February 13

What Is a Leo Diamond? | Why is This Cut Unique and Beautiful?


Author: Paula Vysovska

The market currently has countless diamond cuts to match diverse preferences. Leo-cut diamonds are among the most popular; you’ve probably come across the name in jewelry stores or while browsing the internet. 

Key Takeaways

  • Leo cut diamonds stand out because they’re certified to be visibly brighter than their counterparts.
  • The additional facets of Schachter diamonds increase their glare
  • Factors that determine Leo diamond’s pricing include carat weight, cut grade, color grade and clarity  
  • Leo cut diamonds are relatively costly but worth it

The brainchild of Leo Schachter, a leading producer of fine diamonds, the Leo Diamond is breathtaking, captivating, and desired globally. It forms the stunning centerpiece of an exquisite collection of Leo diamond ring varieties, diamond studs and earrings, and pendants. But what is a Leo diamond, and what makes it that unique? This Leo diamond review will answer you. 

What Is a Leo Diamond? A Quick Overview

This patented cut by diamond cutter Leo Schachter entered the scene in 1993. It differs from other diamonds in that it has extra facets; these are the numerous flat surfaces on diamonds. For instance, a typical round Leo artisan diamond has 57 or 58 facets, while its Leo round-cut counterpart has 66.

You can choose between multiple diamond shapes, including radiants, princesses, emeralds, rounds, cushions, emerald and marquise diamond cut, each crafted with more facets than other diamonds.

It’s easy to identify a Leo cut ring as the band interiors have “THE LEO” inscription with a round diamond replacing the letter O. Moreover, all of these diamonds come with a laser-inscribed Leo ID number. Engagement rings are the most popular, but you’ll also find Leo diamond-adorned jewelry, bands, and ring enhancers.

What Is Unique about Leo Cut Diamonds?

According to the fine diamond company, Leo cut diamonds stand out because they’re certified to be visibly brighter than their counterparts. The company’s patented faceting enables the effective movement of light through diamonds to deliver superior brilliance. Leo-cut diamonds are classified into two:

  • The Leo Diamond – This visibly brighter diamond cut maximizes sparkle, brilliance, and fire.
  • The Leo Diamond Artisan – This variety is cut to deliver the same lighting quality as the Leo Diamond while paying extra attention to polish and symmetry.

Leo cut diamonds’ central selling point is that it’s the first diamond to earn an independent certification as a visibly lighter option. But remember, they’re the “first” to achieve this feat, not the “only” one.

Leo diamond pieces come with a gemological certificate from GSI or IGI, top independent diamond grading labs, and a light performance certificate by GemEx. Every Leo diamond jewelry can attain at least three high GemEx ratings. Leo cut diamonds use their GemEx credentials to support their claim to be a diamond certified to be brighter.

The Science of Leo Diamond 

A discussion about Leo diamonds can’t be complete without covering the science behind this adored product. Traditionally, most diamond pieces comprise 57 facets, the ideal standard. But with the precision required to achieve this diamond cut, it’s no easy feat.

Even though additional facets lead to more glare, there’s a catch. A Leo diamond has relatively smaller veneers despite having more surfaces reflecting light. The surfaces create shorter flashes, and it can be challenging to view the full spectrum of colors, also known as fire. Thus, unfortunately, Leo diamonds lack the colorful light phenomenon.

The crucial considerations when buying diamonds are;

  • Scintillation – The contrast between black and white sparkle visible when moving the diamond
  • Brilliance – The white sparkle
  • Fire – Colored light

A Leo-cut diamond optimizes brilliance but loses all the fire. Fortunately, the manufacturer launched the Leo First Light Diamond to address this concern. Most people describe it as having a “disco-ball” appearance like CVD diamonds.

What I Like About the Leo Diamond

The Leo Diamond cut is a work of art, a paragon of perfection incorporating an accumulated hundred years of skills, experience, wisdom, and technology. Only an expert diamantaire can handcraft it – someone with a unique sensibility for beauty, steady hands, an eye for detail, and at least two decades of experience.

The GemEx Systems report lauds Leo Diamond’s superior “Return of Light,” making it the ultimate diamond. Its unrivaled brilliance goes beyond recording the brilliant moments. With the GYD (Grow Your Diamond) preferential program, you’re set to enjoy exclusive value with the opportunity to celebrate your life’s brilliant moments with a bigger and brighter piece.

Lastly, I like the diamond cutter’s DNA of craftsmanship. Leo inherited his skill from his dad Max, the skilled diamond cutter. Half a century earlier, his dad studied in Antwerp before establishing his eponymous company that has remained family-owned.

Leo has passed his passion and skills to two subsequent generations and all artisans in the entity, each of whom endeavors to deliver the most magnificently-cut and brilliant diamonds.

a diamond ring with a reflection

Problems With Leo Diamond

You should be aware of a few concerns with Leo diamonds. First, their GSI and IGI grading lack the consistency and integrity of AGS-certified diamonds. I’ve also noted substantial cutting standards inconsistency and negligible light return. As mentioned above, the additional facets cannot deliver the perfect sparkle as they fail to maintain the balance between brilliance and fire.

The heavy focus on extra facets and enhanced brightness harms the diamond’s overall performance. A first-time buyer won’t gain much insight into the 4 C’s and would lack a complete view of diamond certification if they consider the Leo as their buying resource.

Still, I consider all these as setbacks and not deal breakers because Leo diamonds still stand out among the best quality options.

What Are Leo Cut Diamonds Worth?

Leo diamonds aren’t among the cheapest diamond cuts. It might cost more than you’d pay for other diamond pieces. Generally, your Leo cut diamond’s four C’s will determine its price:

  • Carat weight – The diamond’s weight, usually abbreviated to ct.
  • Cut grade – A round diamond’s cut quality.
  • Clarity grade – The amount of external and internal marks in the diamond
  • Color grade – The amount of brown/yellow gold setting the diamond displays

Notably, the exclusivity of Leo cut diamonds means it’s difficult to find them in the second-hand market. 

a female hand with a ring on the finger


Are Leo Diamonds Real Diamonds?

Yes. Leo diamonds are natural diamonds. Every piece has an IGI certification, clearly stating that it is purely natural. Ensure you check the purchase receipt to confirm that the Leo diamond you acquired is natural.

What Grade Are Leo Diamonds?

Leo diamonds boast an unsurpassed 4C grading for color, cut, weight, and clarity. Tested by the International Gemological Institute, one of the world’s most reputable gemological labs, these pieces are of unparalleled quality. This rating applies to every Leo diamond weighing at least 0.18 carats.

Is the Leo Diamond Lab-Created?

All Leo-cut diamond pieces are natural except the LEO® Legacy, which is lab-created. For this product, the craftsman leverages the latest cutting-edge technology to grow it in an environment similar to nature. This process results in a lab-created diamond that shares similar physical, optical, and chemical properties as its mined counterparts. 

What Is Unique about Leo Cut Diamonds?

The most notable aspect of the Leo diamond is the additional facets way beyond standard options. Every patented 82-facet diamond by the craftsman is cut based on precision lathing and careful calculations to deliver incomparable brilliance. This unique facet arrangement creates room for superior Return of Light. Thus, the Leo is brighter than round diamonds of similar clarity, color, and carat weight.  

About the Author:

Paula Vysovska

I have a strong background in editorial roles as well as content writing. I oversee all Diamond Explainer content on the topics related to fine jewelry, precious gemstones, and the diamond industry in general.

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