Diamond Shapes

A diamonds shape is not one of the four characteristics (colour, clarity, cut & carat) by which its value is determined. It is however a very important factor to consider when buying a ring for someone as the recipient will more than likely have very strong opinions on what sort of shape they like and more importantly which ones they don’t like. All other diamond characteristics should be decided upon by the buyer but for shape the receipient should have some input.

Shape and cut are terms which are often used interchangeably however, a diamonds shape should not be confused with it’s cut which relates to the facet pattern of the diamond whereas the shape refers to it’s actual physical shape.

here are 10 main shapes of diamond in use regulary in modern jewellery today.

Round Brilliant

The “Round” shape is the most popular diamond shape in existence today accounting for approx. 75% of all diamonds sold. Available for the last 100 years the round is superiour to all other shapes at light reflection and maximises the potential brightness of the diamond. The round has 58 facets cut into it which are distributed among the; Crown (top), Gridle (middle) & the Pavilion (base) and are placed precisely using a mathematical formula to optimise fire and brilliance.


The Princess shape is the most popular of the non round shapes and is very popular for engagement rings, unusually enough it is a relitively new shape having only been invented as reccently as 1980. The Princess shape is square with very pointed corners and sparkling facets. Due to it’s shape it can be very flattering to hands with long fingers. If you are thinking about a purchasing a diamond with a Princess shape bear in mind that some colour can be visible in the corners in diamonds with lower colour grades.


This unique looking shape is created by step cuts in a diamonds pavilion combined with a large open table which highlights the clarity (or lack of clarity) of the diamond. Given the size of this shapes table any inclusions as well as any colour present are more visible than in other shapes.


The Asscher shape was first produced by the Asscher brothers of Holland in 1902 and is the forerunner of the Emerald shape. It is almost identical to the emerald shape but is typically more square as opposed to the rectangular emerald shape. It has the same rectangualr facets cut into the pavillion but has larger step facets, a higher crown and a smaller table. The Asscher cut often produces more brilliance than the Emerald shape but like the Emerald shape will highlight a diamonds clarity (or lack thereof). Like the Princess shape colour will often be visible in the corners of diamonds with lower colour grades.


The Marquise shape is said to have been inspired by the Marquise de Pompadour and to have been commissioned by the Sun King (Louis the 14th of France) so he could be reminded of him. The Marquise shape is similar to an oval shape but with pointed ends and is fantastic at maximising carat weight giving the illusion of a much larger looking stone. The length of the shape serves to elongate fingers making them appear long and slender.


This Shape is very similar to the round but with elongated ends and like the round has high fire and brilliance. The oval is a very popular shape as it can make fingers appear long and slender and also its long length can give the illusion of greater size.


The Radiant is another square/rectangular shape but has trimmed corners instead of pointed ones. It employees a brillaint cut facet pattern on both its Crown and its Pavillion creating a vibrant and lively diamond. A Radiant shaped diamond is equally beautiful when complimented with round or square side diamonds.


The Pear shape, also called the Teardrop due to it’s single point and rounded end, is a combination of both the round and marquise shapes. Due to it’s long length it creates a slimming and elongating effect on fingers.


The Heart shape is the ultimate symbol of love and is essentially a pear shape with a cleft at the top.. The beauty of a stone with this shape depends entirely on the skill of the cutter as it is extremely difficult and must be perfectly symmetrical for the shape to work at all. It’s not recommended for diamonds under 0.5cts as the heart shape may be difficult to perceive on smaller stones.


The Cushion (also known as the Pillow) is an antique shape which was popularised in the the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Like the Radiant and Asscher cuts it is also square or rectangular in nature with rounded corners and large facets to increase brilliance.


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