The Personalities of the Different Types of Diamond Cuts Ranked
When you’re choosing what to wear each day, you can create a myriad of personalities with fashion. The Barbie girl, the edgy artist, the uptown sophisticate. But your engagement ring? You’re going to wear it every day. Unless you’re stacked with cash, you can’t simply swap your ring out for a different one with every mood change. So, darling, we hate to break it to you but you’re going to have to choose your diamond personality once and for all. What types of diamond cuts (aka shapes) best express your individual style and preferences? Discover the unique quirks and characteristics or different diamond types below to help you narrow the playing field.
Round Brilliant Cut: The Timeless Classic
Ahhh, the round brilliant. First for a reason (round diamonds are by far the most popular diamond shape on the market), this timeless diamond cut is pretty much guaranteed to out-sparkle other shapes. But she’ll cost you. Because not only are well-cut round diamonds the most brilliant, they’re also the most expensive by about 25%.
Round brilliant cut diamonds make up about 75% of diamond sales. This means that it’ll be easy to find a good looking one. They’re the only shape with industry-standardized cut grades, so you can pretty reliably know what you’ll get without laying eyes on it. Versitile rounds work with just about any style of engagement ring. Bezel? Check. High prong? Got it. Three stone? Of course! Check, check, check. Plus, an ideal cut round diamond can also appear larger than its carat weight and help hide inclusions. Some even turn down the volume on color so you can save some cash.
Round cut diamonds are for you if you’re looking for: Timeless, elegant, and uber-versatile.
Princess Cut: The Modern Royalty
A relative newcomer to the diamond scene (it made its debut in the 1980s), the princess cut diamond is the second most popular diamond shape. And, essentially, the square version of a round brilliant cut. The princess has sharp, pointed corners, a square outline, and tons of sparkle. Certainly not ones to shy away from being the center of attention, princess cut diamonds scream confidence and creativity.
Often cut a bit deep, princess cuts can look a bit under for their carat weight. But it can also make the most of a diamond’s rough crystal form, which means a lower price tag. While you won’t have quite as many setting styles to choose from as a round thanks to their sharp corners that need protecting, don’t let that scare you off. Today, there are still plenty of contemporary engagement ring settings that put the princess cut’s playful personality on full display.
Princess cut diamonds are for you if you’re looking for something: Bold, bright, and brazenly modern.
Emerald Cut: The Sophisticated Chic
Emerald cut diamonds are not for the faint of heart. Rather, they’re for the strong. An emerald cut diamond is style-forward, sophisticated, and refined. Basically, they’re the wagyu to everyone else’s beef. Or whatever vegan version of that you’d like to consider.
These diamonds are a step-cut shape. So unlike brilliant facets that radiate from a center point, they have elongated, rectangular facets concentrically arranged. This gives them a unique sparkle, with tons of rainbow fire rather than the splintered brilliance of a round or princess cut. Emeralds are found in a variety of length-to-width ratios from more square to an elongated rectangle, all with their signature cropped corners, of course. A longtime favorite of many celebrities from Beyoncé to Amal Clooney, Elizabeth Taylor to Paris Hilton, emerald cut diamonds carry a subdued elegance in any style of setting making them the perfect choice for those going for understated drama and stylish appeal.
Emerald cut diamonds are for you if you’re looking for something: Refined, stylish, and super sophisticated.
Oval Cut: The Balanced Beauty
Kourtney Kardashian, Blake Lively, and Hailey Bieber all rock stunning oval cut diamond engagement rings, and today’s it girls can’t be all wrong, can they? If you’re looking for the brilliance of a round diamond with a bit of a twist, oval shaped diamonds might be your ticket.
Calm, curvy, and collected, oval cut diamonds also offer you plenty of sparkle with a significantly lower price tag. Sometimes even 25% lower than comparable round diamonds, the oval is basically the round’s longer cousin. They’re cut shallow, so their face appears larger than their carat weight. Their long shape is versatile and stuns worn either vertical or horizontal. Basically, they’re the perfect balance of classic and modern.
Oval cut diamonds are for you if you’re looking for something: Balanced, understated, and a bit unconventional.
Cushion Cut: The Romantic Dreamer
Looking for a diamond that showcases the softer side of sparkle? A cushion cut diamond might be for you. Cushion cut diamonds are either square or drawn out yet never with a straight line in sight. They have curved sides and round corners, all soft and dreamy like their pillowy namesake.
Imagine a night at home. Chill tunes are playing, there’s candlelight, and a little romance. That’s the vibe-y equivalent of the cushion cut diamond. With a bit of nostalgia too, of course. See, modern cushion cut diamonds are the direct descendants of the old mine cut diamond, from like the 1800s. Sure, modern cushions are now cut by fancy machines and lasers and things, so they’re super sparkly and refined. But their roots are basically ancient.
Cushion cut diamonds are for you if you’re looking for something: Romantic and dreamy with a tiny touch of nostalgia.
Asscher Cut: The Artistic Visionary
Asscher cut diamonds, with their squared outline, clipped corners, and flashy step-cut facets are pure geometric perfection. Quintessential to any decent Art Deco-inspired jewel, the Asscher (proper name) cut diamond is more than has been around for more than a century. It kind of looks like a stack of squared mirrors, piled one onto the next to create a sparkly, hypnotic pyramid in reverse. The result is a super mesmerizing kaleidoscopic effect that definitely stands out from any crowd.
Look for an Asscher with an excellent cut grade, including polish and symmetry. These grades are the key to making them look as stunning as they can. But be sure to note- they do face up a bit small because they’re typically cut with a deeper, well, depth to the stone.
Asscher cut diamonds are for you if you’re looking for something: Unique with true artistic vision.
Pear Cut: The Adventurous Trendsetter
If a round diamond and a marquise diamond had a baby you would end up with a pear cut diamond, darling. This super distinctive shape is a teardrop, a raindrop, a whatever you want to call it drop. It has one pointed end and one rounded end and long and slender or even and plump, pear cut diamonds range as much as their shape namesake. Just make sure you find one with excellent symmetry and a nice even outline because no one wants a wonky looking diamond.
We’re often asked if a pear cut diamond might be a little outdated but no, darling, these babies are anything but. In a modern setting, they’re for anyone who wants to stand out. Pear cut people dare to be different and want to catch all the eyes. And, pro tip? Pear shape diamonds can cost significantly less than round diamonds of the same carat weight. Even 25-35% less depending on the market, so you’re going to save serious cash. Bonus points for the fact that pears, because of their elongated cut, will also look about 15-25% larger than a round brilliant diamond of the same weight.
Pear cut diamonds are for you if you’re looking for something: Adventurous, trendy, and a bit outside-the-box.
Marquise Cut: The Charismatic Showstopper
Originally conceived in the 18th century, the Marquise cut diamond is having a bit of a moment. Classically worn pointing north-south, parallel to your finger, there are some magical modern Marquise cut engagement rings that turn this style on its head. An east-west Marquise cut engagement ring showcases this cut horizontally across your finger and offers you a whole new look that’s full of eye-catching drama.
Designed to resemble the lips of King Louis XV of France’s mistress, the Marquise cut aka “navette” or “little boat” cut delivers in size and sparkle. Because of their super elongated shape and visual spread, Marquise cut diamonds face up about 15% larger than a comparable carat weight round diamond and at a much more affordable price point. Just make sure your setting protects its delicate points and you’ll be good to go.
Marquise cut diamonds are for you if you’re looking for something: Charismatic, bold, and unconventional.
Radiant Cut: The Bubbly Optimist
The ultimate mashup of shape and sparkle, radiant cut diamonds showcase a rectangular outline with cropped corners like an emerald cut, only with mixed brilliant facets like a round or princess. The result? Tons of bright luscious sparkle.
These cuts are square or elongated, and set in a myriad of styles from a super classic solitaire to something modern with a bit of edge. Radiant cut diamonds hide inclusions well due to their gazillions of tiny little facets that bounce light all over the place, but are also cut a bit deeper than other shapes which means they might show more body color, so balance those out when selecting your diamond characteristics and you’re golden. Radiant cuts only make up, like, 2% of diamonds on the market, which means finding one to your perfect specifications is a bit tricky, but trust us, it’ll be worth it for sure.
Radiant cut diamonds are for you if you’re looking for something: Fun and flirty with an extra dose of flash.
Explore the Different Types of Diamond Cuts
Ultimately, each diamond shape has its own personality and so do you. The one you choose should just be true to you. Something you’ll love to wear every day, show off, and treasure for a lifetime of love. Check out our diamond search where you can view 360-degree images of more than 10,000 diamonds and don’t forget to zoom out (because size is deceptive, darling), or book a virtual or offline appointment at our New York salon to view certified lab-grown and natural diamonds in person. If you find one you like, make sure to scoop it up, because in all likelihood, you won’t find one similar again.
Not finding what you want? Email us with what you’re looking for at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll curate a list of 5-7 exclusive stones that are just right for you.