Complete Diamond Shape Guide: Types of Gemstone Cuts for Rings

A diamond shape is different from a diamond cut. The cut of a diamond is a rating, expressing how well light reflects off the diamond's many faces. The diamond shape, on the other hand, expresses the geometric outline of a diamond, as viewed from above.

Learn about the different shapes from which you can select a diamond. Find out what makes each shape distinct, unique, and beautiful. And, see how the diamond shape is central to the optical beauty and character of a ring or piece of jewelry. 

The Complete Diamond Shape Guide: Selecting a Shape for Your Diamond

When designing your custom ring, the diamond shape is central to the overall look and style. Or, you might look for a shape that complements a physical feature on the recipient. But, overall, your final decision should be determined by whichever shape you think is the most attractive, striking, and apt to your ring.

When you shop for a diamond, you hear “the 4-C’s” referenced. The 4-C’s of diamonds stand for Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat. The 4-C’s are an expression of a diamond's dimensions, qualities, and proportions – not the optical shape of a diamond.

The 4-C’s of diamonds tell you about how well light travels through the diamond, which is a judgment on the natural clarity and polishing quality. This attribute is called brilliance, while fire refers to the amount of color that flashes through the diamond. And, scintillation expresses the reflective qualities of moving light through a diamond.

When it comes to the diamond shape, it is an aesthetic choice. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So, these are the options from which to choose for diamond shape:

Classic Round Diamond

If you want the classic engagement ring, a round diamond is a popular and traditional choice. The round diamond shape has the optimal proportions to maximize the amount of light reflecting on the stones cut facades. A round diamond offers the most balanced attributes, between the cut, color, and clarity of the stone.  

Cushion Diamond

The cushion shape is traditional and elegant and compliments vintage 20th-century glamour. A cushion shape diamond is generally rectangular or square with beveled corners. The facets of a cushion shape are larger than many others, increasing the optical brilliance of light shining through the diamond.

Unlike shapes with smaller facets, cushion shape facets easily reveal inclusions and imperfections. Diamonds of a lower clarity grade can be especially revealing of imperfections. So, be sure to look over the diamond certificate, and talk to your jeweler about the best diamond shape for your budget.

Princess Diamond

Another popular choice for engagement rings is a princess shape diamond. The princess shape features a square shape with pointed corners and a low crown. This shape is more contemporary than the classic round or cushion diamond. 

The princess shape is designed to optimize the optical sparkle and brilliance of light as it reflects around the facets of the diamond. Because of the non-round nature of the princess shape, diamonds with a lower color grade tend to show color variations where the stone comes to a point at the corners. If your budget doesn’t permit a princess diamond with a high color grade, ask your jeweler to see shapes with fewer sharp-angled corners. 

Emerald Shape Diamond

An emerald shape is a great choice for diamonds with a high clarity and color grade. Similar to a cushion shape, the emerald is a pavilion shape with cascading rectangular facets. Because of the shapes of large, open-faced facets, it is important to make sure the diamond of your choice does not show visible inclusions or imperfections. 

Asscher Diamond

The Asscher shape diamond features a square silhouette, pointed cutlets, and sharp-angled square corners. An Asscher diamond shape is often confused with an emerald shape because they both feature the same style of pavilion cascaded facets. The difference with the Asscher, however, is that it tends to accentuate brilliance more than clarity or color, because of the more petite square facets. 

Radiant Shape Diamond

A radiant-shaped diamond has elements of the emerald shape, as well as the optical features of a round brilliant diamond cut. More than any other contemporary diamond shape, the radiant is uniquely kite-shaped to enhance the stone's optical depth. Radiant diamonds feature an open facet on the top and trimmed corners, which accentuate the brilliance and clarity of the stone. 

Marquise Diamond Shape

If you’re interested in a contemporary diamond shape that is delicate and unique, the marquise shape is a great choice. The diamond is shaped like an oval that comes to fine points. It is brilliant-cut, to show the optimal number of facets to accentuate the brilliance and scintillation of the diamond. 

Oval Shape Diamond

The oval diamond is a classic and timeless shape that features an elegant and versatile style. The oval shape has the distinction of being non-round, which is ideal for a contemporary – yet, classic diamond. Like the classic round shape, an oval shape accentuates and highlights the brilliance and fire of the diamond.  

Pear-shape Diamond

The pear diamond shape resembles a teardrop, blending optical elements of a classic round diamond and an oval. Like round diamonds, the teardrop shape optimizes a diamond's brilliance, while offering a more unique and modern option for engagement rings, earrings, and more. Pear-shaped diamonds are available in a variety of proportions to best fit the finger of the one wearing them.  

Heart Diamond

A heart-shaped diamond is an exquisite ring choice for special occasions, like anniversaries or Valentine's day. Exuding pure-romance, the heart shape is the classic and ageless symbol of love and affection. When looking at heart-shaped diamonds, look for a higher color-grade to avoid coloration in the points of the heart-shape.

Each different diamond features unique and aesthetically intriguing qualities that are highlighted by the shape. When it comes to choosing the right diamond shape for your engagement ring or special occasion, it comes down to what you think is beautiful. See the diamond shape choices by browsing the store, and talk to a jeweler for a free consultation about the best diamond for your preferences and budget.