You almost certainly know about the 4 C’s of diamonds: carat, color, clarity, and cut. But while diamond shape isn’t one of the official C’s, a diamond’s shape certainly affects each of the C’s.
For example, while a one-carat round-cut diamond may be the same weight as a one-carat emerald cut, the shape alone causes extreme differences in the clarity, visual size, and dimensions of the two stones.
Here at Jewelry Design Center, diamonds are one of the pillars of our business. We’re here to provide a handy guide to our customers to help them understand the distinctions of the different shapes, their value, and what you can expect from them.
The Round Cut
The world’s most popular shape, round cuts are beloved for also being the most fiery (colorful flashes) and scintillating (white flashes) diamonds available. Their compactness hides some imperfections and allows them to easily be set in most engagement rings
. However, this shape can also be fairly expensive, due to its popularity and the inefficiency of cutting round shapes from rough stone.
The Princess Cut
Princess-cut diamonds are the second-most popular diamond shape, and it’s not hard to see why. They’re truly exotic shapes, given their brilliant nature (like round cuts) and striking right angles. The princess cut was also invented in the 70s, which makes them extremely modern choices. They’re significantly less expensive than round-cut diamonds, but they can be fragile due to their sharp corners—if you decide on a princess cut diamond, you may want to think about picking a setting that protects these angles.
The Asscher Cut
Much like the princess cut, the Asscher-cut diamond has a square profile, though its corners are clipped. This shape was invented by Joseph Asscher in 1902, and its vintage beauty was a common feature of Art Nouveau and Art Deco jewelry. As a stepped cut, its table does not sparkle like a brilliant cut. However, what it lacks in fire, it makes up for it with the internal “hall of mirrors” flashes of black and white, as well as the amazing “windmill” pattern inside.
The Emerald Cut
Far older than the Asscher cut, the emerald-cut diamond shape nonetheless shares many details with Asscher cuts, including its rectangular profile, clipped corners, and “hall of mirror” effect. One of the longest shapes, the extremely long table shows off the clarity of the stone better than any other shape. If you’ve chosen a high-clarity emerald cut, people will be able to easily admire its purity.
The Oval Cut
Much like the princess cut, the oval-cut diamond is one of the modern diamond shapes. Invented in the 1960s, the oval cut blends the brilliance of a round cut and the length of an emerald-cut diamond. If you’re looking to create the illusion of added length on your finger, you may prefer an oval cut. However, their arrangement of facets creates the “bow-tie effect,” which is an area of darkness at the heart of the stone. Well-cut oval-cut diamonds minimize this effect, so it’s important to choose a high-quality oval cut.
The Cushion Cut
Popular since the 1800s, the cushion cut has been altered and reinvented a half-dozen times to play with its facets. Cushion cuts, as the name implies, are shaped like cushions, with rounded edges and soft corners. Their unique facets may provide less scintillation than round-cut diamonds, but if well-cut, a cushion cut diamond can provide more fire. Also, if you have a colored diamond, the cushion cut is the ideal shape, since this shape captures light and showcases color better than any other shape.
The Marquise Cut
The story behind the marquise cut is that it was designed to mimic the beautiful lips of the Madame de Pompadour, the mistress to King Louis XV. This shape is perhaps the most unique, thanks to its double points and sharply curving sides. Those points are delicate, but the effect of a marquise-cut diamond is striking thanks to its extreme length, brilliance, and slenderness. While still relatively rare as a center stone, marquise cuts are becoming more and more popular among women who want a unique diamond that stands out for its simple elegance.
Learn More about Diamond Shapes at Jewelry Design Center
If you’d like to learn more about diamond shapes, particularly those we offer at Jewelry Design Center, don’t hesitate to give our showrooms a call to learn more: 509-487-5905 for our Spokane location or 509-579-0456 for our Kennewick storefront!