When it comes to buying a diamond, the cut is the most important of the 4 Cs. Diamond cuts is a complex topic, but buying a beautifully cut diamond isn’t complicated. This “Diamond Cuts 101” guide explains what you need to know about cuts before you make a diamond purchase. 

Why Are Diamonds Cut?

1.04-Carat Emerald Cut Diamond Blue Nile
A 1.04-carat emerald cut very good cut diamond from Blue Nile. Emerald cut diamonds are cut in steps, giving the diamond a mirror-like look.

Diamonds directly from the mine, or “rough diamonds”, look quite different than the brilliant, sparkly diamonds in engagement rings. Before they are cut and polished, diamonds have a dull, opaque appearance. Cutting a diamond removes its rough outer surface to reveal the clear beauty underneath. The process removes weight, decreasing a diamond’s carat size, so diamond cutters must find a balance between preserving the diamond and getting an excellent cut. 

Diamonds used to be cut by hand–a difficult process that demanded a high price for the best-cut diamonds. Diamonds are now cut by lasers, so precisely-cut diamonds with excellent symmetry and polish are available almost everywhere. This causes the price differences between the top-rated diamond cuts to be less significant than