Diamonds: Finding the Right Shape
When most people think of diamonds, what comes to mind is the modern round brilliant cut – and with good reason. Many experts consider this the “ideal” shape for a diamond because it maximizes a stone’s sparkle. According to the Diamond Promotion Service, more than 75% of all diamonds sold are round. But for those who want something a little different, a little more unique to express their individual style and personality, there are options. There are many other types of diamond shapes available. These non-round cuts, called fancy shapes, are beautiful in their own right, and one of them may very well be the cut of choice for you.
Here are some of the more common fancy diamond shapes:
This 58-facet cut features a facet arrangement that appears to radiate out from the center of the diamond toward its outer rim, maximizing its brilliance.
A square or rectangular shape with cut corners. Known as a step cut because its long rectangular facets resemble stair steps. Inclusions and poor color are more apparent in this cut, so make sure to select a stone of superior clarity and color.
A modified brilliant cut in the shape of an oval. A style popular for women with small hands, because its elongated shape gives the illusion of length to the hands and fingers.
An elongated, boat shaped cut with curving sides and pointed ends, developed in France in the 1740s for the Marquise de Pompadour, a mistress of King Louis XV.
A variation of the brilliant cut, and a hybrid of the oval and marquise, with a teardrop-shaped girdle outline and 56 to 58 facets. Like the oval, a good choice for a hand with smaller fingers.
A square or rectangular modified brilliant cut, usually with 57 facets. This relatively new cut has been quite popular recently. Requires more weight to be directed toward the diamond’s depth in order to maximize brilliance.
A rectangular or square brilliant cut with 70 facets that combines the elegance of the emerald shape with the brilliance of a round. Like the princess, requires more weight to be directed toward the diamond’s depth to maximize brilliance.
A modified brilliant cut in the shape of a heart with a table, 32 crown facets, 24 pavilion facets and a shield-shaped culet. Essentially, a pear-shaped stone with a cleft at the top.
A triangular-shaped cut developed in Amsterdam, with 25 facets on the crown, 19 facets on the pavilion and a polished girdle. Can either have pointed corners or a more rounded triangular shape.
In addition to these more common fancy shapes, there are a myriad of other innovative and whimsical cuts, including star, flower, cloverleaf, kite, baguette, barrel, bullet, crescent, half moon, shield, trapeze, pentagon, hexagon, keystone, epaulet, and calf’s head, to name a few. Many of these types of cuts are used for smaller side stones that accompany the center stone of a ring. There are also countless variations of the standard shapes.