Three Common Diamond Cut Myths Debunked

Three Common Diamond Cut Myths Debunked

Three Common Diamond Cut Myths Debunked

Finding the perfect lab-grown diamond should be a fun, memorable experience. With anticipation, you go into the process feeling excited and maybe even a little bit nervous! But suddenly, you find yourself sifting through conflicting information from family, friends, and the internet thinking, “Who should I trust?”

Luckily, selecting the perfect lab-grown diamond to fit the style, quality, and budget you have in mind doesn’t have to be complicated. You can confidently choose a stunning diamond and feel good about your investment while enjoying the process.

If you’ve started to explore lab-grown diamond options, you’ve probably encountered the 4C’s of Diamonds. The 4C’s stand for Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat. While each aspect of a diamond influences its quality, most people misunderstand and overlook the most important one. 

The diamond’s cut.

If you’ve ever wondered, “what is the cut of a diamond and why does it matter?” then you’re in the right place. 

In this post, we’ll focus on the essentials you need to know about a lab-grown diamond’s cut. You’ll learn why the cut of a diamond is the most critical element of any diamond. Along the way, we’ll bust through some of the most common diamond cut myths so you can confidently find your perfect diamond and create your dream ring!

Myth #1 Diamond Cut and Diamond Shape Are The Same 

If you've ever thought cut and shape are one and the same, you're not alone! The cut is one of the most misunderstood of the 4C’s of diamonds, and it’s also the most important!

Believe it or not, a diamond’s cut has nothing to do with its shape. This common misconception was probably initiated by the names of several popular shapes such as “princess cut” or “emerald cut” engagement rings.

Cut grade is determined by analyzing measurements and distinct features of the diamond, such as its table size, polish, and symmetry. 

The table size of a diamond influences its cut grade significantly. A polished round cut diamond will actually have about 57 or 58 different facets, the table being the most important one! The diamond’s table is usually the largest facet of a diamond and it is what gathers and reflects light back to the observer or within the diamond’s interior.

The symmetry of a diamond influences its grade significantly. Symmetry grades refer to the precision behind the diamond’s cut and how each facet of the diamond interacts. A diamond with poor symmetry will diminish a diamond’s brilliance since light is misdirected.

After a gemologist cuts the diamond, they will also polish it to enhance its smoothness. Ideally, all facets of the diamond should be polished to maximize its brilliance. 

Both symmetry and polish are graded by the GIA on a scale of excellent to poor and assessed by their visibility at 10x magnification.

When it comes to the 4C’s of diamond quality, the cut of a diamond actually refers to how well the diamond facets interact with and reflect light! The cut influences a lab-grown diamond’s brilliance, sparkle, and fire most.

What is brilliance in a diamond?

A diamond’s BRILLIANCE is the total amount of white light it reflects. As light enters the diamond surface, some light is reflected out of the top, also known as the diamond’s “table.” The more white light a diamond reflects out, the more brilliant it is! 

What is scintillation in a diamond?

The light that remains will hit the center of the diamond, bouncing off the internal walls. This phenomenon is the diamond’s SPARKLE or “scintillation.”  This refers to the flashes of light you see when a diamond interacts with light. 

What is a diamond’s fire?

Lastly, FIRE is caused by dispersion, causing light to separate into different colors. Light scatters into all colors of the rainbow.

An excellent cut diamond will surely out-sparkle those of a lower cut grade!

Myth #2 The higher the carat weight, the larger the diamond will appear.

This myth may seem like it has nothing to do with cut, but it does! It is typical to associate a carat with size, but in reality, a diamond carat is a measure of weight, not how large or small a diamond looks.

What really causes a lab-grown diamond to appear larger?

The diamond's cut!

Ask any true professional, and they will tell you that a diamond’s CUT is most crucial! It’s no mistake that cut is often considered the KING of the 4C’s. A well-cut diamond can enhance your stone in several ways.

A Very Good or Excellent Cut diamond (more on this in a bit) can make your diamond appear more prominent as it reflects more light. Plus, it can conceal flaws and camouflage inclusions related to the ring’s clarity.

If you’re looking to impress, look no further than the cut of your diamond. You'll undoubtedly get the most out of your investment. 

Myth #3 All diamond cuts are graded the same

Diamond grading scales are NOT created equal. The most notable is The Gemological Institute of America (GIA), a non-profit organization and the institution we trust to assess and certify diamonds based on cut, color, clarity, and carat. 

At Reverence, we refer to the GIA as the institution that created and defined the 4C’s because their founder, Robert M. Shipley, was the first to define and measure these diamond qualities! The GIA is the industry standard, and they have a reputation for having the harshest and, more importantly, most accurate diamond grading standards.  

Other for-profit competitors, such as The European Gemological Laboratory (EGL) and The American Gem Society (AGS), also offer unique scales with slightly different criteria and rating categories. At Reverence, we find the expertise and reputation of the GIA to be unwavering, and this is the only quality assessment scale we use.

The GIA grades lab-grown diamonds using the same 4C’s method to assess the quality of natural diamonds. As of 2007, they also identify the growth process used. You can learn more here. 

The GIA grades diamonds from Excellent to Poor.

The quality of a diamond’s cut will influence its brilliance, sparkle, and fire, so it is paramount to invest in a high-quality diamond cut. 

So, how can you tell the difference between cuts?

The GIA has a simple scale that breaks the elements of cut down for you! The cut of a diamond is graded on a scale from Poor to Excellent.

You can see what it looks like here. 

You will find “excellent” and “very good” cut diamonds at the top end of the scale. Diamonds that fall into this range will maximize the return of light to the eye, and the result is tremendous brilliance, fire, and scintillation. 

Diamonds in the fair to poor cut range tend to look flat, lifeless, gray, and dull. Even if a diamond has hit the highest color, clarity, and carat standards, a poor cut will shortchange its beauty. This is why cut is the most valued quality of a diamond. 

What Influences a Diamond’s Cut Grade?

Cut grade is determined by analyzing measurements of the diamond. A diamond’s cut refers to each surface’s proportions and dimensions. The way that they are positioned can create sparkle and brilliance. 

We can assess and measure many factors of a diamond: 

  • how symmetrical the cut of the diamond appears
  • the ratio between the diamond's depth and width: shallow, ideal, or deep (a really deep or really shallow stone isn’t going to return light in an ideal way and will often appear “flat” or “lifeless”)
  • how well a diamond was polished 
  • measurements of the crown angle and table size

The lower you go on the GIA scale, the more you’ll deviate from ideal depths and angles, significantly impacting the overall beauty of the diamond and the way it interacts with the light.    

BONUS MYTH: You can assess the cut quality of ANY diamond. 

So now you understand how to use the GIA’s scale to interpret the qualities of a diamond. But there’s another myth embedded under the surface. 

Most consumers would assume that the GIA’s scale could assess the cut of ANY diamond. But if you’re searching for the cut rating of a pear-shaped ring, you won’t find it. 


Because grading scales only measure a diamond’s cut if it is a round cut. Grading scales do not apply to fancy cut diamonds such as marquise, pear, and oval.  

TIP: If you’re shopping for fancy cut lab-grown diamonds (any shape that is not round), you won’t find a cut grade no matter how hard you search! Save yourself the time and worry because fancy-cut diamonds don’t get a formal “cut” grade. Instead, they only receive polish and symmetry grades. 

Customize Your Dream Ring 

If you’d like to schedule an in-person or virtual design consultation, we’d be thrilled to be a bigger part of your custom diamond ring journey. Click here to apply, and we’ll be in touch to help you design your DREAM RING! 
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