Diamond Learning

How to Choose a Diamond Shape

How to choose a diamond shape

The world of diamonds shapes involves a thrilling combination of treasured traditions and groundbreaking technology. In this guide, we take a deep dive into 9 popular diamond shapes and how to choose the perfect one for you.

Take our poll at the end & vote for your favourite diamond shape!

How to choose a diamond shape

Before we start… How do diamonds get their shape?

Every diamond is unique; a product of millions of years of seismic forces. Each one comes out of the ground as a rough stone.

Diamond cutting is the practice of shaping a diamond from a rough stone into a faceted gem. It requires specialized knowledge and tools.

Ultimately, the skill and expertise of a diamond cutter brings out the very best diamond shape out of each rough stone. 

Rough diamonds, before being carved and polished into faceted gems

How to choose a diamond shape?

From the absolute classics to more unusual iterations, there’s a diamond shape to suit every personality. Choosing a diamond shape is, therefore, an aesthetic choice.

Whether you’re seeking a diamond ring as a gift or a sparkling piece for yourself, it must suit the wearer’s sense of style and have something to say about their personality

How to choose a diamond shape

The top 9 diamond shapes

There are nine popular diamond shapes, below. Let’s consider the characteristics of each one and see who they are best suited to.

1. Round: Classic elegance

The round cut (sometimes referred to as the ‘brilliant’ or ‘round brilliant cut’) is the most popular diamond shape in the world, accounting for somewhere in the region of 75% of all diamonds being sold. 

This cut was first invented in 1919 by the legendary Polish diamond cutter, Marcel Tolkowsky. It features 58 individual facets, which lends round diamonds unmatched fire and brilliance – making it the sparkliest diamond shape of all.

If you’re seeking heightened sparkle and radiance the round cut is for you. What’s more, round diamonds offer a timeless look that will never go out of fashion.

2. Princess: A modern classic

The princess cut with its sharp, square shape is designed to be contemporary, sleek and radiant. It has become a modern classic in the world of diamond shaping.

Invented in 1961 at the height of London’s swinging sixties, the princess cut is a square-shaped diamond boasting facets that range between 49 on a small diamond and 144 on a larger one. This means that the princess cut exudes amazing sparkle and brilliance, only slightly less than the round diamond.

It suits those who want a modern jewellery piece that’s fun, flirty and eye-catching. Usually worn in a solitaire setting for ultimate impact, a princess cut diamond is beautiful to gaze at.

3. Asscher: Vintage vibes

The Asscher cut is an iconic, square shape with clipped corners. Striking and dramatic, it is imbued with a beautiful antique feel.

The Asscher cut was created in 1902 by Joseph Asscher. He actually took out a patent for this unique diamond shape, and it remained exclusively his until World War II. Today, Asscher cut diamonds are still very rare and pricey, and therefore conjure up a decadent vintage-style image of wealth and luxury.

It is popular with lovers of vintage fashion and those drawn to antique accessories. 

4. Emerald cut: A cool classic

The emerald cut diamond shape features a rectangular form with lean, elongated facets. This means that it does not offer the quintessential sparkle that round or princess cut diamonds do. Instead, it gives off long, mesmerising flashes of light, almost as if the diamond was made of liquid inside.

The emerald cut was invented at the height of the Art Deco period when elegance and sophistication took on exciting new, angular forms. The name comes from the fact that this cut was a hugely popular shape for emeralds in the 1920s.

This diamond shape is the number one choice for diamond connoisseurs, as well as lovers of the glamour of yesteryear. 

5. Marquise: Dial up the drama!

The marquise cut is a unique tapered diamond shape. It is essentially an oval with pointed ends, making this cut truly distinctive and unforgettable. 

Allegedly this cut was first invented back in the 18th century when French king Louis XIV commissioned “a diamond like no other” for the Marquise de Pompadour, his royal mistress and one of the most influential women of the time. It immediately puts in mind the glittering splendour of that period.

If you love the drama and opulence associated with regality, then the unique and splendorous marquise diamond shape is the one for you.

6. Cushion: Impactful romance

The cushion cut diamond, also known as the pillow cut, has a rectangular shape with rounded corners and dialled up brilliance. Designed for diamonds with high levels of clarity, they’re an impressive choice because of their fire and sparkle. 

The predecessor of the cushion cut was the 1700s Old Mine Cut which also had rounded corners. However, the modern cushion cut diamond became popular in the 1950s during Hollywood’s golden age. 

If you want a sophisticated diamond shape with charm, flair and incredible sparkle, then the cushion shape is the perfect choice for you.

7. Oval: Elegance defined

Oval diamonds possess a truly remarkable brilliance and an innate elegance as a result of their slightly elongated shape. They provide a fantastic alternative to the more classic round diamond.

The oval cut diamond was invented by Lazare Kaplan in the 1960s. It is similar to a round diamond in brilliance and sparkle, but has a more elongated shape that makes it look bigger than its actual carat size.

Oval shaped diamonds suit wearers with short fingers because the elongation of the gemstone has the effect of making the hand look longer, more slender and elegant. 

8. Pear: For haute-couture lovers

The pear cut diamond is something of a hybrid, taking elements from the classic round and marquise cut diamonds. It brings these two shapes together to form a diamond that resembles a perfect, twinkling, eye-catching teardrop.

One of the oldest diamond cuts, it has its origins in the 15th Century. In 1475, a Flemish diamond cutter named Lodewyk van Bercken had just invented the diamond polishing wheel, called a scaif. During the same year, his pioneering invention led him to create the world’s first pear shaped diamond.

This diamond shape is popular with those who love Haute Couture fashion and luxurious statement jewellery. There is no denying that a pear shaped diamond ring looks absolutely stunning on a well-manicured hand.

9. Baguette: A retro statement

The baguette cut diamond shares its name with the famous French bread, baguette, which actually means “long rod”. This is a perfect description for this long, rectangular diamond cut with octagonal corners.

This cut was invented in the 1920s. Baguette cut diamonds generally came in small carat weights. Therefore, they’re usually not the main, central diamond in any jewellery piece. Instead, they can be used as “side stones” on either side of a solitaire diamond in engagement rings, or several can be set in clusters or rows to create distinctive designs.

Baguette cut diamond rings provide a lavish, luxurious Art Deco style that stands out from the crowd. They are popular with those who want a unique diamond design made up of several diamonds.

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How to choose a diamond shape

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