When buying a diamond, most people automatically assume they’d want the highest cut quality possible. After all, it’s the cut that makes a diamond unique and sparkle. However, there’s more to a diamond’s cut than just its appearance. A diamond’s cut also impacts light performance and durability, both of which are important factors when shopping for an engagement ring or any other piece of jewelry with a center stone. A diamond’s cut can be graded as either good vs very good or poor. There isn’t one universal standard for grading a diamond’s cut, but most gemologists use the industry standards outlined by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) when inspecting these attributes.
What Is a Diamond Cut Grade?
A diamond’s cut grade is how well the diamond’s proportions, symmetry, polish, and finish were achieved. The better the cut, the more sparkle and durability a diamond has. The GIA cut grade scale is from Excellent to Poor, with other grading labs using their own unique scale.
Good Cut Diamond
A diamond with a good cut grade is well-proportioned, has a good polish and finish, and is a good choice for most diamond jewelry designs. A good-cut diamond has a good amount of brilliance and sparkle. If the diamond has a good cut grade, it’s generally the only grade that matters. A good-cut diamond is a great all-around choice that is reasonably priced.
Very Good Cut Diamond
A very good-cut diamond is a well-proportioned, symmetrical diamond that has good polish, a good finish, and is a good choice for most diamond jewelry designs. A very good cut diamond has a good amount of brilliance and sparkle and is a good choice for diamonds with lower clarity grades such as inclusions and color. A very good cut diamond can cost more than a good cut diamond since it’s essentially a better version of a good cut diamond. However, it’s still a great choice for a diamond ring.
Poor Cut Diamond
A poor-cut diamond is a diamond with poor proportions, bad symmetry, and an unattractive finish. A poor-cut diamond will have a lower amount of brilliance and sparkle compared to a well-cut diamond of the same carat weight, size, and clarity grade. A poor-cut diamond is usually a diamond with a lower clarity grade and inclusions. A poor-cut diamond is usually a diamond that’s unfortunate by nature. It may have a higher clarity grade, but it’s best to avoid diamonds with a poor cut grade if possible.
The Bottom Line
The cut of a diamond is the most important factor in grading its quality and value. The cut impacts a diamond’s durability, light performance, and sparkle. A good cut diamond will have a higher light performance and durability than a poor cut diamond of the same carat weight, size, and clarity grade.