What are the Different Diamond Shapes?
When starting your search for an engagement ring, choosing the shape of the central diamond is a great place to start. The most popular of diamonds for engagement rings are the Round brilliant diamonds, this is down to the abundance of fire, life and brilliance, they simply are the most sparkly.
Diamonds fall into two categories, brilliant cuts which are those cut to optimise light return throughout the stone, and Step cuts which are designed to showcase the clarity of the diamond. Examples of brilliant cut diamond shapes are: round, cushion, princess & pear, whilst emerald and asscher are examples of step cut diamonds. It is important to remember that diamond shape is not the same as diamond cut.
Brilliant cut diamonds showcase luminosity of the diamond. Step cuts, on the other hand, are designed to showcase the clarity of the stone. Here, elongated parallel facets make up the pavilion section. The diamond still sparkles beautifully, but there is an emphasis on the purity and elegance of the stone. Step cuts include emerald and asscher shapes.
Remember that shape is not the same as cut – the shape of a diamonds comes from cutting it but the shape is essentially the overall geometry or form of the diamond(emerald, round, square ect. The cut of a diamond is the facets and proportions- the thing that gives the diamond it brilliance and fire.
While some shapes are more popular than others, and some provide better value for money, the most important thing is to choose a diamond that suits your bride-to-be. Think about her own personal style, and how that can be reflected in a precious gem. Gentle, fiery, quirky, bold or romantic – there is a diamond shape out there for everyone.
10 Most Popular Diamond Shapes
Perfect for classic looks, the round-cut diamonds are the most popular of all shapes. About 70 per cent of diamond engagement rings are set with round-cut diamonds. They have been carefully engineered to produce the most sparkle. With a well-cut round diamond, the brilliance and dispersion will impress in any engagement ring. Better yet, even though this diamond shape won’t have the largest face-up area, its intense sparkle will make it appear bigger!
Princess Cut Diamonds
The princess cut diamond is one of the most brilliant diamond shapes and, compared to a round, comes at a 25-35 per cent discount. Princess cut diamonds are brilliant cut like their round counterparts but are instead crafted into opulent square shape. Although princess cuts have a slightly smaller face-up size, their long diagonal measurement makes them seem larger. The most popular of the fancy shapes, princess cuts look great in any setting!
Cushion Cut Diamonds
Cushion cut diamonds show excellent fire! The angles in this cut are made for those flashes of coloured light. The cushion cut features rounded edges that create a gentle pillow like shape. The cushion cut is one of the oldest diamond cuts and has been around for around one century longer than round cuts. Cushion cuts were the most popular for a long time and they are still quite popular.
Emerald Cut Diamonds
This shape was originally developed for emeralds. Instead of the usual brilliance and fire, emerald cut is a step cut with a different kind of sparkle. These diamonds reflect light in a beautiful and subtle “hall of mirrors” effect.
Because of their elongated shape, emerald cut diamonds have tended to have a slimming effect on the finger. They can be set in an East-West setting for a more understated look.
Asscher Cut Diamonds
The mesmerising windmill pattern of an asscher-cut diamond is both unique and eye catching. This shape complements both a contemporary solitaire and a vintage, Art Deco look. This cut was first developed in the 18th century by Joseph Asscher. With their octagonal outlines, they’re perfect for geometrical styles.
Radiant Cut Diamonds
Radiant cuts are one of the most brilliant cuts a diamond can have. This cut provides tons of sparkle, and the truncated corners make it more durable than a princess cut. It is essentially a rectangular cut, which has been cut using the facet pattern applied to round brilliants and princess cuts. If you go with an elongated radiant cut, it may also appear larger than a round.
Very chic and feminine, oval cut diamonds still have most of the brilliance of rounds, but their elongated shape has a lengthening effect on the finger. Their symmetrical shape can make a relatively small diamond appear larger.
They are also a popular choice for East-West settings.
Not only do pear-shaped diamonds have a characteristic tear drop design. The pear shaped diamonds have a unique and beautiful shape, which are intensely radiant and flattering on the finger. Their elongated shape also makes them a great choice for trendy East-West engagement rings.
The elongated shape of a marquise cut makes the diamond look huge and your finger appear slimmer, too! Tapered to a point on either end, the marquise cut is fearless and bold. Marquises also have the largest face-up area of all diamond cuts around 15% larger than round cuts. They also look great set in East-West style engagement rings.
Hearts Shaped Diamonds
As its name suggests, this diamond is in the shape of a heart. Pretty and romantic it is the ultimate symbol of love and romance. Heart cut diamonds are a fancy cut and contains 56-58 facets that capture and reflect light, resulting in visible brilliance.
While every diamond is unique, all diamonds share certain structural features. A diamond’s anatomy, or its basic structure, determines its proportions, brilliance, dispersion and scintillation. Each part of the diamond has a specific name, and having a basic understanding of how each part contributes to the diamond as a whole will help you find your perfect diamond.
A diamond is comprised of the eight main components. They are Diameter, Table, Crown, Table Spread, Girdle, Pavilion, Depth, and Culet. Below is a brief description of each part of a diamond and its location.
Diameter: The width of a polished stone, measured from edge to edge.
Table: The largest polished facet located on the top of the diamond.
Crown: The top part of a diamond extending from the table to the girdle. The crown is made up of bezel facets (crown mains), star facets, upper girdle facets (upper halves), and a table facet.
Girdle: The very edge (widest edge) of the diamond where the crown and pavilion meet.
Pavilion: The bottom part of a diamond extending from the girdle down to the culet.
Depth: The total height of a diamond measured from the table to the culet.
Culet: The small or pointed facet at the very bottom of the diamond.
Before purchasing a diamond, make sure that you have a basic understanding of a diamond’s anatomy. This will allow you to truly appreciate diamonds and all their intricacies, communicate with experts about a particular diamond, and, most importantly, it will assist you in making a well-thought out decision about which diamond is best for you.
An ideal cut diamond is a round, brilliant, or princess cut diamond that is cut to ideal proportions and angles and has excellent polish and symmetry ratings. An ideal cut diamond reflects almost all the light that enters it, and is among the rarest cuts. The ideal cut diamond is used as benchmark for grading all other diamonds.
Ideal diamonds are perfectly proportioned to refract light, producing that fire and brilliance up through to the table and crown. There are at least six “ideal cuts” being used today but only three of them (including the one by Tolkowsky ) are the most common.
Fancy Coloured Diamonds
Exceptional diamond colour can be traced to the lattice of carbon atoms that form a diamond’s microscopic structure. Over billions of years, coloured diamonds were formed through exposure to heat, natural radiation or the saturation of natural elements. These incredibly rare processes result in beautiful tones and deep saturations of colour that evoke a deeply personal response in each of us.
Diamonds in the normal color range are colorless through light yellow and are described using the industry’s D-to-Z color-grading scale. Fancy color diamonds, on the other hand, are yellow and brown diamonds that exhibit color beyond the Z range, or diamonds that exhibit any other color face-up. These rare specimens come in every color of the spectrum, including, most importantly, blue, green, pink, and red.
Gem diamonds in the D-to-Z range usually decrease in value as the color becomes more obvious. Just the opposite happens with fancy color diamonds: Their value generally increases with the strength and purity of the color. Large, vivid fancy color diamonds are extremely rare and very valuable. However, many fancy diamond colors are muted rather than pure and strong.
Fancy Color Diamond Quality Factors
Orange And Yellow Diamonds
The remarkable hue of yellow and orange diamonds can be attributed to one element: nitrogen. While a diamond is forming, nitrogen atoms will arrange in such a way that that blue light is absorbed, thus producing a yellow color. A specific grouping of nitrogen atoms is also responsible for the shading of orange diamonds, but will absorb light in both the blue and yellow spectrums.
Brown, Red & Pink Diamonds
These diamonds owe their color to a combination of intense pressure and heat. While still buried deep within the earth, these factors cause distortions in the crystal lattice that absorb green light, thus reflecting a pink hue. Ultra-rare red diamonds, which are essentially just deeply colored pink diamonds, have the same cause of color.
Gray & Blue Diamonds
For the most part, blue diamonds get their color from boron. When this impurity is present, it bonds to carbon in the crystal structure, absorbing red, yellow and green areas of the color spectrum.
It’s not until the last leg of their journey to the earth’s surface that diamonds get their green color. Just as they are about to leave the uppermost layer of the crust, these stones absorbs naturally occurring radiation, which causes them to reflect a green hue by absorbing red and yellow light.
Violet And Purple Diamonds
So far, all scientists are certain of is that the cause of color for purple and violet diamonds is crystal distortion. However, it is believed that the presence of hydrogen may be partly responsible for their hue.
A diamond certificate verifies each diamond’s specifications, including its color grade, carat weight, clarity grade and cut grade. You should never buy a diamond without a diamond certificate. The most well-known grading laboratories are the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society (AGS) and the International Gemological Institute (IGI).
A diamond’s cost depends upon objective characteristics, the 4C’s: Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat. The relationship between these four characteristics determines the value of a diamond. Although it is commonly assumed that carat is the most important member of the 4C’s, color, cut and clarity have a much greater impact on the appearance of a diamond.