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In the strictest definition of the term, "cut" is not the same thing as "shape". For example, the most popular cut for a diamond is the round brilliant cut, but there are also round Swiss cuts, round Old European cuts, and round 144-facet cuts. For the most part, however, the terms are used interchangeably, including on this site.

The 58-facet round brilliant cut is the most popular because of its fire and brilliance. (These terms describe the intensity of the color and brightness of the light one sees in a diamond.) This is achieved by cutting the stone to very exacting mathematically-determined proportions so as much light as possible is reflected out the top of the diamond.

The cut of a diamond refers not only to the shape of the diamond and number of facets but also to the quality of the cut. A diamond with uneven or poorly proportioned facets won't be given the same grade of cut as an ideally proportioned and masterfully cut stone. This information will be found on the certificate of a certified diamond.

Although most diamonds on the market today are round brilliants, there are many different shapes available. The following chart shows some of the most popular shapes:


POPULAR DIAMOND CUTS AND SHAPES
Round diamond Pear shaped diamond Heart shaped diamond Oval diamond Marquise diamond Emerald diamond Princess diamond
round pear heart oval marquise emerald princess

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