Round diamonds are the most popular, making up 75 percent of all diamonds sold today. Its 58 facets display more fire and brilliance compared to other available shapes. They are the most versatile diamond shape because they can be used in many styles of jewelry, from pairing a solitaire with a simple gold band to surrounding it with many additional stones in a ring wrap.
Next in popularity is the princess cut, which is a square diamond with sharp corners and a lot of brilliance. A princess cut stone looks a bit smaller than a round diamond with the same carat weight due to the princess cut stone being cut deeper to achieve its stylish shape. However, the princess cut, with 76 facets, often has more fire and brilliance than the round cut.
The marquise diamond, with a point on each of its two ends, often looks larger than other cuts of the same carat weight. With about 56 facets, the marquise is quite a sparkler. Legend has it that this stone was named in honor of Louis XV’s mistress, Marquise de Pompadour.
Once a popular choice for royalty and the rich, the emerald cut is a rectangle-shaped diamond that shows off its clarity better than other shapes. When looking within the stone, an emerald will resemble a prism, while a round or princess cut looks like a kaleidoscope. Emeralds have few (but larger) flashes of light; compare this to round and princess cuts which have more (but smaller) flashes of light.
While often chosen for its sentimentality, the heart-shaped diamond isn’t as popular because it simply doesn’t shine as brightly as other cuts. The very cuts that turned the stone into the shape of a heart take away some of its ability to sparkle and shine.
An elongated version of the round cut, the oval-shaped diamond is a great choice for long fingers. Popular since it appeared on the scene in the 1960s, the oval has 56 facets and makes a great choice for a center stone in multi-stone engagement rings.
This vintage shape made its comeback in the 1990s, appearing on the fingers of many Hollywood starlets. The Asscher is a modified-square cut with stepped facets, created in Holland more than a century ago. At that time, only the uber-rich could afford its brilliance. Today, the Asscher cut diamond is in short supply and high demand.
With a cut that resembles the emerald at first glance, its cut seems to go on forever when you look deep into the Asscher diamond.
The cushion cut diamond, square or rectangular with rounded corners, looks great in today’s vintage style engagement rings. The stones’ 58 facets are generally cut large, creating large flashes of light.
The pear-shaped diamond is unique in that it resembles a round diamond at one end and a marquise at the other. When worn on the finger, the point should face one’s fingertips. Often less sparkly than the round diamond, the 58-facet pear tends to make the wearer’s fingers appear slimmer. This cut looks fabulous with trillions or smaller pears next to the main stone.
BAGUETTE & TRILLIAN
The baguette and the trillian cut are two additional diamond shapes which are quite popular these days, but rarely stand on their own. Instead, both are used to accent larger stones. Developed in 1978, the trillian was derived from the Princess cut. Trillians look like a triangle and resemble the Princess cut when you look deep within the stone.
Like the stick of French bread that shares its name, the baguette diamond is long and slim. A large baguette is rare. They are most common alongside a larger stone, or several may be set together in a channel setting.