Making the Cut: The Top 9 Diamond Shapes

Fortunately, diamond shapes don't go in and out of popularity like cuts of denim (especially since they are more of an investment!). From year to year, some cuts do rise and fall a little popularity based on what celebrities are wearing and the fact that people are becoming more and more aware that there are other styles besides the traditional ideal cut.

Fancy stones have gained ground in recent years over classic round shapes which we believe is because our customers want to express their personal style for a lifetime. In fact, over the past three years cushion shaped diamonds have trended higher than the princess shaped diamonds because they offer a vintage look.

Before we break down our top 9 shapes, we should stress that there is a big difference between cut and shape. A diamond's shape refers to the outline of the diamond from above such as pear, oval or marquise (which is named after a historic figure!). A diamond's cut refers to its proportions and symmetry (like ideal, very good and good). Cut is also known across the world as the most important of the 4C's since it determines how well a diamond can be seen from 10 tables away.

Here are our customers' top 9 shapes for engagement rings:

From Hearts On Fire

1. Round

More than half of all diamonds purchased for engagement rings are round and its no wonder why. There is a reason ideal cut refers to a round diamond because the proportions are so perfect that light is dispersed evenly making the diamond face up bigger, brighter and whiter. With 58 facets and a classic shape, this show-stopping cut offers the most sparkle as compared to any other shape.

From Harry Kotlar

2. Princess

The princess cut has risen in popularity in recent years due to celebrities like Kate Bosworth and Hilary Duff but don’t think it’s already had its fifteen minutes of fame. This diamond offers a modern shape and is differentiated from other cuts, like cushion, by its rounded corners.

From Harry Kotlar

3. Cushion

A close third place, cushion cut diamonds are a blend of round brilliant and old mine and is referred to as “pillow” cut. If you like the vintage look, this cut of diamond is right for you as it is often mistaken for estate jewelry.

From JB Star

4. Emerald

If we were ranking cuts by their level of elegancy, the emerald diamond would take first prize. It is often referred to as a step-cut diamond because the flat facets at the diamond’s base and crown corners resemble steps. Because of the long lines created by the facets on the top and bottom of the gemstone, emerald cut diamonds create dramatic flashes of light rather than a consistant sparkle.

From Harry Kotlar

5. Radiant

Our “Best All-Around”, the radiant cut is the best of both worlds combining the rectangular geometry of the emerald shape with the brilliance of a round cut. Well-cut radiant diamonds are often deeper in the base than other diamond to allow for more sparkle.

From Harry Kotlar

6. Oval

A variation of our customers’ number one choice, oval diamonds have begun to grow popularity especially for those seeking something a little more unique yet modern.

From Our Estate Collection

7. Pear

A favorite among millennials, the pear shaped diamond reminds most of a drop of water. It’s allure comes from its versatility since it can be worn facing up or down - not to mention most round diamond settings can accommodate a pear shaped diamond too.

From Our Estate Collection

8. Asscher

Like the princess cut, many celebrities have said “yes” to an asscher cut diamond including Elizabeth Taylor, Jessica Alba and Zooey Deschanel. Even though they are square in shape, asscher cut diamonds are identified by an X pattern when viewed from the top down. Originally, this cut was created with 58 facets but today it has 74 to increase brilliance.

From Our Estate Collection

9. Marquise

Like the cushion cut, marquise cut diamond offer a vintage look but in the shape of an oval rather than a square. The stone was inspired by Marquise de Pompadour as it is said that Kind Louis XIV of France requested that it be designed to mimic her smile.

Interested in comparing them in person? Make an appointment or stop by one of our San Francisco or Palo Alto locations.

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