You might have heard about so many types of diamond shapes. But which of them is the most popular? We all know that diamonds are the choicest of all gems, but out of them, which of them are the most desired?

This article would explore the most popular diamond shapes in the following order:

Introduction and classification of diamonds into:

  • Brilliant cuts
  • Step cuts

After this, we discuss the most popular diamonds starting from the most to the least popular.

  1. The Round cut:
    • This is the most popular diamond cut in the world comprising 75% of the diamonds in existence today
    • It is also the cut with the highest brilliance and sparkle
    • It is an industry-standard for other cuts
    • It is also the most expensive cut because there is more wastage of rough diamond during the cutting process
  2. The Princess cut:
    • Also known as the square modified-brilliant cut, it is the second most popular cut in the world
    • It has a bold appeal, with straight edges and corners
    • It utilizes more rough diamond in the cutting process and so it is cheaper than the round cut diamond.
    • This shape fits easily into different settings
  3. The Cushion cut:
    • It is also known as the mine cut or the old mine cut
    • It is a brilliant cut and has unmatched fire and scintillation
    • It has curved edges which provide a feminine appeal
    • It is also cheaper than the round cut
    • It allows different modifications, such as the modified cushion brilliant
  4. The oval cut:
    • The cut is a modified round brilliant cut and so has its brilliance and sparkle
    • It was introduced in the 1960s and has remained relevant since then
    • It gives the illusion of longer and slender fingers
    • It is affected by the bowtie effect and requires expertise in cutting
    • It allows a great deal of variation, from narrow to wide
  5. The Pear cut:
    • A classic and antique cut
    • It was introduced in the 15th century
    • The symmetry of this shape is key to its light performance
    • It is also affected by the bowtie effect
  6. The Asscher cut:
    • It is a royal, elegant and classic cut
    • It has 58 facets which are X-shaped.
    • It conserves more rough diamond during its cutting process and this reflects in a lower price
    • Inclusions are more obvious in this cut and so a diamond with a higher clarity grade should be purchased
  7. The Emerald Cut:
    • It is cut for clarity
    • It was introduced in the 15th century but its current design was introduced in the 1920s
    • Inclusions are more obvious in the emerald cut
    • It conserves more rough diamond during its cutting process
    • It is cheaper than the round cut
  8. The Radiant cut:
    • It belongs to the class of diamonds known as hybrids
    • It combines the reflecting power of the round cut and the elegance of the emerald cut
    • It has 77 facets for optimal reflection
    • It costs at least 30% lesser than a round cut
  9. The Marquise cut:
    • Has royal origins
    • An important characteristic is an asymmetry
    • It is affected by bowties
  10. The Heart cut:
    • The most unique
    • Carries a message that cannot be mistaken
    • It reflects brilliantly and displays a great deal of fire and scintillation effect.
    • It requires expertise in cutting
    • It is associated with royalty, from its origins.

James Allen loose diamonds
Adjust your seatbelt as we prepare to have a jolly ride!

It is important to distinguish between the diamond cut and the diamond shape. A rough diamond can indeed be cut into different shapes. However, the diamond cut is beyond the diamond shape. It reflects the interaction of the diamond with light. It takes other things like fire, brilliance, and scintillation into consideration.

The diamond shape is the specific patter into which a diamond is cut. There are several diamond shapes known today.

They can be broadly classified into:

  1. Brilliant cuts: These are shapes that are cut to reflect light optimally. They usually have symmetrical facets and pavilions that are angled in such a way that most of the light entering is reflected by the observer. Examples of shape in this category are round cut, cushion, princess, marquise, oval.
  2. Step Cuts: These are shapes that are cut more for their clarity than a reflection of light. These shapes would be cut to provide a clear, unhindered view into the diamond. They are cut with parallel pavilions which would produce a step-like effect and place more focus on clarity than reflection and brilliance. Examples include Asscher, Emerald cut.

Now, we would proceed to examine the most popular cuts in the world today from the most popular to the least popular.

1. ROUND CUT:

The round cut is the most popular diamond in existence today. The shape was based on the calculations of Tolkowsky, who brought it to the fore. It has 58 facets which reflect light exceptionally, which gives this shape its brilliance and intensity. It is also the most expensive of the shapes. The reason for this is not far-fetched: The round cut diamond uses the least of the rough diamond from which it is cut, during the cutting process. The implication of this is that more rough diamond is wasted and this drives the price up. In spite of this, the round cut is still the most popular, with about 75% of the total diamonds in existence today is round cut. The fact that Round cut diamonds would fit well into any style and setting also contributes to their popularity.

2. PRINCESS CUT:

The princess cut is the second most popular diamond shape today. Also known as a square modified brilliant, it has a bold appeal with straight lines and pointed edges. It is usually square, with all the sides equal, but there are also rectangular modified brilliant cuts. As expected, this variant of the princess cut would have some sides longer. It is also cheaper than the square modified brilliant.  The princess cut is also loved for the clarity it offers when viewed from the top. It concentrates a lot of weight at the center, so it might look smaller than its round cut counterpart, but it compensates for this with its corner to corner measurement which is about 15% greater than that of the round cut. While cutting this particular shape, 80% of the rough diamond is used, making it cheaper than a round cut. As a matter of fact, a princess cut can cost 25% to 40% lesser than a round cut. You would agree with me that it makes a good deal. The princess cut would fit perfectly into almost any setting and is considered a cut with modern appeal. It is also the only cut that exhibits brilliance that is closest to that of the round cut diamond, with accompanying fire and scintillation.

3. CUSHION CUT:

Next on the popularity list is the cushion cut. It is also known as the mine cut or the old mine cut, which is based on the location where they were first discovered. This shape was strongly influenced by minimal art. It has been around for about 200 years and so is a classic cut. In fact, it was the most popular of the cuts until the 20th century when the round cut was created. From the name, the cushion cut looks like a cushion or pillow, with its curved edges.  It is also a brilliant-cut and even though it does not have as much sparkle as the round cut, it also reflects brilliantly. It has very distinct pavilion patterns that add to its appeal. The cushion cut is also unique for its unrivaled fire and scintillation; it is simply breathtaking. The curves and edges of the cushion cut give a feminine appeal and it is no surprise that it is a popular choice for engagement rings. The cushion-cut also costs cheaper than the round cut and still offers a great deal of brilliance and sparkle. Plus, it can also come in a multitude of ratios, allowing more room for preferences as the consumer is concerned. One variant is known as the modified cushion brilliant, which has an extra row of facets added to its pavilion to intensify the fire of the diamond. Cushion shaped diamonds can also be set in a four-prong setting which would maximize the brilliance and they can be used with other diamond shapes. Their shape also allows them to be set side by side, so multiple cushion cuts can be used to produce a special effect. The cushion cut is the ideal vintage cut.

4. OVAL CUT:

This cut was created by Lazare Kaplan in the 1960s and has been around since then. It is a modified round. The implication of this is that it has the sparkle of the round cut diamond. It would be very suitable for those who desire the brilliance and fire of a round-cut but would prefer a different shape. The oval cut also comes with an advantage of size: It is elongated longitudinally and this creates an illusion of a greater size. It would also make the fingers look longer and slender when used as an engagement ring. It is very popular among diamond users although not as popular as the others above it on this list. One of the reasons for its reduced popularity is the bowtie effect, a phenomenon that is observed in this shape and other similar shapes. The bowtie effect refers to an imperfection that is seen in shapes like the oval cut. It happens when some facets do not reflect light properly and would produce some dark areas. These dark areas would then take the shape of a bowtie and depending on how many the affected facets are and their positions, the bowtie might be very obvious or almost invisible. The oval cut also requires highly skilled diamond cutters, so that the edges are round and not flat, which would make the oval cut appear distorted. Apart from this, the oval shape is a great shape to consider in selecting diamond shapes. It also allows for a variety of choices. This variety is due to the different lengths to with ratios to which this shape can be cut. The preference of the buyer in selecting an oval shape that is either narrow or wide would come to play in the purchase.

5. PEAR CUT:

When you speak about an antique, classical cut, then you are speaking of the pear cut. It was created by Van Berquem Lordewyk in Belgium in the year 1458. (that is over 500 years ago… a really long time). He used a Scarf, a machine he designed himself to create this unique shape. Central to the pear cut is the symmetry of the facet. The symmetry is what produces the fire and scintillation in a form peculiar to this cut. As a brilliant cut, it must also reflect light well, at each facet. This timeless and ageless diamond cut was initially the diamond in vogue during the renaissance period when it was fashioned by Lodewyk. It has remained a top choice for many since then, having stood the test of time. Perhaps, one of the reasons why it is still reckoned with is that it can serve so many purposes. For instance, it can be used in a necklace, or as earrings or engagement rings. It also gives room for variety by adjusting the length to width ratio to suit the preference of the buyer. However, like the oval cuts, the pear cut is also subject to the bow-tie effect. Therefore, in selecting, caution must be made to select one with the least visible imperfection.

6. ASSCHER CUT:

The Asscher cut is a cut of royalty. It has a very rich history that is associated with use by royal figures. It was developed in 1902 and so has been around for some time. It is peculiar because it is a step cut. This means that the Asscher cut is cut more for clarity than brilliance. Its beauty lies in the clean and unobstructed view when it is observed from the top. It has 58 facets that are X shaped. It conserves more of rough diamond and so costs lesser than many other diamonds. It is the diamond for you if you are considering a diamond that is classy but would not require that you break the bank. Most of the weight of the Asscher is concentrated at the center and so it might look smaller than a corresponding round cut. However, the Asscher cut is a romantic cut. This shape also has cropped edges that add to its appeal and overall, it is described as acute that is simple, but elegant. It should be noted that since clarity is important in this shape, then diamonds with inclusions must be avoided, as much as possible. The reason is simple: with a broad table and unobstructed view provided, any inclusions would be very obvious to anyone viewing.  Therefore, in purchasing an Asscher cut a higher clarity grade is advised. The Asscher cut is the diamond cut to go for if you always want to stand out and if you also value exclusivity, royalty, and elegance all at a reduced cost.

7. EMERALD CUT:

Sitting in seventh place is the emerald cut. The emerald cut is a unique cut with class and elegance. It is a step cut like the Asscher cut and has its strength of appeal in the stairs or step-like shapes that are seen when viewed through the table. It also shows some sparkle and even though it is not as brilliant as the round cut or other brilliant cuts, the emerald cut is still very appealing to any observer. It is long and elegant and this makes it appear larger than corresponding shapes. The origins of the emerald cut date back to the 16th However, over time, it has undergone several modifications to become the shape that is known today. This shape rose to prominence in the 1920s and has been around since then. Similar to the Asscher, the emerald cut is one that relies a lot on the clarity of the diamond to project its beauty. Therefore, diamonds with obvious inclusions would not come out well. When you want to select one, ensure that it is free from obvious inclusions. In terms of price, the emerald shape wastes less of the rough diamond, therefore, it would always cost lesser than a round cut diamond. If what you need is a classic and elegant cut at a cheaper rate, then you should consider the emerald cut.

8. RADIANT CUT:

From the name, you can have an idea of what kind of diamond this would be. The shape of the diamond looks very similar to the emerald cut in shape. The radiant shape actually combines the brilliance of the round cut with the elegance of the emerald. This means that it has a reflecting power that equates that of the round cut and the elegance of the emerald. It was recently introduced in the 1970s. It is one of the diamonds that belong to the categories of hybrids. This class is known for combining the traits of several shapes and cuts to produce outstanding results. It is not very popular as it is still relatively new in the game, but it is in no way lesser. It has 77 facets that are optimized to reflect light brilliantly. Again, this cut is cheaper than most other cuts. This means that you can get the brilliance of a round cut, with the elegance of the emerald at least 30% lower than the price of the round or emerald cut! It is a great deal for a low budget.

9. MARQUISE CUT:

This diamond is associated with royalty. It was created in the 19th century by King Louis XV of France who had the diamond fashioned after the lips of his mistress. (sounds a little creepy). This shape has since gone on to be a favorite among those that value class and antiquity. It has 60 facets and core to the design of this shape is the symmetry. The facets must all come together at the center to ensure balance in the flow of light that would produce an optimum reflection. As a brilliant cut, the marquise shape exhibits a lot of brilliance and sparkle. The Marquise also allows the buyer to select if they want a narrow or wide diamond.  A narrow diamond can make the fingers appear long slender. The Marquise cut is also affected by bowties, due to its shape and this should be considered when purchasing. Diamonds with the least visible bowties should be purchased. Overall, the Marquise cut is the perfect blend of romance, class, and antiquity. It is particularly for those who would always love to stand out no matter what.

10. HEART SHAPED DIAMOND:

This is the true symbol of love. It is an unmistakable expression of how someone truly feels. One of the things that stands this shape out is that it is specific for the message it passes. So even though it is not the most popular shape in circulation today, it is very popular among those who would want to send a love message. One of the reasons it is not so popular today is due to its origins. It was first cut in the 15th century and has been around since then. When it was first cut, it belonged to royalty and was usually seen only on the high and mighty in those days. Over time, it has now come to be worn by laymen, but it still has the royal touch. The heart shape consists of about 50 – 60 facets. Just by observation, it is obvious that the shape would require expertise to create. It would require that the cut is perfect to every detail so that the heart shape is obvious. The symmetry is one of the most significant features of this design and it is understandably so. Each half must curve out and then in well, so it would not appear too flat or too curved.

As a modified brilliant cut, the heart shape would sparkle brilliantly and has intense fire and scintillation.

There, you have the 10 most popular diamonds!

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