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diamond shapes

What is a 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 princess, cushion, emerald, asscher, radiant, oval, pear, and heart shaped diamonds. Each diamond shape has its own unique characteristics and is cut to different specifications, which impacts the overall look of the stone.

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.

Diamond shape is often confused with the cut, which is one of the 4 Cs (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. The cut of the diamond determines light refraction and sparkle and scintillation. When selecting a diamond, we recommend choosing a diamond with a cut grade of Very Good and above (Very Good, Ideal and Super Ideal) to maximize sparkle.

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most popular setting
by the numbers

75% of diamond engagement rings feature a round center stone.

fun fact

The modern round brilliant cut was invented in 1900.

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round diamonds

The most popular diamond shape is the round brilliant cut. Carefully refined over nearly 100 years to maximize light return and sparkle, this shape has proven the test of time as a sought after choice. Almost three quarters of all diamond engagement rings feature a round brilliant diamond.

Princess cut diamonds

Princess cut diamonds are the second most popular diamond shape. Princess cut diamonds possess the gorgeous sparkle of round brilliant diamonds in a distinctive square shape. They offer a contemporary look and the flexibility to work in almost any style of ring.

cushion cut diamonds

Cushion cut diamonds combine the appeal of a square cut diamond but with soft, rounded edges, lending this shape a romantic feel. This timeless shape is derived from the old mine cut, and has been refined over hundreds of years. Cushion cut diamonds are a beautiful choice for any setting style.

emerald diamonds

Emerald cut diamonds are treasured for their elegant silhouette. The shallow pavilion and crown accentuate the clarity of the stone, while the reflective steps enhance the color and luster of the diamond.

asscher cut diamonds

The asscher cut features a square shape with cut corners. A high crown with large step cut facets bestows more brilliance than the other popular step cut shape, the emerald shape. Asscher shaped diamonds are sleek and modern in solitaire settings, and their unique shape perfectly complements vintage-inspired styles.

Radiant cut diamonds

The radiant cut diamond combines the silhouette of an emerald cut diamond with the fire and sparkle of a round brilliant cut diamond. Due to its design, this shape requires more carat weight in the depth to maximize brilliance.

Oval diamonds

The ever-flattering oval shape is symmetrical and exhibits a similar fire and brilliance to round shaped diamonds. A scintillating twist on the classic round brilliant, the elongated shape can create the illusion of larger size. Oval diamonds are highly versatile, remarkably elegant, and distinctive.

Pear diamonds

Pear shapes feature a rounded edge tapering to a point at the opposite end. This unique shape flatters fingers and offers a distinctive look. A fusion of the marquise shape and the most popular round brilliant cut, pear shaped diamonds are intended to showcase the sparkle of the diamond, making it important to find a stone with great symmetry.

Marquise Diamonds

The marquise shaped diamond features pointed ends with a curved middle for an eye-catching look. With a larger surface area than any other diamond shape, the marquise shape maximizes perceived size and lends a unique look to any setting style.

heart shaped diamonds

The heart shaped diamond is an evocative signifier of true love. They shimmer with two symmetrical halves, creating a bold and romantic look. Heart shaped diamonds are especially popular in Claddagh designs, and offer a distinctive look in any engagement ring setting.

Learn More about Diamond Characteristics

The Brilliant Earth Diamond Education Guide will help you choose the ideal gemstone for your ring. Learn about diamond shapes and the four C’s, as well as how to maximize the value of your diamond to fit your budget.

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