10 Common Cuts of Diamonds Explained

Diamonds are universally loved for their brilliance, rarity and beauty. However, purchasing a diamond can feel like cracking a code, because there are so many factors that affect the look and value of the stone. One key factor to consider when preparing to buy a diamond is the cut. There are hundreds of different cuts of diamonds, ranging from antique cuts to modern cuts.

The cut of the stone not only determines its shape, but also its brilliance and ability to refract light back toward the viewer. Each cut has its own properties, pros, and cons. Some cuts of diamonds appear much larger for their carat weight than others, while others have potential flaws you need to look for before agreeing to purchase.

Cuts of diamonds examples

Round Brilliant

The Round Brilliant is the most popular of all diamond cuts. It is characterised with fifty-seven perfectly aligned facets which create an unparalleled brilliance. The cut of the round brilliant is designed to optimise internal refraction, resulting in the brightest possible looking stone. Due to how sought after rounds are, you can expect to pay slightly more for a round stone than another cut of the same carat weight. Round brilliants are the only cut of diamonds which will have a cut grade on their certificate.

Oval Cut

Ovals have quickly become one of the most sought after cuts of diamonds over the past few years. This is in part thanks to celebrity influence from the likes of Hailey Bieber, Blake Lively and Kourtney Kardashian, but also because ovals are extremely flattering on the finger. They are also usually cut from shallower rough than other diamond cuts, resulting in a larger spread for the money spent.

One thing to look out for when buying an oval diamond is the dreaded “bow tie” effect. This is a black shadow in the form of two triangles around the girdle of the stone. It is caused by a poor cut, so make sure you view your stone in person or via video before committing.

Princess Cut

Princess cut diamonds are square shaped and angular, giving a modern look to any piece of jewellery. A princess cut diamond is square on the top with bevelled sides and comes in at a point underneath. In fact, princess cuts most closely resemble what a child might draw when tasked with drawing a diamond.

Cushion Cut

Cushion cut diamonds are an increasingly popular shape for modern engagement rings. The cushion diamond cut is a cross between the round brilliant cut and a princess – essentially a softened square with rounded off corners. You can also source elongated cushions which are more rectangular in appearance.

Pear Shape

Pear cut diamonds are shaped like a tear, or pear with one end rounded and the opposite end coming to a fine point. One of the lest common diamond cuts for engagement rings, the pear has been popular with celebrities for some time. Pears elongate the finger and flatter any shape of hand.

Emerald Cut

Emerald cuts are the first of the step-cut diamond shapes. Different to brilliant cuts which rely on refraction from a large number of small facets, step cuts feature fewer large flat facets which create an internal hall of mirrors effect within the stone. Of all cuts of diamonds, step-cuts require a higher quality colour and clarity of the stone to look good as the lack of facets prevents any imperfections from being able to hide.

Asscher Cut

Asscher cut is the name attributed to a square emerald cut diamond. Asscher have a distinct art deco appearance and are one of the more rare cuts of diamonds.

Radiant Cut

Radiant cut diamonds are less common than any of the other angular diamond cuts. They are between an emerald cut and a brilliant, so feature the clean lines of an emerald with the internal facets of a brilliant.

Marquise Cut

One of the more unusual cuts of diamonds, marquise are characterised by their elongated appearance. The oval shape of the stone meets in two points at each end, giving the appearance of a long spread. Marquise diamonds actually have the largest spread to weight ratio of all diamond cuts, so are the perfect choice if you are looking for some bang for your buck.

Heart Shaped Diamond

The most whimsical of all the diamond cuts, heart shaped diamonds feature brilliant facets resulting in a lovely sparkle. While this diamond shape is not popular with everyone, it has a dedicated fan base for whom nothing else will do.

Now you are well versed in the different diamond shapes, it may be time for you to choose the perfect engagement ring for your partner. We think you’ve got this in the bag!

What is an Asscher cut?
A square-shaped diamond with a small table, step facets and high crown
What is a Calf cut?
A modified trapezoid diamond has an extra side compared to the standard trapezoid diamond which has four sides with the top and bottom being parallel while the sides slant inwards
What is a Cushion cut?
A round-edged square cut diamond
What is an Emerald cut?
A round-edged rectangular-shaped diamond with an open and large table
What is an European cut?
Antique diamond-cut created before high precision diamonds were made from modern technology.
What is a Half moon cut?
A half-round and half-oval shaped diamond with a straight edge.
What is a Heart cut?
Heart shaped diamond normally found in solitaire settings
What is a Marquise cut?
A diamond that is Narrow and long like an American football. Prongs are set on each side so that the points can be protected from chipping
What is a Oval cut?
An oval-shaped diamond that comes in a variety of wide and narrow sizes
What is a Pear cut?
A mixture between a round and marquise diamond shape that comes in a variety of wide and narrow sizes
What is a Princess cut?
A lower price per carat fancy princess diamond cut is popular due to the minimal waste produced from rough diamond cutting.
What is a Round cut?
A circular shaped round diamond which is the most popular shape for engagement rings
What is a Straight Trillion?
An original formed triangular-shaped diamond cut
What is a Curved Trillion?
A curved variation of the triangle stone. A modern-day variation to the original triangular-shaped diamond cut.
What is a Trillion cut?
A triangular-shaped diamond that is mostly used to frame a square diamond.
What is a Radiant cut?
Similar to an emerald diamond, it is a squared or rectangular diamond with a reduction in curved edges


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