Diamond Shapes 101

A female hand with multiple diamond engagement rings on one finger.

As you consider what kind of engagement ring you’d love, it’s easy to get dazzled by the many kinds of sparkling stones. By knowing what the different diamond shapes are, you have a better chance of explaining your likes and dislikes well to a jeweler and to your sweetheart, who will probably be picking out your next bright bauble himself.

Princess Cut

A female hand wearing a diamond princess cut engagement ring with a blurred bridge in the background.

One of the most popular cuts, a princess diamond has a square “head,” which throws light off the many side facets around it. It’s also one of the least “wasteful” shapes of diamond engagement rings because less of the diamond needs to be cut to get the desired square, rather than a circular design.

Heart

More people than ever are choosing to make their larger diamonds heart-shaped. Set prominently, these stones make it unmistakable that the ring was given to you by someone you love. They are a great choice if you go with a pale pink colored diamond, as well!

Cushion Cut

A cushion-cut diamond engagement ring.

If you imagine a rounded-edge rectangle with many many small facets along the sides, you’ll have a good idea of what a cushion-cut diamond looks like. This cut is traditional and has been done for hundreds of years, which means that it’s unusually nice if you want a vintage look to your engagement ring. With an extra row of facets, though, it can become quite modern looking and throw dazzling light in all directions.

Pear

This teardrop-shaped diamond has been growing in popularity. Delicate and feminine, it’s half round-cut diamond, half Marquise-cut. Pear cut diamonds are fairly common in vintage jewelry, making them a good choice if you don’t want to purchase a brand-new stone.

Round

A round diamond engagement ring.

The most popular choice of cut for engagement rings, the round diamond has made millions of women fall in love with it. Some of its appeal lies in the symbolism of a harmonious complete circle, while the many facets make it set so nicely into a variety of ring styles. There is a reason why three-quarters of all diamonds sold are round cuts!

Asscher

Similar to emerald cut but more square than rectangular, Asscher-cut diamonds can be great for a stone that contains exceptional quality, but isn’t the right shape to be made into an emerald-cut ring. The equal sides will remind you of a slightly more squared-off, cushion-cut stone, and can have quite the artsy, vintage look just like those cushion-cut diamonds.

Marquise

A marquise diamond engagement ring.

This shape is longer and more narrow than others, making it a good choice for the woman who wants to emphasize the length and slenderness of her fingers. With smooth sides that end in two points, the marquise cut is striking and set apart from other choices.

Radiant

Popular in rings that contain both one large diamond and some smaller stones, the radiant cut is much like the shape of an emerald cut, but with triangular facets more like a round-cut diamond. It throws off sparkle in unexpected directions, making it fit well among other more traditionally-shaped smaller stones in a ring that’s sure to light up your hand. Make this choice when you know you have the best quality of diamond and want to show it off!

Emerald

An emerald-cut diamond engagement ring.

A shape most commonly used on—you guessed it—emeralds because it creates deep color clarity in the center of the stone, emerald-cut diamonds tend to be beautiful, large, and in charge. If you select a diamond with exceptional clarity or an interesting color, the emerald cut gives you a wide rectangular face and thin rectangular facets to allow you to admire the depths of the stone.

Oval

Oval-cut diamonds mix the traditional facets of a round diamond with a slightly new twist. If you’re aiming for a fairly small stone but want to make it seem a little bigger, an oval diamond will emphasize the size of the stone without having to move up in carat size.

No matter which gorgeous diamond cut you choose, you’re sure to feel better about your fiancé’s taste in jewelry when he knows your favorite diamond shapes— it’s just good information to have!

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