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Why Diamond Cut Matters Most

Choose the right diamond cut, and the rest will take care of itself.

3 different diamond cuts

The 4 C’s: Cut, Clarity, Color, Carat. 

Out of the 4, CUT MATTERS MOST!

Why? The right diamond cut plays up your diamond’s better qualities while hiding its not-as-perfect aspects. By choosing the right diamond cut you’re giving yourself the freedom to compromise on some of the other 3 C’s. Meaning, you don’t have to get all the 4 C’s totally perfect. 

A good diamond cut will make it look as if you broke the bank on an all-around stunner – but only YOU will know you stayed well within budget!

Let’s go through the most popular diamond cuts to see which of the other 3 C’s (carat, clarity, color) you should spend money to flaunt, and which you can save your money on.

ROUND CUT

Spend On: Carat

  • As the most popular diamond cut, everyone is familiar with a round-cut diamond’s carat weight. Bigger = more impressive.

Save On: Color

  • Pair a warmer-colored diamond with a setting in similarly warm metal (like yellow or rose gold) to hide your stone’s tone.

Etched Rope Round Cut

14K Yellow Gold Etched Rope Solitaire Engagement Ring

PRINCESS CUT

Spend on: Carat

  • The princess cut loses less mass than other shapes during its rough cutting. This means that carat for carat, it’s a better value for money. Going for a bit higher carat weight can make that already impressive stone look even BIGGER.

Save on: Clarity

  • A princess cut’s 58 facets hide inclusions really, really well.

Channel-Set Princess Cut

14K Rose Gold Channel Set Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

EMERALD CUT

Spend on: Clarity

  • The relatively few facets in an emerald cut easily reveal inclusions. Don’t skimp on clarity!

Save on: Carat

  • The elongated shape of an emerald cut makes it look large for its carat weight. Choose a slightly smaller carat weight and no one will be able to tell the difference.

Triple Emerald-Cut

14K White Gold Three Stone Emerald And Pave Set Diamond Engagement Ring

CUSHION CUT

Spend on: Color

  • The pillow shape tends to reveal color, so make sure to go with a more colorless diamond if you’re set on white metals.

Save on: Clarity

  • The crushed-ice appearance of a cushion cut hides inclusions quite well.

Split-Shank Cushion Cut

14K White Gold Classic Split Shank Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring

PEAR CUT

Spend on: Color

  • The pointed end of the pear shape doesn’t reflect light nearly as well as the round part, so it’s more likely to reveal the stone’s true color. To avoid those ‘warmer’ yellow tones, opt for a high grade on the color scale.

Save on: Carat

  • The length of a pear cut tricks the eye and seems larger than it actually is.

Laurel Cluster Pear Cut

Laurel Cluster Pear Cut ring

RADIANT CUT

Spend on: Carat

  • A higher carat weight shows. Going for a larger stone is worth the cost.

Save on: Clarity

  • Lots of facets = lots of places for inclusions to “disappear” into.

Marquise and Radiant Cut

14K Rose Gold Marquise Shape Three Stone Ring

Our advice:

Pick which C is most important to you and spend your money on the diamond cut that highlights it. If you pick the right cut, your diamond ring will look absolutely brilliant.

Hopped up on diamond cuts? Read more below!

Obsessing over one (or more) of the engagement rings in this post? Share the love on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or in the comments below!

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Rachel Hoar

Rachel is an unabashed linguistics fanatic who can identify the ancient Greek root of any word. She promises not to spray you with Windex.

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Diamond Inspection: The Object of Your Affection

If you thought our 360° HD Diamond Display was a game changer, wait till you try our Real-Time Diamond Inspection!

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When shopping for a diamond online, you must be able to examine the stone close up and from every angle. We take this a step further, allowing you to spin diamonds in 360° HD at up to 40x SuperZoom. But even with the latest technologies at your disposal, it’s not always clear what you should be looking out for. To ensure you’re getting the best deal, you may want someone there to guide you.

That’s why we’ve created the first ever Real-Time Diamond Inspection; a personalized consultation with a bona fide diamond expert. The free service is available Monday – Friday from 9 AM – 10 PM EST (subject to availability). It’s hands-down the best way to get to grips with your diamond.

Add a Human Dimension with a Diamond Inspection

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To start your Real-Time Diamond Inspection, simply click the Diamond Inspection button next to any loose diamond on our site.

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Service is available Mon – Fri, 9 AM – 10 PM EST

You’ll be instantly connected with one of our certified gemologists, who will share their screen with you. No scheduling, no additional software. Just you and your diamond consultant discussing everything you need to know. And because our experts don’t work on commission, you can be sure they’re giving you fair, impartial advice.

Draw Near to Perfection with a Diamond Inspection

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If you’ve been doing your homework, you will probably have come across the term inclusions. These are the tiny imperfections that occur naturally in diamonds and can affect their overall beauty. While some inclusions are visible to the naked eye, others require up to 40x magnification to be seen. Using SuperZoom technology, our experts are able to pinpoint any inclusions and mark them directly on the image of the diamond.

Put the ‘Spec’ in Diamond Inspection

When you purchase a diamond from JamesAllen.com, it comes with a certificate from one of the top three grading labs: GIA, AGS, or IGI. This document contains the diamond’s technical specifications as well as its grading information – all very important stuff.

Now, admittedly, all this technical jargon can seem pretty intimidating at first glance. I mean, what even are grading scales?!

diamond inspection certificate

Once our experts break it down for you, you’ll see how metrics such as cut, color, clarity, and carat determine a diamond’s quality and price. Ask them nicely and they may even show you how to tell two technically identical stones apart and identify which is the superior. But why stop at two when you can compare up to four diamonds simultaneously?

Make Your Selection with a Diamond Inspection

Seen a diamond that merits closer inspection? Click the Diamond Inspection button next to any loose diamond on our site to begin your free consultation.

Share your experience with us in the comments below or on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat.

Get up close and observational (Pin it!)

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Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first order!

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Jonny Hart

Jonny is passionate about puns, adores alliteration, and finds diamonds positively facet-nating! Since joining James Allen, he has written the word 'sparkle’ 9,732 times and counting.

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