Helpful Stuff

Diamond Shape Guide

Virtually all diamond cuts sold for use in jewelry are one of the following ten round or fancy diamond shapes. These are the most popular diamond shapes:


Round cut
The most popular diamond shape, representing approximately 75% of all diamonds sold. Due to the mechanics of its shape, the round diamond is generally superior to fancy diamond shapes at the proper reflection of light, maximizing potential brightness.
Classic round shape

Princess cut
The most popular fancy cut, especially for engagement rings. Like round cut diamonds, princess cut diamonds are a good choice for their flexibility in working in almost any style of ring. Princess cut diamonds also tend to have a slightly lower price-per-carat than round cut diamonds.

Radiant cut
The first square cut (the 2nd being the princess) to have a complete brilliant-cut facet pattern applied to both the crown and pavilion, creating a vibrant and lively square diamond. First popular in the 1980’s, the cropped corner square shape of the radiant is a nice bridge between a cushion and a princess cut, and for that reason looks beautiful set with both rounded or square cornered diamonds.

Asscher cut
First produced in 1902 by the Asscher Brothers of Holland, famous at the time for cutting the world’s largest rough stone (the Cullinan, at 3,106 carats). Asscher cut diamonds originally peaked in popularity in the 1920’s, and could recently be found only in antique jewelry shops. Around 2002, the shape began to make a comeback, spurred on by cut modifications that gave the shape more brilliance than traditional asscher cut diamonds.

Cushion cut
Combines a square cut with rounded corners, much like a pillow (hence the name). This classic cut has been around for almost 200 years, and for the first century of its existence was the most popular diamond shape (as to round cut today). Until the early 20th century, the cushion cut was the de facto diamond shape.

Emerald cut
The unique look of the emerald cut diamond is created by the step cuts of its pavilion and its large, open table. Instead of the sparkle of a brilliant-cut, emerald cut diamonds produce a hall-of-mirrors effect, with the interplay of light and dark planes. While less fiery, the long lines and dramatic flashes of light give the emerald cut an elegant appeal. The shape was originally developed for the cutting of emeralds, thus the name.

Pear cut
This diamond cut is always worn with the narrow end pointing toward the hand of the wearer. Like marquise and oval cuts, the pear shaped diamond comes in a variety of slim to wide cuts, and has the added benefit of making the wearer’s fingers appear longer and slimmer.

Marquise cut
The name is derived from the Marquise of Pompadour, for whom King Louis XIV of France allegedly had a stone fashioned to resemble what he considered her perfectly shaped mouth. Because marquise diamonds are long and narrow, they may create the illusion of greater size.

Heart cut
These diamonds are very popular in solitaire pendants as well as rings. When choosing a heart, symmetry is a very important characteristic, since it is critical that the two halves of the heart are identical. The cleft (between the two lobes/wings) should be sharp and distinct, and the wings should have a very slightly rounded shape.

Oval cut
Created by Lazare Kaplan in the 1960’s, oval diamonds are a modified brilliant-cut (like virtually all round cuts). Because the two shapes possess a similar fire and brilliance, the oval is an ideal choice for a customer who likes the look of a round diamond, but wants something more unique. Oval diamonds have the added advantage of an elongated shape, which can create the illusion of greater size. The slender shape can also make the finger of the wearer appear longer and slimmer, an effect often desired.


Other commonly used shapes:

Baguette cut
Baguette-cut diamonds are typically small and are commonly used as accent stones in diamond rings and other diamond jewelry. Choose a diamond engagement ring with a round- or square-shaped diamond flanked with baguette-cut stones for an engagement ring that is unique and beautiful.

Tapered Baguette cut
Commonly used as two accent stones to a larger center stone between them. The narrowing shape of the baguettes accentuates and compliments the shape of the ring thus making them a perfect choice for accent stones.

Trilliant cut
The trilliant cut was introduced by the Asscher brothers in Amsterdam and was later trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. Now that the patent has expired, the term ‘Trilliant Cut’ is used to refer to all triangular shaped gems, even step cut and cabochon stones.

Trillion cut
Trillions are mixed cuts with three equally slightly curved sides. They are typically shallow and are often cut from flattened, triangular rough called macles. Triangular diamonds are often seen as side stones for other fancy shapes, but when well proportioned, one can also be a stunning centerpiece in an engagement ring.