Diamond Cuts and Shapes

Diamond cuts & shapes

A diamond’s cut focuses on its symmetry, proportions and how its facets interact with light. A diamond shape, on the other hand, only describes the geometric appearance of a diamond. This is why diamond shapes are often interchangeably referred to as cuts.

We’ll help you understand a diamond’s anatomy, detailing out the different characteristics which form a well-cut diamond and the cutting techniques which then in turn influence a diamonds shape.

Understanding the
diamond anatomy

When a rough diamond is cut to create its polished form, it’s made up of a faceted structure which helps it perform and sparkle its very best.

Understanding the 4 Cs


The large facet in the centre and on the top of the diamond. The table plays a vital role in sparkle and can vary in size depending on the diamond’s cut.

Understanding the 4 Cs


The upper part of a diamond between the girdle and the table, made up of star facets, bezel facets and the upper girdle.

Understanding the 4 Cs


The star facets are found around the table. They let a multitude of light through and shine in different directions to create more brilliance.

Understanding the 4 Cs


Bezel facets sit next to the star facets around the diamond table. A round brilliant diamond has eight bezel facets that are ‘kite’ shaped and help to form the crown.

Understanding the 4 Cs

Upper Girdle

These are diamond facets that sit above the girdle, leading on to the bezel facets. They help to reflect fire and brilliance.

Understanding the 4 Cs


The girdle is the thin perimeter that divides the crown from the pavilion. Round brilliant diamonds have faceted girdles to give greater transparency of the diamond.

Understanding the 4 Cs

Lower Girdle

Lower girdle facets sit just below the girdle and next to the pavilion. They help to reflect light into a multitude of directions.

Understanding the 4 Cs


The pavilion is the bottom half of a diamond. The facets within the pavilion help light bounce, enter and reflect through a diamond.

Understanding the 4 Cs


Found on the bottom of a diamond, the cutlet is the flat face at the base of the pavilion where the facets of the pavilion meet.

  • Table
  • Crown
  • Star
  • Bezel
  • Upper Girdle
  • Girdle
  • Lower Girdle
  • Pavillion
  • Culet

The diamond cutting techniques

The faceted structure of a polished diamond can be different depending on any inclusions and the size of its rough diamond form. There a three main cutting techniques that help to create the diamonds we know and love.

  • Brilliant Cut

    One of the most popular cuts, the brilliant cut is made up of 57 or 58 kite and triangular facets. These facets radiate from the diamonds centre towards its girdle, fully optimising its brilliance and light return. Diamond shapes such as round brilliant, cushion, oval, marquise, pear and heart-shaped are all cut using the brilliant faceting style.

  • Step Cut

    Resembling a set of stairs, the step cut showcases long and narrow four-sided facets in rows parallel to the girdle on both sides of the crown and pavilion. This faceting style is great for emphasising a diamond’s colour and clarity. The most common step cut is the emerald cut.

  • Mixed Cut

    A cutting style that combines step cut and brilliant cut facets, mixed cuts have brilliant facets on the crown and step facets on the pavilion, or vice versa. You’ll most likely see this cutting pattern used a cushion or oval shaped diamond.

Which diamond shape to choose?

Thanks to its cutting technique, diamonds come in many different beautiful shapes and sizes. We’re here to help you find the one that’s perfect for you.