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Article: Diamond Shapes 101

Diamond Shapes 101

Diamond Shapes 101

When searching for the perfect diamond, one of the most important things to consider is the diamond shape—or cut. Whether you’re designing your dream engagement ring or choosing another piece of jewellery to compliment it, diamond cuts play a vital part in the decision. Choosing the perfect diamond cut for a special piece of jewellery is totally down to personal taste, but there are certain pros and cons that come with each cut that may help you make the final decision.


Below, we are giving you the low down on diamond shapes, highlighting everything you need to know about each.  

Everything outside of a round brilliant is referred to as a fancy shape diamond. Fancy shape diamonds receive a polish and symmetry GIA grade only as opposed to the round brilliant which gets an official cut grade of cut, polish, and symmetry. 
Every diamond on this list has a brilliant cut except for the Emerald and the Asscher which are called step cuts. 

Brilliant cut diamonds will catch your eye from a good distance while step cuts are a little more understated in their sparkle game. 


The round brilliant is traditionally the most popular diamond on the market. It is the only perfectly symmetrical shape and offers an unmatched brilliance. Rounds are the only shape GIA gives a cut grade. It is important to only purchase. Excellent Cut rounds as this is the only characteristic that impacts sparkle and brilliance. 

Excellent Cut Round diamonds hide colour and clarity exceptionally well, allowing you to go up to two grades lower in colour and clarity. 

Rounds are the most expensive shape per carat because the diamond cutter loses the most diamond rough during the cutting process.


Oval-cut diamonds are a very popular choice because their elongated shape creates the illusion of a larger size and also makes your finger appear longer and slimmer. Their ratio can vary from a shorter, rounder shape to a thinner, longer shape.  Oval-cut diamonds hide clarity very well but can show warmth in the tips of the stone when opting for lower colours. An oval is a perfect choice if you love the fire and brilliance of a round diamond but want something a little more unique.  Bow-tie: Most oval-cut diamonds possess some degree of bow-tie, varying from near invisible to severe. The visibility of a bow-tie effect cannot be ascertained by reviewing the diamond certificate or dimensions, but only upon visual inspection of our HD videos.  


The unique look of the emerald cut diamond is created by the step cuts of its pavilion and its large, open table. While they still sparkle, they produce more of a hall-of-mirrors effect, and possess an elegant, art deco appeal. 

Emerald cuts, hide colour extremely well, but not inclusions (we recommend VS2 or higher) as inclusions are much more visible in this shape.

The Emerald cut is a team favourite at Diamond Collective and we pride ourselves in our love for sourcing them. 


Asscher, or square emerald, is a step cut diamond. Because of this, they hide colour very well just like the emerald but will also show inclusions more in SI1 or SI2 clarities. 

Their large step facets, higher crown, and smaller table allow them to produce more brilliance than the emerald cut.

The cropped corners give the Asscher cut a somewhat octagonal shape. 


Sometimes referred to as “teardrop,” a pear-cut diamond gets its name because of its single point and rounded end. 

This gorgeous shape is a way to make a bit more of a statement.  

Similar to ovals, pear-cut diamonds have a slimming effect on fingers, especially when they have an elongated length-to-width ratio. 

More than any other diamond shape, pear-cut diamonds appear the largest for their carat weight. Pears mask inclusions very well but tend to show warmth in their tip in lower colours. 


Radiant cut diamonds have straight edges and cut corners, just as the Emerald Cut, but feature brilliant faceting.

Radiant cut diamonds hide both colour and clarity very well, making them an excellent value.

Elongated radiants appear larger than square radiants and tend to be the more popular ratio choice.


The standards for cushion cut vary more than most other shapes.  While generally less brilliant than round brilliant diamonds, cushion cut diamonds do have incredible fire, which is part of their appeal. 

The most prevalent modern Cushion is called a Cushion Modified Brilliant and it has an extra row of facets. 

In contrast, a Cushion Brilliant has larger, fewer facets and sparkles a little more.  

Cushions hide inclusions very well and are known for their soft, cushion like shape. 


The princess cut looks like an inverted pyramid from the profile view and has sharp corners. 

Princess-cut diamonds are extremely brilliant which assists in hiding inclusions. 

A princess-cut diamond should always be set with claws that protect the four corners (because they are narrow and pointed they are more prone to chipping). 


Marquise have a large crown surface making them appear larger than other shapes of the same carat weight. 

This makes Marquise a great choice when trying to maximize the perceived size of a diamond. 

In order to prevent a Marquise from appearing too narrow on the finger, it’s ideal to find one that is wider across the centre, a length to width ratio of 1.75 -1.95 is ideal.

Marquise hides clarity very well but will shows warmth in the tips in IJ and lower colours. 


When choosing a heart, symmetry is an extremely important characteristic, since it is critical that the two halves of the heart are identical.

The cleft should be sharp and distinct, and the wings should have a very slightly rounded shape. Heart-shaped diamonds come in a variety of silhouettes, from slim to fat.  

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