The Many Shapes of Diamonds
Hear the word “diamond” and the first image that comes to mind is likely a classic round sparkly gem. No surprise, considering that 75% of all diamonds sold today, particularly engagement rings, are the round brilliant cut. Because a round diamond is symmetrical, it reflects nearly all light that enters it, making it the most brilliant of all diamond shapes.
However, if your tastes lean to the less traditional, you can also choose from a wide selection of attractive diamond shapes on the market today. These are collectively known as fancy cuts. Fancy shapes are cut to different proportions, so they filter light differently. Here are some considerations when choosing a diamond shape:
|Round – The full-cut round diamond represents the highest advances in diamond cutting, maximizing fire and brilliance. When in doubt, the round is always a smart choice.|
|Oval – The oval is an elliptical shape that is based on the brilliant cut. Because it creates the illusion of length, it is a popular style for a woman with a small hand or short fingers.|
|Marquise – A variation on the brilliant cut, the marquise is an elongated shape with pointed ends. Its shape is flattering to the small hand, making it appear longer.|
|Pear – The teardrop-shaped pear makes a beautiful ring. Its cut is a cross between a brilliant and marquise, and is also well-suited to the woman with a petite hand or short fingers.|
|Heart – The heart-shaped diamond is the most romantic of diamond shapes. It is like a pear shape, but with a cleft at the top. The cutter’s skill comes into play in creating a gemstone with an even shape and a well-defined outline.|
|Emerald – The emerald shape is a rectangle with corner facets and broad, flat planes. It is given a step cut creating rows or steps of elongated facets. When selecting an emerald-cut diamond, good clarity and color are essential – in fact, you will rarely see one in lower grades. That is because inclusions and body color are much more obvious in this shape.|
|Princess – Square-shaped with many sparkling facets, the princess cut is one of the newest choices for the diamond engagement ring. It especially enhances the hand with long, elegant fingers.|
|Radiant – The radiant shape is similar to an emerald cut, but with a facet arrangement that gives it brilliance comparable to that of a round diamond. Radiant cuts have angled corners and can range from square to rectangle.|
|Cushion – A marriage between a Round and Princess cut, ranging from square to rectangular with rounded corners.|
|Asscher – Often referred to as the “square emerald cut”, the Asscher-cut diamond was developed in 1902 by the Asscher Brothers of Holland. It is a “stepped” square cut with cropped corners and is a wonderful choice for the fashion-forward woman desiring a dramatic engagement ring. These diamonds are available on special request at Shane Co.|
Cut to your taste
The shape you choose does not affect the quality of the gemstone. If the gemstone is cut well, its brilliance and value endure no matter which shape you choose. The shape of the rough diamond crystal usually dictates the shape of the gemstone to be cut. All are cut for maximum fire and brilliance, but the shapes of the facets vary with the cut.
Advanced cutting technology is continually generating innovative new diamond shapes. It’s all a matter of appreciation for the cutter’s artistry and personal taste. At ShaneCo.com, you will find a great selection of loose diamonds in brilliant round, princess, marquise, oval, heart, pear, radiant and emerald cut.