Round? Princess? Cushion? Or Oval? Which one to choose from more than 10 popular diamonds shapes outhere?

We all know that Round is the most popular shape ever (we will see why below), that’s obvious when you start searching on online stores like Whiteflash, they will start sorting shapes from Round:

Whiteflash shapes selection

James Allen as well:

James Allen shapes selection

And Blue Nile is not an exception:

BN Search

This is not a coincedence of course, because we all know that the diamond brilliance (light reflection) is not only dependent on a very good or excellent cut, it has more to do with the diamond shape itself, because different shapes reflect lights in different angles.

People mix between diamond cut & diamond shape, in today’s article, we will cover this in details and see why BOTH cut & shape play a huge influence on diamond brilliance.

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As a start, this image here will give us an idea how different cut grades in a round-shaped diamond reflects light based on its cut:

Diamond Cut Light Reflection

Why Diamond Shape is Important Factor?

So what has the cut or shape of the diamond got to do with choosing a diamond?

There is no overlooking the facts that every woman wants the biggest, clearest, most sparkling and beautiful diamond on her finger. Are you planning to get an engagement ring & make a big surprise for that special lady in your life?

You definitely want that peice of diamond to shine, sparkle, and give a great brilliance, to make this happen you need to know the right cut and shape to make the right choice.

The image above shows how a round diamond reflects light, and by the way, round shape is considered the best shape that sparkles the most of light that goes through it, and that’s why it’s the most demanded diamond in the market.

Diamond Sparkle James Allen

To be clear, all diamond shapes reflects light in a way or another, and collectively: diamond shapes and cuts are the most important factor to consider when diamond shopping. After all, nobody ever wants a stone they can’t show off.

However, it is worth noting that there is nothing like the perfect diamond, ladies want a diamond for different reasons and because everyone has their unique taste, personality and style, you are always sure that you will get a diamond that will suit you.

What is The Difference Between Diamond Cut & Diamond Shape?

There is a huge & wrong mix between diamond shape & cut, while they are “somehow” related, but not to the extent that makes people doesn’t know the difference between both.

What is Diamond Cut?

Diamond Cut refers to the proportioning, symmetry, polishing, and the craftsmanship that was done on the diamond, any artisan or craftsman will attempt to cut a diamond to make the best use of light so it reflects to the best angles.

So in terms of Cut, we have four known levels, as seen in the previous image, these are:

1- Excellent Cut: The diamond was cut to a perfect proportion, it got straight A’s in all measurements related to the Cut

2- Very Good Cut: As the name implies, the diamond is a very good one, it has a perfect light reflection with almost perfect proportion. It’s worth to mention that upgrading from v.good to excellent is costy, more than upgrading a color or clarity one level up. The V.Good cut is the recommended grade that we always recommend our readers not to go under.

3- Good cut: The artisan didn’t succeed in getting the diamond to an upper level, or the diamond itself was a bit deep and couldn’t make it better, good cut diamond is “average” in terms of light reflection.

4- Fair: They shouldn’t call it fair actually, GIA should have named it “BAD” cut but maybe they left something for a lower grade, most of the light go through the diamond and get out from the bottom & sides. Sometimes people get this grade for side diamonds on the ring.

These are the most popular cut grades, but there are other grades like poor (less than Fair), and Hearts & Arrows, this type of diamonds are branded like a separate level and online vendors have their own trademarks on top of the notch excellent cuts, like Astor by Blue Nile™  which we covered in a separate article, or JamesAllen True Hearts™ diamonds (covered as well).

You may also like:  Top Diamond Characteristics & The 4Cs Order of Importance

What is Diamond Shape?

Diamond shape refers to the appearance of the diamond, there is a lot of diamonds shapes out there, but 99% of the market is within a collection of 10-12 diamond shapes, this image shows the most popular diamond shapes:

Diamonds Shapes

Remember that the best way to get a diamond that will wow her and others are to know the right cut AND shape to choose. 

While the brilliance of diamonds is different according to their shape and cut, the round brilliant diamond still remains the number one for diamond shoppers looking for a diamond to fulfill the 4C’s criteria of a diamond.

What are The Most Popular Diamond Shapes?

Let’s go through different diamonds shapes and see how each shape reflects light, we will sort shapes by brilliance & light reflection:

The Round Brilliant Shape

Among all the diamonds sold in the world today (and the most expensive one obviously), 7 out of every 10 diamond is a round shape. Round Shape DiamondThe round shape diamond remains the most sought-after diamond because of its cut and brilliance, they are also the smallest even when weighing the same as a large diamond of a different shape.

The cut of a round diamond affords it the ability to capture light at incredible angles and also reflects it too. The cut mechanism provides the round diamond with a total of 58 facets; 33 facets on the crown and 25 facets on the pavilion giving it the perfect brilliance, fire and size calibration for a wedding, engagement or that ring for that special lady in your life.

Round cuts are usually more expensive due to little pieces lost during the forming process.

Shop for Round Shape Diamonds on JamesAllen

The Marquise Shape

Shaped like a pouting lip, it has two pointy extremities at both ends; Marquise Shape Diamondthis shape gives it the illusion that is bigger than it actually looks. It does have the weight though. For a lady that isn’t afraid to be distinguished, the Marquise diamond shows exceptional brilliance and looks bright in all settings.

The marquise shape is very similar to the ball used in football, and it gives a great sparkle , but most importantly, if you want the diamond to LOOK larger, this shape is your choice, it has the largest area of surface, it’s not deep in its table, that’s why most of its size is visible.

Shop for Marquise Shape Diamonds on JamesAllen

The Oval Shape

Almost mimicking the round shape diamond, the oval shape diamond has 58 facets that can be shaped into the different number of pavilions to create brilliance and fire that is very close to round diamonds.Oval shape Diamond

They create an illusion of being larger than other diamond in the same weight group and a great cut for a wedding ring as they make your finger look longer and slender accentuating the size of the ring.

Shop for Oval Shape Diamonds on JamesAllen

The Pear Shape

A combination of a round and marquise diamond makes this diamond a unique find. The shape is part of the brilliant family & also a great option for earrings and pendant, but when used for rings, it is the most beautiful and elegant piece ever.Pear Shape Diamond

The cut comes with 58 facets, with brilliant patterns that can be cut in different numbers pavilions to create different forms. The round part of this diamond gives the ring a shine and sparkle synonymous with all-round diamonds. It is not the cheapest either, so you need a good budget to get this one.

Similar to marquise shape, the pear shape has a large area as well, so it’s more noticeable than other shapes.

Shop for Pear Shape diamonds on JamesAllen

The Heart Shape

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. Heart Shape Diamond

In regards to its sparkle & brilliance, the Heart shape follows the brilliant family, which gives a great sparkle and light reflection, since the shape is not easily identified for small diamonds, it’s not recommended to get a heart shape with carat less than 0.5-0.6.

Shop for Heart Shape Diamonds on JamesAllen

The Princess Shape

The princess shape is also considered from the Brilliant Shape Family, this very delicate, feminine and soft cut is stylish and more Princess Shape Diamondmodern for the lady that wished to step away from the umbrella of the round shape diamond. The diamond also has 58 facets allowing it to sparkle under the right light, but also hide flaws like the round diamond.

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Despite its stunning brilliance, this double inverted pyramid shape diamond has pointy edges that do have the ability to chip away; otherwise it is a shape that will sit well in any light condition.

Shop for Princess Shape Diamonds on JamesAllen

The Radiant Shape

This shape comes in different variation with 53 to 70 facets depending on the cut of the diamond. The radiant is a cross between the princess and cushion diamond with excellent brilliance and fire.Radiant Shape Diamond

An advantage of the radiant cut is the beveled corners giving the diamond more stability and radiance, especially for those with a busy hands-on lifestyle. It is not the cheapest either.

Shop for Radiant Shape diamonds on JamesAllen

The Cushion Shape

The cushion shape (some calls it pillow as well, but less popular) represents an “almost square” shape diamond with rounded edges to Cushion Shape Diamondgive that soft and romantic look. The cushion-cut is not the most brilliant diamonds on the market due to the inability for diamond cutters to perfect the form of the stone.

This shape was popular for long time for its nice look, but with more better shapes in the market, it became much less popular. If you are short on cash but want a stone that tells a beautiful tale of love and life, then this ring will do just that.

Shop for Cushion Shape Diamonds on JamesAllen

The Emerald Shape

The emerald shape diamond is one step above the square shape diamonds (Princess & Cushion), as a step-cut diamond, it allows for impeccable clarity, cut; color in which flaws in the cut can be clearly seen.Emerald Shape Diamond

Although not one of those diamonds with a striking brilliance, its depth, clarity, luster and the ability to retain its look and sophistication despite the era and setting makes it stand out. Furthermore, it is a great piece for those that want a large diamond and affordability in one cut.

Shop for Emerald Shape diamonds on JamesAllen

The Asscher Shape

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 shape” and like an Emerald shape, the Asscher shape has cropped corners.  Asscher Shape Diamond

Asscher shaped diamonds have gained in popularity recently although they aren’t well-known for brilliance, rather for the shape itself.

Shop for Asscher Shape Diamonds on JamesAllen

Summary for Diamond Cut Vs. Shape

While the shape and cut are used interchangeably, basic know-how of the shapes of a diamond will allow you to make the right choice for that special person in your life.

Furthermore, the personality, style, and uniqueness of the recipient should determine what shape or cut will suit that person. Remember, diamonds are forever, choose one that will last an eternity.

We always recommend that you get your diamonds from a reputable online store, JamesAllen & Blue Nile have the largest collection ever, and if you want to shop directly for a premium quality diamonds, then head to Whiteflash.

Read: Why We Recommend Whiteflash for quality diamonds shopping in our Whiteflash detailed review.

Find the One James Allen

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About the Author

Alexander Knight

A distinguished expert in the diamond industry with an unwavering passion for exceptional gemstones. With a keen eye for quality and a wealth of experience, Alexander has established himself as a prominent figure in the world of diamonds.

From an early age, Alexander was captivated by the allure and brilliance of diamonds. He embarked on a journey to understand the artistry and craftsmanship behind these precious gems. Through years of hands-on experience and collaboration with renowned diamond experts, Alexander has acquired comprehensive knowledge in diamond grading, sourcing, and jewelry design.

Driven by his desire to share his expertise, Alexander has created a captivating website dedicated to diamonds. Through this website, he imparts his wisdom and provides valuable insights on diamond education, trends, and investment opportunities.

With his impeccable reputation and extensive knowledge, Alexander Knight continues to leave a lasting impact in the dynamic world of diamonds, guiding others towards the discovery of their dream gemstone.