In its rough state, a diamond can look fairly unremarkable, but by polishing a diamond and creating flat facets in symmetrical arrangements its hidden beauty is revealed. From princess to radiant, there are multiple different cuts of diamonds, each of which results in a very different shape and finish. Here’s our simple guide to the most popular diamond cuts. Shop all diamond jewellery.
Round Brilliant Cut
One of the most popular types of diamond cuts is round brilliant cut, a particular form with numerous facets resulting in exceptional brilliance. Virtually all round diamonds are brilliant cut, and these represent around 75% of all diamonds sold. The shape resembles that of an upside-down cone, and the large surface area at the top with multiple facets provides maximum light return through the top of the diamond. Round diamonds tend to cost more than fancy shapes due to the higher demand for them and the yield being relatively low, as more of the rough stone is lost in the cutting process.
The princess cut is the most popular of all the fancy diamond cuts, particularly for engagement rings. Similarly, to round cut diamonds, princess cut diamonds are popular because of their flexibility to work in almost any style of ring. The face-up shape of the princess cut is square or rectangular, and the side-on shape looks like an inverted pyramid with four bevelled sides.
Emerald cut diamonds have a large open table with graduating step-cuts on its pavilion. Instead of the sparkle of a brilliant cut, emerald diamond cuts produce a more unique optical appearance with a hall-of-mirrors effect, caused by the interplay of light and dark planes. Due to its larger, open table, this rectangular shape diamond highlights the clarity of the diamond.
Combining a square cut with rounded corners, cushion diamond cuts resemble the shape of a pillow (hence its name) and have been around for 200 years. Traditional cushion cut diamonds return light in a much chunkier pattern than modern diamond cuts. Although not as brilliant as round brilliants, cushion cuts have large facets allowing for a greater separation of white light into spectral colours.
The slender oval shape of a marquise diamond can maximise carat weight, giving you are much larger-looking diamond. One of the most elegant diamond cuts, marquise diamonds are popular on rings to make fingers appear long and slender.
With a beautiful brilliance similar to that of a round diamond, oval diamond cuts are a great choice for anyone who wants the sparkle of a round diamond but a slightly more unique shape. Oval diamonds also have the added advantage of an elongated shape, which can create the illusion of greater size.
A pear cut diamond, also called a teardrop diamond, is a unique diamond cut that combines the brilliance and design style of both the round brilliant and marquise diamond cuts. It’s interesting shape helps make it a popular choice for diamond jewellery, particularly on pendants and rings.
One of the more unusual and different diamond cuts is the slender, rectangular baguette cut. In the same family as emerald and assher cuts due to its step cuts, which are made with parallel facets, baguette cut diamonds usually have 14 facets and lack the brilliance of round diamond cuts. It is often used as an accent stone to flank a ring’s larger central stone.