Beauty Comes in Many Forms – What’s Your Favorite?

We envision a sparkling gem, a bright round jewel, flashing brilliant light – the classic diamond!  This picture is only one part of the story… beyond the traditional come diamonds in a varied range of dazzling shapes.

When a diamond is uncovered from the earth, it is jagged and rough. Like a sculptor, the diamond cutter will carve a magnificent jewel out of the precious rock. He will choose the ultimate shape which will best flatter this rough gem – using his skill to cut precise facets in the stone…producing a Diamond of maximum Beauty.

In Diamond lingo, Cut and Shape are not the same. Of course, a diamond must be cut to make a shape, but while the shape is basically the overall geometry or form of the diamond (round, square, etc.), the cut refers to facets and proportions — the things what gives diamonds their brilliance and fire. (Learn more about Diamond Cut here).

The parts of the Diamond which reflect its shape are the diamond’s table and crown, for example in the round diamond they are cut to produce a round shape when looking down from above.

The 4C’s of a diamond ascertain their quality and beauty. Diamond Shape is the key to a Diamond’s personality, style and character traits.  Mostly, the diamond shape you choose will be a matter of your individual taste and style.

The Round Brilliant Cut

The classic and most popular of diamond shapes, accounting for more than 75% of all diamonds sold! This is the diamond undoubtedly most recognized for its magnificence and splendor.

Shapes other than the round brilliant shown are called fancy shapes or fancy cuts

In 1919, Marcel Tolkosky, used the round shape as a focus for major research, because it is the most open to the maximization of the light display. To this day this shape is most researched and the only one which receives highly specific grading.

The impeccable brilliant cut make its sparkle, fire and brilliance the best possible! When clarity and color are equal, a round diamond will have greater worth than the other shapes.

The round shape has been linked to the personality characteristics of warmth, empathy, and dependability.

Learn more about the Round Brilliant Cut

The Princess Cut

This is the second most popular form for a diamond, a square shape with angled corners of 90degrees.

It was created in the late 1970s in Los Angeles and is cut for maximum light reflection.

The most sought after Princess Diamonds are completely square, while variations of the princess stone are longer on the sides and more rectangular (and usually less valuable).

Born to have the brilliance of the round shape diamond it suits people with a taste for symmetry.

This stone looks at home in almost any setting and is a beautiful variation of the standard round without losing the diamond look.

The Princess shape is linked with the traits of confidence and independence.

Learn more about the Princess Cut

The Radiant Cut

Radiant is another square or rectangular diamond shape (as is the princess) but with angled, cut off edges, a combination of the round and emerald cuts. Another newcomer to the diamond world it was created less than 30 years ago.

This shape is truly “radiant” with tremendous light return; one who appreciates the sparkle of round diamonds and the individual symmetry of the emerald shape, will find the radiant a wonderful blend of both.

Its compact symmetry may give the illusion of petite fingers, making it ideal for those who want a lighter effect.

With a personality trait of wisdom, the radiant is characterized as full of spirit and high energy.

Learn more about the Radiant Cut

The Oval Shape

This shape brings with it an eternal class, flattering the hand of its bearer and giving the optical image of longer fingers.  It is similar to the “round” but longer and far less common.

Its lengthy oval shape gives an aura of a diamond larger even than a round of similar carat weight and showing similar brilliance. It also gives the optical image of longer fingers.

It is not egg-like at all, but more elliptical in shape and the cut of this stone is very important as it is on the “similar” Marquise.

The oval can replace a round in just about any setting!

Personal traits that are linked to the oval shape are creativity and courage.

Learn more about the Oval Shaped Diamond

The Marquise Shape

The marquise shape is like an oval with the tips coming elegantly together at a point.  Its appealing elongated shape and points make it appear larger it really is, with more size per carat weight than other shapes. This shape will lengthen the fingers it rests upon.

The Marquise dates back to the Sun King, Louis XIV . History recounts that he wanted a shape that would mimic the alluring smile of his said mistress, the Marquise of Pompadour.

The Marquise shape has become particularly popular for engagement rings, as a solitaire stand alone or accompanied by intricate side stones.

Character traits associated with the Marquise shape are ambition and innovation.

Learn more about the Marquise Shaped Diamond

The Pear Shape

The pear shaped diamond is like a teardrop in form, reminiscent of a pure drop of water.

A beautiful blend of the Oval and Marquise, it bears the fluid rounded edge on top and the definitive point on the bottom.

Chic and sophisticated with a delicate feel to it, one can easily relate this magnificent shaped diamond to the Greek myth that diamonds are the “Teardrops of the Gods”

This is a popular diamond style for all types of settings – pendants, teardrop earrings and of course rings!

Character Traits associated with the Pear Shape are Refinement and Charm.

Learn more about the Pear Shaped Diamond

The Emerald Cut

The emerald shaped Diamond is similar outwardly to the Radiant, but vastly different in that it is a step cut diamond (like the Asscher and Baguette). This was originally the accepted way for the emerald gemstone to be cut and subsequently adopted for cutting diamonds, hence the name “Emerald Shape”.

This cut gives the emerald shape a look as if walking through a hallway lined with mirrors, reflecting off each other, differing to the modern sparkle of other “brilliant” diamond shapes. It makes up for the lack of brilliance by the crystal clarity of its vast, open table. This makes it important that it should maintain a higher quality of color and clarity.

The emerald cut, beautiful and precise, has an unmatched elegance and old world charm that a brilliant will not possess.

People who choose the Emerald cut are said to be refined, put together and decisive.

Learn more about the Emerald Cut

The Asscher Cut

The Asscher was created in 1902 by the famous diamond cutter Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company.

This diamond shape is almost identical to the emerald, but square rather than rectangular, thus it is fittingly sometimes referred to as the “square emerald”.

This Diamond is also cut with the step cut method and has cropped corners – giving it an almost octagonal look.

Clarity is important with its mirror like tendencies, the Asscher is bright, shiny and clear.

Extremely stylish, this shape brings an air of antique vintage. Striking and dramatic, the Asscher incorporates the 1920s-1930s Art Deco design style.

Traits associated with the Asscher shape are Dignity and Elegance.

Learn more about the Asscher Cut

The Cushion Shape

The Cushion shape is like a square where the sides and corners have been rounded out – a hybrid of the Old Miner cut and the more modern cuts, sometimes brilliant cut or step cut. It may be described as a softer  emerald shape.

Typically recognized as an “antique” shape, the cushion has been around since the 1830s. At one point it lost its popularity but with new technology in cutting, it is becoming a trendy character filled shape, retaining a vintage charisma.  It is shows good light performance and  brilliance under low lighting.

The Cushion cut’s character traits are indicative of its current progress.  It is modern yet traditional. It can be either soft or loud, but always elegant.

Learn more about the Cushion Shaped Diamond

The Heart Shape

The Heart shaped diamond is easily the most romantic of the diamond shapes.  The symbolic shape of the heart diamond instantly evokes the innocence and purity of love.  It is due to this that the heart shape diamond has become such a popular shape, especially around Valentine’s Day as well as dates marking personal relationship milestones.

The origin of the heart shape can be found with the pear shape diamond.  Look closely at the heart shape diamond and notice that it is quite similar to the pear shape. This is not simply a coincidence, it often begins as a pear shape that has an inclusion within the rounded end. The portion with the inclusion is removed, thus creating the heart shape.  It is essential that the heart shaped diamond must have a highly skilled cutter to insure that the distinctive lobes are balanced, smooth, and well defined, all the while retaining a brilliant shine.

The heart is a diamond shape which clearly gives over a message of love and contentment.

Personalities drawn to the heart shape of diamond tend to be sentimental, sensitive, and romantic.

Learn more about the Heart Shaped Diamond

The Trilliant Shape

The trilliant (triangle-brilliant) is a daring and bold shape, also referred to as trillion. A relatively new shape, it was originally created in Amsterdam in the late 70’s and once a trademarked cut by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company. It has equilateral sides but may be a conventional triangle shape with pointed corners or softer and rounded at the edges, differing according to the choice of the cutter. When of excellent quality it makes for a dazzling centre stone. Trilliants can also be gorgeous sidestones to “square-type” centre stones like Radiant, Cushion or Princess.

Personality type: confident and adventurous.

Learn more about the Trilliant Shaped Diamond

The Baguette Cut

The baguette is usually used as a side stone.  Similar to the Emerald but with different facets and with pointed corners, it usually comes in smaller weights.

The downplayed display of fire and energy is what enables it to be a fantastic accent stone.  It quietly adds more fire to a larger centerpiece.

Baguette Cut diamonds are usually less expensive than other diamonds.

Learn more about the Baguette Cut Diamond

Half Moon & Crescent Shaped Diamonds

The baguette may be more popular, but any article about diamond shapes would be remiss to leave out these fancy side stones.  The half moon shape (left) and crescent shape (below) are basically the same, with one difference, the edges.

Half moons are exactly what they sound like, half circles.  Crescents are also partial moons, but they are curves like a new moon.

These shapes are used most commonly as side stones with engagement rings.  The key is getting a matching pair.

Learn more about the Half Moon Shaped Diamond & the Crescent Shaped Diamond

Other Diamond Shapes

If you search hard enough you will find dozens of shapes but we have tried to focus on the most widely used today.  However we wanted to mention two names that you might come across.

Old European Cut and Old Miners Cuts are no longer used, as they were present before the fine-tuning of today’s modern Round Brilliant and Cushion shapes and were most popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Less than perfect but sometimes sought after for their heavier facets which produce random flashes, these may be appreciated best by vintage jewelry collectors.

Read all articles in Diamond Education