How To Choose A Diamond Shape

Do you know your Asscher cut diamonds from your radiant cut diamonds? Cushion diamonds from emerald cut diamonds? Selecting a diamond shape for your engagement ring is a very personal choice and likely reflects your personality. If you don’t know much about diamond shapes I am here to help.

There are nine basic diamond shapes used in engagement rings and each one has its own appeal. When selecting a diamond shape for your engagement ring, let your personal preference be your guide. The one you go back to over and over is the right one for you, so don’t be shy. Let’s explore each diamond shape; round, princess, emerald, Asscher, cushion, radiant, pear, oval, and marquise and narrow down the right one, or two, for you to consider.

First off, the diamond shape is essentially the overall geometry or form of the diamond round, square, and so on, not to be confused with a diamond cut which is the diamond's facets and proportions—the things that give diamonds their brilliance and fire. Likewise, the diamond's dimensions are different from the carat, which is a measurement of weight, not size. Now that is cleared up, let’s talk diamonds!

Round Diamonds

Round Diamond Engagement Ring

The circular shape of the round diamond is said to signify love without end. The sentiment may be why it is the most popular diamond shape for engagement rings. The round diamond accounts for more than 75 percent of all diamonds sold. Why are round diamonds so popular? Because a round diamond’s brilliant cut which gives it the ability to optimize light reflection makes it brighter and more brilliant than all other diamond shapes.

Round diamonds, because of their faceted cut, are also referred to as brilliant or as round brilliant cut because round diamonds are the most common of the brilliant-cut diamonds. A round brilliant diamond will have 58 facets, which cause light to bounce from the bottom of the diamond and back up through the top, giving it unbelievable sparkle.

Considered a timeless classic, the round shape works in a variety of engagement ring settings. The round diamond looks clean and modern in a solitaire engagement ring setting, yet equally beautiful in more elaborate settings like a twist engagement ring or vintage engagement ring styles. If you are looking for lots of sparkle, a round brilliant cut diamond is the one for your engagement ring.

I don’t believe personality traits often associated with diamonds in any way predict who you are what you will like, but they are kind of fun. Those who like round diamonds are said to be Traditionally Romantic, Conservative, Elegant, Straightforward, Honest, Bright, and No Fuss.

Princess Diamonds

Square or rectangular, the princess diamond has experienced increased popularity over the past few years. Although princess cut engagement rings are the second most popular shape in the world, they are still relatively rare. In fact, at the time of writing, only about 5% of GIA-certified diamonds worldwide are princess cut.

A mid-century beauty, the princess diamond was originally invented in 1961. The princess diamond is known for its beauty, style, and edge and is often set in a solitaire engagement ring setting. Since the princess diamond has from 49 to 144 intricate facets, depending on the size of the diamond, it has lots of sparkle. This square or rectangular diamond with pointed corners and a broad surface has brilliance and the princess diamond may disguise flaws, or inclusions, due to the additional facets which increase the diamond's inherent sparkle.

Those who prefer princess cut diamonds are hopelessly romantic, contemporary, flirty, trendy, lively, fun-loving, and clever.

Emerald Cut Diamonds

Emerald Cut Diamond Engagement Rings 

If you're all about glamour, this is the diamond for your engagement ring. A rectangular shape with long, lean and elegant facets extending down the sides, it's the large table, which is the flat part on top shows off the clarity of the diamond better than any other shape. The emerald cut does not have the brilliance of a round or princess diamond but is exudes quiet sophistication and sleek confidence. Born in the art deco period, the emerald diamond shows off long, glamorous lines with its rectangular shape with cut corners that resemble stair steps. Step cut diamonds create flashes of light that reflect light like a hall of mirrors. This faceting creates light and dark planes within each facet or step. An emerald cut diamond is often called a step cut, and its name was taken from the most popular shape for emeralds in the 1920s.

The setting for an emerald cut diamond often reflects an art deco sensibility and features the emerald cut diamond between two other smaller diamonds, usually geometric shapes. The modern setting for an emerald cut diamond is to feature it in a solitaire or pave band ring set east west.

An emerald diamond lover may be transparent, glamorous, confident, risky, fancy, and strong.

Asscher Diamonds

The Asscher diamond engagement ring is striking and dramatic. The diamond cut, nearly identical to the emerald cut, except that this stunning shape is square. Although quite popular in the early 1900s, Asscher cut diamonds are fairly rare today. 

The Asscher cut diamond evokes a very 1920s-1930s, art deco aesthetic and is sometimes called the square emerald cut. It has a thick, almost chunky profile with clipped corners. Sometimes the corners are clipped deep enough to make the diamond appear to be an octagon. Like the emerald cut diamond, it has stepped sides that distinguish it from the other square shape, the princess diamond, which has a broader surface and sharp, angular corners. Created in 1902 by the Asscher brothers of Amsterdam, this shape was popular through the 1930s—and is now coveted by antique- and vintage-style lovers.

Cushion Diamonds

Also known as a pillow cut, cushion cut diamonds look like a rectangle with rounded corners, like a pillow, and have larger facets to increase their brilliance and give big flashes of sparkle. A cushion cut diamond was one of the most popular diamond shapes a century ago, in an era of romance and elegance, so it appeals to today’s vintage engagement ring lovers. The modern day cushion cut diamond is reminiscent of an early brilliant cut of diamond now called an old mine cut. The old mine diamond cut dates to the 1700s and was the most common cut until the late 19th century. Cushion cut diamonds are timeless.

Being a classic romantic, trustworthy, fashionable, cool, easy-going, and elegant are traits associated with cushion diamond lovers.

Marquise Diamond

Marquise Diamond Engagement Ring

The marquise shape diamond is something legends are made of. The story goes that this cut was invented during the 18th-century reign of Louis XIV, allegedly named for his mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour. It is said the marquise diamond shape was inspired by her smile. Distinctive and dramatic, the uniquely tapered cut, which is essentially an oval with rounded sides and points at each end, we suspect reflects the personality of the mistress it was named for. Modern-day versions often have a hexagon-shaped surface with facets on the top and bottom to reflect light and you will find marquise diamonds to be quite rare, under 2% of the world’s diamonds.

This clever cut can also look larger than similar carat weight diamonds, and due to its elongated shape, can make fingers look leaner and more slender if set traditionally in a north south configuration. However, you may find oval diamonds being set east west in a uniquely modern engagement ring setting. Marquise diamonds, because of the illusion of size, are ideal for those looking to maximize budget since diamonds are priced by carat weight. If you are craving a little drama with your engagement ring a marquise diamond might just be for you.

If you are original, dramatic, resolute, or a trendsetter, the marquise diamond is for you.

Oval Diamond 

Oval East West Diamond Engagement Ring

Oval diamonds, because they are cut in the same manner as a round diamond, have a remarkable brilliance just with a more unique shape. Although this shape is a more recent cut, invented in the mid-1900s, it has already become a classic and often selected diamond shape for engagement rings. An oval diamond is stunning in a solitaire engagement ring setting but often is flanked by other diamonds. Even and symmetrical, the oval diamond when set north south has the similar effect of a marquise diamond because the oval's elongated shape gives the illusion of length to the hand, resulting in slender-looking fingers.

If you are seeking a bold unique look, setting this east west, or sideways, creates a completely different style of engagement ring.

Pear Diamond

Pear East West Diamond Engagement Ring

Mixing the best of the marquise diamond and the oval diamond, a pear shaped diamond resembles a twinkling teardrop so it is also known as the teardrop or pendeloque cut diamond. The pear shaped diamond is a modified brilliant cut, which is one that blends the marquise and oval cuts, fashioning it with one rounded end and a point on the other. Its signature silhouette is instantly recognized. The teardrop diamond was first cut in Belgium by a Polish gemstone polisher named Louis Van Berquem way back in 1458. An innovator in diamond cutting techniques, he is considered the father of absolute diamond symmetry in the facet placement on the gemstone to maximize their shine and brilliance. A pear shaped diamond can be wider or more elongated, depending on your preference, and don’t be surprised to see a pear shape set east west for a unique engagement ring. The pear shape is a unique and excellent choice for an engagement ring.

Pear shape diamond lovers could be considered outgoing, interesting, one-of-a-kind, charming, and stylish.

Radiant Diamond

 

The radiant diamond marries the elegant glamour of the emerald shape with the brilliance of the round brilliant diamond, resulting in a rare sparkly rectangular diamond with trimmed corners. Radiant diamonds are also available in a square shape.

The radiant diamond’s extra special sparkle is the result of the way its underside is cut, with 70 facets to be exact, to maximize the effect of its color refraction. This means that the appearance of a radiant diamond has an effervescent sparkle.

 The radiant diamond appeals to those who love geometrics but want more sparkle than an emerald cut diamond or Asscher cut diamond will offer. Radiant diamonds can be a bit rare so they make a diamond engagement ring you won’t see on many other fingers.

If you are attracted to radiant cut diamonds, are you bubbly, outgoing, fun, flirty, self-assured, and unwavering?

 

So which diamond shape do you think is your favorite? Are you going for geometrically shaped diamonds like Asscher, emerald, or radiant? If brilliance important to you, stick with the round diamonds and oval diamonds. And if you are sassy, consider the diamonds with points like the marquise diamond or pear diamond. Let your personal preference be your guide, you can’t go wrong.

 


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