This Is The Most Expensive Diamond Cut, and Exactly Why It Costs More

Yellow-gold diamond engagement rings in various shapes

When it comes to the four C's of diamonds — carat, cut, clarity and color — some affect the price of finished loose diamonds more than others. While everyone tends to focus on the carat, it's actually a diamond cut that's the single biggest factor in the price tag. Knowing how the cut changes the price can save you a lot of money on your engagement ring — or help you determine which of the four C's to prioritize in your budget. It's probably no surprise that the round brilliant is the most expensive diamond cut, but we'll explain what does into that price, and why these stunners are worth it.

Why is Cut Important?

Diamonds are cut to maximize light performance — the sparkle, fire, brilliance, and overall visual beauty as the light hits a diamond. Before a diamond is cut and polished, it is known as a rough diamond, which is opaque and has little to no sparkle. Diamond cutting adds facets (or faces) that reflect light and refract it back to your eye, creating a sparkling effect. The type and quality of cut directly impacts light performance, as the angles, locations, sizes and shapes of facets will determine the diamond's sparkle.

most expensive diamond cut grades

Cut Grades

Each diamond is assigned one of four cut grades by the GIA. The diamond cut grade affects not only the appearance but also the price of each diamond. Here's what you should expect from each cut: how they look, how the light dances through them, and how rare they are:

  • Excellent: This is the highest grade, representing the top 3% of all diamonds in the world. Diamonds with an excellent cut grade are masterfully crafted and precisely cut to create maximum sparkle and brilliance. Little or no light leakage occurs as light passes through.

  • Very Good: Cuts of this grade capture almost all of a diamond's potential. These stones are very brilliant with minimal light leakage. If you're on a budget, you might choose a Very Good cut so you can prioritize color, clarity, or carat. This grade represents the top 15% of diamonds.

  • Good: Diamonds of this grade capture light well and possess high degrees of sparkle. Good cut diamonds have some light leakage but still shine bright. Cutters may intentionally cut to Good proportions to achieve a particular look or style. The top 25% of diamonds have a Good cut grade or higher.

  • Fair & Poor: Diamonds with significant light leakage earn a Fair or Poor grade. These diamonds tend to leak noticeable amounts of light from being too deep or shallow, and they have little brilliance. We recommend avoiding this grade, as it won't make for sparkling jewelry.

Learn more about diamond cuts

The most expensive diamond cut, the round brilliant

How Shape Affects Price

Here are the three most important insider tips to know about diamond shape when looking to maximize your engagement ring budget:

most expensive diamond cut brilliant

The most expensive diamond cut is the round brilliant

The most popular cut for diamond engagement rings is also the priciest. And it's not just because it's the most in-demand: The round brilliant has the most facets of any shape, which require more precision work, and cutters have to discard more of the rough diamond, so you essentially pay for a larger stone than you end up with. The (major) upside: A ring with truly dazzling fire and brilliance.

most expensive diamond cut fancy brilliant

Fancy shapes can save you money

Fancy shaped diamonds (such as pear, oval and Marquise cuts) can save you up to 25% more than a round brilliant diamond of the same carat size. That's because less of the rough diamond is discarded in the cutting process. These shapes have a striking, unconventional appearance, and still have complex faceting and excellent light performance, so they might be a good compromise between sparkle and budget.

most expensive diamond cut step

Emerald and Asscher cuts can save you even more money

Emerald and Asscher cuts can be even cheaper than fancy shapes, because they have step cuts, or facets that look like a bit like a staircase. They're simpler in design, use more of the rough diamond and require less precision cutting work, all of which result in cost savings for you. But the final effect is still supremely elegant and attention getting. It's all about her personal taste. Remember: The perfect engagement ring is one she'll love to wear every day.

most expensive diamond cut price chart

View Our Diamonds by Shape

Find the perfect diamond on your budget

Shopping on a budget doesn't have to be limiting. We know loose diamonds can be daunting. That's why we have a team of expert gemologists standing to by answer questions, guide you through the shopping process, or dish on secrets that can save you money while you're browsing through diamonds. We believe in finding the perfect ring for everyone and every budget. Contact us now.

Shop Certified Rings

Don’t know where to start? Fill out the short form below.

Like one? Wonderful! We can chat from there. None of them fit? Tell us. Our experts want you to be happy, and they’ll go back to the drawing board to hunt down that perfect fit.

Fill out my online form.