Variations on the standard Round Brilliant cut, fancy cuts are a matter of personal preference

The cut of a diamond is not the same as its shape. While the shape refers to the one the diamond resembles, such as heart, pear, oval, or round, the cut refers to the facets cut into a diamond and the way those facets catch and reflect light to give a diamond its characteristic sparkle.

How a diamond is cut depends heavily on the original shape of the unpolished stone and how maximum value can be extracted from it. The original Ideal cut, called Tolkowsky’s cut after its creator, was the Round Brilliant with 58 facets. There are several variations of the Round Brilliant Cut, known as ‘fancy cuts’, of which the Princess cut is emerging as the most popular.

The cut of a fancy diamond is a largely a matter of personal preference. However, the quality of the cutter's execution is vital. A poor cut will mar the brilliance of a fancy cut diamond and affect its value. So far, there is no specified ‘ideal’ range of proportions for fancy cuts, though the American Gemological Society (AGS) is working on establishing standards. There are, however, recommended ideal proportions that will optimize the appearance and value of a fancy cut diamond.

As in the case of the standard cuts, you should pay attention to all the Four Cs when buying a fancy cut diamond. In addition, check the symmetry of the diamond. Draw an imaginary line down the center of the stone, length-wise or breadth-wise; each half of the diamond should be shaped exactly the same as the other half.

Fancy cuts are:

Princess cut

Marquise cut

Pear cut

Oval cut


Fancy cuts

Loose Diamonds Home   Diamond Basics   Fancy Cuts   Bargain Buys