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Diamond Education - Stone Shape



The Asscher cut diamond is the first branded cut to ever be patented. It exists as the predecessor to the modern Emerald cut but still holds its place in today’s market as a fancy shape. Looking face up, (top view) well-cut stones will appear to have concentric squares. This unique faceting makes it easier to spot inclusions with the naked eye, driving more people to purchase diamonds with higher internal clarity.


The modern Cushion cut evolved from the Mine cut diamond. The corners of a square shape are rounded for a softer, more pillow like shape. Recent research has improved the dynamics of this faceting and the way it reacts with light, producing a more dazzling stone. Cushion cut diamonds traditionally produce more fire but less brilliance when compared to round diamonds. It’s available in square and rectangular shapes.


The Emerald cut is a rectangular shape with cut corners. Rather than focusing on the brilliance or sparkle of the diamond, the Emerald cut uses symmetry and rectangular cut facets to create a unique optical appearance. Just like the Asscher cut diamond, it’s important to purchase a higher clarity stone so as not to notice inclusions. The name derives from the Emerald gemstone which is traditionally cut with this technique.


The Heart cut diamond is a modified brilliant cut that carries great symbolism. Like the union (or relationship) that this diamond represents, the symmetry of this cut is paramount. A lack of symmetry will result in a poorly performing stone. It is not recommended to purchase Heart cut diamonds in sizes smaller than 0.50 carats due to the loss of carat weight that occurs during cutting.


French for “little boat”, the Marquise cut is considered a classic fancy shape. A modified brilliant, this diamond is cut primarily to maximize the appearance of its size. The long and narrow nature of this shape works well to accentuate the shape of the wearer’s finger.


Since the 1960’s the Oval cut diamond has existed as a great alternative to the traditional round brilliant. It embodies many similar characteristics of the round while maintaining a unique, elongated shape. Aesthetically, it performs much like a Marquise while maintaining more brilliance and dispersion.


Resembling the shape of a teardrop, the Pear cut is best described as a hybrid between a Round Brilliant and a Marquise. Its faceting maintains a high level of brilliance and dispersion while its shape solidifies its place as a unique fancy shape.


The Princess cut is one of the most popular choices for engagement rings. Its shape can vary from square to rectangular and features strong pointed corners. This cut combines brilliant and step cut techniques.


Created in 1977, the Radiant cut is available in a square or rectangular silhouette. It shares the cut corners of the Asscher and Emerald cut, however its pavilion is cut with brilliant faceting allowing for more light return. This combination of sparkle and shape allows it to pair equally with round and square diamonds.


There is a very good reason that round brilliant diamonds continue to dominate the marketplace: performance. A round silhouette with Brilliant cut faceting provides the best geometry for optimal brilliance, dispersion, and scintillation. In addition, the cone shape of the pavilion creates the highest level of light return. Round diamonds typically cost more per carat than other shapes because of the amount of rough lost in the cutting process.