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The Jewelry Hut Diamond Learning Center

Pavilion Depth Percentage

Pavilion Measurement / Total Diameter = Pavilion Depth Percentage

When properly cut the pavilion acts like a mirror reflecting white light from one side of the diamond to the other and then directing white light up towards the crown.  Any deviation from either the proper depth percentage or pavilion angle can have a significant effect on how much white light is directed up to the crown. For maximum brilliance select a diamond with pavilion depth percentage in the 42 % to 44% ranges. 




Pavilion Depth Percentage GIA Cut Classes






42% - 44%

45% - 46%

Less than 41%
More than 46%

Class I

Class II

Class III

Class IV


Total Depth Percentage

Total Depth / Total Diameter = Total Depth Percentage

Calculated by dividing the diameter of the diamond by the measurement from table to cutlet.  This measurement will always found on a GIA certified diamonds instead of the crown angle, pavilion depth percentage, or pavilion angle.

In 1919, Marcel Tolkowsky examined the relationship between a diamond cut and the reflection and refraction of light passing through a diamond. He determined, based on his studies, what would be the ideal proportions to cut a round brilliant shaped diamond to create the optimum brilliance. Today, His design is known as the “American Ideal Cut.

In 1955, AGS established their own “AGS Ideal Cut” , which included limited ranges for table size, crown angle, pavilion depth, cutlet size and girdle thickness as shown in the diagram below. Today, the “AGS Ideal Cut” diamond is a highly popular choice.


Fancy Shaped diamonds best proportions

Fancy shaped diamonds are much harder to grade because of their unusual shapes.  You notice that they are not as brilliant as a round brilliant cut diamond.

Oval Shaped Diamond

The Oval Shaped diamond is the most brilliant of all the fancy shapes, because it is the closest in shape to the round shape. The proportion factors are the same as a round brilliant cut diamond but are more generalized. A new factor of “length to width ratio” has been added.

Crown Length: 34- 36 degrees
Table Percentage:  52% - 60%
Length to Width Ration 1.50 - 1.70 to 1.0
Total Depth Percentage: 62% - 68%

Marquise Shaped Diamond

The Marquise Shaped diamond is the most popular of all fancy shaped diamonds.  When it is cut to the correct proportions and a perfect 2 to 1 length to width ratio, this diamond is incredibly beautiful.  However, any deviation from the best proportions have a very noticeable effect on the brilliance of the stone.

Crown Length: 34- 36 degrees
Table Percentage:  52% - 60%
Length to Width Ration 1.75 - 2.20 to 1.0
Total Depth Percentage: 62% - 69%

Heart Shaped Diamond

Finding a well cut heart shaped diamond is very difficult. They are very often cut unevenly or very shallow. If possible, look for a placement of V-Shaped notch, or cleft, in the stone’s top portion. The cleft should not extend past the crown facets.

Crown Length: 34- 36 degrees
Table Percentage:  52% - 64%
Length to Width Ration 1.00 - 1.20 to 1.0
Total Depth Percentage: 52% - 59%


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