Cut, often overlooked, can be the most significant issue determining brightness. In order for light to refract properly the angle of the facets is important. A rainbow is sunlight refracted and broken into color. Within a diamond one facet bends the light toward another facet and back toward a third until the light reflects back out. The bending causes the different wavelengths and the color that we see. The original stone and the cutter, in seeking optimum refraction, determine the shape and depth of the final stone.
The diamond cuts just discussed are the modern round brilliant cut. Depending on the original stone the cutter may be able to salvage more size or brilliance by cutting it differently. Other diamond shapes have gained or lost favor over the years. Some examples are shown below.
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