DIAMOND SHAPES BRILLIANT.OVAL.MARQUISE.PEAR.HEART.EMERALD.PRINCESS.RADIANT.OR CUSHION.
The classic diamond is, to most people, a round gem of sparkling white brilliance with a kaleidoscope of dazzling facets to entice the eye. Yes and no. Diamonds are natural crystals of varying size and shape formed in the earth over millions of years. The traditional round brilliant diamond, though the most popular diamond shape of all, is hardly the whole story.
By the diamond cutter's art these crystals are carved into gems of spectacular and whimsical beauty. A cutter's skill will produce a diamond of the greatest size with the fewest flaws and the most brilliance.
ROUND BRILLIANT DIAMOND
This shape has set the standard for all other diamond shapes, and accounts for more than 75% of diamonds sold today. Its 58-facet cut, divided among its crown (top), girdle (widest part) and pavilion (base), is calibrated through a precise formula to achieve the maximum in fire and brilliance.
PRINCESS CUT DIAMOND
This is a square or rectangular cut with numerous sparkling facets. It is a relatively new cut and often finds its way into solitaire engagement rings. Flattering to a hand with long fingers, it is often embellished with triangular stones at its sides. Because of its design, this cut requires more weight to be directed toward the diamond's depth in order to maximize brilliance. Depth percentages of 70% to 78% are not uncommon.
MARQUISE CUT DIAMOND
An elongated shape with pointed ends inspired by the fetching smile of the Marquise de Pompadour and commissioned by the Sun King, France's Louis XIV, who wanted a diamond to match it. It is gorgeous when used as a solitaire or when enhanced by smaller diamonds.
PEAR SHAPE DIAMOND
A hybrid cut, combining the best of the oval and the marquise, it is shaped most like a sparkling teardrop. It also belongs to that category of diamond whose design most complements a hand with small or average-length fingers. It is particularly beautiful for diamond pendants or diamond earrings.
HEART SHAPE DIAMOND
This ultimate symbol of romance is essentially a pear-shaped diamond with a cleft at the top. The skill of the cutter determines the beauty of the cut. Look for a stone with an even shape and a well-defined outline.
EMERALD CUT DIAMOND
This is a rectangular shape with cut corners. It is known as a step cut because its concentric broad, flat planes resemble stair steps. Since inclusions and inferior color are more pronounced in this particular cut, take pains to select a stone of superior clarity and color.
OVAL SHAPE DIAMOND
An even, perfectly symmetrical design popular among women with small hands or short fingers. Its elongated shape gives a flattering illusion of length to the hand.
RADIANT CUT DIAMOND
This square or rectangular cut combines the elegance of the emerald shape diamond with the brilliance of the round, and its 70 facets maximize the effect of its color refraction. Because of its design, this cut requires more weight to be directed toward the diamond's depth in order to maximize brilliance. Depth percentages of 70% to 78% are not uncommon.
CUSHION CUT DIAMOND
An antique style of cut that looks like a cross between an Old Mine Cut (a deep cut with large facets that was common in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries) and a modern oval cut.