Understanding the essential information about diamond shapes will allow you to purchase the perfect diamond for yourself or a loved one.
Each diamond shape provides a unique set of characteristics, which ultimately determine the cost, quality and general appeal.
This article is the ultimate guide to diamond shapes. By studying this guide, you can achieve the style you want and maximize your budget. We want you to be able to select a diamond that will be appreciated and admired for a lifetime.
Before we get started, let us quickly explain the difference between diamonds shape and diamond cut. Let’s also refresh our understanding of the diamond grading system.
Diamond Shape vs Diamond Cut
Some people have confusion over the two terms. A lot of people use diamond shapes and diamond cuts interchangeably, when in fact they are quite different.
Shape refers to the outline and external look of the diamond, while cut refers to the facet, dimensions, symmetry and reflective qualities.
So, when purchasing a diamond, first decide on the shape, then work towards finding a shape with the most ideal cut.
Diamond Grading Chart
Top 8 Diamonds Shapes
Round brilliant diamonds are by far the most popular diamond shapes for engagement rings. They make up around 75% of all diamond sold.
There’s a good reason for this. Round brilliant diamonds showcase the best overall brilliance, sparkle, and fire out of all the diamond shapes. A round brilliant diamond has a faceting pattern that has been refined and optimized to maximize light reflection since its creation. They feature 56-58 facets.
Furthermore, this shape has become the most sought after because of its symmetrical shape and timeless character. Over the past century, the round brilliant diamond has become the most classic diamond shape for an engagement ring. You simply can’t go wrong with a round brilliant diamond. This goes for necklaces, earrings or any other fine jewelry piece as well.
When comparing the 4Cs factors equally, the round brilliant diamond is more valuable than any other diamond shape.
Sample Round Brilliant Diamond Costs:
.92 Carat with an Excellent Cut, H Color and VVS1: $5,386 (via Diamonds by Raymond Lee)
1.15 Carat with a Good Cut, J Color, and SI3: $4,485 (via Diamonds by Raymond Lee)
.93 Carat with a Very Good Cut, K Color, and SI2: $2,883 (via Diamonds by Raymond Lee)
The cut quality is the most important factor when selecting a round brilliant diamond. It significantly affects the beauty of the diamond. So pay attention to the cut. Generally speaking, a higher cut grade with a lower color grade round brilliant diamond will be much more stunning than a higher color grade with a lower cut grade round brilliant diamond.
A princess diamond is easily one of the most desirable diamond shapes for engagement rings and the second most popular in the market. The princess diamond’s creation dates back to 1980, originating in the USA.
It’s a square stone with distinct 90-degree corners. The shape is that of an inverted pyramid.
Princess diamonds feature 57 to 76 facets, which are created in a way that is similar to the round brilliant diamond so it can maximize sparkle and fire.
Although princess diamonds can come in rectangular variations, the perfectly square princess cut diamond is the ideal shape and has a higher value. This is because the perfectly square princess diamond produces the most brilliance.
The princess cut is like the square version of the round brilliant, as it has the same type of brilliance. However, it creates larger yield, thus, the price per carat for princess diamonds are typically much lower than round brilliant diamonds.
Sample Princess Diamond Costs:
1.03 Carat with I Color and VS2: $4,326 (via Diamonds by Raymond Lee)
1.03 Carat with J Color and VS2: $3,090 (via Diamonds by Raymond Lee)
There’s a common misconception that diamonds can’t be damaged. After all, they can cut glass and they are super strong. However, they can be affected by some bangs.
To make sure no damage occurs to the corners of a princess diamond, it should be set with prongs on each corner. Moreover, inclusions are common at the corners and edges of princess cut diamonds, so inclusions will be hidden by the prongs. Thus, it’s a win-win to have a princess diamonds set in this manner.
The modern oval cut diamond has a similar cutting style as the round brilliant, therefore, it carries similar brilliance and fire.
Facets of an oval diamond are stretched out when comparing them to a round brilliant, which makes it look much bigger than a round brilliant of the same carat weight. The elongated shape of an oval diamond produces an illusion of a greater size diamond.
An oval diamond flatters smaller hands beautifully, as it lengthens the look of the fingers. It will also look super big on thinner fingers.
Overall, an oval diamond is an exquisite choice for those who want a unique, “vintage” style shape. Oval diamond engagement rings are really popular amongst modern brides.
Moreover, it’s not just about looks and size, an oval diamond is very durable due to it having no pointed edges. In terms of price, they have a lower price point than round brilliant diamonds, while still offering a curvy shape.
Sample Oval Diamond Costs:
1 Carat with F Color and SI1: $5,720 (via Diamonds by Raymond Lee)
1.04 Carat with K Color and SI1: $2,330 (via Diamonds by Raymond Lee)
Pay attention to the severity of the bowtie in oval diamonds. A bowtie is a dark area running across the middle of the diamond. It’s common in oval diamonds but if it is too prominent within a piece, it will diminish its value.
Invented in the 70s, the radiant diamond is a stunning hybrid of the round brilliant and princess diamond (or emerald diamond). They vary from square to rectangular, and they have uniquely trimmed corners. The name of this diamond says it all, the radiant diamond is very sparkly and brilliant, emitting a beautiful and remarkable glow.
Overall, a radiant diamond is an enchanting option thanks to its myriad facets constructed in its pavilion and crown, which offer top-notch fire and brilliance. The diamond almost looks like beautifully cracked ice, which is why radiant diamonds are quite forgiving with respect to inclusions and lower body color.
Due to the radiant diamond’s cropped corners, it pairs well with rounded or square diamonds. Furthermore, the corners of the radiant diamond give it more stability and durability. Because of this, it is a good diamond choice for women with an active lifestyle.
Sample Radiant Diamond Cost:
1.18 Carat with J Color and SI1: $4,543 (via Diamonds by Raymond Lee)
As mentioned above, radiant cuts are forgiving in terms of color differences, especially comparing to other diamond shapes. So, you can typically settle for an H or I color grade and it will be perfectly sufficient. This makes radiant diamond engagement rings easier on the pockets.
Pear diamonds have a rich history. This diamond shape date all the way back to the 1400s. So any pear-shaped diamond engagement ring automatically has that vintage appeal.
They resemble a crystalized tear or water drop, with its rounded end on one side and a tapered point on the other. It’s like a cross between a marquise diamond and a round brilliant diamond.
It offers an elongating effect similar to the oval diamond, which means it will appear bigger than other diamonds of the same carat weight.
The pear diamond is a great option if you like a distinct, elegant and ageless style. They truly offer an enchanting feeling, and it is definitely a favorite among the fancy shapes of diamonds. Furthermore, it has a strong point in that it hides inclusions quite well.
Sample Pear Diamond Costs:
1.03 Carat with I Color and SI2: $2,704 (via Diamonds by Raymond Lee)
1.01 Carat with H Color and SI1: $4,040 (via Diamonds by Raymond Lee)
1.39 Carat with J Color and SI2: $4,031 (via Diamonds by Raymond Lee)
For engagement rings, it is said that the pointed end should face the heart of the wearer. Another point to note is that symmetry is very important for the appearance of a pear diamond, this is because a good symmetry allows it to shimmer evenly. So pay extra attention to this. Furthermore, pay attention to the severity of the bowtie, as you would with an oval diamond. Be sure to assess how prominent the bowtie is within a particular pear diamond. If it’s too prominent, avoid purchasing said diamond.
Here’s another fancy diamond shape with a rich heritage. The marquise diamond was created upon the request of King Louis XIV. He wanted a diamond shape that mimicked the shape of his mistress’ mouth, Marquise de Pompadour.
To this day, the marquise diamond remains a flattering and uniquely alluring option. The diamond has a narrow body, resembling the shape of an elongated eye. The crown of the diamond is large and stunning, making the ring finger appear more slender and even longer.
Like other elongated diamonds, the marquise diamond looks larger than diamonds with the same carat weight like the round brilliant diamond.
Sample Marquise Diamond Costs:
.49 Carat with I Color and SI2: $497 (via Diamonds by Raymond Lee)
2.01 Carat with F color and SI3: $10,050 (via Diamonds by Raymond Lee)
Symmetry is critical when choosing a marquise diamond. Make sure both of the pointed ends are in perfect alignment. Also, go for a setting that has two prongs at the pointed ends to prevent any chance of them chipping. Furthermore, inclusions will also be hidden by these prongs, as they are most common at the tips.
The emerald cut diamond is very unique. The technique used to make emerald diamonds was taken from the technique for cutting actual emeralds, which is how it got its name.
It looks like a large table, with step cuts at its flanks and a large open table top. They come in square or rectangular shape.
Emerald diamonds produce a hall-of-mirrors effect rather than sparkle like a brilliant cut diamond. This means inclusions and color grade is easily seen in an emerald diamond.
A strong point of the emerald diamond is that it showcases size really well. People who want a bigger diamond without a heavier price tag will do well in choosing an emerald diamond.
Sample Emerald Diamond Costs:
1.14 Carat with K Color and VS2: $3,420 (via Diamonds by Raymond Lee)
1.03 Carat with F Color and VS1: $5,099 (via Diamonds by Raymond Lee)
Due to its noticeable inclusions and color grade, it’s best to go for a VS1 or VS2, although some SI1s don’t have noticeable inclusions. Color grade should be considered as well. Take it into low light conditions to see how it looks in regular lighting to determine if it’s good enough. Most jewelry stores have such bright lights, a faint emerald diamond may appear of a worse color grade than other brilliant cut diamonds of the same grade.
Cushion diamonds have a square shape with rounded edges. They look like a pillow or cushion, hence its name. They come in a variety of styles, from standard to modified to modern. Furthermore, they can be square or more rectangular. Cushion cut diamonds are one of the most popular styles of diamonds for engagement rings and they derive from the old mine cut of the past.
Thanks to its precise bending and dispersion of light, cushion cut diamonds shine brightly with fire. Cushion diamonds have a lavish appearance and give a feeling of “vintage” yet with a modern appeal. This is another diamond shape that you really can’t go wrong with, so a surprise diamond jewelry piece or ring that’s of cushion cut is a good choice.
Sample Cushion Diamond Costs:
1.01 Carat with G Color and VS2: $5,462 (via Diamonds by Raymond Lee)
1.01 Carat with I Color and SI1: $3,636 (via Diamonds by Raymond Lee)
A general rule of thumb when buying a cushion diamond is to keep the depth and table under 70%. Why? Because this allows the brilliance and fire to be preserved throughout the entire depth of the diamond.
Diamonds by Raymond Lee
Diamonds by Raymond Lee has been serving Boca Raton and South Florida’s insatiable need for diamonds for over 30 years. Our team of diamond advisers is dedicated to assisting you in selecting the perfect engagement ring.
Our vision has always been to forge a unique, professional, and intimate vibe. We offer a shopping experience that works for all generations. We especially know what the modern jewelry buyer wants; and we keep traditions that never fade intact, such as sensibility, artistry, and craftsmanship. Furthermore, our prices are super competitive and the quality we provide is unparalleled for the price you pay.
There’s a reason why Diamonds by Raymond Lee has been noted as South Florida’s best diamond engagement ring retailer since 2016.
Check out our extensive collection of Diamond Engagement Rings.