Diamond Shapes: A Guide to Getting the Right One

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Diamond Shapes: A Guide to Getting the Right One

What Is A Diamond Shape?
A diamond shape is often confused with a diamond cut, so much that some people comfortably use the two expressions interchangeably. While both of these aspects affect the overall light performance, value, and price of a diamond, the shape of a diamond differs significantly from its cut.

In lay terms, a diamond shape refers to the outline of the diamond or the external figure of the stone. On the other hand, the cut of a diamond encompasses three critical elements, namely the facets, dimensions, and symmetry of the diamond.

While shape is simply the exterior outline of a diamond as perceived by the naked eye, cut is mostly used in reference to the diamond’s reflective properties. For instance, an emerald diamond may be cut deep or shallow. So, while the diamond still retains its emerald shape, the cut can change depending on the skills of the cutter and the desired light handling properties. That explains why we have different diamond cut grades but no shape grades.

A diamond cut is one of the elements of the Four Cs, which also include Carat, Color, and Clarity. When you’re shopping for diamonds, these Four Cs will significantly influence your purchase decision. But you’ll also realize that it’s nearly impossible to choose a perfect diamond cut without selecting your desired shape first.

So, how do you go about choosing the right diamond shape for you? That shall be the focus of this article. We shall review the top 12 diamond shapes by popularity and explain how to select each shape.

1. Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds

Number of Facets: 58 (33 facets on the crown and 25 on the pavilion)

Famous Celebrities That Sport Round Diamonds: Mila Kunis, Emmy Rossum, and Olivia Wilde.

About three-quarters of all the diamonds sold today are round brilliant, and for good reasons. The refined shape of the Round Brilliant Diamond accounts for its incredible elegance and light-handling properties.

Just as the name implies, Round Brilliant Diamonds are remarkably brilliant and blend well with most ring settings.

When choosing a Round Brilliant Cut Diamond, your focus should mainly be on the cut grade. Ensure the diamond comes with a report from a reputable gemological laboratory and choose a diamond with a cut grade that’s as near excellent as possible. Remember, the cut grade of a diamond is an intricate concept that may require the help of a professional jeweler to grasp.

Another crucial factor to keep in mind when selecting Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds is the length to width ratio. The length to width ratio of a diamond refers to a ratio that’s arrived at by dividing the length of the diamond by its width.

For instance, if a diamond measures 10mm long and has a width of 8 mm, the length to width ratio will be worked out as following;

> Length/Width
> 10mm/8mm

The length to width ratio of a diamond is a crucial aspect that highlights how proportionate the stone is. And the ideal length to width ratio for Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds is between 1.0 and 1.03.

2. Princess Cut Diamonds

Number of Facets: Facets range from 57 to 76.

Famous Celebrities That Sport Princess Diamonds: Nicky Hilton

Coming second in popularity and elegance are Princess Cut Diamonds. Diamonds that sport this shape are developed by faceting the inverted pyramids of rough diamonds.

Princess Cut Diamonds are available in both square and rectangular shapes, depending on your preferred mounting needs.

One of the common drawbacks with this diamond shape is its delicate corners. Before choosing a princess, ensure you have already selected a suitable mounting for your diamond. Experts recommend prong settings where all the four corners of the diamond are protected by the prongs.

Besides protecting the delicate facets of a Princess Cut Diamond, prongs also hide any visible inclusions. That means you can choose a princess with inclusions around its edges, which gives you more leverage with the other elements of the four Cs.

When choosing a square Princess Cut Diamond, look for a length to width ratio between 1.0 and 1.5. For rectangular princess shapes, the ideal length to width ratio is from 1.5 – 2.0.

3. Emerald Cut Diamonds

Number of Facets: 58 (25 on the crown, 8 on the girdle, and 25 on the pavilion).

Famous Celebrities That Sport Emerald Diamonds: Beyonce, Sarah Jessica Parker, Amal Clooney, Grace Kelly, and Elizabeth Taylor.

There’s something about Emerald Cut Diamonds that make them a preferred choice for many celebrities. Emeralds are characterized by their large table surfaces and long, straight steps. Like Princesses, Emeralds can also be available in square or rectangular shapes.

Their large tables create a perfect illusion of size, offering an abundant light reflection through the diamond. That makes Emeralds a recommended shape if you’re looking for a large diamond on a budget.

However, the fire and brilliance of Emerald Cut Diamonds is somewhat reduced due to the angle and shape of the stone. Also, the large table of Emeralds can be a drawback as far as revealing inclusions is concerned. So, while choosing Emeralds, go for a diamond with a clarity score of VS1 or VS2. Alternatively, choose a stone that’s as eye-clean as possible.

The best length to width ratio for an emerald diamond is anywhere between 1.3 and 1.6.

4. Cushion Cut Diamonds

Number of Facets: 58 (though this number can vary).

Famous Celebrities That Sport Cushion Diamonds: Brooke Shields, Kim Kardashian, and Iggy Azalea.

Cushion Cut Diamonds have similar facet arrangement as Round Brilliants, which speaks to their light-and color-handling properties.

The cushion shape is developed by combining a square shape with rounded edges. The diamonds also come in numerous variations, such as standard, modern, modified, etc.

Cushions bend and disperse light more effectively than most diamond shapes. Therefore, they are a go-to shape for those looking for maximum fire and brilliance.

The ideal length to width ratio of Cushion Cut Diamonds is 1.0 -1.09 for square cushions and 1.15-1.25 for rectangular cushions.

Another crucial consideration when choosing cushions is the depth and table percentages. Generally, experts advise that you go for a cushion whose depth and table percentage is under 70%.

5. Asscher Cut Diamonds

Number of Facets: The original Asscher has 58 facets while the Royal Asscher Cut has 74 facets.

Famous Celebrities That Sport Asscher Diamonds: Reese Witherspoon and Elizabeth Taylor.

The Asscher Cut is nearly identical to the Emerald Cut, with the main difference being that Asschers are more square. Asscher Cut Diamonds can also be contrasted from Emerald Cuts in that their tables are smaller and their facets are more layered. The layered facets is what gives Asschers their super brilliance.

Asschers are also marked by their thick profiles, stepped sides, and clipped corners. The diamond shape is popular among vintage diamond collectors and shoppers that love old-school jewelry, thanks to its ability to recreate an art deco feel.

When buying an Asscher, insist on a length to width ratio between 1.0 and 1.05.

One drawback with Asschers is that they don’t mask color tints and blemishes as well as other diamond shapes do. So, when choosing them, you must go for a stone with minimal blemishes and color tints.

6. Pear Shaped Diamonds

Number of Facets: 58 (pavilion facets can range between 4 and 8)

Famous Celebrities That Sport Pear Shaped Diamonds: Katherine Heigl
Pear Shaped Diamonds combine the exquisite beauty of marquise and the elegance of oval diamonds to create a shape that resembles a teardrop.

One of the best things about Pear Shaped Diamonds is the flexibility you get in terms of the sizes. You can either choose a more compact pear shape or go for elongated shapes.

Pears are common in pendants and earrings. On pendants, they’re usually worn with the long, pointed end pointing towards your heart. However, Pears are not so popular in engagement rings, considering their unbalanced shapes that make it difficult to choose an ideal ring for them.

The recommended length: width ratio for Pear Shaped Diamonds is from 1.45-1.75.

7. Oval Diamonds
Number of Facets: Between 57 and 58 facets.

Famous Celebrities That Sport Oval Diamonds: Sofia Vergara and Julianne Hough.
Oval Diamonds pack the same fire and brilliance as Round Cuts, but with a more elegant and unique shape.

The one unmissable feature about Oval Diamonds is their elongated silhouettes, which create an illusion of size. So, this is another excellent recommendation if you’re looking for a large diamond but are a bit strapped for cash. The elongated shape works wonders in solitaires for users with shorter fingers or smaller hands.

And since they have no sharp edges, Oval Diamonds are less prone to chipping, which makes them highly durable.

The perfect length to width ratio for Ovals is between 1.3 and 1.5. Another thing you should consider is the prominence of the bowtie. The bowtie refers to the dark area that runs across the center of Oval- and Pear-Shaped Diamonds.

8. Heart-Shaped Diamonds

Number of Facets: From 56 to 58 facets.

Famous Celebrities That Sport Heart-Shaped Diamonds: Lady Gaga and Joan Collins.
Heart-shaped Diamonds are the undisputable symbols of love. But while they symbolize romance and sentimentality, these diamonds are mostly popular as novelties and not engagement rings.

Like their Pear-shaped counterparts, Heart-Shaped Diamonds come in various shape and size options, ranging from solid to more elongated shapes.

One thing worth noting when shopping for Heart-Shaped Diamonds is that these diamonds are considerably difficult to facet. Therefore, inclusions and blemishes are common.

Also, Hearts are relatively poor at handling light and color. So, if you’re looking for a sizable diamond, you may have to shelve out a few extra bucks for a higher carat. Alternatively, you may consider a three-prong mounting where the prongs accentuate the diamond.

The ideal length to width ratio for Heart-Shaped Diamonds is 1.00.

9. Radiant Cut Diamonds

Number of Facets: 70.

Famous Celebrities That Sport Radiant Cut Diamonds: Jennifer Lopez and Drew Barrymore.

True to their name, Radiant Cut Diamonds are incredibly dazzling, with their brilliance coming only second to that of Round Brilliant Diamonds.

Radiant Cut Diamonds combine the brilliance of Round and the elegance of Emerald shapes, making them some of the most exquisite diamonds out there. This diamond shape draws its fire and brilliance from its high number of facets that are distributed throughout its crown and pavilion.

Featuring beveled corners, Radiant Cut Diamonds are fairly durable and easily pairable with square or round diamonds.

The diamonds are also excellent at concealing blemishes and color tints. So, when shopping for Radiants, you can forego color and clarity considerations in favor of a higher cut grade and carat weight.

The best length to width ratio for Radiants ranges from 1.0 to 1.05.

10. Marquise Diamonds

Number of Facets: 58 (33 on the crown and 25 on the pavilion).

Famous Celebrities That Sport Marquise Cut Diamonds: Catherine Zeta-Jones and Ashlee Simpson

The Marquise Diamond Cut has a history that’s deeply steeped in royalty. The shape is believed to have been inspired by Louis XIV’s mistress known as Marquise de Pompadour, from which the diamond gets its name.

A Marquise shape is technically an oval with rounded edges that point at each other. The shape somewhat mirrors the hull of a small boat, which explains why Marquises are also often referred to as a Navette, French for small boat.

The Marquise shape has gone through years of upgrades and modifications that saw cutters develop the hexagonal shape that we know today. The facets of the modern Marquise are located on the top and bottom of the diamond to enhance its light performance.

If you want to look glamorous without spending extra on carat weight, you should consider buying a Marquise Shape diamond. However, ensure that the pointed ends are symmetrically aligned. In terms of ring mounting, choose a setting where the two pointed ends of the marquise are held in place to prevent chipping.

The best length to width ratio for Marquise Cut Diamonds is 1.85 to 2.1.

11. Baguette Diamond

Number of Facets: 24 Parallel Facets

Famous Celebrities That Sport Baguette Diamonds: Amal Clooney, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelley, and Priyanka Chopra.

Baguette Diamond shapes are characterized by their 24 parallel facets running over a rectangular shape. Baguette diamonds are quite rare as loose diamonds, with most of them available as accents for another stone.

So, when buying a Baguette Diamond, ensure you’re going to mount them on a ring where the diamonds accentuate a centerstone. Alternatively, you might consider arranging them next to each other on a ring to create an illusion of one large diamond.

Also, note that Baguettes are remarkably clear and don’t hide inclusions or color tints so well. Therefore, your choice diamond must be as flawless and free of color hues as possible.

In terms of length to width ratio, you won’t go wrong with a range from 1.50-2.40.

12. Trillion Diamond

Number of Facets: 50.

Famous Celebrities That Sport Trillion Diamonds: Elizabeth Hurley

Trillion Diamonds are the least popular diamond shapes, but by no means the least elegant. These diamond shapes are hailed for their deep fire and brilliance, thanks to their elongated edges that reflect maximum light back to the observer’s eye.

Unlike Baguettes, Trillion Diamond Shapes are excellent both as centerstones and as accent stones. Just ensure you go for a prong setting where the delicate edges of the Trillion are securely protected. And since the prongs will conceal the edges, you can buy a Trillion Diamond with inclusions or color tints near the edges.

Trillions also create a reasonable illusion of size. As such, they can make for a worthy investment if you don’t have the cash to splash on a higher carat diamond.

In the interest of aesthetics and brilliance, go for a Trillion that comes with a length to width ratio of 1.0-1.10.

Wrap Up
Choosing a diamond based on shape isn’t a walk in the park. First, you should understand all the diamond shapes out there and how they impact the elegance, value, and price of the diamond. Then, you should choose a shape that’s matched with a suitable mounting. We hope the insights in this post will help you to hone in on a diamond shape that meets your personal style and taste, as well as budget needs.

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