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The different shapes of cut diamonds

A lot of people underestimate the difference diamond cut can make.  In reality, it's one of the most important decisions you can make about your jewelry! Diamond cut isn't just about the shape you want, like a heart versus a square. The cut of a diamond is what makes it sparkle and catch the light (and your jealous friends' eyes). Let's talk about some of the most popular options.

The "cut" of a diamond refers to the facets, all the tiny little sides cut into the diamond to show off more of it. The "brilliant" cut is the result of some hardcore mathematical and scientific calculations, so it's considered the best for diamonds. However, just because it's the best cut for diamonds in general doesn't mean it's the best cut for you. There's a whole category of cuts called "fancy cuts," some of which are based on the brilliant cut but modified for different shapes. As you might guess, "modified brilliants" are the most similar to the brilliants. These modified brilliant cuts include marquise, oval, heart, trillian, and teardrop cuts. Now that lasers and computers have taken over the job of cutting diamonds, you can even get some fancy shapes like stars and butterflies. Unfortunately, some of the more whimsical stones might be more prone to breaking. In addition to being really sad, this can also make it harder and more expensive to get these diamonds insured.

Step or trap cuts are incredibly popular for square or rectangle shapes. Picture a square podium with steps leading up to it on all sides, and you'll have a decent picture of what the step cut looks like. The corners are usually softened in this cut, to prevent the stone from chipping or breaking.Although these diamonds don't catch the light as well as brilliants and modified brilliants, they really show off the color and clarity of the diamond. Since the sparkly modified brilliants are more popular than the step cut stones, you can usually get a good deal on these diamonds. This was a really popular cut several decades ago, so you can often find them at bargain prices in vintage stores.

Mixed cuts combine step cuts with modified brilliant cuts. Some mixed cuts you may have heard of are the Barion, Radiant, and Princess cuts. Mixed cuts can really give diamond lovers the best of both worlds, mixing the best features of step cut diamonds with the sparkliness of brilliant cuts. One other cut you might hear about is the rose cut diamond, but these are hardly ever used anymore, except to repair vintage jewelry.

Once you know the shape and cut you're looking for, you're well on your way to finding the jewelry that you want! Just remember the four C's: Color, Carat, Clarity, and Cut.  Happy diamond hunting.

This article has been written by Jordan Williams and is copyrighted.