The shape of a diamond describes its appearance when viewed from above. Different cutting processes determine the variety of shapes a diamond can take. While all diamond shapes have special attributes, the overall choice depends on your personal preference.
Popular Stone Shapes:
This shape has a pavilion that is cut with rectangular facets in the same style as the emerald-cut. It is distinct from the emerald-cut in that it has cropped corners giving it a square appearance. This square emerald diamond is bright, shiny, and clear and is made with the step-cut process. This stone shape is best when set with a four prong or six prong setting.
Also known as the “pillow cut”, the cushion is an antique cut that has both a classic and romantic appeal. The cushion-cut diamond has 58 larger facets and rounded corners which boost its brilliance. This cut comes in both square and rectangular variations.
This cut comes in two varieties: step-cut half moons and the more common brilliant-cut half moons. Half moons can be proportioned differently. Thicker versions tend to be slightly less elegant and desirable than the slim, elongated type.
The marquise cut is another brilliant cut. Its elongated shape can maximize the carat weight, giving you a larger carat weight per stone. With narrow points at both ends of the diamond, this shape has a flattering effect on the finger, making it appear longer. This shape works well in a solitaire setting or when paired with beautiful side stones.
The oval cut has beautiful brilliance very similar to a round-brilliant cut. An oval shape combines the sparkle of the round shapes with a finger slimming, elongated outline. It is a good choice for someone who wants something more unique but still wants the fire and brilliance of a round cut diamond. The relatively symmetrical shape lends itself well to a variety of mounting styles. Most oval cuts work in a mounting with six prongs properly spaced for security.
The distinctively trimmed corners give a radiant cut its beautiful appeal. This diamond shape combines a square or rectangular shape with the brilliance of the traditional round cut. It combines the round cut style and the emerald cut style to make a non-traditional diamond. A radiant cut looks great in a solitaire setting or a prong setting with side stones.
The radiant cut diamond is the first square cut to have a complete brilliant-cut facet pattern applied to both the crown and pavilion. The result is a vibrant and lively square diamond. The cropped corner square shape of the radiant is a nice bridge between a cushion and a princess cut. It is a versatile cut and looks beautiful set with both rounded and square cornered diamonds.
This elongated, rectangular step cut can be set either north-south or east-west. When set north-south, they are commonly staggered on top of each other, forming a ladder-like element. This is the only way they could appear in a modern ring. Setting it in any other way would result in an Art Deco look.
Trapezoid diamonds are tapered on both ends to form a trapeze shape. This perspective view of straight baguettes allows for a graceful transition from a large center stone to a narrow shank of the ring. They work well with other step cut stones such as an emerald cut or Asscher cut. They are also a nice fit as part of a traps/bullet combination, which is popular in five stone rings.
Brilliant Cut / Round
The most popular diamond shape is currently the round-brilliant cut. This diamond cut is optically brilliant because of its 360-degree symmetrical shape. For a large amount of sparkle and a classic shape, the round-brilliant is a great choice. This stone shape also works well with nearly all mounting types including four prong, six prong, channel, bezel, half-bezel and illusion.
The beloved emerald cut has a unique pavilion that is cut with rectangular facets to create a distinctive optical appearance. Due to its large, open table, this diamond shape best showcases the clarity of a diamond. The blocked corners are usually cut to a rectangular outline, but can also be cut in a square shape. This cut can vary greatly in rectangularity. If your preference is for an emerald cut with a squared outline, look instead at the Asscher-cut diamond.
The ultimate expression of romance and love, the heart shaped diamond is cut with light bending triangular and kite-shaped facets. Generally there are 59 facets on a heart shaped diamond. The cut is similar to a pear shaped diamond, except the cleft at the top of the heart shaped diamond is strategically cut to remove inclusions without affecting the total diamond weight.
The less common but visually interesting pear shaped diamond is a unique variation of the round diamond cut. Like the round diamond cut, 58 facets allow the light to pass through the stone. It is a popular choice for many solitaire diamond engagement rings or diamond rings with side stones.
The princess cut is the second most popular diamond shape because of its modern classic shape which offers clean lines and immense sparkle. Depending on the cut, a princess diamond has either a square or rectangular appearance. The cutting process utilizes the step-cutting of the emerald cut with the triangular facets of the brilliant cut. Princess cuts work best in a prong or channel setting.
Whether they are step cut or brilliant cut, shields are simply beautiful. They are great transitional stones that could be paired with virtually any center stone. The most elegant ratio is 1:1, however elongated cuts are also very elegant, complimentary, and appropriate companions to a center stone.
This diamond shape combines a square cut with rounded corners, lending it a pillow-like appearance. This classic cut has been around for almost 200 years, and for the first century of its existence, it was the most popular diamond shape (similar to round cut today).
These are the most common side stones used in engagement rings. Some might argue that a ring with tapered baguettes should not be called a three stone ring, but instead, a solitaire. This is because baguettes are really not an extension of the center stone. They are set on the "cathedral' part of the shank.
Triangular Brilliants, also known as Trillions and Trilliants, are mixed cuts with three equally straight or slightly curved sides. They are typically shallow and are often side stones for other fancy shapes. However, when well proportioned, one can also be a stunning centerpiece in an engagement ring.