Have you ever wondered what shapes of diamonds exist? You may have once seen the unusual diamond shape and wondered what other diamond shapes are out there; most of us have!
Due to their rarity in nature – but also visual and material value – diamonds are really something special. It’s practically impossible to find two identical diamonds – if we talk about their original shape and not about the processing that comes later, of course.
Subsequent processing refers to the human contribution to the shape of the diamond, that is, cutting and grinding. These are the two best-known ways to change the form of a diamond. And in this article, we will talk in more detail about the types of diamonds and their most common shapes.
Numerous shapes of diamonds allow us to choose the one that’s close to our sensibility and the reason for which we buy them. You will find that – and more – in this article!
Shaping Up The Conversation About Diamond Contours
It is important to emphasize that the shape of diamonds often depends on the compromise that occurs during the grinding process. Of course, the goal is to preserve the maximum size – or weight – of the raw crystal. Wondering why? Well, to make as much profit as possible, of course!
When shopping for a diamond, you must recognize the difference between good and bad cuts – that is, to notice where the need to preserve the stone as large as possible resulted in a poorer final appearance of the diamond.
Also, when talking about the final product, we must distinguish two things – style and the actual workmanship.
On the one hand, style refers to the shape of the diamond. And on the other, workmanship and production quality refer to the diamond’s proportions alongside polishing and finishing, which all amounts to something known as a diamond cut.
But rather than focusing on polishing and finish, customers will generally turn to what is most important to them and their personal taste – and that would be the shape of the diamond. As you’ve read so far, there are many shapes of diamonds – more than we could ever hope to cover in this guide. We’ve outlined the most popular ones below, though:
- Princess cut
- Radiant cut
- Cushion cut
- Marquise cut
- Trillion cut
- Asscher cut
- Old European cut
- French cut
Now, before we go further, we’d like to introduce you to some essential terms and phrases that you’re likely to encounter during your diamond-shopping process. Here are some terms used in diamond shops to describe the shapes and styles of diamond cuts:
- Brilliant – Refers to a round brilliant cut diamond.
- Baguette – Gradually cut diamond of rectangular shape. If the two sides of the baguette are narrower, it is a trapezoidal or tapered baguette.
- Princess – Brilliantly cut diamond or square shape, it can have from 57 to 70 facets and variable proportions.
- Radiant – Brilliantly cut diamond of square or rectangular shape with cut edges, similar to emerald-style cuts.
- Trilliant – The name used for all brilliantly cut triangular diamonds.
- Quadrillion – Refers to the square diamond with 49 brilliantly cut facets.
There are some other unusual shapes of diamonds we didn’t mention here; they are collectively called fantasy cuts. You’ll find them in all sorts of shapes; they’ll often take on the form of fruits, animals, stars, ships, and so on.
Further in this article, we’ll talk about each shape separately in order to give you as much info about your favorite shape as possible. So, be sure to continue reading!
Round Shape Diamond
The round diamond shape is, hands down, the most popular one for engagement rings. In fact, it’s one of the oldest – and most classic – shapes of diamonds. It is simple, elegant, and timeless. In short, one can never go wrong with a round-cut stone.
The round shape can be interpreted in two ways: As an infinity shape found in engagement rings, it could symbolize eternal love. That said, some may interpret the diamond’s circular shape as something that closes and restricts freedom.
The latter made room for new forms of diamonds that emerged in the production of engagement rings later on – despite the unwavering popularity of round-cut diamonds.
The Princess Cut Diamond
The princess cut diamond is a square gemstone with sharp edges, many angles, shine, and shimmer. It is, indeed, a very elegant and chic shape. It seems powerful because of its sharp edges – but it also carries something classic and timeless.
And when it comes to brilliance, princess cut diamonds offer a lot of it.
The first iteration of this diamond shape was invented back in the 1920s. But back then, it was called the French cut. After 40 years of adjusting, diamond cutters have come up with a shape we recognize today as the princess cut.
Radiant cut diamonds are one of the most brilliant diamond shapes: This diamond cut offers a good amount of sparkle, while the truncated corners provide extra durability to the stone.
The faceting of a radiant-cut diamond gives it a fiery appearance compared to a princess-cut diamond while still maintaining soft-cut edges. Overall, one could argue that radiant-cut gems combine some of the best traits of other popular shapes.
Did you know that the modern radiant cut is less than 40 years old? Henry Grossbard created the first radiant cut diamond in the late 1970s. Henry was part of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company, which released the first radiant cut diamond in 1977.
Before the release of the first radiant cut, every other rectangular-shaped diamond had fewer facets and was cut with less attention to the finer details. Despite its youth in the diamond world, the radiant cut diamond is still among the most popular diamond shapes, thanks to its brilliance and versatility.
And although radiant cut diamond engagement rings aren’t as commonly seen as some other shapes, they’re very desirable, nonetheless.
The Oval Shape Diamond
Due to its elongation, the oval shape exceeds the sophistication of the circle – but is reminiscent of old traditional and vintage jewelry of queens and princesses.
Of course, again, depending on the skills of the person who grinds this shape, an oval diamond can showcase exquisite brilliance and shine. But it’s worth noting that it doesn’t quite compare to the princess cut in that department.
One of the famous oval cut diamonds is the Pink Steinmetz diamond, worth 25 million dollars. It is also the largest pink diamond, weighing a staggering 59.6 carats.
The cushion cut diamond has a rectangular cut with rounded edges and prominent facets that are there to deliver the shine of the stone. This cut, which resembles a cushion, was popular in royal families.
Prominent facets make it recognizable – and we’d like to add that this shape gives off a unique shine.
Before the cushion cut diamond we know of today, there was its predecessor – the old mine cut. This diamond shape dated all the way to the 1700s and was characterized by having 58 facets.
The cushion-cut diamond is somewhat similar in shape to its predecessor. However, the way the form is produced has been altered to maximize the stone’s brilliance.
Some differences between these two include the cushion cut’s lower crown, shallower pavilion, and more significant table facet.
Emerald-shaped diamonds feature long facets in layers – so they look like they are woven from several steps. They look powerful, bold, and indestructible. The main idea behind this form? Well, in short, its aim is to emphasize clarity better than any other diamond shape.
Due to these accentuated edges and layers, this type of stone will display an intense shine and color the same way as white diamonds do.
The person who chooses this shape of diamond is, more often than not, someone sophisticated, strong, and unwavering. Do you feel like that describes you? Well, you may want to consider an emerald-cut stone!
Marquise Diamond Shape
The Marquise shape is a glamorous diamond cut often associated with its wearer’s uniqueness, unusualness, and beauty. It’s a shape that resembles a boat – or an eye, depending on how you look at it. Due to the way it’s cut, it has almost the greatest depth and shine of any other diamond shape.
Marquise cut diamonds can feature some degree of bow-tie, though – varying from completely invisible to severe. The visibility of the bow-tie effect can’t generally be confirmed by inspecting the stone’s certificate but rather only by visual inspection.
If you’re interested in buying a marquise cut diamond but would prefer to have it examined first, be sure to ask a professional for help.
Learn More: Marquise Diamond: Everything You Need To Know
A pear-shaped diamond is a mix of an oval and a marquise-shaped diamond. This diamond shape irresistibly resembles a teardrop – but with its beauty, it manages to overcome the initial association.
Here’s some excellent news: Engagement rings that feature a pear-shaped diamond will do wonders for making the wearer’s finger look slimmer and longer.
Now, it’s worth noting that a pear-shaped diamond can actually vary in its exact shape: Some pears are more elongated, while others are stubbier and shorter. The length-to-width ratio of a pear-shaped stone is usually between 1.5 and 2.0, though.
Each person may and should have their own personal preference about the length-to-width ratio in pear-shaped diamonds.
The so-called trillion-cut diamonds are diamonds that are cut into a triangular shape. Generally, trillion-cut diamonds will have three edges of equal length and a flat table at their surface.
The trillion-cut is a relatively young diamond shape, with its modern history dating to the 1960s. This diamond cut is often viewed as a provocative and adventurous shape, with an eye-catching look that undoubtedly stands out from the rest.
Unlike many other diamond shapes, the trillion-cut diamond is most often used as a side-stone diamond rather than a centerpiece. However, you might also find engagement rings that feature trillion-cut diamonds as the central stones.
Henry Meyer Diamond Company trademarked the trillion-cut diamond in the 1960s. Still, early trillion cuts are believed to have been cut in the 19th century in Amsterdam. Over the years, several variations of the trillion-cut diamond have been manufactured, often with different facet counts and shapes.
And due to these variations in the cut between different trillion diamond variants, it’s imperative to pay close attention to the details when comparing stones in this cut.
Asscher Cut Diamond
An Asscher cut diamond is octagonal in shape – with square-shaped facets. This cut features a high crown and deep pavilion, providing brilliance and its signature appearance. The straight-edged facets of this diamond shape give it a unique and clean look.
Asscher cut diamonds typically have 58 facets – the same as the round diamond. However, the arrangement of these facets gives it a more vintage appearance – often referred to as a “hall of mirrors” look.
The shape of the Asscher diamond is equal in width and length, as a square would be, but with beveled corners that give it an octagonal shape. The result of that is a diamond shape that falls somewhere between a round cut diamond and a princess cut diamond.
After being manufactured back in 1902 by the Asscher Brothers, this diamond shape regained popularity in 2002 after a slight change to the cut technique – and its 100th anniversary. The original Asscher cut design features 58 facets, but, interestingly enough, the cut was never patented. Most people go with this diamond shape due to its unique vintage appeal.
This diamond style was most popular in the 1920s during the Art Deco era. Today’s Asscher-cut diamond has an allure that gives off the vibe of those times.
A heart-shaped diamond is one of those gem shapes that speak louder than words. Made on the principle of two tied teardrops or a pear-shaped diamond, the heart-shaped diamond is cut in a way that confesses love to a significant other.
Heart-shaped diamonds are featured in a variety of jewelry pieces, from bracelets to pendants – and more. However, diamonds cut in this shape are most commonly used as the centerpiece in diamond engagement rings. Its depth and brilliance are considerable.
We are all familiar with the heart-shaped blue diamond from the movie Titanic – but recently, the largest heart-shaped diamond, named “La Legende,” was sold at an auction in Geneva. Another famous heart-shaped diamond is the Immortal heart – a stone worth 16 million dollars, blue in color, and weighing 27.64 carats.
A baguette-cut diamond is an elongated, thin, rectangular-shaped diamond. These gemstones are commonly lengthy and slim – but can sometimes be almost square in shape.
On that note, baguettes usually have a 5:1 length-to-width ratio. Some baguette-cut diamonds can have straight edges that form a perfect rectangle, while some feature tapered edges that angle inward.
Baguette diamonds have 14 facets – much less than most diamond shapes that will usually have more than 50 facets. Baguettes are generally smaller – and typically used as side stones in rings.
These diamonds are part of the “step-cut diamond family” – which includes Asscher and emerald cuts. One of the main features of step-cut stones is their straight, clearly defined facets.
Due to this feature, baguette-cut stones – and other members of the step-cut family – will have a different appearance from round-cut diamonds, with less brilliance and sparkle.
Old European-Cut Diamond
The so-called Old European cut diamond is actually a standard round diamond created between 1890 and 1930. And as a direct predecessor to today’s round-cut diamond, the Old European cut strongly resembles its modern counterpart.
An Old European cut diamond features a round shape with 58 prominent facets and a tiny circle in the center of the stone, also known as the open culet.
These stones were trendy during the Victorian and Art Deco periods. You’ll generally notice Art Deco and vintage influences when looking to buy rings with this diamond cut – and it makes for a gorgeous vintage engagement ring look.
One of the benefits of Old European cuts is that they tend to appear whiter than their certified color grade. When gems are assigned color grades, they’re looked at from the side. But since Old European cut diamonds were manufactured in an era with lower lighting – remember that people were still using candlelight – they were produced to maximize color over brilliance.
The immediately noticeable element of the French cut is that the stone’s crown appears square when looked at from above. Not only that, but the gem’s crown consists of only nine facets, with square table facets positioned diagonally to the crown.
The main crown facets are adjoining triangular facets that point towards the diamond’s corners. That results in the optical appearance of a four-pointed star. The crown’s position should be high enough for these gems and incorporate a minor table facet.
Some French cut diamonds feature a table with an octagonal shape created when the triangular corner facets are split further. Why? Because you typically get more reflections and deeply sophisticated light performance when this is implemented.
This cut was more common among top-end jewelers of the past.
In terms of the present design of the French cut, modern technology enables these gemstones to have multiple geometric shapes. Freedom and creativity are on full display in today’s French cut diamonds, that’s for sure.
Another diamond shape commonly worn during the Victorian era was the so-called rose cut. Like most other antique diamond shapes, rose-cut stones were cut by hand and were meant to sparkle under candlelight. Their wide and large facets performed well in low-light environments.
The rose cut became less popular as time went on. And with the advent of new jewelry trends – by the 20th century – the rose cut was completely lost. The popularity of brilliant-cut stones soon took over.
In recent years, though, this diamond shape has come back into use. As more people seek unique and vintage alternatives to the standard – or “modern” – diamond shapes, rose-cut gems are praised for their more straightforward yet fancy and classic look.
Diamonds are one of the most aesthetically beautiful – if not the most beautiful – natural goods in the world. Their beauty and uniqueness are something we can’t put a price tag on – although, as you’re aware, jewelers might disagree with that sentiment.
It’s necessary to spread awareness about diamonds, not as precious stones that adorn rings but as natural assets. Yet, in the hands of true craftsmen, diamonds can reach their aesthetic peak – both in shape and depth, angles and cuts – each adding to its brilliance.
In this article, you could read about the most famous and most common diamond shapes, as well as some details about what each one represents.
You can use this knowledge when shopping for a diamond, of course. But beyond that, it might also tell you a thing – or two – about yourself and your personal stylistic preferences. Your go-to diamond shape says a lot about you, too.
Now, we can all agree that every shape of a diamond is infinitely beautiful and refined in its own way. But there’s always one that stands out to you and makes you go, “This is the one!”. That’s the diamond shape you should go with 100% of the time.
We hope you find this article interesting and instructive. Share your opinions with us – and let us know what your favorite diamond shape is or if there’s a shape you noticed that we might have left out.
Feel free to share this guide with someone you know may be interested in this topic or someone who can find it useful at the moment!