Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and rightly so. Who doesn’t love the splendor and brilliance of a beautiful diamond? But what gives a diamond its pristine place in our society is more than just how it looks in a radiant setting. Diamonds gain their prestige from the infinite care it takes to give it a unique and award-winning shape.

The cut of a diamond is believed to be the most important aspect of the traditional “Four C’s,” which are used to determine a diamond’s overall quality. Gemologists spend years in training and practice to learn the proper way to cut these priceless gems. But what is a cut exactly?

Cut refers to the overall shape and design given to a diamond by a gemologist. But cut is more involved than just the shape. It also includes the skill used to polish a diamond, the quality of the polish itself and the overall symmetry of the stone.

How a diamond reflects light depends on the cut. Gemologists and jewelers give ratings to diamonds. The best rating to a cut is Ideal, followed by Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. At the higher end of the scale, a diamond’s brilliance can look the same to the human eye, and can only be differentiated with the use of special magnifying glasses.

To those who wear a diamond, cut is something of a personal preference. Once you determine the stone’s overall quality, you have a choice in how you want it to look. Some of the more common cuts in a diamond are the round brilliant, the emerald cut, a marquis, the pear shape, an oval and square cut diamonds. All are extremely beautiful shapes and hold their own unique characteristics.

But no matter what the cut, a diamond should always reflect your personal style and taste.