The shape of a diamond is one of the first things women think about when they are choosing their dream ring. Because diamonds come in all shapes and sizes, the sky is the limit on choice. Whether it be an elegant emerald or a classic round diamond, every woman is unique and will have varying preferences. Keep reading to find the best shape for her personality and style–and what things need to be taken into consideration before buying.
Diamond Ring Shapes
The shape of a diamond is often confused with the cut of a diamond and although somewhat related, they are actually two different terms. The cut refers to the facets, proportions, symmetry and light reflection–while the shape refers to the actual form of the diamond. Both are important and play complimentary roles in determining the sparkle and beauty of the stone.
All rough diamonds must be cut and polished into different shapes before heading to the jewelry store. An expert diamond cutter will determine the best shape for the particular stone and any flaws will be removed or cut in a manner to best showcase the beauty of the stone. Different shapes will require different amounts of the rough diamond to be cut and polished away. The higher the percentage of diamond cut away will cause the stone’s price to rise. For instance, the round brilliant is able to yield only 40% of the original stone, while the square princess cut diamonds are able to keep 80-90% of their original shape. This makes the princess cut the most affordable of all diamond shapes.
What Types of Diamond Ring Shapes Are Available?
While there are a lot of different choices on the market, the most popular shape among shoppers is the round brilliant, followed by the princess cut. Most other shapes are categorized as “fancy” shaped diamonds. It is important to know the qualities of each shape in order to find the best suited one for personality, style and budget.
Round: Often called the “round brilliant”, it remains most popular and classic shape of all diamonds used in engagement rings today. It is touted as being able to showcase the maximum amount of brilliance of all diamond shapes. It is generally more expensive than others because more diamond needs to be cut away to form a round shape.
Princess: This is a fairly new player in the diamond field which made its first appearance in the 1960’s. The shape is a square inverted pyramid and in a setting, a prong on each corner of the diamond holds it firmly in place. It remains a popular shape due to its sleek, modern lines, excellent brilliance and lower price than the round brilliant diamond.
Oval:An increasingly popular shape which is considered a “cousin” to the round brilliant. When worn as a solitaire, its shape creates an illusion of length and makes the wearers fingers appear more slender.
Asscher: The Asscher Cut is somewhat reminiscent of a square emerald cut but with more deeply cut square corners, giving it the look of an octagon as well. The stunning shape and cut of the diamond are designed to draw the eye into the center of the stone. Although a true Asscher diamond can be found through The Royal Asscher Diamond Company and their recommended retailers, there are many other jewelry stores which now carry this shape.
Trillion: Essentially a triangle, the trillion (also known as “trilliant”) is an excellent choice for a women wanting something beautifully unique. The shape makes a fantastic solitaire ring, especially when surrounded by a halo of smaller diamonds or with other accents.
Radiant: The radiant shape (also known as the “Rectangular Modified Brilliant”) was developed as a square version of the round brilliant stone, having 62-70 sparkling facets. It is an increasingly popular option for colored diamonds and other gemstones, due to the nature of its shape and facets which enhance and deepen the color.
Cushion: This shape of diamond bears a resemblance to a pillow cushion, having rounded corners on a square or rectangular shaped stone. There are several variations of the cushion shape, with all of them having a vintage look to them. They are increasing in popularity as the antique, vintage look is being paired with contemporary designs.
The marquise was designed by King Louis XV of France and makes for a stunning fancy diamond. Its elongated ends give the impression of a larger diamond and is a popular choice for women who like their fingers to appear more slender.
Emerald: This diamond shape is known for its simplicity and elegance. It has beautiful rectangular step (or staircase) cuts and a large, open table. As a result, any flaws in a diamond would be more visible and the clarity grade becomes of utmost importance. Although it may not have as much fire as some of the other shapes, it ranks high on elegance and gives the impression of understated, classic beauty.
Pear: The pear shape is a blend of the round, marquise and oval cut diamonds and provides the appearance of a teardrop when the tip is pointed downwards, or a pear when the tip is pointed upwards. As with the marquise, the pear shape is particularly flattering as it creates the illusion of a larger carat size and elongated fingers.
Heart: While a highly popular and romantic choice for diamond necklaces and other jewelry, the heart shape can also be worn in an engagement or wedding ring. This is a difficult shape for stone cutters to create and requires considerable skill to ensure the facets are cut evenly. Because of this, most heart-shaped diamonds are one carat or larger for ease of cutting.
Diamonds come in a large variety of shapes, making it possible to find the perfect diamond to symbolize new love and commitment. By taking time to find the differences between each diamond shape, you can then begin narrowing down her choice of shape and find the perfect setting to match the perfect ring.
Images courtesy of Amerigoldinc.com, Zales, and Blue Nile.com.