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Diamond Shape

on June 08, 2023

The shape of a diamond may be the main visible characteristic of a diamond. It will not only affect the aesthetics of the jewelry but also interfere with some of the characteristics that define the overall quality such as the visibility of inclusions, the color and whether or not a stone is able to reflect light efficiently.

Certainly some diamond shapes favor one type of fingers more than others in the case of engagement rings, as well as the price of the jewel in general, so knowing the goodness and weaknesses of each beautiful diamond shape is an interesting point to study if we want to acquire a well-planned jewel.


What exactly is a diamond shape?

We define then the diamond shape as the set of physical characteristics and geometric contours that give structure to a worked or cut diamond. Each diamond shape has a defined set of specifications of cut, proportion, facets, depth... that directly define the aesthetics of a diamond.

The shape of the diamond has a direct impact on the way it interacts with light. This is the reason why two stones with very similar properties in structure can have very opposite visual characteristics.

In other words, the shape of the diamond is the overall aesthetics, the physical appearance of the diamond.


How many diamond shapes are there?

It is not possible to define an exact number of diamond shapes. In the art of diamond cutting, many shapes have been born thanks to the evolution and invention of new methods and tools. This means that figures that were once very representative as the "mine cut" have been replaced by other more optimal ones.

Simply put, there are as many diamond shapes as there are jewelers who venture to explore with the rough gems. But generally speaking, modern shapes are usually limited to a specific group, with their respective modifications. These are the shapes of: Round, Oval, Marquise, Pear, Princess, Emerald, Asscher, Cushion, Radiant and Heart.


Proportion ratios (Length:Width) 

Each diamond cut has a particular shape that varies greatly in length to width ratios. The length to width ratio causes some cuts to appear more square or rectangular; round or oval; symmetrical or not. It all depends on the overall aesthetics.

Each cut usually has its own standard proportions that are known to be more striking.


What is the best diamond shape?

Different groups might try to persuade you that the round diamond is by far the best of all diamond shapes. This is relatively true. The round cut is the most popular diamond shape because it makes the best use of light contact and therefore the most brilliant of all. Round shapes are usually the most aesthetically pleasing and look great in almost any setting. They are also the most expensive.

This is where the debate comes in-is the most expensive diamond shape the best? Not necessarily. It's all going to depend on your personal circumstances, budget and sense of aesthetics. Each diamond shape has its own special properties and for you, brilliance may not be the only thing that matters.

The best diamond shape in a less technical sense is the one that the wearer likes the most, after all, he/she is the one who will wear it every day.


Is a diamond shape and a diamond cut the same thing?

Yes and no. Most people and brands involved in the world of fine jewelry and diamond cutting in general tend to use both terms interchangeably when describing diamonds or referring to diamonds. In a technical sense this is not accurate.

Diamond shape is the overall visual characteristic of the diamond, the geometry. Diamond cut has to do with the number of facets of the diamond, the way it reflects light, the depth of the pavilion, length to width ratio and so on.

In other words, it is the cut of the rough diamond that defines the final shape of the diamond once it is cut. Never the other way around.


The most popular diamond cuts

As we mentioned before, there is no defined limit in diamond shapes as such, but there is a clear catalog of what the market usually offers, with slight variations. It is important to understand the advantages offered by each diamond shape before deciding on a particular cut.



It is the most sold diamond shape within the engagement ring category and has been so for well over 100 years. This is due to the intense brilliance given by its 56-58 facets that play perfectly with the light creating sparkles with a lot of fire (rainbow reflection of the light).

This is one of the most studied and well known cuts in the market to the point of being the best optimized diamond cut of all, ensuring almost certain beauty. Due to its great demand, it is usually the most expensive.



The marquise brilliant cut is the most elongated diamond shape of all. Its main property is the ability to make the hands appear more slender, this makes it a particularly useful recommendation for brides with shorter fingers. The light in the marquise cut seems to flow inside which gives it a striking and interesting look. In a standard size they usually have about 58 facets.

This cut fully optimizes the carat weight of the diamond so it looks much larger than other shapes with the same weight.



The oval brilliant cut is a cut that stands in between the round brilliant cut and the marquise brilliant cut. This diamond shape is extremely popular because it boasts the best of both styles. This means a good number of facets (usually 58) that give it a lot of sparkle and a romantic stylized look that helps with the appearance of the fingers.

The oval cut may be among the second or third most popular diamond cuts in the engagement ring category.



Pear shaped diamonds are another modified combination between the round cut and the marquise cut. This diamond shape is often referred to as a teardrop, thanks to its pronounced tapered tip that contrasts with its other gently rounded edge.

This particularly striking diamond shape is often used in non-classical fancy settings with impeccable aesthetics. It tends to stylize the fingers very well if the tapered tip is properly oriented.



The princess cut diamond contends for the first/second place among the most purchased engagement ring center stones. It is the most popular non-round cut of all. The princess cut diamond shape is usually square and in some proportions rectangular. It is recognized by its intense fire, good brilliance and sharp edges.

The princess cut has the same characteristics of most square cuts. They are very honest with clarity. For this reason they tend to be more expensive, because a rough diamond with a slightly higher clarity level is necessary to bring out their full potential.



Emerald cut diamonds have an exquisite rectangular geometric pattern, which give the diamond an elegant appearance. This type of diamond cut is not very brilliant compared to other cuts. But it makes up for this with its ability to fully expose the diamond's purity.

An emerald diamond with good clarity and color measurements is a marvel to admire. Most of all, because of its stepped patterns in the pavilion that give it a deep appearance.

The completely square emerald cut is called the Asscher cut.



Cushion cut diamonds have been on the market for many years and are one of the most romantic diamond shapes available. The square or rectangular proportions (depending on the cut) with fully rounded edges are reminiscent of a small cushion, hence the name.

This shape competes with the princess cut for the favorite non-round center engagement diamond.

Despite having particularly aesthetic properties in both geometry and excellent brilliance, they tend to expose a lot of inclusions, thus representing a significantly higher investment in some cases.



Radiant cut diamonds are a perfect blend between a round brilliant cut and an emerald cut. The many facets and patterns similar to a brilliant cut give a surprising amount of brilliance to this shape, with a square geometric pattern, other times rectangular, with cut-out edges.

At first glance, a Radiant cut may be reminiscent in shape of a princess cut or an Asscher, but just look inside to quickly recognize its particular pattern.

It is excellent for concealing low color scales or inclusions so very aesthetic jewelry can be acquired on more limited budgets.



What better way to immortalize a message of indestructible love than a beautiful heart-shaped diamond? Nothing in the world. This is why heart-shaped diamonds are so popular, simple as that.

This beautiful figure is very representative for jewelry with a strong romantic impact. The reason why they do not flood the market is that good size stones are required to get a well symmetrical and defined heart cut, also, they usually expose a lot of the color of the diamond so it is also necessary to invest a little more in this feature which increases the price considerably.


Relationship between diamond shape and Price

There is a direct relationship between diamond shape and price. This is mainly due to 3 factors:

  1. To purchase a diamond already cut to a certain shape, some cutting processes make better use of the rough diamond than others. There is less waste. The less optimized the cut, the higher the manufacturing cost and therefore the higher the price.

  2. The demand for a particular cut (as is the case with the round cut) tends to increase the price of that cut.

  3. Specific clarity or color requirements to ensure the aesthetics of a diamond are often decisive factors in the price. Higher quality diamonds are necessary for certain cuts to be viable.

Of course, let's keep in mind that this is a very general overview of why a specific diamond cut might affect price. As for diamond quality, there are many other factors that are decisive in price.


Diamond cuts from the cheapest to the most expensive 

Just as a guideline, the price for a diamond of the same weight with similar characteristics, from the cheapest to the most expensive would be:

  • Emerald
  • Cushion
  • Asscher
  • Princess
  • Radiant
  • Pear
  • Oval
  • Marquise
  • Heart
  • Round

Understanding the emerald cut as the most accessible and the round cut as the most expensive, evidently because of its brightness and esthetic figure. It is important to take into account that the difference between one cut and another can be minimal. So the final decision will depend on the budget and taste of each one.


Relationship between diamond shape and color/clarity

The shape of the diamond directly affects the color and clarity of a diamond, which are two of its main characteristics. One of the most common mistakes made when buying a diamond is not taking into account the effect that the cut has on the appreciable quality of the diamond.

Most fancy and brilliant cuts tend to hide the color of a diamond very well. Rectangular, step or square cuts are poor at hiding clarity.


Levels of difficulty in a diamond cut: pros and cons

Another important point to consider when deciding on one diamond shape or another is the bow tie effect. Practically all elongated cuts such as the Pear, Oval and Marquise have it.

The bow-tie effect is a kind of cross-shadow that can be perceived in the center of the diamond due to the angle of its facets and particularly of the base. That is, it is created by how the diamond was cut.

Although this can be disguised and even eliminated, it is not as easy a feat to accomplish as it may seem. It must be remembered that each diamond is unique and the light patterns presented by each are just as particular. While the cutter's expertise is critical when it comes to working fancy cuts, you need to know that it is a possibility in this type of cut.

Some even believe that certain bows, properly worked are part of the charm of some diamonds, like the oval, for example. Make sure your diamond's light pattern pleases you before deciding on a particular shape.


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