There is some misconception about diamond cut, most people refer to diamond shapes as the cut, while it’s not, diamond cut is more about the symmetry, proportioning and polish of a diamond. The most important factor that’s affected by the diamond cut is the brilliance (diamond ability to reflect light), this means if it is cut poorly, it will be less luminous.
There is a lot of technical stuff to be discussed in diamond cuts, like grading, fancy cuts, round brilliant and the effect of the cut on other Cs, but since most people look for shape rather than the actual cut, we will stop at this point for cut, and go in details about actual diamond shapes.
In the 1400’s diamonds gained popularity in use as jewelry ornaments. During this time various diamond cuts and diamond shapes were developed. In 1919 Marcel Tolkowsky invented the Ideal cut diamond, which quickly became recognized as the standard in round diamonds and the leader for use in diamond engagement rings. Below is a brief review of the most popular diamond shapes used today.
Of these diamonds shapes, the most popular by far is the round diamond, which takes center stage in the classic engagement ring – a round, solitaire diamond set either in yellow gold or platinum. Shapes other than round are called fancy shapes. The most popular different round cut is the Ideal cut diamond which has 58 facets.
Princess cut diamonds
Princess cut diamonds are the most popular of the fancy shaped diamonds. Princess cut diamonds are relatively new with a shape that is oblong, usually square or almost square, but with a modified brilliant cut arrangement of facets instead of a step cut. Most square or rectangular cuts just don’t live up to the round brilliant for sparkle, but princess cut diamonds are designed for getting maximum brilliance from a square cut.
Pear shaped diamonds
Pear shaped diamonds are a hybrid cut, combining the best of the oval and the marquise, shaped like a teardrop. Pear shaped diamonds also complements a hand with small or average-length fingers. It works exceptionally well in pendants or earrings.
Marquise shaped diamonds
Marquise diamonds have an elongated shape with pointed ends supposedly inspired by the smile of the Marquise de Pompadour and commissioned by the Sun King, France’s Louis XIV. It is often used as a solitaire or enhanced by smaller diamonds.
Oval shaped diamonds
Radiant cut diamonds
Radiant cut diamonds have a square or rectangular cut that combines the elegance of the emerald cut diamond with the brilliance of the round. Radiant cut diamonds have 70 facets to maximize the effect of its color refraction.
Heart shaped diamonds
Heart shaped diamonds are basically a pear-shaped diamond with a cleft at the top. Heart shaped diamonds are sometimes considered romantic, but they can be difficult to cut. The skill of the cutter greatly determines the beauty of heart shaped diamonds.
Trillion cut diamonds
The trillion cut was developed in the late seventies. The trillion cut is an adaptation of the radiant cut but it is in a triangular shape. The trillion is a triangle that has equilateral sides and is a combination cut of the step cut and the brilliant cut diamond.
Asscher cut diamonds
Asscher cut diamonds were developed in 1902 by the Asscher Brothers of Holland. The Asscher cut is a stepped square cut, often called the “square emerald cut” and like an emerlad cut, the Asscher cut has cropped corners. Asscher cut diamonds have gained in popularity recently.
Cushion cut diamond
The cushion cut diamond is an antique style of cut. Sometimes referred to as a “pillow cut”, the cushion cut has an open culet (the bottom of the diamond) and a rectangular to square shape with rounded corners. The beauty of a cushion cut is the depth of the diamond. In the past most quality cushion cut diamonds were found only on the antique and estate market, today cutters are once again cutting these stones.
Emerald cut diamonds
Emerald cut diamonds have a rectangular shape with cut corners. It is known as a step cut because its broad, flat planes resemble steps on a staircase. Inclusions and inferior color are more pronounced in emerald cut diamonds, so pay close attention to clarity and color grading.
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