Diamonds come in various shapes – from the timeless round cut to fancy shapes such as heart and pear. And each diamond shape comes with a unique set of advantages and disadvantages – from brilliance and appearance to the price you’ll pay per carat.
So, this begs the question: Which diamond shape is best?
Well, the right answer to this question would be that there’s no “best” diamond shape; it boils down to your preference and budget. However, gathering some basic information about these diamond shapes will help you choose the best diamond for yourself.
In this article, we’ve covered some of the most popular diamond shapes in hopes of helping you choose the perfect diamond. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
Diamond Shapes Vs. Diamond Cuts
Even though “diamond shape” and “diamond cut” are often used interchangeably, they’re pretty distinct and different terms when it comes to diamonds.
- The shape of a diamond indicates a diamond’s outline or external figure. For instance, pear-shaped, cushion, and round brilliant all refer to the shape and looks of the diamond.
- The cut of a diamond indicates the diamond’s symmetry, dimensions, facets, and reflective qualities. For example, a heart-shaped diamond may be cut deep or shallow, brilliant or dull. These factors don’t impact the shape of the stone – after all, it’s still in the shape of a heart. It’s worth noting that the finer the cut, the greater the level of brilliance.
To find your ideal diamond, you first need to choose the desired shape and then work toward finding that particular shape in the most appealing cut.
Related Read: What Is The Cheapest Cut Of Diamond?
The Most Popular Diamond Shapes
Here we’ve covered some of the most popular and sought-after diamond shapes – so, let’s take a look.
#1 Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds
As the leading diamond shape when it comes to popularity, the round brilliant cut represents about two-thirds of all diamonds sold.
Back in 1919, Marcel Tolkowsky published a study that explains the ideal angles for a diamond to produce the best brilliance and fire. His work invoked a surge in the round brilliant cut’s fame, which remains constant to this day.
The cut quality of these diamonds significantly impacts their overall beauty. If you’re looking to buy round brilliant, be sure to review GIA reports and look at the stone firsthand.
Some expensive diamonds with higher grades may have more visible inclusions than some less costly stones.
Round brilliants are popular for several reasons – one being that it exhibits exceptional brilliance and a classic look. They’re excellent choices for engagement rings and necklaces.
#2 Princess Cut Diamonds
This fancy shape is the second most popular diamond shape and is created from the inverted pyramid of the rough stone.
The princess cut achieves better brilliance and fire than some other similarly square-shaped diamonds. The princess cut diamonds allow that square outline while offering nearly the same brilliance and fire as the round brilliant cut diamonds.
If you’re looking to buy a princess cut diamond, one piece of advice is that the stone should be set with prongs on all corners to prevent damage to them.
In addition, inclusions will usually be hidden by the prongs, so it’s perfectly fine to choose a princess-cut diamond with inclusions near the edges.
Because of the larger yield maintained from cutting these stones, the price per carat is typically lower than the round brilliant cut.
#3 Emerald Cut Diamonds
Given that it relies on the method initially designed to cut emeralds, this shape undoubtedly deserves its name.
The emerald-cut diamonds offer abundant reflections through straight and long lines, also known as steps, and a large table surface. Emerald cut diamonds are prominent in both rectangle and square shapes.
Due to their large table, inclusions may be more visible in emerald-cut diamonds. Because of this, we advise looking for VS1 or VS2 for this diamond shape.
Most notably, the emerald cut diamond exhibits size better than other shapes of the same carat weight. They’re a perfect choice for those looking for a larger stone – but without the enormous price tag.
#4 Cushion Cut Diamonds
When you combine a square shape with rounded edges, you get the cushion cut diamond. And because of its precise bending and dispersion of light, this shape beams with brilliance and fire.
Different from other shapes, the cushion cut diamond can be designed in many variants – such as standard, modern, and modified.
As a general guideline, stick to cushion cut diamonds with a table under 70% and depth under 70%, as well. That will ensure the brilliance is maintained throughout the depth of the stone.
Selecting a cushion-cut diamond implies personalization and creativity. Cushions also have that luxurious appeal of classic fashion combined with modern fire.
#5 Asscher Cut Diamonds
In 1902 in Holland, Asscher Brothers invented the Asscher cut – which gained popularity only after its one-hundredth anniversary.
As a remarkable alternative to the emerald cut, the Asscher cut hosts a smaller table and more layered facets. Brilliance is achieved through light reflection between the square facets, which can be seen underneath the table.
The Asscher cut diamond’s trimmed corners to give it extra stability and style.
Asscher cuts don’t hide the color of the stone’s rough material as well as other popular cuts, like the princess and round brilliant. Asscher’s are cut for their luster and clarity – meaning nothing is hidden.
For this reason, we recommend going for a minimum of an H color grade for these diamonds.
The Asscher cut diamonds’ deep pavilion, and precision make a stunning appeal. While similar to the emerald cut diamond, the Asscher usually offers more sparkle due to its 58 facets and a high crown.
#6 Pear Shaped Diamond
The pear-shaped diamond features a rounded side that narrows to a distinct point and is an elegant and timeless choice. Symmetry is fundamental to the appearance of this diamond shape – ensuring that it shimmers evenly.
When searching for a pear-shaped diamond, look out for the severity of the bowtie – the dark zone running across the diamond’s center. All pear-shaped diamonds typically have a bowtie.
Review the stone yourself or have an expert help you determine if the stone has too prominent of a bowtie.
Pear-shaped diamonds make for a gorgeous engagement ring. Due to the fact that well-cut pear shapes are harder to come by, it’s an exquisite alternative to more traditional cuts – such as the round brilliant.
Plus, the pear-shaped diamonds hide inclusions quite well.
Related Read: Diamond Inclusions: What Are Inclusions In Diamonds?
#7 Oval Diamonds
Showcasing similar brilliance to the round brilliant cut, the oval diamond is an excellent choice for those who wish to wear a unique shape. The elongated silhouette of the oval diamond offers a more prominent appearance compared to other diamond shapes of the same carat weight.
But similar to the pear-shaped diamonds, you should watch out for the severity of the bowtie in oval diamonds.
The fancy length of this diamond shape is what makes it so durable; there aren’t any pointed edges. While maintaining the curved shape, ovals have a lower price point than round brilliants.
- Are Oval Diamonds Less Sparkly? Do They Shine Less?
- Oval Diamond Guide: Oval Diamond Size Chart On Hand
#8 Heart Shaped Diamond
A well-known symbol of love, the heart-shaped diamond boasts a remarkable figure that can be set in an engagement ring.
Heart-shaped diamonds can range in width and slenderness, chosen primarily on personal preference. However, a well-cut heart-shaped diamond should still be symmetrical to appear balanced and full. Additionally, the point of the diamond should be distinct.
Due to its form, this diamond shape comes in higher carat weight. If you chose a smaller carat weight, we recommend a three-prong setting as it will aid in highlighting the heart’s outline.
In addition to being a symbol of all things romance-related, the heart-shaped diamond requires the highest cut grade, possibly increasing its value over time.
Related Read: Types Of Diamond Settings: A Guide To Setting Styles
Which Diamond Shape Sparkles The Most?
The round brilliant cut diamond offers the highest level of brilliance, which means it sparkles the most. With its stunning 58 facets, the round brilliant cut is perfectly optimized to ensure the most brilliance and fire.
Other diamond shapes that show high levels of sparkle are:
While the shape of the stone can impact its brilliance, it’s not the only determining factor of how much a diamond sparkles.
The quality of the cut dramatically impacts how much the stone will sparkle. While an excellent cut diamond will look fantastic in just about any shape, even the round brilliant could present a relatively low level of sparkle if it has a poor cut grade.
And because of that, it’s crucial to look at more than just the stone’s shape – especially if you desire a lot of brilliance and fire. While the shape of the diamond plays an important role, it’s not the only component that dictates how much light the diamond will reflect.
What Is The Most Expensive Diamond Shape?
Once again, the round brilliant cut takes first place as it’s the most expensive diamond cut.
The reason behind this is the amount of rough diamond that’s lost during the cutting process.
On average, for a round brilliant cut, about 40% of the initial rough diamond is left in the finished product. In other words, about 60% of the rough diamond is – well, wasted in the process.
On the other hand, the most affordable diamond shapes typically use a larger amount of rough diamond. These include:
- Asscher cut
- Emerald cut
- Radiant cut
- Cushion cut
- Princess cut
With that being said, each diamond characteristic can impact its price and overall value.
For instance, while an emerald cut will cost less than a round brilliant cut, its large table means it’s more likely to showcase color or inclusions.
That means that you would likely need to go for a diamond with higher clarity and color grade than you would for a round brilliant cut, rejecting some of the value for the price factor.
Related Read: Which Diamond Cut Holds Its Value?
Which Diamond Shape Looks The Biggest?
Often diamond cuts with an elongated shape look larger than stones with a round or square shape. That is due to the fact that these shapes tend to have a larger surface area relative to the diamond’s total carat weight.
That’s sometimes referred to as “face-up size” because it relates to the total area of the stone that’s visible when it’s set in a ring. Diamond shapes that look bigger than their carat weight include:
The smallest looking diamonds are the princess, Asscher, and cushion cuts. These diamonds have a small surface area and diameter relative to their carat weight because of their square length-to-width ratio.
See Also: Do Diamonds Look Bigger Once Set?
Which diamond shape is the best?
The thing is that there’s no “best” diamond shape for everyone. Each shape has its own pros and cons, meaning that the best shape for you depends on your personal preferences, tastes, and budget.
The round brilliant cut diamond offers the highest level of brilliance, meaning it shines more than other cuts. However, it’s also the most expensive from a cost-per-carat perspective.
From a value-for-price perspective, pear and oval diamonds usually look larger than they are – meaning they provide a good combination of brilliance and value for your budget.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to your preferences. So, the best diamond shape is the one that you think you or your future fiance will appreciate and enjoy.