When selecting a diamond, shape is one of the most important factors to consider. The contours and outlines of a diamond have a significant impact on its appearance. The brilliant round cut diamond has long been the most popular, although many modern consumers prefer alternative shapes, including cushion, princess, and radiant, among others.
The most commonly chosen shape, round diamonds have been researched by gemologists more than any other variation. Renowned for its unrivaled fire and brilliance, this shape boasts excellent light refraction properties. When all else is equal, round cut diamonds are more valuable than alternative shapes.
A square stone with 90-degree corners, the princess shape originated in the United States in 1980. The most desirable princess diamonds are perfectly square in shape, with the more rectangular variations decreasing in value.
Introduced in 1902 by renowned diamond cutter Joseph Asscher, this diamond shape utilizes many of the same cutting techniques as the emerald cut. What sets asscher diamonds apart are their uniquely angled and cropped corners creating a timeless look.
First introduced to the jewelry market in the early 1800’s, the cushion cut diamond is rich with diamond history. Cut into a square or rectangular shape with rounded corners and sides, it's considered by many to be a more vintage version of the round cut diamond.
Emerald cut diamonds are usually rectangular in shape. Distinguished by beveled corners and step facets, this type of diamond is more transparent than other shapes, often requiring higher standards of clarity.
The marquise cut is rumored to have been specially developed for King Louis XIV of France who wanted a diamond that simulated the smile of Marquise de Pompadour. The elongated Marquise stone has gracefully pointed ends for a dramatically beautiful appeal.
Cut with the same number of facets as a round diamond, an oval shape emits nearly the same level of brilliance and fire. Due to its elongated shape, the oval cut can appear larger than a round diamond of equal carat (weight).
Exuding elegance, the pear shape diamond (also referred to as a drop cut or teardrop diamond) is cut to resemble a drop of water with a single point and rounded end. The result is a cross between a round and marquise cut.
Relatively new to the jewelry industry, radiant diamonds were introduced a little more than 20 years ago. This unique shape is a stunning hybrid of a traditional round cut and an elegant emerald cut, resulting in a square, near-square, or rectangular orientation. As the name suggests, radiant diamonds tend to emit a beautiful, memorable glow.
Living up to its name, the heart cut diamond has become synonymous with love and affection, making it an excellent choice for an anniversary or engagement ring. One of the most demanding diamond cuts to create, a heart shaped stone requires great skill and dexterity from the diamond cutter.