Which Diamond Shape and Cut Shines the Brightest? (2023)

Which Diamond Shape and Cut Shines the Brightest? (1)

Whatever else diamonds may or may not do, they’re expected to sparkle, right? And sparkle bright! Yes, the stone size matters. But so does that blinding bling. How do we get that extra sparkle? The simple answer is - with a perfect or near-perfect diamond cut.Miranda Kerrnailed it right with her round brilliant cut diamond engagement ring flanked by tapered baguettes.Sofia Vergara, too, with her 7-carat cushion cut diamond with a micro-pave halo. You can also get the most brilliant, dazzling engagement ring for yourself if you focus on the cut – the relatively underrated but crucial of the 4 Cs.

What Does a Diamond Cut Mean?

A diamond is referred to as a rough diamond immediately after it is discovered or mined. You would be surprised to see one. It barely has any sparkle or shine and looks like a dull glass. The reason? It hasn't been cut yet! So, a diamond cut means exactly that – the way a diamond surface is cut to optimize its appearance. Thiscuttingdirectly affects its ability to interact with light or 'light performance'. Light performance is about how well a diamond can reflect, refract and disperse light. Attributes such as 'brilliance' and 'fire' are used to assess whether a diamond cut is superior or not.

What Are the ‘Fire’ And ‘Brilliance’ Attributes in Relevance to a Diamond Cut?

Fire is the ability of a diamond to reflect colored light from the rainbow spectrum – violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, or red. A diamond with fire radiates brightly colored reflections, adding to its character and beauty. Brilliance, on the other hand, is the ability of a diamond to reflect white light. The diamonds reflecting more significant amounts of white light shine and dazzle the brightest.

What Is the Difference Between Diamond Cut and Diamond Shape?

Most of us confuse diamond cut with shape for obvious reasons. We are all diamond lovers, not connoisseurs. But, let us initiate you a bit on it. While the shape definitely influences the cut, the two are entirely different. As we discussed earlier, a diamond cut is how the diamond surface is cut to interact with light. This involves surface dimensions, reflective qualities, and so on. On the other hand, the diamond shape refers to the overall geometric shape or outline of the diamond. The confusion arises from the fact that the word ‘cut’ often finds itself in the name of the diamond shape. For instance, diamond shapes range from round-cut to oval-cut and emerald-cut to cushion-cut. Most people choose shape initially and see what cut works best for them in terms of radiating the maximum light.



This design is as modern, quirky, and stylish as it gets! The pear-shaped center stone in this engagement ring, “Alina”, is encircled by a hidden halo for that extra bit of dazzle. And if that isn’t enough, it is flanked by gleaming accent diamonds around the 14k white gold band.

What Makes a Diamond Sparkle the Most?

There's just one main reason why some diamonds sparkle more than others. The key is in the facets cut onto the diamond's surface. Each facet acts as a mirror, reflecting and bouncing off the light to add that extra sparkle. In general, diamonds with more facets tend to shine more than those with fewer facets. But the number of facets cannot be boundless. There is always an optimum number depending on the diamond's shape and size and the facets' angles, sizes, and symmetry. Of course, the polish of diamond matters. The smoother the diamond is polished along the facets, the brighter it shines.

The diamond setting, too, in a small way, impacts the sparkle. For instance, a prong setting leaves the diamond open enough to let light in and create reflections, while bezel settings block light. Avoid the latter if you want that brilliant shine. Halo settings also enhance the brightness, thanks to the extra diamonds surrounding the center stone. Lastly, consider putting your diamond in a white metal setting such as white gold, or platinum. White metals act like mirrors - reflecting, refracting, and dispersing more light through the diamond.

Which Are the Different Diamond Shapes in Jewelry?

As the name explains, the diamond shape is the geometric shape in which a diamond is cut. Each diamond shape has nuances and unique significance reflecting the wearer’s personality. There are two categories of diamond shapes – round cut diamonds and fancy cut diamonds. A round shape, or round brilliant cut, is the most traditional and sought-after diamond shape. All the rest, like Oval, Princess, Pear, Emerald, Marquise, and others, fall under the fancy diamond shape category. Gabriel & Co. proudly houses brilliantly cut-to-finesse, high-quality diamonds in seven shapes – round, oval, emerald, marquise, pear, princess, and cushion. Select your breathtaking diamond shape, resonating with your personality and tastes, and be assured of the finest diamond cut that brings out the maximum shine.

Which Diamond Shape and Cut Shines the Brightest? (2)

What Parameters Define a Good Diamond Cut?

Official grading authorities assess a diamond cut based on the number of facets, their angles and sizes, and the symmetry in how they have been cut. The scale ranges from 'poor' to 'excellent'. 'Poor' and 'fair' rated cuts are usually not recommended because there is a lot of light leakage, making the diamonds appear dull. If you're looking for a sparkler, avoid these like the plague. 'Good' cut diamonds are significantly better, balancing sparkle and price quite effectively, keeping the costs fairly reasonable. 'Excellent' cut diamonds set your pocket back more than you like, but they represent some of the world's top diamonds – 3 percent, to be accurate. These are cut with a lot of thought and precision to reflect the maximum amount of light. 'Very good' is usually considered an ideal grade if you're looking for a solid buy. It has most of the brilliance of an 'Excellent' diamond' at a significantly lesser cost. Remember, even if a diamond possesses superior clarity and color, it looks lackluster with a poor cut. So pay attention to how your diamond cut is graded and make an informed choice about what you're buying.

(Video) Ultimate Guide to Princess Cut and other Squarish Shaped Diamonds (part 1)

Which Diamond Shape and Cut Shines the Brightest? (3)


Did you know, the cushion cut diamond can be cut in such a way to have both great fire and brilliance? This makes it a win-win for those who want a blend of both. This 14k white gold cushion cut ring "Brexley" collection is a thing of beauty, enhanced by the row of encrusted diamonds along the band.

Do Diamond ‘Table’, ‘Depth’ and ‘Culet’ Affect the Cut?

Let's first understand these three terms. The diamond table is the flat facet on top that faces outwards. This flat surface refracts light rays as they pass, directing them to the other facets. The intensity and frequency of this refraction determine the extra sparkle in a diamond. The table has to be just the right size. A wider table does not disperse light, and a narrower one does not let light in. So it is crucial to consider the overall size of the diamond when deciding on table proportion.

This brings us to the next factor – depth.Depthis the measurement from the table to the diamond's bottom (otherwise known as the culet). The depth-width ratio should impact how a diamond is cut and how it reflects light. The light tends to leave without reflection if a diamond is too shallow. On the other hand, a deep-cut diamond doesn't do justice to the carat's weight and size by appearing smaller. So an ideal percentage needs to be considered while deciding how to cut the diamond.

Lastly, the Cutlet is the bottom-most point of the diamond that is usually hidden from view. It is here that all the facets meet right below the center of the table. Pointed culets are considered superior to medium or large-sized ones since these leak light easily. In fact, hardly anyone ever uses the latter anymore, and you most likely find them in heirloom or antique jewelry pieces.

Which Cut or Shape Is Best for a Diamond’s Sparkle?

The best cut for a diamond, as far as sparkle goes, is the brilliant round cut. Experts are unanimous in their opinion of this. In fact, this cut might be extremely popular now, but it wasn’t even in existence until 1911. A new mathematical formula was published around this time, assessing how to achieve the maximum sparkle in a diamond. The result? A brilliant round cut diamond. This cut has 58 facets, allowing light to enter and reflect off many surfaces beautifully. Today, more than three-quarters of the world’s diamonds are round cut. It is the most coveted diamond shape because who doesn’t want to shine as brightly as they can?

(Video) Ultimate Guide to Princess Cut and other Squarish Shaped Diamonds (part 2)


Here’s a piece that’s bound to fetch you second, third and fourth looks from everyone in the room! This ring “Silvey” features 0.70 carat diamonds set in 14k white gold. The center stone is a brilliant round cut diamond in a single prong setting.

The downside is that round-cut diamonds are comparatively quite expensive than their other counterpart shapes. The reason is much more of the rough diamond is lost while cutting so many facets. So for every carat retained, there’s quite a bit that’s lost, and that’s bound to cost you. It can’t be avoided, though; the wastage is required to achieve the perfection of a round-cut diamond.

If you’re looking for a lesser extravagant option without compromising too much on the diamond’s brilliance and fire, the princess cut, radiant cut, cushion cut, oval cut, pear cut, heart cut, and marquise cut all dazzle brilliantly if cut well.

The exceptions to this are the Emerald and Asher cuts. These are stunning and elegant shapes, but the way their facets are designed doesn’t allow for the same brilliance that you find in other diamond shapes. If your tastes lean towards these, we suggest you focus more on the clarity instead of the cut.


This emerald-cut diamond engagement ring "Belma" has only few facets but radiates elegance and sparkle nevertheless. Cut with precision to show off the stone’s beauty and clarity, it is set in 18k white gold.

(Video) Diamond Shape

Do Bigger Diamonds Shine More?

The bigger the diamond, the more it sparkles, right? Wrong! A big diamond is great (we’d choose bigger over smaller any day, given a choice), but it doesn’t mean that big diamonds sparkle more than smaller ones. In fact, diamonds that share the same facet proportions, color, clarity, and so on tend to sparkle exactly the same, regardless of size. How much a diamond shines has nothing to do with size or carat weight but only how it is cut.

When Did Diamonds Start Being Cut?

Diamonds weren't always cut the way they are now. Instead, in the olden days, they would simply polish rough diamonds in their original shape and form to lend some natural sparkle. In the 14th and 15th centuries in Europe, people began experimenting with various diamond cuts. They realized that they weren't losing anything. Rather, chipping away at the rough edges enhanced the diamond's appearance and sparkle. Over time, the quality of cuts evolved and improved. Today, diamond cuts have become standardized and graded, with shoppers knowing exactly the shape they want even before they walk into a store!


The next best thing to a round cut diamond is a princess cut diamond. The brilliance of this exquisite engagement ring is further enhanced by the row of glittering diamonds around the band. The prong setting allows beautifully for light to be let in and out.

What Tools Are Used to Cut Diamonds?

Given the value of what is being handled (and the fact that cutting is an irreversible process!), it takes specialized tools and knowledge to cut a diamond. One can cut diamonds either by hand or by machines. Machines offer precision and consistency – highly effective if you’re looking for an accurately-cut diamond, not to mention quicker. Hand-cut diamonds, on the other hand, take up to months and are not very popular. Still, they’re considered the ultimate form of craftsmanship. Interesting, it can take 20 years for a master diamond cutter to be certified in his skill!

The first step in the process is planning, with computer software playing an important role in deciding how to cut the diamond. After marking the outlines, the diamond is placed in a mold made of wax or cement. A steel blade or laser carves the diamond into possessing the desired facets.

Which Diamond Shape and Cut Shines the Brightest? (4)

(Video) Diamond Cut Comparison: Emerald vs Radiant


Marquise cut diamonds are stunningly beautiful, with an elongated shape that makes half your finger glitter. The center diamond in this 14k white gold ring “Azucena” is surrounded by diamonds, while the split shank band is encrusted with little sparkling diamonds too. How much more can you expect to sparkle?

Getting a sparkler on your finger isn’t that difficult if you know what you’ve got to look for. Our experts at are happy to take you through our brilliant and bright engagement rings (with diamonds cut to perfection!) and help you pick what’s best for you.


Which Diamond Shape and Cut Shines the Brightest? ›


A brilliant is a diamond or other gemstone cut in a particular form with numerous facets so as to have exceptional brilliance. The shape resembles that of a cone and provides maximized light return through the top of the diamond.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Brilliant_(diamond_cut)
DIAMOND. By far the most popular cut is the Round Brilliant, with it's fifty-seven perfectly aligned facets it's brilliance really does out-shine the others. Total internal reflection is the key here; light travels through the stone giving optimum sparkle and scintillation.

What diamond shape gives the most sparkle? ›

The standard round cut diamond comprises 57 facets (58 including one on the bezel). This cut heightens the diamond's sparkle and shine. Because round diamonds have the largest number of facets, they create the most sparkle.

What is the brightest cut of diamond? ›

The round, brilliant cut is the brightest diamond shape you can find if you want the sparkliest diamond. During the early 20th century, this cut was designed to maximise sparkle, giving a well-cut round brilliant diamond unsurpassed brilliance and fire.

What diamond shape reflects the most light? ›

Statistically, a round diamond cut sparkles the most out of all diamond shapes. It's the diamond's ability to reflect light within exact proportions. All brilliant fancy shapes can give excellent sparkle if the round diamond isn't for you.

Which diamond shape has the least sparkle? ›

Which diamond cut has the least sparkle? Baguette is the worst diamond shape in terms of brilliance. This shape makes a diamond sparkle less, even if it has an ideal cut.

What is the most classy diamond shape? ›

1. Round Brilliant Cut. Round Brilliant Cut diamonds exhibit the most brilliance making them the most prized of all diamonds.

What setting makes a diamond look biggest? ›

Choose the Right Number of Prongs

Round cut diamonds, for example, are typically set with four, five, or six prongs. If you're looking to maximize your diamond's size, setting it with six prongs will help it to appear larger than it may actually be.

What is the shiniest diamond grade? ›

The best diamond clarity rating is Flawless (FL). These are the rarest diamonds in the world; less than 0.05% of all diamonds are Flawless or Internally Flawless.

What cut diamond holds its value the best? ›

Since a round diamond is thought to hold the most value when compared to the other shapes, it will almost always be given a higher price than any other shape with similar clarity, color, and carat weight.

What is the most ideal cut diamond? ›

An ideal cut diamond is a round, brilliant, or princess cut diamond that is cut to ideal proportions and angles and has excellent polish and symmetry ratings. An ideal cut diamond reflects almost all the light that enters it, and is among the rarest cuts.

What is a brilliant cut diamond ring? ›

What is a brilliant cut diamond? A brilliant cut is a diamond or gemstone that has been cut with numerous facets in order to exhibit brilliance, more commonly known as sparkle. This brilliance is as a result of the light returning throughout the cone shape of the stone itself.

What stone sparkles the most? ›

With a brilliance refractive index of 2.65 to 2.69, moissanite is the world's most brilliant gemstone. This means the speed of light refracting in moissanite is 2.65 to 2.69 times slower than the speed of light in the air.

What is the most rare shape of diamond? ›

The Asprey Cut is an irregular diamond shape that, at first look, may resemble the more popular Cushion Cut. Nonetheless, the Asprey Cut's cutting qualities are unique. It was the world-famous diamond cutter Gabi Tolkowsky who created the Asprey Cut.

What is the lowest diamond clarity that looks good? ›

If you're trying to decide on a clarity grade for your diamond, SI1 might be your best option. These diamonds usually appear flawless to the eye and sell for less than VS diamonds. Learn more about SI1 clarity diamonds and how to choose the right one for your engagement ring.

Which shape of diamond is cheaper? ›

Radiant are square or rectangular brilliant-cut diamonds with cut corners. They are often the most affordable diamond shapes.

What diamond size looks too big? ›

According to Landau, there's no such thing as too big a diamond—but she knows they're not for everyone. "It's so personal and it ultimately comes down to your lifestyle," she says. "To some, a 5-carat ring is so big it looks fake. For others, there's no limit."

What makes a diamond look brighter? ›

Refraction creates a sparkle in a diamond as a result of light bouncing around the inside, which hits your eye when the stone is in motion. The brightness, or brilliance, of light that exits through the top of a diamond is a result of both reflection and refraction.

What size diamond looks best on size 6? ›

The best carat size for size 6 fingers is generally 0.50 carats or greater, as this tends to make them appear beautiful and balanced.

Is a 2 carat diamond considered to be big? ›

Is a 2 carat diamond considered to be big? The average carat weight for a diamond engagement ring is about 0.9 carat, meaning a 2 carat diamond is definitely considered big.

Is ideal cut better than excellent? ›

A diamond considered by GIA to have an Excellent Cut could, by AGS' standards, have an Ideal, Excellent, Very Good, or even Good grade. Basically, 'Excellent' is the highest grade according to GIA, and 'Ideal' is the highest according to AGS.

What is the most popular diamond color grade? ›

The absence of color in a diamond is the rarest and therefore, the most expensive. While the majority of our customers choose a D or E color grade, many go with a beautiful near colorless grade to make the most of their budget and allocate more on the best cut that they can afford (which gives them more sparkle).

What is the cheapest color diamond? ›

Because they are less rare, yellow diamonds can cost much less per carat than other colored diamonds. Some light yellow diamonds can even cost less than a colorless diamond of similar size. On average, you can expect to pay $3,000-5,000 per carat on a yellow diamond of decent clarity and color.

How can you tell if a diamond is excellent cut? ›

A diamond with an Excellent cut grade is very bright. It shows an even pattern with good contrast between light and dark areas, so the reflections appear crisp and well-balanced. This tells you that the cutter made the best possible use of the rough.

Which diamond cut hides inclusions? ›

Oval-cuts hide inclusions well, so an SI1 or SI2 diamond will likely appear eye clean. However, they tend to show color. It's best to stick to a color grade of H to avoid color in your oval-cut diamond.

Is VS1 or VS2 better? ›

A VS1 diamond has slightly fewer and smaller inclusions than a VS2 diamond. In other words, a VS1 diamond is slightly better than a VS2 diamond.

What is super ideal cut? ›

Super ideal cut diamonds have cuts with an extremely high degree of precision and angles that give them superior performance. The cut quality of a super ideal cut diamond goes above and beyond that of the GIA's "Excellent" and AGS's "Ideal" grades. It also means that the diamond will sell at a premium.

What is the average carat size of an ideal cut diamond? ›

The range of 1.0 to 1.9 carats is by far the most popular, but there are noticeable peaks at the 0.70 – 0.79 range, the 0.90 – 0.99 range and the 1.50 – 1.59 range. It's great to see that people take our advice and go for a diamond that's slightly lighter or heavier than industry cutoff weights to get the best value.

What is a poor cut diamond? ›

Poorly cut diamonds won't reflect as much light, giving the diamond less brilliance and fire. Some of the light will reflect out of the bottom of the stone, which is unseen when a diamond is set in a ring. Poorly cut diamonds may have light or dark patches that make the diamond look dull and lackluster.

What is the best color for a round diamond? ›

Near colorless diamonds, (G, H, I, and J grades,) are the best value in diamonds. G color is just one step down from the truly Colorless tier, so it still appears very colorless. H color is another good “near colorless” choice and is, in my opinion, the last color grade where yellow or brown is not visible face up.

How many carats should be in an engagement ring? ›

One of the decisions to be made when considering the purchase of an engagement ring is how many carats should the ring be? The average according to The Knot (a research company and website for all things wedding) is 1 to 2 carats. There is no rule. Developing a budget is always a good place to start.

What stone is prettier than diamond? ›

Most brilliant diamond alternative

If you want a diamond alternative but don't want to lose out on sparkle, moissanite will be your best bet. Moissanite has a refractive index from 2.65 – 2.69, which is higher than a diamond. These stones exhibit a fiery, rainbow brilliance, making for superior sparkle.

What sparkles more diamond or cubic zirconia? ›

The dispersion rate is a measure of the fire of a jewel and cubic zirconia outperforms diamonds significantly. Cubic zirconia's higher degree of sparkle is the reason why so many buyers prefer the overall aesthetic of a cubic zirconia rather than a diamond, particularly for engagement rings and statement rings.

Do oval diamonds sparkle as much as round? ›

Oval diamonds are typically cut with 57-58 facets, so have the potential to deliver just as much sparkle as a round diamond. To caption this concept of brilliance, diamond laboratories such as the GIA have come up with a grading scale to rate the brilliance of a diamond.

What is the most cursed diamond? ›

The Hope Diamond

Arguably the most famous and most cursed precious gemstone in history, this 45.52-carat sparkler has a long and storied past. The Hope Diamond has been blamed for a laundry list of tragedies, including but not limited to: beatings, stabbings, murder, insanity, and suicide.

What color diamond is the clearest? ›

Colorless (D-F)

Certified gemologists can detect the subtle differences between D, E, and F by evaluating the diamond through the back while it is unmounted, giving the clearest impression of its actual body color. A colorless diamond is truly a stunning sight to behold, and sure to make any piece look extraordinary.

What is best value color clarity for a diamond? ›

According to that GIA standard, the "best" diamond color is D. (Read more about D color diamonds here.) D color diamonds are the equivalent of IF or FL grade diamonds on the clarity scale — they're very rare, and their price definitely reflects that.

How do you choose the best clarity diamond? ›

As a critical part of diamond grading, the accepted standard for determining diamond clarity is to examine the stone using a 10X microscope along with the trained naked eye. The level of visibility, the location, and the nature of inclusions (flaws) in a diamond determine the diamond clarity grade.

What looks like a diamond but is more expensive? ›

Moissanite is an interesting gemstone, because it is both synthetic, and a diamond simulant. It is not, however, a synthetic diamond. It is a diamond simulant because it is made to look like a diamond.

What is more better than diamond? ›

Scientists have found a mineral stronger than diamond. They say lonsdaleite could be used to fortify industrial tools like drill bits and saw blades - AND teach us about the evolution of earth.

What is the best shape to get a diamond? ›

1. ROUND BRILLIANT DIAMOND. By far the most popular cut is the Round Brilliant, with it's fifty-seven perfectly aligned facets it's brilliance really does out-shine the others. Total internal reflection is the key here; light travels through the stone giving optimum sparkle and scintillation.

Do bigger diamonds sparkle more? ›

It's Not All About Size. It's a common misconception that the larger a diamond is, the more it will sparkle. Although the bigger stone might have space for more facets, two diamonds cut the same will sparkle the same, regardless of carat size.

Why does my diamond not sparkle? ›

A dirty stone doesn't sparkle because light simply can't enter the diamond and causes it to appear dull. So, if you notice your diamond jewelry getting cloudier overtime, it's likely due to a dirty surface and there's an easy fix to restore their luster.

What setting makes a diamond sparkle? ›

Does Setting Affect Diamond Sparkle? A diamond setting will not necessarily impact the actual sparkle of the stone. However, settings that hold a stone higher up, or allow more light to pass through the diamond, will certainly give the impression of a more sparkly diamond.

What is the best setting to make a diamond sparkle? ›

The most classic among these is called the prong setting. It is also the most popular as the stone is held in place with the minimal amount of metal – usually four or six prongs – allowing more light to pass through the diamond resulting in added brilliance.

Why are oval diamonds so popular right now? ›

Oval diamonds create an illusion of larger carat size, particularly for those considering budget. They are a fancy cut that looks so beautiful and immediately captures attention. Hence, for so many reasons, this ring is gaining popularity and has become the topmost favourite choice of celebrities in recent years.

Is a 3 carat oval diamond too big? ›

According to most diamond experts, anything over 2 carats is considered significantly big. So yes, 3-carat diamonds fit into the category of 'huge' diamonds.

What is the best size oval diamond? ›

Most people say the ideal length-to-width ratio of an oval is 1.35-1.50. Diamonds that fall within this range will not be too round, or too pointy! The lower the ratio, the plumper the oval. Likewise, the higher the ratio, the skinnier!

What do you call diamonds that don't sparkle? ›

A cloudy diamond is also called a milky diamond or a foggy diamond. These diamonds give far less sparkle compared to a clear diamond.

Why does my diamond always look cloudy? ›

A diamond that has not been cleaned for a while can look milky due to a buildup of film and dirt on its facets. Cloudy diamonds can also have diminished transparency from inclusions or other characteristics intrinsic to the crystal from which they are cut.


1. Diamonds by Rihanna (written by Sia) | Cover by One Voice Children's Choir
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2. See How this 1.5 Carat Oval Cut Diamond Sparkles in Sunlight
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