Often times you hear people refer to diamond shapes as either square, round, rectangular, or kinda round and a little longish with pointy ends. But there is wayyy more to the shape of the diamond than meets the eye. Aside from the outline of the stone, the diamond's faceting also determines what type of shape it is. For instance, Radiant and Emerald cut diamonds are both rectangular, however, they look completely different because Radiant cut diamonds have brilliant facets and Emerald cut diamonds have step-cut facets.
The round brilliant cut diamond is by far the most popular shape. The shape is exactly what it sounds like- round with brilliant faceting. Round brilliant diamonds are believed to be the most brilliant and look the largest face-up (which is good to know if you are looking for something BIG and sparkly). Warning: make sure the diamond is not to shallow or not too deep. If the diamond is too shallow is can create a fish-eye effect and if the diamond is too deep, it can make the diamond look small.
· The GIA grades diamond cuts as either Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair or Poor. A diamond’s grade is based upon the precise craftsmanship of the stone, so that the proportions, polish, and symmetry allow the maximum return of light possible. Basically, the better the diamond is cut the more it will sparkle, and everyone loves a little sparkle!
The Princess cut diamond is the most square of all shapes. It has sharp pointy corners and a sparkly brilliant cut. Warning: when setting a princess cut make sure to protect the corners, because they can easily chip.
Emerald cuts are traditionally more rectangular with cut corners. Emerald cut diamonds have step-cut facets, which are long rectangular facets. Although, step-cut diamonds do not have as much sparkle as brilliant cut diamonds, they have a very unique and classic charm. Warning: If you decide on an emerald cut with a clarity grade below SI1, see it in person to make sure the inclusion is not visible to the naked eye. It is more difficult to cover up clarity imperfections on step-cut diamonds.
Asscher cut diamonds are very similar to Emerald cuts, except they are square and not rectangular. Asscher cut diamonds were extremely popular during the Art-Deco period in the 1920’s. In 1968, Elizabeth Taylor was gifted a 33.19ct Asscher cut diamond by Richard Burton. Warning: Asscher cuts have a tendency to appear slightly smaller face-up since a lot if it’s carat weight is held towards the bottom of the stone.
Marquise cut diamonds have an oval body with sharp pointed ends. They are a unique cut that can make fingers appear elegant and slender. Warning: Similar to the Princess cut, make sure you are careful with the pointed ends. Also, Marquise cut diamonds canhave a tendency to show a bow-tie effect. If a marquise diamond is cut poorly, there can be light obstruction in the center creating the look of a black bow-tie.
An Oval cut diamond is exactly like it sounds- an Oval! The Oval diamond has brilliant cut facets and is becoming a very popular diamond cut. Oval cut diamonds are a fashion-forward alternative to the traditional round, and can help create the appearance of long slender fingers. Warning: Similar to the Marquise cut, be aware of the potential for a bow-tie effect.
Radiant cut diamonds tend to be rectangular with distinct cut corners and brilliant cut facets. Radiant cut diamonds have become a very popular and versatile stone. For those who love a rectangular look and don’t want to sacrifice sparkle, Radiant cuts are a great choice. Warning: make sure the faceting pattern is consistent in the diamond.
Pear shape diamonds have brilliant cut facets with a tear-drop look (single pointed end and round end). When cut nicely, the diamond should look like a nicely shaped pear. This elegant cut is great for drop earrings or pendants. Warning: be careful of the bow-tie effect.
One of the most popular cuts, Cushion cuts have the appearance of pillows (square-ish shape with rounded corners). Modern Cushion cuts have brilliant faceting, similar to that of a Radiant cut. Antique cushion cuts have a unique charm with larger faceting and slightly less brilliance. Warning: make sure your cushion cut isn’t’ cut too deep or too shallow. If it is too deep the diamond can look smaller than it is. If the diamond is shallow it can appear flat with less life.
Heart shape diamonds are the most obvious when it comes to representations of love. Heart shape diamonds have brilliant cut facets. Warning: with heart shapes it is important to make sure they are cut well (so the diamond actually looks like a heart and not a blob) and be careful of the bow-tie effect.