2023 Guide to Different Types of Diamond Shapes
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Diamond Shape

What is Diamond Shape?

Diamond shape refers to the outline of your diamond. It’s the physical and visual shape of the stone. Every diamond shape has unique attributes that impact its sparkle and overall look.

Shape 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.

Learn About Diamond Shapes

Round Shaped 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 Shaped 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 Shaped 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 Shaped 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 Shaped Diamonds

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

Emerald Shaped 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 Shaped 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 Shaped 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 Shaped 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.

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Are Diamond Cut and Diamond Shape the Same Thing?

Though there’s a difference between shape and cut, many jewelers use the terms interchangeably. The shape is the silhouette of the stone, while the cut refers to how the light hits the facets.

Precise cuts ensure diamonds reflect light and sparkle. Professional gemologists grade a diamond’s cut by analyzing seven components: brightness, dispersion, scintillation, weight ratio, durability, polish, and symmetry. Learn more about these seven components in our diamond cuts guide.

Diamond shape describes the outline of the diamond itself. When you look at the diamond, you can discern its shape quickly. It takes a more experienced eye to notice the cut because you have to take in the facets, reflective qualities, and overall proportions of the diamond.

You can choose any shape for a diamond and then get a specific cut, like super ideal, ideal, very good, etc. No matter what cut you choose, you can still have a certain shape for the diamond.

Ideal Length-to-Width (L:W) Ratio for Each Diamond Shape

A factor that is often overlooked is the length-to-width ratio of a diamond. It’s different for each diamond shape, but in general, the length-to-width ratio gives diamonds a look of symmetry.

  • Round: Since round diamonds are close to a perfect circle, the ideal ratio is 1 because the length and width should be the same. Most brilliant cut round diamonds have a ratio of 1 or 1.03.
  • Oval: Oval diamonds are slightly elongated because, otherwise, they’d look round. The typical oval length-to-width ratio ranges between 1.3 to 1.5. Diamonds closer to the 1.3 ratios are rounder and get longer as they edge closer to 1.5.
  • Pear: Like oval diamonds, pear diamonds have a higher ratio because they’re longer. The ratio for pear diamonds can range from 1.4 up to 1.7 since they have a thicker bottom.
  • Princess: The ideal ratio for princess diamonds ranges from 1 to 1.04. This ratio gives them a sturdy square appearance while letting the sharp corners capture shine.
  • Emerald: An emerald-shaped diamond is unique because of how the facets look. The diamond itself has a rectangular shape, but the facets catch the light and make the diamond look like a never-ending hall of mirrors. The ideal ratio for emerald cut diamonds ranges from 1.3 to 1.45.
  • Marquise: Marquise diamonds have a breathtaking look, with the long elliptical diamond giving your engagement ring a timeless look. The ideal ratio for marquise diamonds is the highest on the list due to the stone’s length. You’ll find most marquise shapes with ratios starting at 1.85 to 2.1.
  • Asscher: Asscher diamonds have a ratio close to that of a princess. A 1 ratio is ideal, but you might find variations up to 1.05. This allows the square shape to provide a sturdy base, so the unique octagonal look will catch everyone’s attention.
  • Cushion: A cushion diamond can be square, but it often has a slightly higher ratio, giving it a rectangular shape. Even a ratio of 1.14 is more rectangular than square.
  • Radiant: A radiant diamond is a popular choice for an engagement ring because you can customize the look depending on the ratio. A longer, narrower rectangle will have a ratio of 1.35 or higher.
  • Heart: The ratio for a heart shaped diamond is close to 1 because symmetry is crucial.

Why Length-to-Width Ratio Matters

Length-to-width ratio matters because it impacts how your diamond looks and can change the overall aesthetic of your ring.

A length-to-width ratio of 1 tells you that the diamond is perfectly symmetrical, as in the case of square cut, round cut, and heart shaped diamonds. Anything higher than one is an elongated diamond that covers more of your finger. Anything less will cover more of the band.

Having an ideal length-to-width ratio isn’t a necessity, but understanding the basics helps you picture what your engagement ring will look like.Anything outside of the ideal length-to-width ranges might change the brilliance and cut of the diamond. So, if the proportions of a diamond are too far off, you could potentially lose some sparkle if the diamond facets can’t catch the light in the right way.

But there’s no set length-to-width ratio you need to shop for; the right ratio for your diamond jewelry depends entirely on personal preference and how you want your diamonds to look.

How Diamond Shape Affects Price

Diamond shape affects price just as the 4Cs do. Anything impacting the diamond’s appearance will change the price. For example, the diamond’s length-to-width ratio can also affect the price. Anything beyond the typical range of your diamond shape is rare, so the price will adjust accordingly.

Round diamonds are so popular that the market price is higher than unique shapes. But there’s more to the cost that happens behind the scenes. The manufacturing process requires more of the rough diamond to make the perfect round shape, so you’re paying for that precision. And cutting a rough diamond into a round shape discards more diamond chips, so you’re paying for what isn’t usable in other jewelry.

Princess cut diamonds are second to round, so the price is still high, though they’re more affordable than round cut diamonds. This is because, in the manufacturing process, they use about 80% of the rough diamond to cut into a princess shape.

Radiant, emerald, cushion, and asscher cut diamonds are more affordable because they use most of the rough diamonds. Choosing a fancy-shaped diamond not only means you’ll enjoy a unique ring but also that you’re discarding fewer diamond chips and saving money, all at the same time.

Diamond Shape FAQs

The best diamond shape is totally subjective. The most popular shape is a round diamond because they’re brilliant cut for maximum sparkle. The square shape is also popular because it looks timeless. You can style a square diamond to look modern or vintage.
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 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.
If you want a diamond with a unique shape, you’ll be happy to know that the shape doesn’t affect the sparkle as much as the cut does. That means you can choose your diamond shape and then have facets cut for brilliance, which will give it the most sparkle.