When thinking of diamonds most people’s minds will automatically go to the classic round shape. That brilliant round cut is the most popular but there are plenty of other shapes available if you are interested in something a little different. E. D. Marshall Jewelers prides itself in offering many different diamond shapes in rings and pendants. A diamond’s shape refers to its physical form. Its shape is usually the most noticeable thing about a diamond.
At E. D. Marshall Jewelers we know that the shape of a diamond will have a major impact on the appearance of the diamond. Each shape is very different and possesses unique qualities. Even though the shape is not one of the traditional “four C’s” of diamond grading it is still very important. Because each diamond shape is cut to different specifications they each reflect light differently leading to a unique brilliance.
The terms shape and cut can be confusing. While shape refers to the stone’s appearance, cut refers to the diamond’s facets and angles and affects its ability to reflect light. The number, proportions, and symmetry of the facets affect how light reflects out of the stone. An excellent grade diamond cut reflects as much light as possible out through the face while a poor grade cut losses much light out of the sides and bottom of the diamond. The most skillfully cut diamond will reflect as much light as possible out the top giving it a fiery brilliance.
Popular diamond shapes
The E. D. Marshall Jewelers collection of diamond jewelry contains many different diamond shapes from the traditional brilliant round cut to fancy shaped diamonds like the heart or pear shapes. Below you will find a list of the most popular diamond shapes and their characteristics.
The round brilliant cut. This cut is the most popular shape for diamonds with approximately 75% of all diamonds sold being round. Diamond cutters have been working with this cut for many years to try to maximize brilliance and fire. Because of the mechanics of its shape, the round diamond is superior to fancy shapes at the proper reflection of light. This maximizes potential brightness. The round cut diamond is highly flexible in what type of settings it will look good in.
Round cut diamonds cost 25% to 35% more per carat than fancy shapes. This may surprise you but there are two reasons for this difference. First of all the demand for round diamonds is very high. Secondly, because more of the rough stone is lost in the cutting a round diamond the cost of each retained carat is higher.
The princess cut. The princess cut was created in 1980. It is the most popular fancy diamond shape, especially for engagement rings. Like the round cut diamond, princess cut diamonds are an excellent choice for their flexibility in settings though keeping the corners protected with prongs is suggested. They are exceptionally brilliant due to the way they are cut. Princess cut diamonds are traditionally square but many are slightly rectangular in shape.
The color emitted from a princess cut diamond is unique. The color projected from other forms of diamond cuts displays mainly in the center. The color of the princess cut shows a distinct color in each corner as well as the center. Princess cut diamonds tend to have a somewhat lower price per carat than round cut diamonds. Because of the four-sided pyramid shape less rough stone is lost in the cutting process. This translates to a lower price.
Oval cut diamonds. The oval cut is a modified brilliant-cut that is popular in all types of jewelry. This means that it possesses a similar brilliance and fire to round cut diamonds. The elongated shape can be an advantage as it can create the illusion of a larger size diamond. Its shape can also make fingers appear more long and slender.
The oval cut was created in the 1960s by Lazare Kaplan. It is the ideal choice for a person looking for the brilliance of a round diamond but wanting a more distinctive shape. The width of the oval is up to your personal choice though a slightly thinner stone may look better when the diamond is going to be bordered by side stones.
Marquise cut. The marquise cut diamond is football-shaped with 2 pointed ends (instead of rounded like the oval cut). It is also a modified brilliant cut. The long narrow shape can create an illusion of a larger size as it emphasizes the size of the diamond. The marquise diamond has one of the largest surface areas of any diamond shape which makes it an excellent choice when trying to maximize the perceived size of a diamond.
The name ‘marquise’ is thought to come from the Marquise of Pompadour for whom King Louis XIV of France had a stone finished to resemble what was considered a perfectly shaped mouth. Its shape can create the effect of longer, more slender hands and fingers. The width of the marquise cut diamond is dictated by personal choice however a length to width ratio of 1.75 to 2.15 is considered a classic marquise cut.
Cushion cut. You may also hear the cushion cut called the pillow cut. It combines a square cut with rounded corners. This classic cut has been available for almost 200 years and at one time was the most popular diamond shape. The distinctive look is still valued today in antique diamonds.
Recent refinements in the cushion cut have led to a renewed interest and increase in popularity. Many people are attracted to the antique look combined with more modern brilliance. Cushion cut diamonds tend to have impeccable brilliance and clarity which is attributed to their rounded corners and larger facets. They come in both square and rectangular shapes.
Pear-shaped diamonds. Pear-shaped diamonds are a modified brilliant-cut. They are a combination of a round and marquise shape with a tapered point only on one end. This cut of a diamond is always worn with the narrow end pointing toward the hand of the wearer. The pear shape is delicate and can give fingers and hands a slimmer appearance.
The ideal pear-shaped diamond possesses excellent or very good symmetry. This high level of symmetry is what produces maximum brilliance. The point should line up with the apex of the rounded end with the distal portion forming uniform symmetrical curves. Personal preference again dictates the width of the diamond but the classic pear shape has a length to width ratio of 1.4 to 1.7.
Emerald cut. The rather unique look of the emerald cut is due to the step cuts of its pavilion (main body) and its large open table (the uppermost flat surface). Rather than the sparkle of a brilliant-cut, the emerald cut produces a hall-of-mirrors effect with the interplay of light and dark planes. This cut shows the diamond’s original clarity beautifully but its large rectangular table makes inclusions and color easier to see.
The emerald cut diamond’s long lines and dramatic flashes of light can give it an elegant appeal. The form was initially developed for the cutting of emeralds, hence the name.
Asscher cut diamonds. The Asscher cut was first produced in 1902 by the Asscher brothers of Holland. It is considered a forerunner of the emerald cut but has a square shape and larger facets, a higher crown, and a smaller table. This combination can produce a higher brilliance than an emerald cut diamond.
Until recently the Asscher cut was found only in antique jewelry. About one hundred years after the first Asscher cut diamond was created the shape began to make a comeback due to cut modifications that improved brilliance. The classic Asscher cut is square but today they are also found in slightly rectangular shapes.
Radiant cut. The radiant cut diamond is the first rectangular cut to have a complete brilliant-cut facet pattern of both the crown and pavilion. This creates a vibrant and lively diamond. The actual length to width ratio is up to personal preference. This modified square shape can work nicely with both rounded and square cornered diamonds. Once placed in a setting a princess cut and radiant cut can look virtually identical.
Heart-shaped diamonds. The heart shape is a modified brilliant-cut. It is an unmistakable, unique symbol of love that has become popular in pendants and rings. Symmetry is very important in the heart cut diamond since it is critical that the two halves of the heart are identical. The cleft should be distinct. The heart shape can be more difficult to perceive in a small diamond, especially after placing in the prongs of a setting.
Once again the length to width ratio of the heart is up to personal choice, but the traditional heart-shaped diamond has a 1.0 length to width ratio. For pendants, a slightly narrower cut may be preferred.
Other shaped diamonds. There are at least a dozen more different diamond shapes. Some are rarely seen and little known. Many are patented. Some examples include the Jupiter cut which has five sides, a Half Dutch Rose cut with its 6 sides, the Queen and the Baroness cut which each have eight sides and the bread cut that looks like a disco ball.
When you come into E. D. Marshall Jewelers be sure to look at any of the shapes that interest you. Each is quite distinctive.