How to Choose A Diamond Shape
Your diamond’s shape, the outline of your diamond’s silhouette, is the first thing you’ll notice about it. It’s also the first decision most people make about which diamond to buy for an engagement ring or other piece of fine jewelry where the diamond is the star. Shape goes hand in hand with diamond cut, the proportions, facets, angles, and craftsmanship of a diamond, in creating its brilliance, scintillation and fire.
Since it was invented about a century ago, the round brilliant diamond has been the most popular diamond shape. That’s because it performs best optically, returning the most light back to your eyes as brilliance. That’s still true for modern lab-grown diamonds, which are most often cut into the round brilliant shape.
But the other diamond shapes, generally called fancy shapes, also have advantages. In general, they cost less per carat than round diamonds. Many of them also look larger than a round diamond of the same carat weight, with an elongated silhouette and larger surface area for their weight. They have their own distinctive individual personalities that may match your own personality.
Round diamonds are classic, loyal, and warm. Oval shapes are elegant and creative. Cushion cuts are romantic and traditional. Princess cuts are modern and fun-loving. Emerald cuts are sophisticated and strong. Pear shapes are adventurous and vibrant. Marquise shapes are independent and bold. You may be wondering, what diamond shape should I get?
The shape of your diamond adds a personal touch even to a simple style like a solitaire or stud earrings. Lab grown diamonds are cut and polished with the same craftsmanship as mined diamonds and show the same unique personality in unusual shapes. Choose your favorite diamond shape to add your own personality to your favorite lab grown jewelry design.
Below are some tips on how to choose a diamond shape that is perfect for you!
Round Brilliant Diamonds
Round diamonds are the most popular shape for a reason: no other diamond shape creates as much brilliance, scintillation and fire. Cutters have refined the proportions and angles of every facet in the round brilliant to maximize light return, developing ideal proportions that achieve the best light-handling performance possible. The round shape is timeless and iconic too. It suits most jewelry designs and matches large and small accent stones, which are most commonly round brilliants. Celebrities with round diamond engagement rings include Mila Kunis, Natalie Portman, Kate Mara, Alicia Vikander, Allison Williams, Princess Beatrice of York, Emily Blunt and Michelle Obama. The round shape only has two potential drawbacks. First, because it’s so popular, it might not appeal to you if you are looking for something special and different. Second, it’s the most expensive diamond shape. You’ll pay more per carat than for any other shape in the same quality.
Oval Shaped Diamonds
Oval diamonds have the timeless look of round diamonds with a classic graceful silhouette. But the elongated shape of oval diamonds is also famously finger flattering. Celebrities with oval engagement rings include Blake Lively, Ariana Grande, and Hailey Baldwin. The oval is also less deep than the round, which means that more of its weight goes into its face-up area. The combination of the stretched silhouette and shallow depth makes oval diamonds look larger than almost any other diamond shape. Every oval is a bit different in shape: they can be rounder or longer. They can have more pointed ends or be more squared off. Which you prefer is a matter of taste. It’s likely that your oval cut won’t be exactly the same as anyone else’s! The main drawback to oval cuts is that many display a bowtie effect: triangular dark areas in the center of the cut. You’ll want to choose an oval diamond with an excellent cut to minimize these dark reflections and maximize brilliance.
Princess Cut Diamonds
Crisp and modern with a square outline, the princess cut diamond is a modern invention. Its geometric shape inspires a lot of modern jewelry designs. Celebrities with princess cut engagement rings include Emily Ratajkowski, Kate Bosworth and Hilary Duff. Princess diamonds have the triangular facets of a round brilliant cut on top with chevron shaped facets underneath which gives the shape a distinctive X-shaped facet pattern. Generally princess cut diamonds should have a length-to-width ratio very close to 1:1. One drawback to princess cuts is the sharp corners which can chip if they are exposed. Make sure your ring setting protects the corners. Although princess cut diamonds cost less per carat than round diamonds, they look slightly smaller than round diamonds of the same carat weight. Small princess cut diamonds fit beautifully edge to edge in diamond bands, wedding bands, and tennis bracelets. Princess cut diamonds are also popular in stud earrings.
Pear Shaped Diamonds
Pear shaped diamonds, sometimes called teardrop shaped diamonds, make a bold statement. With dramatic asymmetric outlines, they are unlike any other diamond shape. That’s why they attract adventurous women who aren’t afraid to stand out from the crowd. Celebrities with pear shaped diamond engagement rings include Cardi B, Paris Hilton, Margot Robbie, Katherine Heigl, Anna Kournikova, Zoe Saldana, Sophie Turner, Jessica Simpson, and Victoria Beckham. But there’s another thing to love about pear-cut diamonds: they look larger than almost any other diamond shape. Pear diamond rings can be worn two ways: point up or point down, giving them two different looks. Pear shaped diamonds are all individually shaped: some are plump and others are elongated. The shoulder area between the point and the round end can have a steep or gradual curve. These small differences make each pear shape diamond unique, with its own personality.
Marquise Cut DiamondsThe marquise diamond begins with a kiss. Louis XV of France asked his jewelers to cut a diamond in the shape of the lips of his beloved, the Marquise de Pompadour. They faceted a slim diamond with two curved sides and two points. Because the marquise also resembles a ship shape, it’s also called a navette diamond. The marquise shaped diamond was popular in the 1950s and then fell out of favor for a few decades. Today, it’s back in demand for long dramatic rings and sparkling pendants, either vintage in inspiration or very modern. Celebrities with marquise cut engagement rings include Catherine Zeta Jones, Ashlee Simpson, Victoria Beckham and Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis. If you love marquise diamonds, you’ll be glad to know that this shape offers tremendous value because it has one of the largest looks of any shape, with an elongated silhouette and large face-up surface area. It’s also one of the most affordable shapes per carat. Some marquise diamonds are wide and others are long and thin. Which you like best is a matter of personal taste but most people prefer something in the middle. Almost every marquise cut diamond has an optical effect called the “bow tie”: a dark pattern of light across the center of the diamond. It’s important to choose a marquise shape diamond that sparkles with brilliance across the whole diamond, even in the bow tie area.
Emerald & Asscher Cut Diamonds
Emerald cut diamonds have a long history. The octagonal shape evolved over centuries from the earliest faceted diamond shape called the table cut. Unlike most other popular diamond shapes, the emerald is a step cut, with long parallel rectangular facets instead of the small triangular facets that brilliant cuts have. The optical effect in an emerald cut is called the “hall of mirrors” effect: the facets reflect each other across the pavilion of the stone. Because of its refined geometry the emerald cut was particularly popular in Art Deco jewelry. Many of the world’s most powerful and beautiful women wear emerald cut engagement rings, including Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Lawrence, Amal Clooney, Anne Hathaway and Angelina Jolie. Emerald shape diamonds can have different length to width ratios, from square to long rectangles. Asscher cut diamonds are a modified square emerald cut with deep corner bevels. Which you like best is a matter of personal taste. Emerald cut diamonds look bigger than most other diamond shapes. The main drawback to emerald cuts is that clarity has a much bigger impact on the beauty of an emerald cut diamond. The large flashing facets that make emerald cut diamonds so appealing also highlight any inclusions inside the stone, lighting them and reflecting them around the stone. For this reason, you will want to make sure you choose an emerald cut diamond with high clarity grade so it doesn’t have any visible large inclusions.
Radiant Cut Diamonds
The radiant cut diamond was designed to combine the octagonal outline of the emerald cut diamond and the sparkle of a round diamond. This innovative cross between those two more well-known diamond shapes gives you straight sides, beveled corners and lots of brilliance. Rectangular or square, colorless or fancy color, radiant cut diamonds are a popular choice for a dazzling engagement ring. Celebrities who have radiant cut diamond rings include Drew Barrymore, Megan Fox, and Khloe Kardashian. One drawback of radiant cut diamonds is also a strength. The radiant cut tends to concentrate color. That makes this cut popular for fancy colored diamonds (like the pink diamond Ben Affleck famously once gave Jennifer Lopez) but it means if you are shopping for a colorless radiant cut you may want to choose a higher color grade than in other shapes. Radiant diamonds look larger than other shapes in the faceup position and offer excellent value too.
Cushion Cut Diamonds
Cushion shape diamonds have a vintage charm because their rounded square shape is inspired by old mine diamonds, one of the first brilliant cuts. Cushion cut diamonds are one of the most popular choices for engagement rings that combine the best of modern stye and antique inspiration. Celebrities who wear cushion engagement rings include Megan Markle, Chrissie Teigen, Karlie Kloss, Jessica Biel, Olivia Palermo, Priyanka Chopra and Kim Kardashian. Cushion cut diamonds can be squares or elongated rectangles. Which you prefer is a matter or personal taste and the design of your ring. Either way they show excellent sparkle.
Heart Shaped Diamonds
An irresistible symbol of romance, heart shape diamonds are an enduring valentine. Although the heart is sentimental and sweet, heart diamond rings often worn by strong women, from Queen Elizabeth to Elizabeth Taylor to Lady Gaga to Nikki Minaj. For the diamond cutter, hearts are a challenge. Each has its own personality: wide or tall, curvy or straight. There’s more variety in heart diamonds than in any other shape. Look for beautifully curved sides, graceful and symmetrical lobes and a deep (but not too deep) cleft. Like love, you’ll have to search before you find the one that’s right for you.