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Diamonds Take Shape

Diamond Shapes Defined

Think you can use the words cut and shape interchangeably? Think again.

When it comes to diamonds, shape refers to the outline of the stone — round, oval, princess, etc. A diamond's cut, on the other hand, refers to the arrangement of a stone's facets. This means a diamond's shapes can be faceted, or cut, in many ways.

Diamonds can be purchased in a wide variety of shapes and cuts. Let's take a look at the ten most popular diamond shapes:

A round-shaped diamond Round

The round diamond is popular in solitaire engagement rings, earrings, and pendants. In fact, roughly half of engagement ring center stones are round — chosen for their exceptional fire and brilliance.

A princess-shaped diamond Princess

The princess-shaped diamond is popular because its sophisticated square shape creates the illusion of a larger diamond.

Like round diamonds, princess-cut diamonds work in almost any style of ring. It should always be set with prongs that protect the stone's four corners and prevent chipping.

An oval-shaped diamond Oval

Oval-shaped diamonds are so stunning they have gained fame — the Koh-I-Noor diamond that resides in the Tower of London or the 184-carat Victoria, cut in 1887, for example.

Today's oval became popular in the 1960s. It suggests the round shape's fire and brilliance, but creates the illusion of a longer finger.

A marquise-shaped diamond Marquise

Carat for carat, the marquise diamond has one of the largest surface areas of any diamond shape, making it a good choice for maximizing perceived size.

Symmetry is especially important with this shape — even the slightest difference can create an uneven look.

A pear-shaped diamond Pear

The brilliant-cut pear-shaped diamond combines round and a marquise shapes, with a tapered point on one end. Ideally, a pear-shaped diamond should have excellent symmetry with a point that lines up with its apex at the rounded end.

As for wearing a pear-shaped diamond, tradition says that the point should always be directed out toward the finger.

An emerald-shaped diamond Emerald

Originally, the emerald shape was designed to highlight the qualities of emeralds — but the shape transfers beautifully to diamonds.

With the step cuts of its pavilion and its large, open table, emerald-shaped diamonds produce a unique hall-of-mirrors effect, with captivating interplay between light and dark planes.

This shape works best with stones of very high quality.

An Asscher-shaped diamond Asscher

Love a vintage look? Try an Asscher-shaped diamond. Named after its creator, Joseph Asscher, the Asscher-cut diamond is popular in Art Deco jewelry.

It's similar to the emerald cut, with larger facets that tend to be square rather than rectangular, with a higher crown and a smaller table. This combination often produces more brilliance than the emerald cut.

A cushion-shaped diamond Cushion

The cushion-cut diamond, also known as the old mine cut diamond, is designed to retain as much diamond weight as possible.

It has a square cut with rounded corners, and resembles a pillow — hence the name. It's a great option for vintage flair and maximum sparkle.

A radiant-shaped diamond Radiant

Radiant-cut diamonds have a complete brilliant-cut facet pattern on both the crown and pavilion, which creates a vibrant and lively diamond.

The design requires more diamond mass in order to achieve brilliance, so this cut requires a stone of high quality.

A heart-shaped diamond Heart

The brilliant-cut heart-shaped diamond is a stunning symbol of love and romance — that's why it's a popular choice at Valentine's Day.

Only very skilled cutters can create the heart shape, with its sharp and distinct cleft and rounded wings. Heart-shaped diamonds are generally only found in larger sizes due to the difficulty of creating this fancy cut.

The 4Cs of Diamonds

Nail down these diamond basics before buying, and make it easy to find your diamond.

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