Jewelry Trends

Excellent Cut Diamond

Rachel Akmakjian


Rachel Akmakjian

Brilliance Unveiled: What is an Excellent Cut Diamond?

Every diamond is unique and comes with its own color, clarity, and size or carat weight. But did you know that the cut of the diamond dramatically influences these other attributes? That’s right, a diamond’s cut quality is the only thing it isn’t born with. It’s the work of a diamond cutter to bring out the diamond’s full potential. And finding an excellent or ideal cut diamond is your best bet for a perfect-looking stone. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society (AGS) are two organizations that give diamond cut grades. So let’s delve into the world of diamond cut quality and learn how to find the best rock for your budget!



What You Will Learn

The Grading Process

The Gemological Institute of America, or GIA, is considered by most to be the utmost authority in grading diamonds. They grade round brilliant cut diamonds on their color, clarity, and cut. For cut grades, they rate diamonds on a scale of Excellent to Poor based on the proportions of the diamond’s facets and how well they reflect the light. Though diamond grades are highly respected, others believe the grading scale needs improvements concerning diamond cut quality. 

That’s where the AGS diamond grading laboratory comes in. They employ a more comprehensive grading process that ranges from Ideal to Poor. AGS takes a scientific approach, using advanced technologies to analyze diamond cuts for their ability to reflect white light and maximize brilliance. A diamond with an ideal cut grade from the AGS will reflect nearly all the light that enters it.


What does ideal cut diamond mean?

A diamond must meet specific criteria to earn the ideal diamond cut grade from the AGS. Here’s the lowdown on what a diamond needs to be considered ideal.

  1. Symmetry: A diamond’s facets must be precisely aligned and symmetrical. This ensures that almost all the light is even throughout the stone for the best sparkle. Imagine the facets as perfectly choreographed dancers, gracefully reflecting alight at every turn.
  2. Proportions: The diamond cut proportions play a crucial role in its brilliance. It’s all about finding that magical balance. The AGS considers the depth, table size, crown angle, and pavilion angle for a round brilliant cut diamond to determine the ideal cut grade. Light enters the diamond and pours out in a brilliant sparkle when these proportions are spot-on. 
  3. Light Performance: The AGS evaluates how efficiently a diamond returns light to the viewer’s eye, judging its overall light performance. An ideal cut diamond is like a high-definition TV for your finger, captivating everyone around you with its incredible sparkle.
  4. Polish: An ideal cut diamond’s finish must be free from blemishes and reflect light flawlessly. It’s all about that mirror-like shine.


Ideal Cut vs. Excellent Cut

An ideal cut diamond represents the pinnacle of diamond cutting craftsmanship. It adheres to specific proportions and angles to maximize its brilliance. Ideal cut diamonds reflect and refract light optimally, resulting in a breathtaking display of sparkle.

An excellent cut diamond meets precise standards, but the exact proportions and light performance may differ slightly from an ideal cut diamond. The differences between an ideal cut and an excellent cut may be subtle. They might not be readily noticeable to the untrained eye.


Ultimately, the choice between an ideal cut and an excellent cut diamond comes down to personal style and budget. Ideal cut diamonds are highly sought after and may have a higher prices tag thanks to their superior light performance. But even though excellent cut diamonds have yet to undergo as rigorous of a grading process, they won’t offer exceptional beauty.

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The Bottom Line on Diamond Cut Grades

Selecting a well cut diamond is hugely important to the overall look of your engagement ring or other diamond jewelry. Diamonds are born with their color, carat weight, and clarity. Still, a diamond cutter can make or break that beauty by how well they cut. A poorly cut diamond won’t shine as it should, with white light reflected to maximize its sparkle. 

Don’t buy a round brilliant cut diamond without a cut grade from the GIA or AGS. A grade of ideal from the AGS is the best money can buy, but many factors determine a diamond’s quality. Look at diamonds in person and find a jeweler you trust to show you how a diamond’s brilliance changes from rock to rock!

Insuring Your Diamond

Diamonds get lost or stolen every day. If you want to bet on getting a replacement at the same value, you’ll need to have proper jewelry insurance

Already have your appraised diamond? Check your price and get started in minutes with our easy online tool. 

BriteCo offers affordable specialty jewelry insurance that covers up to 125% of your ring’s appraised value. Our policy covers loss, theft, damage, and mysterious disappearance.

Brides Magazine Rates BriteCo Best Overall Engagement Ring Insurance of 2023

Also Check:

Are Rose Cut Diamonds Good for an Engagement Ring?
The Edgy Elegance of the Shield Cut Diamond
Transitional Cut Diamond | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance
Hexagon Cut Diamond | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance
Is a pear cut diamond best for my engagement ring?

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Rachel's expertise is further enhanced by her distinction as a Graduate Gemologist from the prestigious Gemological Institute of America (GIA), equipping her with exceptional knowledge in gem identification and grading. Her education and experiences have given her an in-depth understanding of the demands and expectations facing jewelers and customers in today’s evolving retail marketplace.