A Guide to Diamond Shapes
When thinking of diamonds, many aspects of it come to mind including the 4 C's, carat, color, clarity, and cut, but one of the most fun aspects of a diamond is choosing it's shape. A diamond's shape is it's physical form and each shape is very different, possessing unique characteristics that have a great impact on the diamond's appearance. Since each diamond shape is cut to different specifications, they reflect light differently, giving each shape a unique fire and brilliance. Different shapes also affect the apparent size of the diamond as well.
Choosing the right diamond shape can be tricky, because the different shapes reflect the different tastes women have in jewelry. The most popular shape is the round brilliant cut, which accounts for 75% of all diamonds sold. However, there are so many shapes to choose from. Below you will find a comprehensive list of the most popular diamond shapes, their characteristics, and comparisons to each other.
ROUND BRILLIANT CUT
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. Virtually all round diamonds have 58 facets. Round diamonds cost more on a per carat basis than fancy shapes for two reasons: the demand for round diamonds is very high, and the yield is relatively low.
Of the fancy diamond shapes, the princess cut is the most popular. They were first created in 1980 and are exceptionally brilliant because of the way they are cut and are available in both square and rectangular shapes. While the color of other diamonds are displayed mainly in the center, the princess cut diamonds show distinct color in each of the corners as well. They tend to have a slightly lower price-per-carat than round cut diamonds and are flexible for working in almost any style of ring.
The marquise cut diamond is a football-shaped, modified brilliant-cut. Because the marquise diamond is long and narrow, it can also create the illusion of greater size. Carat for carat, the marquise diamond has one of the largest surface areas of any diamond shape, making it a good choice when trying to maximize perceived size.
The cushion cut diamond 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 (similar to round cut today). Cushion cut diamonds tend to have impeccable brilliance and clarity in their appearance which can be attributed to their rounded corners and larger facets.
Emerald cut diamonds have a unique optical appearance because of the rectangular facets step-cut into the diamond’s pavilion. This cut showcases the diamond’s original clarity beautifully because of its large rectangular table which will also make inclusions and color more apparent. While less fiery, the long lines and dramatic flashes of light give the emerald cut an elegant appeal.
Radiant cut diamonds are perfect for those looking for a unique style, radiant cut diamonds feature uniquely trimmed corners which combines the lines of an emerald cut with the brilliance of a round diamond. The sparkle of this diamond cut looks beautiful when combined with a variety of other diamond cuts. the first rectangular cut to have a complete brilliant-cut facet pattern applied to both the crown and pavilion, creating a vibrant and lively diamond.
Combining round and marquise cuts, the teardrop style of pear shaped diamonds is exceptional. The slender pear shape will give fingers and hands a slimmer appearance while creating a soft and delicate look. Pear shaped diamonds are cut to produce maximum brilliance, so it’s important to look for excellent symmetry.
Oval cut diamonds have a classic appearance with a modern twist. It is a popular cut in all types of jewelry, especially in engagement rings, making it easy to match with other jewelry. It has an incredible brilliance, similar to the round brilliant cut, but also has the advantage of accentuating long, slender finders. Oval cut diamonds have the added advantage of an elongated shape, which can create the illusion of
Asscher cut diamonds are often mistaken for an emerald cut because of its similar cut style, however an asscher is square rather than rectangular. It has larger step facets, a higher crown, and a smaller table. This combination often produces more brilliance than the emerald cut.
The modified brilliant-cut heart shaped diamond is a unique and unmistakable symbol of love. hen choosing a heart, symmetry is a very important characteristic, since it is critical that the two halves of the heart are identical. Heart shaped diamonds of less than .50 carats may not be a good choice, as the heart shape is more difficult to perceive in smaller diamonds, especially after they are set in prongs.
Most people who receive diamonds have a shape preference, especially for an engagement ring. While factors such as price and quality should be determined by the purchaser's price point, the choice of the shape should be based on the the preference of the diamond recipient, if possible. This is especially true for fancy shape engagement diamonds. For more information on diamond shapes and cuts and to see them for yourself, please visit our store!
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