Diamond Shape Guide

When it comes to gemstone cuts, most of us know that there are a variety of different shapes available. But do you realize just how many? You may want an 1800s-inspired cushion cut, a heart shape cut for a loved one for Valentine’s Day, or perhaps the more traditional round brilliant cut with its magnificent sparkle. Whatever diamond shape you fancy, you can be sure that there are a wide variety of options for you to choose from.


Before selecting your perfect diamond cut, especially if you are buying a diamond engagement ring, it’s good to know more about the different diamond shapes available. There are numerous types of diamond cuts and shapes, all with their own unique style and unquestionable appeal. Cut diamonds suit everyone and look incredible in engagement rings, pendant necklaces, and earrings. Different diamond cuts may suit different people and occasions. In this article, we investigate ten of the most popular cut diamond shapes and tell you more about them.

Firstly, there is a common misconception that a diamond’s shape and a diamond’s cut mean the same thing. However, this is not true. It’s normal for people to say shape when they are referring to cushion cut diamonds or a marquise cut diamond, for example, but the reality is that shape and cut are entirely different. When we refer to the shape of a diamond cut, this means the stone’s physical shape such as pear, square or round cut diamonds. The cut, on the other hand, is the skill of the jeweler and how they have carefully and skillfully cut the diamond to perfectly reflect light and reduce inclusions.

A diamond’s cut contributes heavily to its value as the right cut can impact the diamond’s color and make it look brilliant while a bad cut can make it look dull. If you want to know more about cut and cut grade, we have another article that explains what makes a good diamond cut.

A diamond’s shape, on the other hand, doesn’t mean its ability to reflect light but rather the physical shape of the diamond. Let’s look at some of the most popular diamond shapes.



When people are asked to describe a diamond shape, most will reply “round”. The round cut diamond is indeed regarded as a classic design and is usually the most popular for a classic diamond engagement ring. Although strictly speaking a round diamond could be almost any cut, the most famous and prominent is the round brilliant cut. This cut is noted for featuring either 57 or 58 facets which give the diamond its famous sparkle. The round brilliant-cut is what some would say is the standard for what cut diamonds should look like.

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A relatively recent creation, the modern princess-cut features distinctive pointed corners. Although these are traditionally square, some princess-cut diamonds are slightly rectangular in shape, though this may be difficult for the untrained eye to detect. The princess-cut is another popular cut and a favorite for an elegant engagement ring. It can have up to 76 small facets. The classic prong is the best setting for princess cuts as it shows off the diamond’s elegance and allows more light to pass through the stone. It also uses less metal than other settings. Princess-cut diamonds typically cost less per carat compared to round diamonds.

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Widely popular in the late 19th century, antique-style cushion diamonds have recently experienced a resurgence in popularity and have become a popular engagement ring choic. Influenced by the old mine cut, which featured rounded corners and large facets, cushion-cut diamonds have a soft, romantic appearance. Ranging from square to rectangular, the height to length ratio is an important factor when considering a cushion-cut diamond. Clarity is also important with this shape, as the larger facets highlight the diamond’s clarity.

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The modern Asscher cut can be described as a square emerald cut diamond; both have a pavilion cut with rectangular facets. Asscher-cut diamonds feature step facets and cropped corners that make them appear octagonal when viewed from above and offering brilliance along with its signature appeal. Designed to emphasize clarity, the Asscher cut allows you to see all the way through the diamond. There are two types of Asscher Cuts. There’s the standard Asscher Cut diamond and there’s the Royal Asscher Cut. Both were created by the Royal Asscher company. Asscher diamonds usually have 58 facets, the same as a round brilliant. The arrangement of these facets gives it a vintage “hall of mirrors” look and make it the perfect choice for vintage engagement rings.

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Originally developed for the cutting of emeralds, emerald cut diamonds are prized for their clean lines rather than their brilliance. A large table and the step cuts on the pavilion give emerald cuts a unique look that really accentuates clarity and elegance. Similar to oval diamonds, the length-to-width ratio of emerald-cut diamonds can vary. A length-to-width ratio of 1.40-1.50 ratio is ideal for a classic emerald-cut shape that usually consists of 57 facets. Emerald cut diamond shapes go well with solitaire and simple pave settings and are perfect for three-stone setting engagement rings.

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With curved edges and two pointed ends, the unusual marquise-cut is a modification of the brilliant cut. With its long, narrow boat shape, marquise cuts have the largest crown surface area of any diamond shape, giving the illusion of a larger stone. The design of a marquise shaped diamond is also ideal for elongating the fingers of the wearer.

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An oval cut diamond combines the brilliant faceting of round diamonds with an elegant elongated shape. Oval diamond cuts actually give diamonds the appearance of being larger than they actually are without changing their actual carat size and carat weight. It can also make the wearer’s fingers appear longer and slimmer. Traditional oval diamonds have a length-to-width ratio between 1.35 and 1.50.

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Like the emerald-cut, a radiant-cut diamond has straight sides and trimmed corners. However, their faceting gives them a much greater level of brilliance, resulting in a very sparkly diamond. Radiant-cut diamonds use a hybrid cutting style that combines the clean lines of square cuts with the faceting of the round brilliant cut. The shape of radiant-cut diamonds can range from square to rectangular. Radiant cut diamonds are one of the most affordable cuts because the cutting process uses a larger percentage of the original diamond rough, so very little goes to waste.

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Featuring a single tapered point, the pear shape diamond is reminiscent of a water droplet. Worn with the tip pointing either up or down the finger, the elongated pear diamond shape subtly slims the fingers. This is a vintage-style cut and is known for high sparkle. The dimensions of a pear cut diamond vary, though the most traditional ratio is between 1.45 and 1.75. Pear shape diamonds are versatile as they can be perfect as a center stone or used as lovely diamond accents and side stones.

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A heart-shaped diamond is both a symbolic and unique choice for an engagement ring. A modified round brilliant cut, heart-shaped diamonds are generally worn as solitaire rings or pendants and are made up of between 56 to 58 facets giving this stone high brilliance. For the more romantic buyers, a heart diamond engagement ring is a beautiful choice.

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Classifying Diamond Shapes

Now that you know the different diamond shapes available, how do you select the best shape for you? Here are some tips on pairing the right diamond shape to your own unique sense of style.

Traditional Style

For more traditional wearers it’s always best to go with the classics. Round-cut brilliant is your best bet. Other good choices would include Asscher-cut diamonds, marquise, or cushion-cut. These are traditional choices that will never go out of style. Pair asscher-cuts with a classic ring or necklace setting for a traditional timeless piece of jewelry.

Modern Style

If you lean more towards modern designs then chic and elegant shapes best suit you. You can try either emerald, princess-cut diamond, or oval diamonds. These shapes are more playful and can be placed in unique and fashionable modern ring and necklace settings.

Trendy Style

If you lean more towards trendy pieces and like jewelry that are unique and different then unique cuts are best suited to you such as heart-shaped or pear-shaped diamonds. These are less commonly found in a traditional engagement ring and might be your best bet for something that is uniquely suited to you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Diamond Shape

What shape is a diamond?

The majority of rough diamonds are octahedrons in their shape and are very similar to how diamonds are drawn – two pyramids end to end. When diamonds are used in jewelry, they are cut in a variety of different ways to suit the desires of their new owner.

What shape of diamond is the best for me?

The two main factors that you should consider the shape of a diamond is your finger length and personal preference. If you have shorter, stockier fingers, you should choose a more elongated shape such as marquise, pear or oval cut diamond. If you have longer fingers, you will have more options, but square or round cuts are often preferable.

What diamond shape looks the biggest?

Round diamonds give the illusion of being bigger than their actual carat weight. Circular cuts are not as deep so can have a larger diameter, thus giving the impression of a larger stone.

Which diamond shape sparkles the most?

The round brilliant cut has 58 facets and is often regarded as the “classic” cut. Due to the number of facets, it offers the most sparkle, which is what diamonds are best known for.

How big is a carat diamond?

Although sizes can vary, single carat diamond cuts will be approximately 6.5mm in diameter. The cut and the proportions of the stone may result in the size being different, although this is a good guide.

Which shape of diamond is best?

Round Brilliant Cut diamonds are the most popular because they show off the most brilliance. Cushion Cut and Princess Cut diamond shapes are also popular for engagement rings.

What is the most expensive cut of diamond?

The most expensive cut for diamonds is the round brilliant as cutters have to discard more of the rough diamond in their high precision work as this type of cut diamond requires the most facets of any shape. With a round cut diamond, you pay for a larger stone than you end up with making it more costly but they remain a popular rough diamond shape.

What Is a Diamond Shape?

To describe shapes of diamond cuts, we refer to the geometric outline and overall physical form of a rough diamond.

How Should We Compare Different Diamond Cuts?

Diamond Cut doesn’t refer to the rough diamond stone shapes but rather the quality of the cut that showcases the diamond’s brilliance. A well cut diamond is luminous and reflects white and colored light back to your eyes. A poorly cut diamond is dull instead of brilliant. Round brilliant cuts highlight the greatest sparkle of a gemstone.

How Diamond Shapes Affect Price?

Diamond shapes directly influence price because some shapes have higher associated manufacturing, higher demand and some offer more brilliance. The round brilliant diamond cut is the most expensive and one of the most popular rough diamond shapes.

How Diamond Shapes Affect Face-Up Size?

In general, a higher set diamond will make the ring look bigger. For face-up size, marquise cut diamonds appear 15% larger than rounds. Trillion, oval cut diamonds, and pear shaped diamonds also face-up large for their carat weight.

What is the most expensive diamond shape?

The round diamond cut is the most expensive diamond shape as a large amount of the rough diamond is discarded in the cutting and polishing process, only using about 40% of the original stone and offering the highest brilliance.

How to wear a pear shaped diamond?

Pear shaped diamonds are versatile as they can be perfect as a center stone or used as lovely diamond accent stones.

How are diamonds cut to shape?

A highly trained diamond cutter either cuts diamonds by hand or using a laser cutting machine. They are able to cut diamond efficiently, which requires great precision and craftsmanship.