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Diamond Shape
Diamond cutting began in the 14th century with around seven shapes, which have now evolved into 10 contemporary diamond styles that are internationally recognised as the industry standard. Each of the shape's unique characteristics influence the diamond's appearance, quality and overall feel.
  • Round
    Round brilliant is by far the most popular diamond shape and is one of the hardest to cut. It was invented by a mathematician from Belgium, Marcel Tolkowsky, in 1919. He came from a family of diamond cutters, and that year he wrote his doctoral thesis on diamond proportion and symmetry before pioneering the cut that millions of people have worn on their engagement fingers. The round brilliant cut contains 58 facets, and is considered to optimise a diamond's brilliance and fire more than any other cut through its perfect proportions and symmetry. Choosing a round brilliant cut can allow for greater compromise on colour, cut and clarity.
  • Princess
    A princess cut is the second most popular shape for diamond engagement rings and is usually square, but can sometimes be rectangular. This more modern design wasn't invented until the 1980s and offers equal brilliance to the round brilliant cut, but with a more unique and contemporary style. Princess diamonds with a lower colour grade may concentrate colour spots in its sharp corners. Therefore, it's wise to consider princess diamonds with a high colour grade.
  • Emerald
    Emerald diamonds are typically cut into a rectangle shape, which is actually the most similar to the natural shape of a diamond. They are comprised of a large flat table surface surrounded by step cuts, which results in a more antique appearance than more contemporary diamond shapes. A high colour and clarity grade should be a priority when choosing emerald diamonds, as inclusions, blemishes and colour can be easily exposed within their large, open table.
  • Asscher
    Asscher diamonds are very similar in appearance to emerald diamonds, but have a square shape, larger step cuts, and more dramatic corners. Such proportions will also attract greater colour visibility to its corners, meaning an asscher diamond with a high colour grade is recommended. Diamonds of this type will also reflect light better than an emerald diamond and will contain more fire. This cut also has a vintage and stately feel.
  • Marquise
    The marquise's elongated shape is known to make smaller diamonds appear larger, and its name was allegedly inspired by the beautiful mouth of the French King Louis XV's official chief mistress, Marquise de Pompadour. Like the oval cut, this style modifies the round brilliant cut, and is typically set with stones on either side to complement its lean shape.
  • Oval
    Oval diamonds contain the same facets and design philosophy as the round brilliant cut, only within an elongated shape. While this will increase the diamond's brilliance the same way a round brilliant cut does, oval diamonds are more likely to attract a dark shadow down their centre in a bowtie shape (commonly called the 'bowtie effect') if they aren't precisely cut.
  • Radiant
    Radiant diamonds are similar in appearance to emerald diamonds at first glance, but are typically shinier due to their brilliant cut patterns on their crown and pavilion areas. Invented over two decades ago, radiant diamonds are known as the first of the 'fancy cut' diamond range. As they tend to enhance colour due to their unique shape, they are considered a favourable cut for those seeking fancy-coloured diamonds.
  • Pear
    Pear-shaped diamonds combine the round and marquis diamond designs into a teardrop shape with a brilliant cut. Elegant and classy, pear diamonds may create the illusion of a slimmer finger when worn with the point facing upwards.
  • Heart
    Heart-shaped diamonds are unsurprisingly a popular choice for lovers. They are a modification of the round brilliant cut, and perform best when they are cut perfectly symmetrically, with even arches on either side and a fine cleft. As this shape also attracts colour to its corners, it should only be chosen with a high colour grade to maximise its value.
  • Cushion
    Also known as the 'pillow cut' due to its cushiony shape, this diamond cut was once hugely popular before it was eclipsed by the round brilliant cut. The cut's design has since changed to adopt more rounded corners and larger facets, such as those used by round brilliant diamonds, to enhance its brilliance. Similar to radiant diamonds, cushion diamonds typically distribute colour evenly across the stone and are a popular choice for fancy-coloured diamonds. However, its large facets may also reveal inclusions and/or blemishes that might not be detectable in other cuts; therefore, a high colour grade is advised when choosing a cushion diamond.
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