The shape of a diamond is often confused with the term Cut from the 4 Cs of the International Diamond Grading System developed by GIA.
The shape is indicative of the outline or the actual shape appearance of the diamond while Cut refers to the angles and proportions of a diamond.
The most popular and common diamond shape is the standard round brilliant. Other diamond shapes are known as fancy shapes. The popular fancy diamond shapes includes the Princess Cut, Pear and Oval. Emerald Cut, Cushion and Marquise are also gaining popularity in recent years.
Round Brilliant Cut
The Round Brilliant Cut is the most popular and commonly used shape for engagement rings. It is also the most researched diamond shape by gemologists and the only shape that is given a cut grade by GIA. The Round Brilliant Cut is unrivaled for its brilliance and fire as diamond cutters are able to use advanced theories and cutting techniques to achieve precise angle proportions which optimises the light performance.
The Princess Cut is the most popular shape of the fancy shaped diamonds. It is characterised by its pointed corners and can be either square or rectangular in shape with the former being more common. The distinctive shape of the Princess Cut brings out exceptional brilliance and also accentuates the Colour of the diamond in all four corners.
The Emerald Cut has a large open table with a shallow crown and pavilion. The rectangular step cuts in the pavilion and smooth bevelled corners offers a unique optical appearance for the diamond. The features of the Emerald Cut accentuates the Clarity of the diamond and can make inclusions of a diamond more apparent. Therefore, it is important to select a diamond of a higher Clarity grade for the Emerald Cut.
The Oval Cut offers an elegant look which is a unique and modern twist to the classic Round Brilliant Cut. With similar features, the Oval Cut possesses the same level of fire and brilliance with the Round Brilliant Cut. The elongated shape of the diamond can also make it appear larger than Round Brilliant Cut of the same Carat Weight and create the illusion of a longer and slimmer finger of the wearer.
The Marquise Cut is similar in shape to the Oval Cut but it is differentiated by the pointed ends which makes it look longer and narrower. The Marquise Cut has the largest surface area when compared to other diamond shapes of the same Carat weight and therefore is the best in perceived size. However, a slight difference in symmetry will result in an obvious imbalanced due to its long and narrow nature.
The Pear Cut is unique shape which is between a Round and Marquise Cut. Its shape resembles a water droplet with a rounded edge to a single tapered point on the other end and therefore is also aptly called the Teardrop. Similarly to the Oval Cut and Marquise Cut, the Pear Cut can give the impression of a more slender finger. It should also be noted that an excellent symmetry on a Pear Cut diamond further enhances its appeal and brilliance.
The Cushion Cut is a vintage design that is characterised by its rounded corners and large facets on the diamond. This shape is given the name due to its resemblance to a pillow and can be either square or rectangular in shape. The larger facets on the diamond highlights the Clarity of the diamond and it is important to select a higher Clarity grade for the Cushion Cut.
The Radiant Cut is relatively new diamond shape in the market. It is a combination of the brilliance of the Round Brilliant Cut and the stunning silhouette of the Emerald Cut. The Radiant Cut can also come in both square or rectangular shapes but the design will require more Carat weight in its depth of the diamond to exhibit the necessary brilliance.
The Asscher Cut is very similar to the Emerald Cut but it is square shaped instead. It features the same rectangular step cuts in its pavilion as the Emerald Cut but possess a higher crown and a smaller table. Very often, the Asscher Cut will produces more brilliance and sparks than the Emerald Cut. Due to the similar features, the Asscher Cut also places a large emphasis on the Clarity of the diamond.
The Heart Cut is a distinctive design that has been deeply associated as a symbol of love and romance due to its heart shape. It takes exceptional skills for the diamond cutter to create a perfectly shaped Heart Cut diamond. The true beauty of this shape is the symmetrical halves of the heart shape and therefore it is important to get a excellent symmetry grade for the Heart Cut diamond.