DIAMOND & GEMSTONE SHAPES
Before selecting your perfect diamond, especially if you are buying a diamond engagement ring, it’s good to know more about the different shape options 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, this means the stone’s physical shape such as round or square or pear. 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.
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.
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.
The modern Asscher cut can be described as a square emerald cut; 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.
Originally developed for the cutting of emeralds, the emerald cut is prized for its clean lines rather than its 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Classifying Diamond Shapes
Now that you know the different shapes of diamonds 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.
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, marquise, or cushion-cut. These are traditional choices that will never go out of style. Pair them with a classic ring or necklace setting for a traditional timeless piece of jewelry.
If you lean more towards modern designs then chic and elegant shapes best suit you. You can try either emerald, princess-cut, or oval diamonds. These shapes are more playful and can be placed in a unique and fashionable modern ring and necklace settings.
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.