The different shapes of diamonds


The different shapes of diamond! Many people who are buying diamonds for the first time may mistakenly believe a diamond’s cut is synonymous with its shape. But, there are technical difference in the two terms. In this article we dive into the different shapes of diamonds and also what we mean when discussing diamond shape vs diamond cut.


The Different Shapes of Diamonds


diamond shape vs diamond cut


Diamond Shape vs Diamond Cut, what is the real difference?


First we will explore GIA’s (Gemological Institute of America) definition of the two – “A diamond’s shape refers to its outline when viewed face up. A diamond’s cut refers to its facet arrangement. Diamonds are renowned for their ability to transmit light and sparkle so intensely. The quality of cut is crucial to the diamond’s final beauty and value. Of all the 4Cs, it is the most complex and technically difficult to assess.”


diamond shapes and cuts


Diamond Shape


The shape of the diamond refers to its physical shape. According to many estimates, roughly 75% of all the diamonds sold in the world are of the round brilliant shape. This is because symmetrically-shaped diamonds refract the most light. And, since a rough, uncut diamond can lose up to 50% of its crystal during the cutting and polishing process, the round cut diamond yields the greatest brilliance while minimizing crystal loss. In the below picture, you will see the common different shapes of diamonds most people think of when they think of a diamond’s shape. We recommend you check out our guide on shapes titled Engagement Ring Cuts.


diamond shapes


According to GIA, “We often think of a diamond’s cut as shape (round, heart, oval, marquise, pear), but what diamond cut actually does mean how well a diamond’s facets interact with light. Precise artistry and workmanship are required to fashion a stone so its proportions, symmetry and polish deliver the magnificent return of light only possible in a diamond.”


Diamond Cut


A diamond’s cut refers to the shape, number, proportions, and angles of its facets. This can also include their symmetry. A variation on any of these aspects impacts how the finished product will reflect, refract and disperse light. A well-cut diamond will appear fiery and brilliant, making the most of the light entering it. However, if the diamond is poorly cut, the facets will be either too deep or shallow, resulting in a diamond which lacks its characteristic brilliance.


diamond cut


According to GIA, “Achieving the best cut for a diamond reflects in the stone’s final beauty and value. And of all the diamond 4Cs, it is the most complex and technically difficult to analyze. To determine the cut grade of the standard round brilliant diamond – the shape that dominates the majority of diamond jewelry – GIA calculates the proportions of those facets that influence the diamond’s face-up appearance.”



What Should I Consider When Deciding on a Shape and Cut?


Depending on the type of diamond jewelry you’re buying, you may want to choose the timeless round brilliant for one application but a marquise shape for another. For example, if you’re a woman with short fingers and a more petite hand, you may want a ring with a narrow band and a marquise diamond to help elongate your hand and fingers.


On the other hand, if you have longer fingers, a cushion diamond may better complement your hand. Either way, you may have to try on a few rings to figure which bands and diamond cuts and shapes will work best for you.


Ultimately, the setting, cut, and shape you choose should complement your personality and style. While one person may prefer a solitary pear diamond on a gold band, someone else may prefer a multi-gem setting with a primary princess diamond.


So, whether you’re shopping for yourself or for a loved one this year, keep these tips in mind for a much less stressful diamond shopping experience.


We hope you found this article on the different shapes of diamonds helpful! Please comment and share which shape you prefer!


Also, if you’re in the market for an engagement ring James Allen has you covered!




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Engagement Ring Cuts

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Diamond Cut Types
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