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While looking for your perfect diamond choosing the diamond shape is an important step. Diamonds are cut in various different shapes. Depending on which shape suits you or your beloved one better you can set an individual tone of elegance. In order to make it easy for you, here is an overview over the different possibilities.
The classic diamond shape is the round brilliant cut. More than half of all sold diamonds are round brilliants and the shape itself is already a synonym for the word diamond. Origin and idea of this diamond shape is its maximized optical effect. The development of this popular cut took more than a century. Generations of diamond polishers and mathematicians worked on the perfection of the ideal proportions, the right alignment of its 57 facets that allow for a maximum in light performance. The actual price of a round brilliant is the loss of material when the diamond is cut: Up to 50% of the rough diamond weight is lost in the process. Brilliance describes the amount of light that is thrown back through the table by the harmonic alignment of facets within the diamond. Fire refers to the dispersion of light- the separation of white light into the rainbow colors. This is what you see when turning and moving the round brilliant: Thousands of colorful lights.
The princess cut is a popular mix of brilliant and step cuts. Its square form combined with a brilliant fire makes it an interesting alternative to the round brilliant cut. One major advantage is that due to the flexible type of finish and layout inclusions are less visible: The princess cut can have between 57 and 76 facets. The facets create additional fire which draws the attention from inclusions and hides them optically. Since there is a patent on the name international gemological institutes use the term “modified brilliant” in certificates. Last but not least one should pay attention to the gem stone´s ratio because every diamond exceeding 1.05 will appear rectangular. This does not necessarily make the diamond worse, but it simply does not meet everybody´s taste. Usually princess cuts are less expensive than round brilliants because about 80% of the rough diamond is preserved.
The emerald cut is the highest level of understatement. Originally the emerald cut was used mostly for emeralds. The parallel structure of its crown and pavilion makes it part of the step cut family. In comparison to brilliant cuts that emphasize brilliance and fire of the diamond, emerald cuts focus on color and clarity. One should always consider before buying an emerald cut: The large table facet allows for inclusions to be easily visible. More important for emerald cuts is also the polish that gives the diamond its remarkable luster on the surface. The amount of facets can vary, however, usually it has 57 facets – 25 in the crown and 32 in the pavilion. Last but not least the length to width ratio plays an important role that influences the appearance of emerald cuts. Traditionally the ratio lies between 1.3 to 1.7. Yet, also diamonds with differing ratios may be very beautiful gem stones. The higher the length to width ratio and when worn on the hand, the more an emerald cut can prolong one´s finger and make the hand appear thinner.
Comparable to the emerald cut the Asscher Cut also has 57 facets: The difference is mainly, that the Asscher cut is square and not rectangular. Just like in emerald cuts it is important to consider the clarity because just like it is true for emerald cuts, the Asscher cut has a large table facet which makes inclusions easily visible. The harmony of even side lengths and a mirror hall effect when looking through the table give the Asscher cut its own character – despite of being similar to the emerald cut. International gemological institutes describe the Asscher cut as a “Square Emerald Cut” in certificates.
The Marquise cut or „Navette“ shape (little boat) describes an elegant eliptic brilliant cut with two tapered ends. Having also 57 facets he is part of the brilliant cut family. Due to its length marquise cuts appear much larger than they really are: In comparison to a one carat round brilliant with an average diameter of 6.4 mm, the navette form sticks out with 10.5 mm length on average. The optical effect of prolonging the finger is a popular feature of this cut when set in a ring. Just like the emerald cut, the ratio between length and width is important. Marquise cuts are usually cut with a ratio of 1.75 to 2.25. Sometimes the cut comes with a so called „french tip“ which increases the diamond´s brilliance even more.
The pear cut is a mix of the round brilliant and marquise cuts. The cut is notable for its special design that is round on one side and tapered on the other. Modified brilliant cuts like marquise or oval are cut in different length to width ratios. The ideal ratio lies between 1.5 and 1.75. On account of a French tip the amount of facets may vary. Important for the pear cut is symmetry – if the gem stone´s shoulders are too prominent, the diamond´s outline may appear distorted.
Also for the heart cut symmetry plays a major role. The shoulders support also in this cut design the outline of the diamond and the most popular length to width ratio lies between 0.8 and 1.25. The amount of facets can vary, however, traditionally is about 58 to 59 facets depending on whether or not the gem stone has a culet. Even though a heart design might convey the most symbolic message it is considered a rather special shape. Only about 1% of our diamond supply is cut in heart shape. The reason for that is while some find the heart as the perfect diamond, most jewelry lovers tend to prefer traditional shapes like the round brilliant.
The oval cut is an interesting alternative for diamond lovers that prefer round shapes, yet would like to show a more individual style. The oval cut makes diamonds appear larger, and depending on the length to width ratio may also prolong the finger optically. The smaller the ratio, the rounder the gem stone, the greater the ratio, the longer seems the diamond. The popular ratio range is 1.33 to 1.66.
The Cushion cut is a favorite for antique diamond lovers that embrace modern cut techniques. Developed already in the 19th century the cushion cut is still popular today. The rectangular shape with its round corners resembles a cushion. The small table does not show the same brilliance like the round brilliant, however, the larger facets generate more fire and guarantee this shape´s own special charm. Traditionally, the cushion has 58 facets. The shape still seems square until a ratio of 1.05; from 1.1 upwards the cushion seems rectangular.
This cut is a special version of the mixed cuts that has usually 70 facets. Like the princess cut, the radiant cut combines brilliant and step cuts. Unlike the princess the radiant has round corners similar to the emerald cut whose corners are not tapered. These cut corners are and identification feature of the radiant. Also, the ratio is important: Up until 1.05 the radiant cut seems square. Nevertheless the radiant cut is very popular in rectangular shape, too. International gemological institutes describe this cut as “cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant” or “cut-cornered square modified brilliant” on their certificates.
Ideal length to width ratio
1.50 to 1.75
1.75 to 2.25
1.30 to 1.75
0.80 to 1.25