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Diamond Shapes 101

If there is one thing we geek out about, it’s diamonds! Our founder, Emily Eggebrecht, received her education from the Gemological Institute of America as well as New Approach School for Jewelers and holds certificates in Graduate Diamonds and Bench Jewelry along with a number of other jewelry design, CAD design, and gemstone grading credentials. With all of that knowledge, we love chatting through alllll things diamonds with our clients. One of the first things we discuss when working with customers is the diamond shape or cut that they love. Whether you are selecting an engagement ring from our Signature Collection or designing a custom ring, these two factors are going to play a huge part in the decision making process. 


Today we are giving you the 101 on all things related to diamond shapes and cuts and outlining everything that you need to know about each. For starters, we often think of a diamond’s cut (round, heart, oval, marquise, pear) as the diamond shape, but the diamond cut actually refers to how well a diamond’s facets interact with light. 

 


Diamond Cut vs. Diamond Shape


You may be familiar with diamond cut as it’s one of the 4 C’s — color, clarity, carat, and cut. Cut differs from diamond shape as it refers to the symmetry and polish of the stone. Diamond shape has to do with the diamond’s overall outline or form. 


Think of diamond cut as the optical effects that make a diamond look the way that it does. The sparkle, brilliance, or pattern of the diamond's final appearance all have to do with the cut of the diamond.


While cut is one of the most important factors when deciding on an engagement ring, diamond shape can also have an effect on how well light is reflected and should not be overlooked. The diamond shape will contribute to the overall look and style of the ring, and it will be one of the first things people notice about your stone.


While diamond shapes are continually evolving, let’s break down the different diamond shapes and what makes each unique!


Round Diamond Shapes


You may be wondering what is the best diamond shape. While there is no best diamond shape, round diamonds are the most popular engagement ring diamond shape. It has secured this position because most round diamonds are cut as a round brilliant. The round brilliant cut is designed in a way to produce maximum sparkle. The modern round brilliant cut diamond has a round girdle outline, 56 symmetrically placed triangular and kite-shaped facets, a table facet and an optional culet facet, for a total of 57 or 58 facets.

 


Rectangle Diamond Shapes


Rectangle diamond shapes have adorned the fingers of brides for centuries and are a popular style for good reason! The shape of the diamond elongates the finger and can make the wearer’s finger look more slender. The three most common rectangle shaped diamonds are actually modified rectangles — the emerald cut, radiant cut, and cushion cut.


The Emerald Cut


With a sophisticated style, the emerald cut is the most popular of the step-cut diamonds. Its four longer sides have beveled corners with two, three or four concentric rows of facets, parallel to the girdle, on the crown and pavilion. 


The Cushion Cut


The cushion cut has been a favorite of brides for centuries. When looking at the stone, you will see the cushion cut diamond has curved sides and rounded corners. 


Radiant Cut


The radiant cut first hit the jewelry scene in 1977 and has been a favorite ever since! If you love the brilliance of a round brilliant cut, but like the look of a rectangular or square shaped diamond, this is likely the best cut for you.

 


Square Diamond Shapes


Square diamond shapes aren’t as popular as round or rectangular shapes, but they are perfect for the modern bride who wants a unique alternative to the classic round shaped engagement ring. In addition to square versions of the cushion cut, emerald cut and radiant cut diamonds, you could also consider the princess or Asscher cut diamond.


Princess Cut


The princess cut was first created in 1981 and it gives off major sparkle. GIA grading reports describe princess cut diamonds as square modified brilliants, distinguishing them from the step cut facet arrangements you find on other square diamonds like the Asscher cut.


Asscher Cut


The Asscher cut was first introduced in 1902, but has since been modified for even greater shine. While both are typically used with square shaped diamonds, the Asscher cut varies dramatically in look from the princess cut. A princess cut will have pointed corners while an Asscher cut has cropped corners, giving the stone the appearance of an octagon. 


Marquise Diamond Shapes:


An attractive, elongated shape with a royal history, you cannot go wrong with a marquise shaped diamond. Because of the elongated shape of the stone, marquise diamonds will appear larger face up than a similar carat weight round diamond making them great for brides on a budget.


Oval Diamond Shapes:


Oval shaped diamonds have been around for hundreds of years, but have skyrocketed in popularity over the past couple of decades. There are many benefits to choosing an oval shaped diamond. Similar to marquise, they will appear larger face up than a round diamond of a similar carat weight and they tend to elongate shorter fingers. Oval diamond shapes are most commonly cut in the brilliant faceting style.


Pear Diamond Shapes:


A blend of the marquise and round brilliant, you will get the best of both worlds with a pear shaped diamond engagement ring. Pear diamond shaped engagement rings feel simultaneously on trend and classic.


Now that you are an expert on the different diamond shapes and their benefits, which will you choose?! Book an appointment with our Bridal Specialist at our East Nashville location to try on all of the different styles and find the perfect diamond for you. 

 

Source: GIA linked here