Cut is the only diamond characteristic directly influenced by man - the other three are dictated by nature. A good round brilliant cut releases the fire, life and sparkle of a diamond through the arrangement and proportions of its 57 or 58 facets (tiny planes that create angles to reflect light).

The shape of a diamond is a matter of personal taste, with many different shaped cuts available, for example; pear, oval and heart. Not to be confused with the shape of a diamond, cut refers to the arrangement of a diamond's facets. A diamond that is "ideal cut" captures and releases the maximum play of light. The cut gives each diamond its unique sparkle and brilliance by allowing the maximum amount of light to enter and reflect back out of the diamond. In its natural state, a diamond's beauty is generally concealed.

While nature determines a diamond's colour, clarity, and carat weight, the hand of a master craftsman is needed to release its fire and beauty. What draws out its brilliance is the cut of the diamond, which under ideal circumstances maximizes the optical properties within the diamond, particularly its ability to refract light and disperse colour. To achieve an ideal cut, the diamond cutter must adhere to a whole series of exacting tolerances. Those tolerances, in turn, may well mean that much of the rough diamond has to be cut away.

If the cut is too deep or too shallow light will spill through the side or bottom and be lost, resulting in a less brilliant display and thus, a less valuable diamond. Cut is the most critical of all the variables that affect the value of a diamond. It is essential you know the quality of the cut when purchasing a diamond. Round brilliant cut diamonds, are symmetrical and capable of reflecting the most of the light, and are the most brilliant of all the diamond shapes. Below is a list of most types of diamond cut available today. W E Clark & Son will use some of the more unusual cuts in their jewellery, please see the examples from the Clark Collection.