How Important Are Diamond Cut and Shape When You Sell Diamond Jewelry?

There are several different factors used by a GIA (Gemology Institute of America) and JA (Jewelers of America) appraiser when determining the value of diamonds. It is important to understand what these are, whether you want to sell diamond jewelry or sell a diamond ring.

The most common factors used to value diamonds include:

  • Color
  • Clarity
  • Cut
  • Carat
  • Shape

You may have heard of the first four being called the “4 C”s of diamonds. While each of these factors is important, both cut and shape are probably the top two since they influence the other three factors.

What Does Diamond Cut Mean?

The cut of a diamond refers to how it was cut by a jeweler. The cut is how well the surface of the diamond reacts to natural light. The more precise the cut, the more the diamond is worth. A GIA diamond appraiser grades the cut of a diamond and assigns it one of these five ratings:

  1. Excellent
  2. Very Good
  3. Good
  4. Fair
  5. Poor


Of course, you want your diamond to have a cut that is rated at least Good or higher since it will be worth more than one that has a Fair or Poor cut.

What Does Diamond Shape Mean?

The shape of the diamond is exactly what it means. The diamond is round, oval, or some other shape. There are ten accepted shapes of diamonds by the GIA and JA, including:

  1. Round
  2. Princess
  3. Emerald
  4. Asscher
  5. Oval
  6. Marquise
  7. Radiant
  8. Heart
  9. Pear
  10. Cushion


Sometimes jewelers and diamond appraisers will use the shape name to also describe the cut. For instance, they might say a princess-cut diamond ring. While this describes the shape of the diamond, it does not tell you the grade of the cut itself. Just remember, the cut grade is not the same as the shape of the cut.

How Do Cut and Shape Determine Diamond Value?

As we already mentioned, the grade of the cut is an important factor when determining diamond value. When you include the shape of the diamond, along with the grade of the cut, this is where things can get interesting.

A round-shape diamond with a cut grade of Good or higher typically is worth more than other shapes of diamonds when the color, clarity, and carats are the same. On the other hand, certain shapes of diamonds are worth more at specific carats when they have a cut grade of Good or higher.

For example, a heart-shape diamond is the second most valuable behind a round-shape diamond when it is a half a carat. When we move to one-carat diamonds, while the round shape is still the most valuable, the second most valuable shape is the marquise shape.

When we jump to a one-and-a-half-carat diamond, an oval shape is the second most valuable behind round. At two carats, the marquise shape is again the second most valuable, with oval being the third most valuable.

The Diamond Inspector

What About Color and Clarity?

The color is also used to value a diamond based on the rarity of the color and its intensity. The more rare or intense a diamond’s color, the more it is worth. Clarity refers to how clear the diamond is when viewed through a jeweler’s lens. The clearer the diamond is, with fewer impurities, the more the diamond is worth.

Both color and clarity also influence a diamond’s value, so just keep this in mind too. Essentially, the grade of cut and shape of the diamond are the two most important factors, followed by color and clarity, and then the carat size to determine the diamond’s value.

To find out how much you can sell diamond jewelry or sell a diamond ring for, please feel free to stop by your nearest GEM Pawnbroker location in the Greater NYC Area or call us at 718-596-5626 today!

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