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diamond shapes

What is Diamond Shape?

Diamond shape refers to a diamond’s physical form and is often one of the first attributes that couples consider when shopping for a diamond. While round diamonds are the most popular choice, many couples are also drawn to the distinctive look of non-round, or “fancy shaped” diamonds. Fancy shaped diamonds include oval, cushion, princess, pear, emerald, marquise, asscher, radiant, and heart shaped diamonds.

At Brilliant Earth, we offer a wide variety of diamond shapes to ensure that each ring we create is as unique as the love it represents. Discover which diamond shape best reflects your individual style and relationship.

Learn About Diamond Shapes

Round Diamonds

As the most common brilliant-cut diamond shape, round diamonds are far and wide the most popular choice for engagement rings. With nearly 60 facets designed to maximize light return and sparkle, this dazzling shape has proven to be extremely versatile and timeless.

Oval Diamonds

A scintillating twist on the classic round brilliant, this elongated shape can create the illusion of larger size while exhibiting a similar fire and brilliance. Oval diamonds are highly versatile and remarkably elegant.

Cushion Cut Diamonds

Soft rounded edges differentiate cushion cut diamonds from more angular square or rectangular shapes. Refined over centuries from the old mine cut, cushion cut diamonds are a timeless, romantic choice.

Princess Cut Diamonds

Known for their contemporary style and sparkle, princess cut diamonds are the most popular fancy diamond shape. Most commonly square with four pointed corners, princess-cut diamonds feature over 70 facets which create exceptional fire and scintillation.

Pear Diamonds

Pear cut diamonds feature a rounded edge tapering to a point at the opposite end, forming a symmetrical tear drop shape. Similar to an oval cut, this elongated shape flatters fingers while showcasing the stone’s distinctive sparkle.

Emerald Cut Diamonds

Emerald cut diamonds are the most popular step-cut shape, treasured for their understated elegance and striking silhouette. The shallow pavilion and open table accentuate the clarity of the stone, while the rectangular facets offer subtle reflective shimmer.

Marquise Diamonds

Marquise shaped diamonds feature dramatic pointed ends with a curved middle, creating a larger surface area than any other diamond shape. This unique cut maximizes perceived size while elongating and flattering fingers. This romantic shape originated in the 18th century and offers a regal elegance that stands the test of time.

Asscher Cut Diamonds

Similar to an emerald cut, asscher cut diamonds offer the brilliant shimmer of a step-cut stone. Featuring a square shape with cut corners, this shape is uniquely chic in a contemporary setting, and perfectly complements vintage styles.

Radiant Cut Diamonds

The radiant cut diamond is a hybrid, combining the elegant glamour of the emerald shape with the fire and brilliance of the round. This chic, angular shape with gently trimmed corners offers a unique and modern allure.

Heart Shaped Diamonds

Heart shaped diamonds shimmer with two symmetrical halves, creating a bold and romantic look. A modification of the pear shape, this feminine shape is cut with precise symmetry to showcase the diamond’s sparkle.

Shop Diamonds by Shape

How Does Diamond Shape Affect Sparkle?

Some diamond shapes are cut to optimize light return. These are referred to as brilliant cuts, and include round, princess, cushion, marquise, oval, radiant, pear, and heart shaped diamonds. The facets on the pavilion, or underside, of these diamonds meet at a point, which ensures maximum light return.

Other diamond shapes are cut to highlight the clarity of the diamond. These are referred to as step cuts, and include asscher and emerald shaped diamonds. These shapes feature parallel facets on the pavilion, which offers a subtle shimmer while accentuating clarity.

What is the Difference Between a Diamond Cut and a Diamond Shape?

Diamond shape is often confused with cut, which is one of the 4Cs (Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat). Though diamonds are cut to create different shapes, and different shapes may lend themselves to either brilliance or clarity, the term “cut” refers to the way light is reflected throughout the individual stone through its facet arrangement. When browsing diamonds of each shape, you will find a range of cut grades. We recommend choosing a diamond with a cut grade of Very Good and above (Very Good, Ideal and Super Ideal) to maximize sparkle.

Diamond Shapes FAQ

Diamond shape and diamond cut are often confused as diamonds are cut differently to create different shapes. However, the term “cut,” one of the 4C’s, refers to the way light reflects and refracts throughout the individual stone. To maximize sparkle, we recommend selecting a diamond with a cut grade of Very Good or above.
The balance of the proportions with which a shape is cut changes the way size is perceived with different shapes. Round diamonds tend to show their size and weight more than other shapes. Elongated shapes, like oval and marquise, tend to be more shallow which often causes them to appear larger. Princess cut and Asscher cut diamonds are deeper compared to their other dimensions, which may cause them to appear smaller in size.
The bowtie effect happens as a result of light obstruction while viewing a diamond which causes a bowtie-like shape to appear across the width of a gem. Many elongated gems such as ovals or pear shaped diamonds will show the bowtie effect.
While there are industry preferences and modern preferences for length:width ratio corresponding to each diamond shape, this will likely depend on personal style and preference. Emerald Cut and Pear Shaped diamonds, for example, have an industry preferred L:W ratio of 1.5:1.75. Oval diamonds have an industry preferred L:W ratio of 1.30:1.65 and Marquise diamonds have an industry preferred L:W ratio of 1.75:1.90.