The 7 Most Popular Diamond Shapes

Diamonds captivate our attention and hearts with their brilliance, scintillation and fire. Jewellers give diamonds this vivacious beauty by shaping the stone so that it disperses light efficiently.

Diamond shapes chart

Understanding diamond shapes and how they unlock the diamond’s aesthetic qualities is essential to purchasing a diamond that will complement the beauty of the wearer and accurately represent the sentiments of the giver.

Jewellers cut diamonds into seven basic shapes. Continue reading to learn about these shapes and define your personal preferences.

1. Round Brilliant Cut

Round Brilliant Cut diamonds exhibit the most brilliance making them the most prized of all diamonds.  They come in a variety of sizes and grades allowing any groom-to-be to find one that fits his budget.

Round brilliant diamonds reached their maximum brilliance in the early 1900s when Marcel Tolkowsky increased the number of facets to 58 in order to optimize light reflection and refraction. An optimal diamond cut is indeed a crucial parameter as it determines the brilliance and fire of a stone. 

Round brilliant cut diamond

Today these diamonds monopolize 75% of the market and command the highest prices.  The fact that only near perfect octahedron crystals can be given a round brilliant cut and that 50% or more of the gem is lost during the cutting process contribute to their price.

Round diamonds can be a reasonable purchase, though, because their brilliance  conceals small inclusions and shadows. This allows you to purchase a slightly lower-grade diamond, perhaps a VS2 or SI1, and still receive maximum light play.

Classic solitaire round diamond engagement ring

Round diamonds go well with any style and setting, from the classic cathedral setting that accentuates the individual stone to the more modern halo setting with its complementing gemstones. Take a look at our Round Diamond Cut Rings to see for yourself the beauty of round brilliant cut diamonds in a selection of settings.

2. Cushion Cut

Influenced by Minimal Art, cushion cut diamonds are square or rectangular with gently rounded corners. Beloved for their fire, cushion cut diamonds are a cost-effective choice for engagement rings.

Although cushion cut diamonds lag behind their round counterparts in brilliance, their varied facets produce unequaled fire or the ability to sparkle with all the colors of the rainbow.

Cushion cut diamond

Costing less than round brilliant gems, the price of cushion cut diamonds can be decreased even further by choosing a stone with slight shades of yellow, for instance a stone that falls between G and J on the GIA’s color-grading scale. 

Cushion Diamond Halo Engagement Ring
Cushion cut diamonds are usually set in four-prong settings to maximize their fire and can be combined with channel, split-shank and a myriad other styles of rings. Thanks to their shape, cushion cut diamonds can be set side-by-side which makes them an excellent choice for past, present and future engagements rings, such as the one that Prince Harry gave to Meghan Markle.


3. Princess Cut

A modern version of the round brilliant, princess cut diamonds are the second most brilliant and popular among diamonds. Their outstanding light dispersion and affordable cost makes them a wonderful way to turn a woman into your princess for life.

Shaped like inverted pyramids with bevelled sides, princess cut diamonds claim the title of the most brilliant among square and rectangular diamonds.

Princess cut diamond

Princess cut diamonds cost less per carat than round brilliants, but a little bit more than other fancy cuts. Since this cut conceals small inclusions and shadows, it is possible to purchase a lower-grade diamond, perhaps a VS2 or SI1, without sacrificing brilliance.

Princess cut diamond solitaire engagement ring

Princess cut diamonds are outstanding in a classic bezel or a more modern pavé setting. Visit our collection of Princess Cut Diamond Rings to see these settings and others that can showcase a princess cut diamond.

4. Emerald Cut

Shaped by the Art Deco movement, emerald cut diamonds possess perfect symmetry and deliver elegant presence rather than brilliance. Considerably cheaper than other options, the emerald cut is ideal for those who want to invest in a larger stone.

Emerald cut diamonds are rectangular with carefully measured steps cut into their sides. These steps give the stone a mirror-like quality that sparkles and reflects flashes of light. A particularly large table covers the top of the diamond accentuating its size and clarity, as well as giving it a sophisticated air.

Emerald cut diamond

Beyoncé, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and other celebrities have proudly worn emerald-cut diamonds in their engagement rings. Their diamonds exhibit a particular clarity which is a characteristic trait of emerald cut stones. This clarity makes it vital that the diamond is free of inclusions, with a clarity grade VVS2 or higher. 

Emerald cut engagement ring with side-baguette diamonds

Emerald cut diamonds are stunning as solitaire stones, complemented by baguettes or surrounded by a halo of smaller stones. Explore our collection of Emerald Cut Diamond Rings to see first-hand the elegant beauty of these diamonds.

5. Oval Cut

Loved for their brilliance and contemporary air, oval cut diamonds emphasise size and personal style. Considered moderately priced among diamonds, they can offer you an excellent benefit-cost ratio.

Rarely seen until the mid-1900s, oval cut diamonds are steadily increasing in popularity. In fact, the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction is the Pink Star, a 59.6 carat  pink diamond with an oval cut that sold for a little over $70 million earlier this year.

Jewelers often refer to oval cut diamonds as having heads (the rounded ends), shoulders and a flat belly in the center. Each of these sections should be symmetrical to the others for an overall graceful appearance.

Oval cut diamond

Due to their shape and faceting, all oval cut gems have a bowtie across their belly. This hourglass-shaped shadow will be more or less distinct depending on the quality of the cut. As you shop for an engagement ring, be alert to this aspect of oval cut diamonds and if you have any questions about it, be sure to ask us.

Oval diamond solitaire engagement ring

Oval cut diamonds look especially good in wide rings because of their larger size, but they can be attractively set in other rings as well. Feel free to browse our selection of Oval Cut Diamond Rings.

6. Pear Cut

Combining brilliance with a fashion-forward shape, pear cut diamonds are prized for their exquisite beauty. They cost slightly more than other diamond shapes, but their different sizes and settings make them accessible to all.

The pear cut first appeared more than 500 years ago and has maintained a constant presence since then. Contemporary diamond cutters give pear cut diamonds more facets than their antique counterparts which greatly increases their brilliance and acceptance.

Pear shape diamond

With an evenly rounded end that fades into a point, pear cut diamonds come in a variety of width-to-length ratios which determines whether the gem appears rounded or elongated.  Like oval cut stones, they have a bowtie across the center of their table, so be sure to look for high-quality pear cuts that will have as little shadow as possible.

Pear-shaped diamond solitaire engagement ring

Pear cut diamonds have routinely stepped into the spotlight as actresses, such as Mia Farrow and Katherine Heigl and a variety of singers, including Victoria Beckham, have publicly announced their engagements. Pear cut diamonds make superb solitary stones or the centerstone for a halo setting. View our Pear Cut Diamond Rings.

7. Asscher Cut

Pure, durable and amazing, asscher cut diamonds faithfully represent true love. Their distinct step facets and large table deliver classy flashes of light and their simple cut won’t break your bank account.

Originating in Holland, the asscher cut was once limited to antique diamonds but has since enjoyed a significant comeback. Always a square with rounded corners, asscher cut diamonds have a large table which allows you to look into the center of the stone. This clarity makes it essential for the diamond to be free of inclusions, for example those graded VVS2 or higher.

Asscher cut diamond

Although they must be pure, diamonds destined for the asscher cut can be colorful. The clear steps along the pavilion of these diamonds intensify colors making the cut a good choice for naturally occuring yellow, blue or green diamonds.

Elizabeth Taylor owned a treasure trove of diamonds, but the one that she wore the most was a 33-carat asscher cut diamond ring.  Her stone, like many other asscher cut diamonds, was held by a four-prong setting to allow the maximum amount of light into the gem.

Although often used for solitary stones, asscher cut diamonds can be paired with shoulder stones or even pavé rings. Explore our Diamond Rings to see a variety of settings and styles.

We are here to help you choose the perfect shape

Shopping for a diamond ring involves searching through numerous stones, settings and ring styles to find a balance between beauty and cost. This can be a frustrating and time-consuming process. We here at Beldiamond exist to de-stress this process for you. Give us a call, send us an email or even schedule a face-to-face meeting with us and lets start looking for the perfect diamond for you.