Gemstone and Diamond Shapes
Diamond buyers mix up the words “cut” and “shape.” Diamond Shape refers to the outline of the stone (pear, oval, round, etc.). Diamond cut refers to a stone’s facet arrangement - the way it is cut. So a shape can be faceted in a variety of ways, or cutting styles. The most common facet arrangement, known as the brilliant cut, is applied to many shapes and consists of 58 facets. There will be one octagonal table, or top flat surface of the diamond and 16 kite-shaped facets and 40 triangular shaped facets and an optional small octagonal facet at the culet.
Round brilliant cut diamonds are the most brilliant of all the diamond cuts. The shape is the most popular, often used as a solitaire in engagement rings, earrings, or pendants. It’s estimated that 75% of all diamonds sold are round-shaped and according to research by The Knot, 53% of engagement ring center stones are round. The cutting style known as the round brilliant has been around since the 1700’s, but has been modified over the years.
The cut has 57-58 facets, which are proportioned to the exact measurements to allow maximum diamond refraction. This means the diamond will reflect light from any direction. The brilliant cut diamond has been the basis for many other diamond cuts as shown below. The round brilliant cut diamond is used in all types of jewelry including engagement rings and wedding bands.
We also offer a new cut called Riente. This cut is 74 facets and is the epitome of unleashing the rare and unique stones' brilliance.
The oval shape has probably the longest known history, with the first mention of an oval shaped diamond occurring in 1304: the famous Koh-I-Noor, which now resides in the Tower of London. One of the most notable oval brilliant cut diamonds is the 184 carat Victoria, which was cut in 1887. The oval brilliant was popularized and modernized in the 1960′s.
The shape of an oval cut diamond can vary slightly from a squarish oval to a long thin oval. The ends of an oval cut diamond should be rounded and never flat. Oval cut diamonds are very popular for long slender fingers as they can accentuate length. The oval cut diamond is a modified brilliant cut diamond also with 58 facets.
The marquise shape was named in 1745 for the Marquise de Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV of France. The long and narrow shape, said to resemble the shape of the Marquise’s mouth, creates an illusion that the diamond is of greater size. The Marquise cut is a modified round brilliant cut meaning this particular diamond cut is an elongated version of the round brilliant cut.
The Marquise cut diamond is boat shaped with two pointed ends. There are no standard proportions for the marquise cut diamonds, however if not cut precisely, the diamond may sometimes appear darker in the center. This is known as a ‘bow tie’ effect. Our Marquise cut diamonds are always cut to ensure maximum brilliance.
The pear shapes trace their history to the 1400’s, with the brilliant style being added in the 1700’s. The pear shaped diamond is also a modified round brilliant cut diamond. Pear shaped diamonds may be quite thin or appear quite wide. Pear shaped diamonds are cut with rounded shoulders leading to a point. As with the marquise cut diamond, if not cut well is also prone to the bow tie effect. Pear shaped diamonds are popular in earrings and engagement rings.
An octagonal shaped diamond, the emerald cut was designed to highlight the qualities of emeralds. Emerald cut diamonds are generally rectangular or square in shape. They are step cut diamonds with rows of facets creating a staircase effect. Like baguette cut diamonds, emerald cuts are very clear and can easily reveal inclusions within the stone.
Square shaped diamonds include the princess cut. These cutting styles were created in the 1980′s and are also very popular cuts for engagement rings. The princess cut diamond is typically cut perfectly square but is often slightly rectangular. The princess cut diamond has an average of 76 facets, positioned perfectly to ensure maximum reflection. This is one of the most popular fancy shaped diamonds.
The cushion cut. The brilliant style has been around since the mid-1700’s, it was the most common cut until the early 20th century. Originally designed to retain as much weight from the original crystal as possible, this brilliant cut combines a square cut with rounded corners (much like a cushion).
Modern cushion cut diamonds often have better fire than a round brilliant cut diamond. Modern cushion cuts tend to have an extra row of facets on the pavilion and larger tables and improved cut angles for increased brilliance. These modified cuts tend to have a "crushed ice" or needle like facet pattern, more similar to a radiant cut than a traditional cushion cut.
The radiant cut is another square or rectangle cut that was perfected in the 1970’s, these create vibrant and fiery diamonds, ideal as a center-stone surrounded by smaller diamonds.
The baguette cut. Named for the French word baguette, which means “long rod,” this cut became popular during the 1920′s, an era when the Art Deco movement encouraged geometric shape and symmetrical flow. Baguette cut diamonds tend to be small rectangular shaped diamonds commonly used as shoulder stones. They have very limited faceting and as a result are extremely clear stones.
The heart shape diamond can be a beautiful symbol of love and romance. These modified brilliant cut diamonds are typically made up of 59 facets. The light reflected from a heart shaped diamond tends to radiate from the center of the stone. A skilled cutter creates the heart shape, always keeping an eye on the heart’s balance and symmetry. This shape is ideal as a pendant and is very popular around Valentine’s Day.
Last, and by no means least, triangular shaped diamonds first made their appearance in the 1500’s. Brilliant cut versions of this shape gained popularity in the 1960’s with the appearance of a variation called Trillion. In 1978 an additional variation called the Trilliant came on the market. It was developed as a triangular version of the square-shaped radiant diamond and is sometimes considered an adventurous and provocative diamond choice.