The Guide to Diamond Shape: Which Cut Suits You?

Different types of diamond cuts

Before purchasing a diamond, it is important to consider cost, quality, and overall appeal. When examining quality, many people refer to the ‘four Cs’ to classify a diamond: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. But with so many unique characteristics to take into account, selecting a diamond that fits your preferred taste and style can be tricky. Regardless of whether you’re searching for vintage jewelry that tells a story, a brilliant pendant, or a stunning diamond ring, diamond shape usually plays an important role in the purchase process.

Popular Diamond Shapes

If you’re searching for yourself, or, perhaps, searching for the right stone to ask someone a very important question, selecting a shape is one of the first steps to choosing a gemstone. The ‘shape’ of a diamond refers to its silhouette and is one of the most distinguishable physical characteristics of any stone. Below, explore the ten most popular diamond shapes and their iconic features to help narrow your list.

diamond shapes

Round Cut Diamond

round diamond

With various faceted patterns, the round cut diamond is known for unrivaled brilliance resulting from its 360-degree symmetrical shape, which allows for maximum light reflection. The versatility of the round silhouette makes it the most popular shape and a preferred option for engagement rings.

Princess Cut Diamond

princess cut

First created in 1980, the shape of the princess cut is distinguishable by its 90-degree corners and square or rectangular outline. With its traditional appeal, this diamond shape is another one of the most popular choices for engagement rings.

The princess cut is also one of the most efficiently-created diamonds, with a shape that allows for two equally-sized diamonds to be cut from the same rough stone. In addition to efficiency and beauty, princess cut diamonds also tend to have a lower price-per-carat than round cut diamonds. If you’re looking for a square shape with the brilliance of a circle cut, then the princess cut is right for you.

Oval Diamond

oval diamond

With its elongated shape, an oval cut diamond makes the stone appear larger. The oval-shaped diamond is a great jewelry option for wearers with an active lifestyle due to its rounded edges. If you’re looking for a diamond that embodies tradition with a twist, oval might be the shape for you.

When browsing diamonds, you should ask about the bow-tie effect, also referred to as the ‘butterfly effect’. Common in oval, marquise, pear, and princess cut diamonds, the bow-tie effect manifests in the appearance of a dark space stretching along the diamond’s center. While it’s a sign of an imperfectly cut diamond, a small amount of bow-tie effect is attractive to some wearers.

Marquise Diamond

marquise diamond

The marquise diamond is an elongated stone, similar to the oval shape, with pointed edges that resemble an ellipse or football. This diamond has one of the largest crown surface areas, making the stone appear larger than it actually is. Its long, narrow silhouette has been around for centuries. It was originally requested by King Louis XV of France, who longed for a diamond shape that could resemble the lips of his mistress.

Symmetry is an important aspect to take into consideration when searching for the perfect marquise diamond. The two points of the diamond should align with one another, otherwise the setting of the diamond will appear off.

Heart-Shaped Diamond

heart shaped diamond

The heart-shaped diamond is synonymous with love and boasts a distinctive shape that truly says it all. Heart-shaped diamonds come in a variety of sizes for different budgets.

Like the marquise cut, symmetry is important to the appearance of a heart-shaped stone. It’s critical that both halves of the heart are the same size, otherwise the entire silhouette of the stone will be compromised. 

Emerald Cut Diamond

emerald cut

The emerald cut features a rectangular shape with steps situated in parallel lines down the sides of the stone. The elongated shape of this stone allows the emerald shaped diamond to appear larger than other diamonds of the same carat weight. The deep cuts of this diamond shape give the stone plenty of reflections that produce a dazzling hall-of-mirrors effect.

Pear-Shaped Diamond

pear shaped diamond

The pear-shaped diamond resembles a drop of water with a pointed tip. It is a cross between the round and marquise shaped diamonds. The teardrop shape is slender and produces maximum brilliance.

The pear-shaped diamond is a modern, trendy alternative to some of the more traditional diamond shapes. One reason this diamond has seen a rise in popularity is due to its versatility; it can be worn with the point facing up or down, offering the wearer two different looks. 

Asscher Cut Diamond

asscher diamond

Introduced in 1902 by diamond cutter Joseph Asscher, the Asscher cut diamond features cropped corners similar to the emerald cut diamond. Because of its square shape, larger-cut step facets, and smaller crown, the Asscher diamond produces more brilliance than the emerald cut.

Cushion Cut Diamond

cushion cut

The cushion cut diamond is square in shape with rounded corners that give the stone its pillow-like appearance. This diamond shape evokes a vintage feel, having been around for over 200 years. The cushion cut diamond is less brilliant than round cut diamonds, but tends to have better color in the light, also known as fire.

The distinctive look offered by the cushion cut makes this stone one of the most prized among antique collectors. Modern cushion cuts can be classified as either standard or modified. Modified cushions are variations of the traditional cut facets pattern. Modified cushion cut diamonds contain an extra row of facets to give the diamond an exceptional sparkle. 

Radiant Diamond

radiant diamond

Perfect for those looking for an extraordinary stone, the radiant diamond is a hybrid that combines the edges of an emerald cut with the breathtaking brilliance of the round cut.

A radiant-cut diamond has a variety of facets in the crown that give off an enchanting sparkle. The beveled corners make for great stability and pair well with either round or square diamond cuts.

There are many attributes that illustrate the beauty of diamonds, and each helps you make the right selection. Now that you can identify one shape from another, discover which diamond cut suits your personality with our quiz below.

How to Choose a Diamond: Which Cut Suits You?

diamond shapes flowchart

With an array of diamonds to choose from in the market, the ability to quickly spot your favorite silhouettes can make all the difference. From exclusive designers including Bulgari and Cartier to antique jewelry boxes and sets, you’ll surely find something unique.

Looking for more? Explore diamonds available now on Invaluable.

SourcesWixon Jewelers | Blue Nile