The round brilliant cut is by far the most popular of the diamond shapes. A round diamond will typically give you more flexibility in terms of balancing cut, colour and clarity whilst maximising the amount of fire and brilliance of the stone. When a diamond is properly cut into the round brilliant cut shape, all light entering and leaving it is reflected to produce the highest amount of scintillation. To maximize the brilliance of a traditional round diamond, select one in the two highest cut grades (excellent or very good) and choose a polish and symmetry of excellent or very good.
Invented by Lazare Kaplan in the early 1960s, the oval shape has beautiful sparkle and brilliance, similar to that of the traditional round shape. Oval diamonds are particularly popular with those who have long, slender fingers as the shape accentuates the lean characteristics of the hand. Uneven or high shoulders should be avoided; they should have a gently rounded arch.
The marquise shape can maximize the look of your diamond’s carat weight, producing a diamond that appears larger than alternative fancy shapes. This longer shape can accentuate the slender appearance of your fingers. Uneven shoulders or off set facets are to be avoided.
The pear shape, often referred to as a teardrop is extremely versatile and works well in a wide range of styles and settings. An elongated pear shape creates a subtle slimming effect on the fingers. The shoulders should be symmetrical and make sure the point is not off set. Irregular facet orientation is a clear sign of an inferior model.
"Love is not written on paper, for paper can be erased. Nor is it etched on stone, for stone can be broken. But it is inscribed on a heart and there it shall remain forever."
Considered the most romantic of all diamond shapes, the heart is viewed as the ultimate symbol of love. Pay particular attention to the colour grade of a heart as its unique configuration tends to “draw colour” into the shoulder areas or corners. Uneven or irregular shoulders are to be avoided as is a cleft which is too shallow. Irregular facet orientation is a clear sign of an inferior model.
The princess is the most preferred of the non-round shapes, especially in engagement rings. It is traditionally a square shape, with pointed corners. Princess shape stones can vary widely-from square to rectangular. Lower colour grades tend to draw a noticeable colour hue into the corner of the diamond.
It is important to view the girdle thickness. If too thick the diamond will appear “built up” and look a little small for its weight. Extremely thin girdles may become abraded or chipped.
The emerald shape is differentiated by the “step” cutting of the facets. It has rows (steps) of elongated facets on the crown and pavilion parallel to the girdle and corner facets. This often negates the play of colour as the reflected light may not pass through two inclined surfaces. Diamonds with lower grades of colour may appear dull in an emerald shape and reflected inclusions will become more apparent relative to brilliant cut diamonds. Off set corners or culets which are not centralised are to be avoided. The bevelled corners help to protect the stone and make it easier for the goldsmith to set the diamond.
Emerald cuts are typically rectangular although they may be cut in a square shape (often referred to as Asscher Cut).
The radiant shape is distinguished by its cut corners and is often complimented by brilliant cut side stones such as round and pear shape. It is important to select a model which has very good proportions and girdles which are not too thick.
The asscher shape is exceptionally beautiful and also known as a square emerald cut. It has rows (steps) of elongated facets on the crown and pavilion parallel to the girdle and corner facets. This often negates the play of colour as the reflected light may not pass through two inclined surfaces. Off set corners or culets which are not centralised are to be avoided. The bevelled corners help to protect the stone and make it easier for the goldsmith to set the diamond.
The cushion shape is square to rectangular cut with rounded corners and 58 facets. Also referred to as a pillow shape, diamonds with a cushion shape have corners that are rounded and larger than normal facets. The combination of shaped corners and larger facets leads to a diamond with great brilliance.