Diamond Shapes Defined
Think you can use the words cut and shape interchangeably? Think again.
When it comes to diamonds, shape refers to the outline of the stone — round, oval, princess, etc. A diamond's cut, on the other hand, refers to the arrangement of a stone's facets. This means a diamond's shapes can be faceted, or cut, in many ways.
Diamonds can be purchased in a wide variety of shapes and cuts. Let's take a look at the ten most popular diamond shapes:
The round diamond is popular in solitaire engagement rings, earrings, and pendants. In fact, roughly half of engagement ring center stones are round — chosen for their exceptional fire and brilliance.
The princess-shaped diamond is popular because its sophisticated square shape creates the illusion of a larger diamond.
Like round diamonds, princess-cut diamonds work in almost any style of ring. It should always be set with prongs that protect the stone's four corners and prevent chipping.
Oval-shaped diamonds are so stunning they have gained fame — the Koh-I-Noor diamond that resides in the Tower of London or the 184-carat Victoria, cut in 1887, for example.
Today's oval became popular in the 1960s. It suggests the round shape's fire and brilliance, but creates the illusion of a longer finger.
Carat for carat, the marquise diamond has one of the largest surface areas of any diamond shape, making it a good choice for maximizing perceived size.
Symmetry is especially important with this shape — even the slightest difference can create an uneven look.
The brilliant-cut pear-shaped diamond combines round and a marquise shapes, with a tapered point on one end. Ideally, a pear-shaped diamond should have excellent symmetry with a point that lines up with its apex at the rounded end.
As for wearing a pear-shaped diamond, tradition says that the point should always be directed out toward the finger.
Originally, the emerald shape was designed to highlight the qualities of emeralds — but the shape transfers beautifully to diamonds.
With the step cuts of its pavilion and its large, open table, emerald-shaped diamonds produce a unique hall-of-mirrors effect, with captivating interplay between light and dark planes.
This shape works best with stones of very high quality.
Love a vintage look? Try an Asscher-shaped diamond. Named after its creator, Joseph Asscher, the Asscher-cut diamond is popular in Art Deco jewelry.
It's similar to the emerald cut, with larger facets that tend to be square rather than rectangular, with a higher crown and a smaller table. This combination often produces more brilliance than the emerald cut.
The cushion-cut diamond, also known as the old mine cut diamond, is designed to retain as much diamond weight as possible.
It has a square cut with rounded corners, and resembles a pillow — hence the name. It's a great option for vintage flair and maximum sparkle.
Radiant-cut diamonds have a complete brilliant-cut facet pattern on both the crown and pavilion, which creates a vibrant and lively diamond.
The design requires more diamond mass in order to achieve brilliance, so this cut requires a stone of high quality.
The brilliant-cut heart-shaped diamond is a stunning symbol of love and romance — that's why it's a popular choice at Valentine's Day.
Only very skilled cutters can create the heart shape, with its sharp and distinct cleft and rounded wings. Heart-shaped diamonds are generally only found in larger sizes due to the difficulty of creating this fancy cut.