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Guide to Diamond Shapes

February 6th, 2023

Diamonds in various cuts, including round and oval pieces.Introduction to Diamond Shapes

A girl’s best friend, the world’s favorite gemstone, and the hardest substance on the planet, diamonds have always made for the most incredible jewelry. Many opt for diamonds in their engagement rings because they retain strength and beauty over many years. They also visually represent the unique beauty and impenetrable strength of marital love. 

The shapes in which diamonds are cut determine how they reflect light and the silhouette they bring to engagement rings. Our team here at Gerald Peters has put together this guide to the most common diamond shapes you’ll encounter when shopping for your perfect engagement ring to help you feel prepared for your experience. 

Front view of a round cut diamond.

Round Cut Diamonds

The timeless round cut is, by far, the most popular diamond cut, making up about 75% of all engagement rings sold. These stones are phenomenally brilliant, exhibiting 58 facets reflecting light to the viewer from a multitude of angles, making them brighter than any other diamond cut. Round cut diamonds are also incredibly versatile, working wonderfully well with almost any engagement ring, from simplistic solitaires to elaborate halo or side stone settings. 

This classic cut has been developed over many years by the expertise of talented and experienced diamond experts, so you can trust that by selecting a round cut diamond you’re getting the best of the best. It is always a great option, especially for those with a proclivity toward clean lines and timeless aesthetics. 

Princess Cut Diamonds 

The second most popular cut is the princess. Named for the regality it communicates, these stones are bold and modern, characterized by a square silhouette from the overhead view and an inverted pyramid from the stone’s profile. The geometric shape and sharp corners are massively eye-catching, making it a perfect choice for anyone looking for a ring that is more contemporary and attention-grabbing. 

Princess cuts masterfully blend a feminine aesthetic with an architectural edge. Play up this cut’s boldness with a sparkling halo or sidestone setting, or increase the feminine feel of the ring with pink accent stones or a rose gold setting. While a modern allure sets this cut apart from the rest, they are sure to last in beauty and appeal for years. 

Oval cut diamond ring with a halo setting, worn by a lady holding hands with her husband.

Oval Cut Diamonds

Similar in brilliance to the round cut, the oval cut is an elongated shape with softly rounded corners. It produces a phenomenally romantic feel reminiscent of Princess Di’s sapphire and diamond halo engagement ring. This cut also makes the wearer’s finger appear long and slender. Specific facet placement creates immense brilliance.

While these are certainly stunning when emphasized by elaborate, romantic settings, they are also equally as exquisite in solitaire settings that allow the soft, subtle curves of the shape to take center stage. Oval cut diamonds also typically offer greater surface area than a round cut stone of the same carat weight. 

Emerald Cut Diamonds

Reminiscent of the bustling and bold Art Deco era, emerald cut diamonds are sharply geometric like the princess cut. A rectangular silhouette with parallel facets creates a mesmerizing “hall of mirrors” effect that gives the viewer direct insight into the stone's clarity. Therefore, only incredibly clear stones should be used for this cut, as any inclusions or faults will be much more readily visible. 

Only 3% of diamonds worldwide are emerald cut, making it one of the rarest diamond cuts.  ideal for someone looking for a more distinctive engagement ring. Similarly to the oval cut, the emerald cut also elongates the wearer's finger and creates a dainty effect. 

Engagement ring with pear shaped diamond set between two wedding bands.

Pear Shaped Diamonds

The pear shape, also known as the teardrop, is wonderfully distinctive. It is one of the few that is not vertically and horizontally symmetrical. These stones feature one rounded end, like the oval cut, and one pointed end, creating a water droplet shape. The softly rounded end contrasts with the sharp geometric point, creating visual dynamism and interest. 

These unique stones can vary significantly in size and shape, some with longer, slenderer silhouettes while others are shorter and wider. They can be arranged on a ring with the point at the top or bottom or even the left or right for an atypical, asymmetrical ring. 

Radiant Cut Diamonds

Essentially a rectangular version of the classic brilliant round, radiant cut diamonds feature an astounding 70 individual facets that give off a spectacular show of light, making this cut one of the most faceted. This cut is typically sought after by those who prefer the contemporary look of a princess or emerald cut stone and the exceptional sparkle of the popular round cut, combining some of the most spectacular aspects of a few of the most popular diamond shapes. 

Radiant cuts are also sought after because of their cost efficiency. Though they are comparably brilliant, they are nearly 30% less expensive than a round cut stone of the same quality and carat size. 

Cushion cut diamond set in an engagement ring with a diamond halo, accentuated by pave side stones. Worn on a woman’s hand pressed against her significant other’s chin.

Cushion Cut Diamonds

Like the princess cut, the cushion cut features a squared, symmetrical shape softened by rounded corners, creating a shape reminiscent of a pillow or a cushion, hence its name. Subtler and slightly more romantic than the princess cut, this shape retains the sparkle and allure of the princess. 

These stones look incredible in halo settings that play up their size and brilliance. The third most popular cut is timeless and versatile, allowing designers to experiment with a plethora of settings and silhouettes to satisfy almost any aesthetic preference. 

Several diamond cuts. From the top left to the bottom: Radiant, princess, vintage cushion, Asscher, round, oval, brilliant cushion, heart, teardrop, and marquise.

Find Diamonds at Gerald Peters

At Gerald Peters, it has been our supreme joy to play a small role in the spectacular love stories of our customers by providing them with designer engagement rings and wedding bands of the highest quality. Our Staten Island jewelry store is pristine and welcoming, staffed with a team of experienced professionals that are ever amiable and ever prepared to guide you through our extensive inventory to find the piece that best suits your needs. Contact us today for more information on our products and services, or feel free to browse our inventory online at your convenience.