Diamond Articles

Diamond Shapes

October 5, 2018 - Diamond Articles
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For centuries diamonds have captivated us with their unparalleled beauty, elegance and versatility. Today, we are going to discuss the 10 most popular diamond shapes, also referred to as diamond cuts. From the resoundingly popular round shape to fancy shapes, such as the emerald and pear, diamonds exist in a wide range of shapes. Keep reading to discover the history of these enchanting diamond cuts and find out which diamond shapes are the most popular.

Top 10 most popular diamond shapes: 

  1. Round
  2. Princess
  3. Cushion
  4. Oval
  5. Emerald
  6. Radiant
  7. Pear
  8. Asscher
  9. Marquise
  10. Heart

1. Round

We are beginning our list of the top 10 diamond shapes with the most popular shape in the world: the round brilliant diamond. About 75% of all diamonds sold are rounds, which comes as no surprise since round diamonds provide the most brilliance of all diamond shapes. Brilliance refers to the amount of white light the diamond displays. Round diamonds were specifically crafted to maximize a diamond’s brilliance thanks to its 58 facets which enable light to effectively reflect within the diamond. The round diamond was born in 1919 when Marcel Tolkowsky created a mathematical formula for cutting diamonds proportionally. If rounds are your favourite diamond shape, you are in luck. Since this shape is so beloved, there is a bountiful selection of round diamonds on the market of various grades and prices, so you can find your perfect match.
round

2. Princess

Diamond Shapes
The second most popular diamond shape is the princess shape. The modern princess shape was created in 1979 by Arpad Nagy. Princess shapes have 57 or 76 facets to allow for great light dispersion within the stone. These diamonds are typically square in shape, but some can be a bit rectangular. When a princess diamond is viewed from the side it looks like an inverted pyramid. If you have a princess shape or are considering one, keep in mind that its pointed corners may chip with accidental bumps and can get caught on clothing or hair.

3. Cushion

Cushion shaped diamonds are rectangular or square in shape with rounded edges.  Due to the cushion’s soft, pillow-like shape, it is also referred to as a “pillow” diamond. The cushion shape has existed for over 200 years, in fact, the antique cushion diamond was the most popular shape during the 1800s and early 1900s. However, in the mid 1900s, many of these antique diamonds were re-cut into rounds to meet high market demand.  Old cushion diamonds have 58 facets while modern cushion diamonds have 64 facets. The cushion’s larger facets allow light to disperse well in the diamond, creating a soft rainbow of colours.
cushion

4. Oval

oval
The oval shape has quickly become one of the most popular fancy diamond shapes for the modern bride. The modern oval cut was created in 1957 by diamond cutter Lazare Kaplan. Ovals typically have 58 facets which allow for great brilliance and fire. Fire refers to the flashes of colour that are reflected off of a diamond. The oval’s elongated shape makes it appear larger than a round diamond of the same carat weight. Due to its long and curved shape, the diamond will make the wearer’s fingers seem longer and there is no worry about any sharp edges getting nicked during everyday wear. This shape is a great choice for someone who wants a traditional and sophisticated diamond at a lower price than a round.

5. Emerald

Not to be confused with the green gemstone, the emerald diamond shape is next up on our list of the 10 most popular diamond shapes. The emerald shape is beloved by celebrities such as Beyoncé, who has a stunning 18 carat engagement ring, and Mariah Carey who once owned a breath-taking 35 carat diamond ring. This sophisticated diamond shape also creates the illusion of slender fingers, adding to its appeal.

The emerald shape has stylistic origins that trace as far back as the 1500s. The term “emerald” was given to this shape during the 1920s as it is the preferred gemstone cut for emerald stones. The art-deco style celebrated clean lines and symmetry, which the emerald shape perfectly embodies. Emerald diamonds are made with a step pavilion and large, open table with a total of 57 facets. Rather than offering a diamond’s traditional sparkle, emeralds provide a mirror-like effect. Due to the construction of the diamond’s table, its clarity is accentuated. Therefore, if an emerald has a lower clarity grade, any blemishes and inclusions will clearly be on display.

emerald

6. Radiant

radiant
The radiant shape was created in 1977 by master diamond cutter Henry Grossbard who believed that, “An experienced craftsman can look into a rough stone and see the finished diamond.” Grossbard wanted to unify the elegant shape of the emerald diamond with the outstanding sparkle of the round diamond.

Radiant diamonds can be square or rectangular with trimmed corners, making it a popular alternative to the princess shape. This shape typically has 70 facets which allow for more light to disperse through the diamond. As radiant diamonds possess many facets, they may also potentially conceal flaws, creating the appearance of a better clarity grade.

7. Pear

Also referred to as a teardrop shape, the pear is one of today’s most popular fancy shaped diamonds. A pear diamond has a rounded bottom and narrow, pointed top. Typically, the point faces outwards, away from the wearer. The pear shape was made in the mid 1400s by Lodewyk van Bercken after his invention of a diamond polishing wheel which enabled him to make every diamond facet sparkle brilliantly. For a unique and modern look, a pear is the perfect shape for an engagement ring.
pear

8. Asscher

asscher
The asscher diamond shape is another of today’s most popular diamond shapes. This shape was created in 1902 by the Royal Asscher Diamond Company. The asscher shape looks similar to the emerald shape because of its step cut and large table, however it is square rather than a rectangle. Similarly to the emerald shape, the asscher shape will naturally emphasize a diamond’s clarity. Asscher diamonds also have cropped corners, so you won’t need to worry about it snagging on your clothing or hair.

In 1999 Edward and Joop Asscher improved on the asscher’s design with modern cutting techniques to enhance the cut and quality of the diamond, which became known as the royal asscher. The two raised the crown and added more facets, taking the total from 58 to 74, while maintaining the original appearance and enhancing overall brilliance.

9. Marquise

The marquise diamond was the beloved diamond shape of the 1990s and was a popular choice for many engagement rings. The marquise, also known as the “navette” which means “little boat,” is an elongated oval with pointed ends. The marquise can appear to be larger than other diamond shapes of the same carat weight because of its long shape. The marquise was developed in the 18th century when King Louis XV commissioned a gem to resemble the lips of his mistress, Marquise de Pompadour. For a truly unique diamond, the marquise may be the diamond shape for you.
marquise

10. Heart

heart
Shaped like a love heart, this romantic diamond shape has existed for centuries, with its earliest mention in 1463. While hearts were originally a symbol of royalty, in the early 1560s, Mary, Queen of Scots gifted Elizabeth I of England a gold ring containing a heart shaped diamond as a symbol of friendship. Today, the heart shape is a symbol of enduring love and is a wonderful choice for a solitaire engagement ring.

The heart shape is one of the most difficult of all diamond shapes to create and requires a diamond cutter of great skill. Excellent symmetry is crucial for a heart shape or else the curves of the heart, also referred to as “lobes” and “wings,” will look uneven. If you are interested in getting a heart shaped diamond, be sure that you select one that’s over half a carat or else its fine details will be difficult to see.

How to sell diamonds

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Author
Bio: Written by one of our diamond, designer jewelry or luxury watch experts. With over 150 years of combined experience, our experts are able to comment on trends, share industry knowledge and provide diamond, designer jewelry and luxury watch education.

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