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2 large diamonds on a. white table sparkling in the sunlight

Which Diamond Cut Sparkles the Most?

There’s a reason diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Not only are they classy and refined, but resemble a high level of craftsmanship in curating these precious stones to be worn in stunning style.


Most people assume that all cuts of diamond are similar – in fact, “diamond,” while not a shape that perfectly resembles the stone, is indicative of the smooth, angled facets used to create a sparkling effect when cutting the stones. The top-heavy diamond shape with the wide crown is the general cut people think of when picturing a conventional diamond stone, and for good reason, as we’ll explore below.


The underlying truth is that certain cuts tend to have more brilliant sparkle than others, and it pays to know what you’re looking for. In this post, we’ll look at what makes a diamond cut sparkle and catch our eye from across the room, exploring cut styles to diamond quality and beyond.

The Role of Diamond Cut in Sparkle

A diamond’s cut is the influence of how much light is reflected and refracted to create that coveted sparkle. A well-cut diamond has been precisely measured to maximize the light return – meaning the light that enters and bounces back out through the top. Poorly cut diamonds let light escape through the bottom or sides, appearing duller.


Such cuts determine the diamond’s symmetry, proportions, and arrangement of facets – the flat and polished surfaces located on the “crown” and “pavillions” of the diamond face. Even tiny differences in these factors affect the path that light travels through the stone. A skilled gem cutter can coax maximum brilliance and fire. They achieve this by two conventional techniques – cleaving and sawing with are. The ideal angles vary slightly by cut but generally range between 34-35 degrees for the crown and 40-41 degrees for the pavilion.

The Top Diamond Cuts for Sparkle

While a plethora of diamond cuts exist, a few are known to be the most impressive performers:

Round Brilliant Cut Diamond

The Round Brilliant is considered the ultimate classic and for good reason. It offers a precise symmetry of 57 to 58 facets and can look truly special when cut to ideal proportions. This is the conventional diamond cut you likely imagined at the start of this guide.

Princess Cut Diamond

From there, the Princess comes a close second. Boasting a pyramid-like facet pattern, a well-cut princess reflects light incredibly well. Plus its distinctive square shape lets you really admire the intricate sparkle pattern, and fits well into a great variety of jewelry pieces.

Cushion Cut Diamond

The Cushion cut combines a rectangular shape with a curved side, allowing it to look vintage, a popular cut of old. However, despite that antique style, cushion cuts can offer a sense of “crushed ice sparkle,” which has a dazzling effect is laid into a piece side by side.

Radiant Cut Diamond

Last but certainly not least, the Radiant offers a simple cropped corner shape but looks beautiful, hence its namesake. It’s a favourite of many jewellers because it shows the craftsman’s art and offers a nice variety in line with other cuts.

Extra Factors that Define Sparkle

Sure, cut is king for sparkle, but it’s also important to remember that diamond clarity and carat weight will influence a diamond’s overall light performance. Higher-clarity diamonds with fewer blemishes and inclusions will refract and disperse light more cleanly, simply because there’s less to obstruct the natural light, and the best are known as “eye-clean.” Of course, a low-quality diamond will offer limited sparkle no matter the cut.


Carat weight makes a difference too. Larger diamonds tend to have more internal light reflections and refraction, meaning they sparkle in a range of directions and light travels through it. However, don’t assume bigger is automatically better – an ideally cut 1 carat is better than a larger, but less refined stone. That being said, at equal cut quality, a larger diamond will usually express more sparkle than a smaller one thanks to its bigger facets and more interior angles, creating flashes that are hard to contend with. That’s why some pieces may just feature one large, flawless diamond.

Scientific Factors that Contribute to Sparkle

Digging into the science behind a diamond’s sparkle is not only fascinating, it can help you become a better diamond inspector. It all comes down to finer details in the cut quality – more precisely, the facet pattern, symmetry, polish, angles, and proportions of each stone. The closer these all align to the optimal measurements, the more precise the light performance and the more dazzling the diamond’s brilliance will be.


Symmetry is the first feature to discuss. The facets must be consistently shaped, sized, polished, and aligned to guide light in the ideal paths – a mixture of worthwhile cut and better stone. Diamond will use a range of methods such as planning, sawing, and shaping each stone depending on the need and the characteristics of each item. It’s incredibly hard and precise work, but ultimately worth it when an ideal is achieved.

Find Your Diamond Jewellery With Skilled Calgary Jewellers

At Alberta Diamond Exchange, you’ll experience the heights of dazzling diamond brilliance first-hand across our incredible selection.


Our gemologists carefully inspect each diamond’s cutting precision to curate the most brilliant stones. From iconic round brilliants displaying sparkle to gorgeous princess cuts and distinctively attractive cushions and radiants, you’ll find superior cutting quality in all our top shapes. Searching for any new diamond can feel a little overwhelming, but our experts will be delighted to guide you and encourage you to prioritize the best cut when selecting a stone.


When the cut is optimal, nothing else compares to a diamond’s larger-than-life, compelling sparkle. Come experience that breathtaking craftsmanship for yourself at Alberta Diamond Exchange!


Book an appointment to get started.

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