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Diamond Shapes Overview




The way a diamond is cut is very strategic, in order to ensure the most brilliance. There have to be a certain number of facets, or planes, and they have to be angled well, in order to properly reflect light. However, even with the limitations of what angles make for the best cut-diamonds, there are still a number of options when it comes to the shape of a stone. Below is a quick overview of some of the most popular shapes.

  • Round


    By far the most popular and most classic diamond cut is the “round brilliant.” Shaped like a cone, with 57 or 58 facets, it is considered to be the most ideal diamond shape for fire and brilliance.
  • Princess


    A similar cut to the round brilliant, the Rectangular Modified Brilliant (popularly known as the Princess cut) is also popular, and has the most brilliance of any square-cut diamond. Because it has so many facets (57 or 76) the Princess cut is the best at hiding inclusions, or internal imperfections.
  • Emerald


    Emerald-cut diamonds have a very striking shape, as they are flat and rectangular with cut-off corners. The cut was originally designed for cutting emeralds, hence the name, but it has grown to become a popular shape for diamonds as well. Although with diamonds this cut has significantly less brilliance than the Round Brilliant cut, its shape can highlight a stone’s clarity.
  • Asscher


    A square version of the Emerald cut is called the Asscher cut, or simply a Square Emerald. It was originally developed in the early 20th century during the Art Deco movement, and though it’s more rare today than it was in the 1920s, it can still be found at certain jewelers.
  • Radiant


    Combining elements from the Brilliant cut with the steps of the Emerald cut, Radiant diamonds are the best at hiding internal imperfections, and are one of the most brilliant square-shaped diamonds.
  • Oval


    The Oval is best for optimizing carat weight, which basically means that its shape and symmetry make a diamond appear bigger than it would look if it were merely round. Because the shape is drawn out, it can flatter short fingers, and for that reason it has become a popular in recent years as a shape for center stones in engagement rings.
  • Marquise


    A variation of the Oval is the Marquise cut, also known as a “Navette” shape (which refers to its resemblance to a “little boat”). Though the edges of a Marquise cut are pointed, like the Oval, it maximizes carat weight and elongates the fingers of its wearer.
  • Pear


    The Pear cut is a cross between a Round Brilliant and a Marquise cut diamond. Because of its unique shape, it is generally recommended that Pear cut diamonds have a very high grade of color. Color is more visible near the pointed edge of the pear shape, so good color prevents any uneven appearance of the diamond’s tone.
  • Cushion


    Cushion (or Pillow) cut diamonds are distinguished by their large and numerous facets, as well as their rounded, pillow-like edges. Like the Princess cut, the Cushion cut is wonderful at hiding inclusions and has a relatively high brilliance.
  • Heart


    Heart-shaped diamonds are difficult to perfect, and therefore rare. Their main draw is that many people find them to be romantic.
  • Trillion


    Most often used as accent stones, Trillion cut diamonds are distinguished by their triangular shape. They have a lot of fire and sharp brilliance, which means whenever they are used on their own, instead of as accents, they are very striking.
  • Old Miner

    Old Miner

    Old miner-cut diamonds were the precursor to the Round Brilliant, and were the most popular shape in the 16th and 17th century. They’re very similar to the Round Brilliant, but slightly more square with high crown, faceted culet, deep pavilion and small table.
  • Old European

    Old European

    Old European cut is another predecessor to the Round Brilliant, with slightly different proportions. The table tends to be smaller and deeper, and though they are more dull than Round Brilliants, they follow the natural shape of the rock to preserve as much carat as possible (whereas most diamonds lose half their weight in the cutting process).