Diamond Cuts and Sizes
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The most popular diamond shape is the round cut diamond, representing approximately 75% of all diamonds sold. The round diamond is generally superior to fancy shapes at the proper reflection of light, due to the mechanics of its shape, maximizing potential brightness.
Princess Cut Diamond
The princess cut diamond was first created in 1980, and is the most popular fancy diamond shape, for engagement rings especially. Princess cut diamonds are a great choice for their flexibility working in almost any style of ring, just like round cut diamonds.
The oval diamond is a modified brilliant-cut (like virtually all round cut diamonds), the two diamond shapes possess a similar fire and brilliance. Oval cut diamonds have the added advantage of an elongated shape, however, which can create the illusion of greater size.
The marquise cut diamond is a football-shaped modified brilliant-cut. Because the marquise diamond is narrow and long, it also can create the illusion of greater size. Carat for carat, the marquise diamond has one of the biggest surface areas of any diamond shape, therefore making it a good choice when trying to maximize perceived size.
Pear Shaped Diamonds
A pear shaped diamond should possess excellent or very good symmetry. The modified brilliant-cut pear shaped diamond is a combination of a round and a marquise shape, with a tapered point on one end, which is ideal for a pear shaped diamond. The point should line up with the apex of the curved end. The shoulders and wings (the upper and lower curves on the right and left side of the diamond) should form uniform, symmetrical curves.
Cushion Cut Diamond
The cushion cut diamond combines a square cut with curved corners, much like a soft pillow (hence the name). This classic cut has been around for almost 200 years, and for the first century of its existence was the most popular diamond shape (similar to round cut today). Refinements in cut have led to a recent resurgence in popularity.
Emerald Cut Diamonds
The step cuts in its pavilion and its large, open table gives the emerald cut diamond its unique look. Instead of the sparkled of a brilliant-cut, emerald cut diamonds produce a hall-of-mirrors effect, with the interplay of light and dark place. Often, inclusions or body color are easier to see in an emerald cut diamond.
Asscher Cut Diamonds
The Asscher Brothers of Holland produced the first asscher cut diamond in 1902, and is preceded the emerald cut. The asscher cut diamond is similar to the emerald cut, but in a square shape with larger step facets, a higher crown, a smaller table. A combination like this often produces more brilliance than the emerald cut.
Radiant Cut Diamonds
Creating a vibrant and energetic diamond, the radiant cut diamond is the first rectangular cut to have a complete brilliant-cut facet pattern applied to both the crown and pavilion. The modified square shape is a nice bridge between a cushion and a princess cut, and for that reason it looks beautiful set with both square or rounded corner diamonds.
Heart Shaped Diamonds
The altered brilliant-cut heart shaped diamond is special, unique, and unmistakable symbol of love, popular in solitaire pendants as well as rings. Since the heart shape is more difficult to perceive in smaller diamonds, especially after they are set in prongs, heart shaped diamonds less than .50 carats may not be a good choice.