its clarity, color, and carat weight. This means choosing an ideal or excellent diamond cut.
If diamond sparkle isn’t as important as other factors, you can choose a diamond cut with a lower quality grade while prioritizing its carat weight, color, and clarity.
If you’re ready to choose a diamond, make sure you know its diamond cut grade. We recommend choosing a diamond cut quality that is good or better so that it doesn’t look dull or glassy. This will give your diamond the sparkle you deserve without breaking the bank.