Knowing the basic information about diamond shapes will help you select the perfect diamond for you or a loved one. Each shape offers a distinct set of recognisable differences that determine the beauty, fire and sparkle of the stone. Our diamond shapes guide will help you maximise your budget with your desired taste and style. With these notes in mind, you can select a diamond that will be cherished and admired for years to come.
The round brilliant cut diamond is the most popular shape. It was cut for centuries, but in 1919 Marcel Tolkowsky defined specific angles and proportions which would provide a balanced return of light (brilliance) and dispersion, forming the basis for the modern round brilliant cut diamond. Clean, classic, versatile and with more fire and brilliance than any other shape, it would be difficult to persuade anyone against this choice - as proven by the fact that it accounts for more than half of all diamonds sold today. (For those wishing to surprise their partners and unsure of what they might like, one could hardly go wrong here). The round, or brilliant cut diamond is, by far, the most popular shape for diamond engagement rings. Round diamonds are timeless and always a smart choice.
Princess cut diamonds are the second most popular diamond shape. Princess cut diamonds possess the gorgeous sparkle of round brilliant diamonds in a distinctive square shape. The Princess cut diamond is sometimes referred to as square modified brilliant, as it faceting style is similar to a round brilliant, with triangular and kite-shaped facets radiating from the centre. It combines the brilliance of a round cut with an overall square or rectangular appearance. It is very popular, due to it's wonderful characteristics that combine both style and brilliance. They offer a contemporary look and the flexibility to work in almost any style of ring. Their exquisite shape makes them an exotic treasure - as they are designed for getting top brilliance from their square cut.
Cushion cut diamonds have rounded corners and larger facets to increase their brilliance. It is based on the antique cushion cut, which is a combination of round and square outlines, with a softened square or "pillow" shape that gives it it's name. Cushion cut diamonds combine the appeal of a square cut diamond but soft, rounded edges, lending this shape a romantic feel. This timeless shape is derived from the old mine cut, and has been refined over hundreds of years. Cushion cut diamonds are a beautiful choice for any setting style. A fancy cut, it has very romantic connotations and an antique look to it. Modern cushion cut diamonds are also known as "candlelight diamonds". These diamonds have a look that evokes romance because of their natural shine and beauty.
Emerald cut diamonds are among the most popular fancy cuts. A type of step cut, the emerald cut diamond is a very popular style for it's beauty and precision. It is like looking into glacier-pure ice. Speaking volumes of vintage glamour and old world charm and favoured by style icons as Grace Kelly. The emerald cut was one of the first cuts to be used in jewellery design and it's broad flat plane highlights the clarity and natural crystalline growth of a diamond to unparalleled measure. Emerald cut diamonds are treasured for their elegant silhouette. The shallow pavilion and crown accentuate the clarity of the stone, while reflective steps enhance the colour and lustre of the diamond.
The radiant cut has the class and elegance of an emerald cut without sacrificing the brilliance of a round brilliant cut. The radiant cut is especially popular for fancy coloured diamonds such as natural yellow and pink diamonds, because the shape, proportions and facet arrangement intensify the colour. It combines two diamond cutting styles - The Round Cut Style & The Emerald cut style to create non-traditional, yet still brilliant diamond. This cut, created in 1977 by Henry Grossbard, was designed to maintain the beauty of each different type of diamond, while still creating something altogether different from anything available at the time. The radiant cut combines the silhouette of an emerald cut diamond with the fire and sparkle or a round brilliant cut diamond. Due to it's design, this shape requires more carat weight in the depth to maximise brilliance.
The oval shaped diamond has a beautiful brilliance very similar to a round diamond except that it is an elliptical variation of the round brilliant with 56 to 58 facets. The oval cut diamond was created by Lazare Kaplan in the early 1960's. The elongated shape of oval cut diamonds has the unique characteristic of creating a flattering illusion of lengthening the hand. The shape itself presents a larger surface area than a round diamond of the same carat weight, thus giving the appearance of a larger stone. The ever-flattering oval shape is symmetrical and exhibits a similar fire and brilliance to round shaped diamonds. A scintillating twist on the classic round brilliant, the elongated shape can create the illusion of larger size. Oval diamonds are highly versatile, remarkably elegant, and distinctive. It is a popular style for a woman with small hand or short fingers.
The pear shape is a fancy cut that is a variation of the traditional round brilliant cut. As such, pear shape cut diamonds are a combination of the oval and the marquise cut, resembling a glittering teardrop. Pear shapes feature a rounded edge tapering to a point at the opposite end. This unique shape flatters fingers and offers a distinctive look. A fusion of the marquise shape and the most popular round brilliant cut, pear shaped diamonds are intended to showcase the sparkle of the diamond, making it important to find a stone with great symmetry. The pear-shaped diamond combines the tradition and brilliance of round cut with a less common shape to create an unusual diamond that, can still make light "dance" as it does in the traditional Round Brilliant Cut. The teardrop-shaped pear makes a beautiful ring. It is well suited to the woman with petite or short fingers.
The typical marquise diamond is a variation of the round brilliant cut, with elongated ends and stretch it into an oval shape. Legend has it that the name derives from the Marquise of Pompadour, and that King Louis XV of France wanted a diamond to be cut in the shape of the marquise's smile. With 56 facets, the marquise is a slender, striking cut that is ideal for engagement rings. The elongated shape flatters the finger with it's regal form and tapering points at both ends. The marquise cut tends to emphasize the carat weight of the diamond, making it appear much larger than it is, and also has the brilliance and sparkle of a perfect round brilliant cut. The marquise shaped diamond features pointed ends with a curved middle for an eye-catching look. With a larger surface area than any other diamond shape, the marquise shape maximises perceived size and lend a unique look to any setting style.
The asscher cut was developed by Joseph Asscher in 1902 and was the first signature cut to be patented. In 1908 his company was commissioned by the Royal Family to cut the world's largest diamond in history, the 3,106 carat Cullinan diamond. In 2001 the brothers Edward and Joop Asscher designed and introduced the patented Royal Asscher cut, with new specifications and additional facets for a more brilliant shine. The asscher cut features a square shape with corners. A high crown with large step cut facets bestows more brilliance than the other popular step cut shape, the emerald shape. Asscher cut diamonds are sleek and modern in solitaire settings, and their unique shape perfectly compliments vintage-inspired styles. It is a wonderful choice for the fashion forward woman desiring a dramatic engagement ring.
Heart shaped diamonds are one of the most attractive of the fancy cut diamonds. They are modified brilliants, as the cut is based on a round brilliant cut. Heart-shaped diamonds are high-quality diamonds cut into the shape of the universal symbol of love, and are undoubtedly the most romantic. The skill of the cutter can make a difference in the beauty of this cut. The heart shaped diamond is an evocative signifier of true love. They shimmer with two symmetrical halves, creating a bold and romantic look. Heart shaped diamonds are cut to make the most of brilliance. They simply look stunning and gorgeous set in an engagement ring.