When you’re looking for certain diamond shapes, it can be a hassle to try and remember the details and specifications about the most popular ones. But have no fear! Here at Northeastern Fine Jewelry, we’ve made diamonds our life and we’re always interested in helping our customers learn more about every woman’s favorite gemstone. Whether you’re searching for the ultra-popular round cut or something more exotic, like an Asscher cut, for the center stone of your engagement ring, there’s pros and cons to learn about the diamond shapes available on the market.
It’s appropriate to start with the round-cut diamond, since round cuts are, by far, the most popular shape of diamond on the market. They’re compact, which does a good job of hiding inclusions, and they’re the most brilliant type of diamond, offering unparalleled fire and sparkle. However, their popularity can come with a hefty price tag, so if you’re looking for a round cut, you may prefer searching for an “off-size” stone. That is to say, a diamond that doesn’t fall into the nice round carat weights—a 1.9 carat stone rather than a 2 carat one. They’re often far more affordable without sacrificing any of the loveliness that a round cut can offer.
The second most popular diamond cut, the princess cut is also extremely modern, having only come into existence in the 1970s. Characterized by their square shape, the bold, striking quality of the princess cut is matched by its compactness and brilliance, which can rival a round-cut diamond. While princess cuts are more cost-effective thanks to the efficiency with which they can be cut from a rough stone, they do come with the drawback of their pointed corners, which makes them more liable to snag or snap. If choosing a princess cut, try to look for a ring with chevron prongs to protect the corners.
Similar to the princess cut, the Asscher cut is another square-presenting diamond shape. However, this vintage look is unlike the princess cut thanks to its nature as a “step cut.” The step-pyramid cuts made to the back of the diamond prevent the development of the same kind of brilliance seen in more modern diamonds. In return, the aficionado of a unique stone will notice a windmill pattern of black and white patches almost moving inside the gem.
As with the Asscher cut, the emerald cut is another vintage step-cut design. Unlike the Asscher cut, however, the emerald-cut diamond is far longer, creating a narrowing effect on a finger. And unlike the “windmill” pattern, the long arrangement of steps creates a “hall of mirrors” effect with the alternation of black and white. The broad, flat table (surface) of the diamond can also be ideal for showing off a diamond with amazing clarity.
The cushion cut is originally from the 1800s, and its alternative name is the “candlelight cut” thanks to its ability to capture even the slightest ray of light and transform it into a warm glow. The happy medium between a princess and round cut, the softly curving sides of the cut. While it’s unusual to find a colored diamond, if you do manage to get your hands on one, cushion cuts are better than any other for showing off the rich tones of the color.
Named for the Madame de Pompadour, the favored of French King Louis XV’s lovers, this romantic cut was designed to mimic the shape of her lips. Today, we know the cut as a fantastically unique shape: Long, sharply curved on both sides, and tapering to two points. Usually favored as a side stone, more and more women have chosen marquise cuts as a striking and unusual center stone for their engagement ring. As with princess cuts, the sharp, delicate points require special prongs in order to keep them safe.
A surprisingly modern cut, ovals channel a great deal of the glamor of the round cut while having the lengthening power of the emerald or marquise cut. As the name implies, the oval cut is an oblong shape which has 57 or 58 facets, in the same way that a round-cut stone does. However, women tend to prefer oval cuts thanks to their larger presentation and soft curves. Oval cuts display, however, a “bowtie effect” of darkness in their center, which can only be mitigated by good cutting.
Rounding out our list, pear-cut diamonds represent a romantic “teardrop” that many women enjoy for the contrast in the cut itself: Softly round along the bottom of the diamond and elegantly pointed on the top. Because of their unique shape, a pear cut will strike a distinct impression if it’s placed upward or downward, which is something unlike other shapes. Like the marquise cut, the pear cut is a very striking choice that is ideal for the woman who wants to express herself through her engagement ring choices.
If you have any more questions about diamond shapes, particularly the rarer ones, contact us at Northeastern Fine Jewelry today at any of our showrooms: 518-372-3604 for Schenectady, New York; 518-862-9441 for Albany, New York; or 1-518-793-0151 for Glens Falls, New York!