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The Most Expensive Diamond Cut

By Frank

Highly experienced diamond polisher who loves to share his knowledge with you. Continues to stun his colleagues with interesting - or simply bizarre - facts about diamonds and gems.

September 10, 2020

People often ask me: “what is the most expensive diamond cut?”. A diamond cut can mean two things. The first one is the quality of the polish; this is the cut from the 4 C’s. In this case, they mean the other kind of cut: the diamond’s shape. There are many different diamond shapes – or cuts – and as you can imagine, they all come with their own price tag.

Cut versus cut

As you can imagine, the quality of the diamond cut determines the price. A poorly cut diamond reflects less light. It is a sign of bad craftsmanship. Whereas an excellent cut diamond reflects the light optimally. We consider this good craftsmanship. But of course, this doesn’t say anything about the diamond’s shape. But the shape also most definitely determines the price of the diamond.

ideal cut fine cut shallow and narrow The quality of the cut determines the price. Poorly cut diamonds reflect less light than ideal cut diamonds.

Which diamond cuts are there?

As you may know, there are different kind of diamond shapes. Some cuts are (relatively) cheap and others are more valuable. Let’s discuss the different diamond shapes first:

  • Brilliant
  • Oval
  • Princess
  • Radiant
  • Baguette
  • Emerald
  • Asscher
  • Cushion
  • Pear
  • Marquise
  • Heart
  • Royal 201

These twelve shapes are the most famous diamond cuts. But what characterizes them and how expensive are they?

The twelve different diamond cuts.

Brilliant cut

We often consider the brilliant cut diamond as the ‘normal’ or ‘regular’ shape of a diamond with 57 facets. Around 95% of all diamonds that are suitable for jewelry end up as a brilliant cut. It is (almost) the ideal form for the brilliance of the diamond in its present form.

Oval cut

For those who want to stand out from the crowd, an oval cut diamond is a good choice. Like a brilliant, an oval cut diamond has 57 facets. The difference is that an oval appears more elegant and bigger than a brilliant diamond of the same weight.

Princess cut

Today’s second most popular diamond shape is the princess cut. It’s a square diamond with sharp edges. Even though it is a relatively young cut, it stole many hearts already. When you look at the Princess cut from above, it appears square. But if you look at it from the side, it looks like an upside-down pyramid.

woman wearing princess cut diamond ring skyline city background A princess cut is, just like many square shapes, a relatively inexpensive diamond cut.

Radiant cut

Known for its unexpected sparkle, the radiant cut diamond is quite the popular cut these days. The radiant cut is a square or rectangular-shaped diamond. It is a relatively new shape among the long-established traditional cuts.

Baguette cut

Baguette cut diamonds are usually not the main stone in a piece of jewelry. But they make a beautiful jewelry piece stunning and a stunning piece a sparkling one. That is why the baguette is actually a quite fascinating diamond cut.

Emerald cut

The Emerald cut diamond is one of the first and oldest cuts of diamonds and other precious stones. The name of this cutting comes from the gemstone Emerald. To maintain as much of the gem as possible, they cut the stone in a rectangular shape with so-called “step-cut facets”.

Asscher cut

The Asscher Cut is one of the most popular diamond shapes. It is a diamond shape from the Netherlands. We often compare to a square emerald cut because it has the same “step-cut facets”.

Diamond rings emerald cutEmerald cut diamonds and other “step cuts” are not expensive because of their shape but because they often have a very good clarity.

Cushion cut

The cushion cut is a square diamond shape with rounded corners. The shape looks a bit like a pillow, hence the name. This cut reflects the light in a chunkier way than for example a brilliant. This is what we call ‘the crushed ice effect’. This shape was very popular around the 1920s but made a huge comeback recently.

Pear cut

The pear cut diamond has many names. We also call it a teardrop of pear-shaped diamond. Regardless of how you call it, the pear cut diamond is one of the most beautiful shapes. The gorgeous silhouette combines sharp edges with round curves.

Marquise cut

The marquise cut is a popular diamond shape. We also call this the “Navette” shape. This means “little boat”. The marquise is an oval-shaped diamond cut with pointed ends. The romantic history of this diamond shape makes the marquise a beloved diamond cut for engagement rings.

Heart-shape

Probably one of the most meaningful icons in the history of humanity is the heart. Hearts symbolize love and affection for almost as long as we can remember. It may not come as a surprise when I tell you that there also is a diamond cut in the shape of a heart.

The Royal 201

The Royal 201 is our very own worldwide-patented diamond shape. Praised for its sparkling brilliance. The Royal 201 is a great example of the evolution of the diamond shape, with more facets, more fire and more sparkle. In total, this diamond shape has 201 facets. That is why we call it the Royal 201. Experts consider this the most sparkling diamond cut in the world.

The Royal 201 is famous for its unparalleled sparkle.

What is the most expensive diamond cut?

Now that you know the different diamond cuts, it is time to reveal which cut is the least valuable one. And of course which one is the most expensive diamond cut.

The least expensive diamond cuts

The least expensive diamond cuts are the baguette, the princess and the radiant cut. These are square/rectangular cuts.

The most expensive diamond cuts

The most valuable diamond shapes are the brilliant cut, the oval cut, the heart-shape and the Royal 201.

Creating a Royal 201 requires great skills.

Why are certain shapes more expensive?

The prices of the shape all have to do with polishing skills and polishing loss. That is because all polished diamonds start out as a rough diamond. The polisher decides the shape he’ll make the diamond into. Certain cuts have more polishing loss than others. For example: when the diamond polisher turns a rough diamond into a princess cut, he loses about 20% of the rough diamond. We call this “polishing loss”. 20% sounds like a lot. But when the polisher transforms the rough diamond into a brilliant, there is about 50 to 60% polishing loss.

The rough diamond as a baseline

As you can imagine, to a brilliant, you need a (relatively) bigger rough diamond than for a princess cut with the same weight and size. After all, to gain a 1 carat brilliant, you’ll need a 2-carat rough diamond. Whereas for a princess, you only need about a 1.30-carat rough diamond. That is why a princess is relatively less expensive per carat. The same applies to other square cuts such as the baguette cut and the radiant cut.

rough and polished diamonds in handA rough diamond is the base of every polished one.

Craftsmanship is worth every penny

There are also shapes that need a high level of skills. For example, the heart shape. The heart shape does not only have a relatively high polishing loss. It also requires great skills to create it. The heart-shape is very difficult to make. The polisher needs to make sure both curves are exactly symmetrical. One off-movement can ruin the diamond!

A combination of polishing loss and required craftsmanship

Finally, very special cuts take the crown. Just like the brilliant cut, the Royal 201 has quite some polishing loss. But it also takes a skilled polisher to make it. The incredible amount of extra facets need to be placed extra careful. Some facets are extremely tiny so the slightest mistake can have crucial consequences. The combination of the amount of polishing loss and the high level of craftsmanship make the Royal 201 the most expensive diamond cut.

The Royal 201 is the most expensive diamond cut

Looking for the perfect diamond?

Are you looking for the perfect diamond? Perhaps you already have a diamond shape in mind. But don’t forget to take the other 4 C’s into account. The carat, color, clarity and quality of the cut are also very important when choosing a diamond. Our diamond consultants are standing by. They will provide you with all the information you need, so you can make an informed decision. You can schedule a (video) call or drop by our store in the heart of Amsterdam.

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