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Diamonds – different shapes and cuts explained.

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cut and polished diamond

Diamond Shapes and Cuts

When shopping for diamond wedding
or engagement rings everyone is looking for the same thing – something
different! One way of adding a unique touch to a ring is simply to
choose a different cut of diamond. It means you can still choose a
classic ring design without compromising on individuality.

Cut & Shape

There is a lot of confusion about the
difference between diamond cuts and shapes. Cut refers to the symmetry,
proportioning and polish of a diamond, but not its overall shape. That’s
not to underplay the importance of cuts –cut has a great impact upon its
perceived brilliance, and poorly-cut stones will appear less luminous.

Diamond cutting and shaping goes back to
the Middle Ages, and several different cuts have been developed to make
the most of each gemstone’s material properties. The cut is usually a
symmetrical arrangement of facets that serve to modify the shape and
appearance of a diamond. Cutters will consider the size and shape of the
diamond before selecting a cut. Innovation continues in this area, as
laser cutting and computer-aided design enable a new generation of
cutting edge
shapes with complexity and optical performance that
hasn’t been seen before.

Round Brilliant

Round Brilliant is the most popular shape
for diamonds, and its facet arrangement and proportions have been
perfected over hundreds of years through mathematical and empirical
analysis. Today’s Brilliant cut produces an eye-catching sparkle and
light reflection.

Safe shape


diamond proportions and facet names

Diamond proportions and facet
names, for the round brilliant cut. Figures 1 and 2 of

. Edited to omit brand names and other context.
Copyright 2001 by Jasper Paulsen.

different shapes of diamonds

Elliptical Oval diamonds started being manufactured around fifty
years ago. The egg-shaped stones have 58 facets that enhance its
visual appearance in terms of sparkle and light reflection. The
rounded points on an oval-shaped stones can’t be easily chipped
and damaged, and its round shape means it gleams unlike diamonds
with many facets.

Pear / Teardrop

Pear is also known as Teardrop,
for obvious reasons. For this shape, one peak is sharpened while the
other is curved. Pear-shaped diamonds work really well for pendants and
earrings, as the shape looks very elegant hanging down. Pear diamonds
can break easily if the jeweller has tapered-in the narrow side too


Emerald is a gemstone as well as a
rectangular gemstone shape that can be applied to diamonds. In this
shape, width is twice length and depth is at around 60%.


Radiant diamonds have a similar
outline to an Emerald shape, with the main difference being the
underside of the stone. Radiant stones have more facets underneath that
create more pronounced light refraction when viewing the top of the


The most romantic diamond shape is
the heart, usually given as a Valentine’s Day or anniversary gift rather
than as a wedding or engagement ring. The heart-shaped diamond has
emerged from a pear or teardrop shape, with the curved end of the stone
split in two.


Princess is the second most
popular shape of diamond. It looks like an inverted pyramid, with the
wide end at the top of the ring.


Asscher diamonds have similar
facts to an Emerald diamond, but an Asscher ends up square with cut
corners, instead of rectangular like Emerald. They appear Art Deco in
design style, with the shape developed by the Assscher brothers from


Cushion or pillow shapes were very
fashionable during Victorian times, and is making a comeback among those
who love vintage style. They can also be known as “candlelight diamonds”
as they offer a spectacular glow when placed near a candle. It’s a
58-faceted pattern in a rectangular or square shape.

Trilliant and Trielle

Triangular diamonds come fall
under two categories; Trilliant are slightly curved while Trielle have
straight sides. Trilliant diamonds have 31 facets while Trielle have 50,
and are both symmetrical designs.






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