September 23, 2020
When searching for that perfect diamond engagement ring or jewelry piece, one of the most important factors to consider is diamond shape. The outline shape of a diamond, as viewed from above, is what determines its category and style. Each diamond shape has its own unique attributes, sparkle patterns and ideal cut specifications that influence its beauty. But with so many dazzling options, how do you determine the right diamond shape for your needs? This definitive guide covers everything you need to know about the 10 most popular diamond shapes to help you make the perfect pick.
The round brilliant is the most classic and popular diamond shape, accounting for approximately 75% of diamonds sold today. Round brilliant diamonds are cut to maximize light return and sparkle. Their 57 precisely angled facets and symmetrical circular outline create the ultimate in brilliance, fire and scintillation.
This versatility and timeless style make round brilliant diamonds ideal for any piece of diamond jewelry or engagement ring setting. In particular, the round brilliant is the top choice for solitaire engagement rings, as the circular shape elegantly highlights the center stone. The round shape also works well with virtually any ring setting, from classic princess cuts to modern halo designs.
When choosing a round brilliant diamond, it's important to pay close attention to factors like the cut grade, measurements, and depth percentages, as these have a major impact on light performance. Well-cut round diamonds exhibit a captivating interplay of light and fire.
Cushion cut diamonds have a square or rectangular outline with gently rounded corners that give them a pillow-like shape. Their large, open facets create a warm and romantic vintage look.
Cushion diamonds work beautifully in antique-inspired engagement rings and appear larger face-up than other shapes of the same carat weight. The cushion's soft corners are also less prone to chipping compared to more angular shapes. When set in yellow gold, these warm-hued diamonds take on an extra level of glamour and nostalgia.
When selecting a cushion diamond, pay special attention to clarity. Cushion cuts typically have broader facets that show more inclusions. Choosing a VS clarity or above will ensure the most dazzling, clean-looking cushion diamond.
Princess cut diamonds have a square or rectangular shape with sharp, pointed corners. They are revered for their stunning sparkle and brilliance. Princess cut diamonds tend to show some color in their corners, so selecting a higher color grade is recommended.
The linear, geometric edges of princess cut diamonds make them ideal for contemporary jewelry styles. They are especially striking when paired with other angular stones or set in east-west bands. Princess diamonds also give the illusion of greater size compared to other shapes of the same carat.
When evaluating princess cut diamonds, symmetry is paramount. Any unevenness around the corners or sides can be easily visible. Aim for a Very Good symmetry rating or higher to get that perfect square princess shape.
Distinguished by their elegantly long, rectangular outline, emerald cut diamonds have a chic and understated appeal. Their broad, open facets create a hall of mirrors effect that vividly showcases the diamond's clarity.
While emerald diamonds can appear more transparent than brilliant shapes, their linear beauty adds sophisticated flair. The emerald cut's Art Deco origins make it a glamorous vintage-inspired choice. For added sparkle, look for a diamond with a Very Good or Excellent polish rating.
When shopping for an emerald diamond, choosing an eye-clean clarity grade of VS or higher is recommended. Emerald facets can highlight inclusions, so a higher clarity ensures a clean, dazzling look.
Asscher cut diamonds have a unique square shape with deeply trimmed corners. This gives Asscher diamonds dramatic sparkle similar to an emerald cut, but with amplified brilliance due to their steep pavilion angles. The light return patterns of Asscher diamonds make them mesmerizing.
Their striking Art Deco style works well in vintage engagement ring designs. Asscher cuts also pair elegantly with other step cuts like baguettes or trillion shapes. The Asscher's wide, step-cut facets give excellent clarity transparency. An eye-clean VS grade is ideal.
When buying an Asscher diamond, look for a depth percentage between 58% to 62% and length-to-width ratio around 1 to 1, as this creates the most balanced cut. Precise symmetry is also important to bring out an Asscher's scintillating light patterns.
Marquise diamonds have an elongated outline and gently pointed ends inspired by the shape of a boat's hull. Their narrow silhouette and exaggerated length elegantly elongate and flatter the fingers, making them a graceful and romantic choice.
Larger marquise diamonds can show some bowing along the sides, so selecting a higher color and clarity grade helps minimize this effect. The marquise cut's dazzling brilliance beautifully enhances center stones when set with round or pear-shaped diamonds.
With their dramatic elongation, marquise diamonds can give the impression of greater size. Focus on length to width ratios between 1.75 to 2.25 for ideal proportions. Symmetry is also key, as uneven sides are easily visible.
Heart shaped diamonds have a unique and naturally symbolic outline. The cleft at the top and pointed base of heart diamonds create a dazzling display of dispersed light. This makes the shape ideal for utilizing lower color diamonds.
Their sentimental shape pairs perfectly with round or pear side stones, and looks beautiful in solitaire pendants, earrings, rings and more. Heart shapes flatter fingers of all lengths and work with nearly every setting type.
When buying a heart diamond, prioritize symmetry to ensure an ideal, well-defined shape. Look for a Very Good or Excellent symmetry rating. And due to the direction of the point, color grades of I or above minimize any hints of color.
Oval diamonds have an elegant elliptical shape and rounded corners. Their flattering curves and proportions complement most finger types. Oval diamonds also create the illusion of greater size, often appearing up to 10% larger than other shapes of the same carat weight.
Their versatile brilliance makes oval diamonds a popular alternative to round diamonds, with fiery sparkle and elegance. The elongated oval shape flatters and slenderizes fingers. For ideal cut proportions, look for length to width ratios between 1.3 to 1.5.
When selecting an oval diamond, inclusions near the center can be especially noticeable. Prioritize eye-clean VS/SI clarity grades. Symmetry is also important, as the oval's outline can show irregularities.
Often called teardrop diamonds for their single point and rounded base, pear shaped diamonds have a dazzling brilliance. Their unique, asymmetrical outline can make fingers appear longer and slimmer.
Pear shapes work well with round or marquise side stones. And their scintillation and brilliance rivals that of round diamonds. For ideal proportions, look for length to width ratios between 1.45 to 1.75. The elongated pear shape will especially flatter shorter fingers.
When buying a pear diamond, selecting a higher color grade minimizes hints of color seen at the point. And look for symmetry ratings of Very Good or above, as the pear's tapered point shows imperfections easily. A well-cut pear is breathtaking.
Radiant cut diamonds have elegantly trimmed corners that create a stunning square or rectangular silhouette. The polished facets of radiant diamonds combine the brilliance of a round with the clean lines of an emerald shape.
With their lively sparkle and versatility, radiant diamonds are a great choice for those desiring a step-cut look with extra radiance. The radiant's trimmed, brilliant-cut corners make inclusions less visible and maximize shine. For the best look, stick to color grades of G or above.
When shopping for a radiant diamond, the depth percentage will influence its light performance. Look for depth percentages between 61% to 69% to get an ideal balance of brilliance and fire. Precision cutting is also important to maintain the radiant's balanced outline.
When selecting the perfect diamond shape, considerations like personal style, finger proportions, and setting type all come into play. But no matter which captivating shape you choose, following cut quality guidelines ensures optimal light performance and fire. With this exhaustive guide to the 10 most popular diamond shapes, you'll feel confident identifying the ideal silhouette for your ring or jewelry that will take her breath away!
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