The 101 on Diamond Shapes
The 101 on Diamond Shapes

The 101 on Diamond Shapes

Whether you're designing your dream engagement ring or choosing a diamond eternity band to complement it, diamond cuts always play an important part in the decision. Choosing the perfect diamond cut for a special piece of jewelry comes down to personal taste, but there are certain pros and cons that come with each cut that may sway your opinion.

Learn about the nuances of each shape and discover which one speaks to your personal style. From the classic brilliance of round cuts to the unique allure of step cuts like emerald and Asscher, there's a diamond shape waiting to make your dream piece come to life.

Here's everything you need to know about each diamond shape.


Anything outside of a round brilliant is called a fancy shape diamond. Fancy shape diamonds only receive a polish and symmetry GIA grade, as opposed to the round brilliant, which receives the official grade of cut, polish, and symmetry. Every stone on this list has a brilliant cut except for the emerald and the Asscher, which are step cuts. Brilliant cut diamonds will catch your eye from across the room, while step cuts are understated but are just as beautiful up close.

2.01 Round in Whisper Thin® with Hidden Halo Natural Diamond Ring Platinum

ROUND

The round brilliant is traditionally the most popular diamond on the market. It is the only perfectly symmetrical shape and offers unmatched brilliance. Rounds are the only shape GIA gives a cut grade. It is important to purchase only Excellent Cut rounds, as this is the only characteristic that impacts sparkle and brilliance. They hide color and clarity exceptionally well, allowing you to go up to two grades lower in color and clarity. Rounds are the most expensive shape per carat because the diamond cutter loses the most rough diamond in the process.

2.01 Round in Whisper Thin® with Hidden Halo
$26,800
2.50 Oval in the Whisper Thin® with Hidden Halo Natural Diamond Ring 14kt Yellow Gold/Platinum

OVAL

Oval-cut diamonds are among our most requested styles because their elongated shape creates the illusion of greater size and makes the finger of the wearer appear longer and slimmer. Their ratio can vary from a shorter, rounder shape to a thinner, longer shape. Most clients prefer to work in the 1.35-1.50 ratio range. Oval-cut diamonds hide clarity very well but will show warmth in the tips in I and J colors.

Pro-Tip: Beware The Bow-Tie 

The bow-tie effect is when there is less reflection due to where the facets are placed, creating a shadow that looks like two triangles with pointy ends together like a bow tie! Most oval-cut diamonds possess some degree of bow-tie, varying from near invisible to severe.

2.50 Oval in the Whisper Thin® with Hidden Halo
$25,050
3.09 Emerald Cut in the Whisper Thin® Three Stone with Tapered Baguettes  Lab Grown Diamond Ring Platinum

EMERALD

The unique look of the emerald cut diamond is created by the step cuts of its pavilion and large, open table. Instead of the sparkle of a brilliant-cut, emerald cut diamonds produce a hall-of-mirrors effect. Emerald cuts, like Asschers (below), mask color very well, but not inclusions (VS2 or better is recommended). They are the more popular of the two step cut shapes since their elongation makes them appear larger than Asschers.

3.09 Emerald Cut in the Whisper Thin® Three Stone with Tapered Baguettes
$17,050
Front view of the 3.05 Asscher Natural Diamond Ring set in a 14k Yellow Gold Whisper Thin with Platinum Prongs

ASSCHER

Asscher, or square emerald, is a step cut diamond. Because of this, they hide color very well but will show inclusions in SI1 or SI2 clarities. Their large step facets, higher crown, and smaller table allow them to produce more brilliance than their emerald cut counterparts. The cropped corners give the asscher cut a somewhat octagonal shape.

3.05 Asscher in the Whisper Thin®
$34,850
3.01 Pear in the Whisper Thin®

PEAR

Also called "teardrop," a pear-cut diamond gets its name because of its single point and rounded end. The unique shape is a way to make a bit more of a statement. Like ovals, pear-cut diamonds have a slimming effect on fingers, especially when they have an elongated length-to-width ratio. More than any other diamond shape, pear-cut diamonds appear the largest for their carat weight. While the length to width ratio of a classic pear shaped diamond is 1.40-1.70, a wider shape is preferred for a solitaire ring. Pears mask inclusions very well but tend to show warmth in their tips in lower colors.

3.01 Pear in the Whisper Thin®
$49,215
4.12 Old European in the Oculus

EURO

Old European cut diamonds are an antique round most well known for their chunkier facets and understated brilliance. OEC diamonds are known for their larger facets, which give them a petal-like sparkle and an open culet. Antique cut diamonds face up to 2 shades whiter than their GIA color grade, making them an excellent value as you can safely go down to a K color and still appear very white.

4.12 Old European in the Oculus
$16,300
Ring Concierge Engagement Rings 2.08 Old Mine Natural Diamond Ring

OLD MINE

Old Mine cut diamonds are antique cushion-cut diamonds with the same type of brilliance, color, and clarity-hiding properties as the Old European cut. Developed in 18th century Europe, old mine cushion cuts have a slightly curved edge that forms a soft square. They were made with a variety of facet patterns, but always with a small table, a high crown, and a larger culet. These diamonds were cut by hand and have a more natural, unprocessed look. If you compare one of these stones to a modern brilliant cut, you will notice the pattern reflected has more sculptural triangles than slivers of light.


The Old Mine cut was the earliest form of the brilliant cut, which means that the diamond was cut to allow the stone to sparkle under even the dimmest candlelight of the era.

2.08 Old Mine in the Whisper Thin® Pavé with Hidden Halo
$28,200
Ring Concierge Engagement Rings 2.85 Radiant Natural Diamond Ring

RADIANT

Radiant-cut diamonds have straight edges and cut corners, just as in the Emerald Cut, but feature brilliant faceting. Radiant-cut diamonds hide both color and clarity very well, making them an excellent value. Elongated Radiants appear larger than square Radiants, making them the more sought after ratio.

2.85 Radiant in the Whisper Thin®
$34,400
3.61 Cushion in the Cloud Solitaire Matte Finish

CUSHION

The standards for a cushion cut vary more than most other shapes. While generally less brilliant than round brilliant diamonds, cushion-cut diamonds often have better fire, which is part of their appeal. The most prevalent modern cushion is the Cushion Modified Brilliant, which has an extra row of facets, giving it a crushed iced appearance. In contrast, a cushion brilliant has larger, fewer facets, and sparkles more similarly to a round brilliant. The typical requested shape is elongated, with a 1.10-1.25 length to width. Cushions hide inclusions very well and are known for their soft, pillow-like shape.

3.61 Cushion in the Cloud Solitaire Matte Finish
$11,800
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