Shape: Deciding what you want
Shape means the intrinsic shape of the diamond as seen from the top, or in its setting
• Round Brilliant Diamonds
• Princess Cut Diamond
• Emerald Cut Diamond
• Asscher Diamonds
• Marquise Diamonds
• Oval Diamonds
• Radiant Cut Diamonds
• Pear Shaped Diamonds
• Heart Shaped Diamonds
• Cushion Shaped Diamonds
Shape: The 'cut' of a diamond actually encompasses its overall shape as well as how well the shape is cut, including proportions, finish, and symmetry. The basic shape of a diamond significantly affects its price.
The primary wholesale price list for three shapes of diamonds is published monthly as the Rapaport Diamond Report. Rounds and marquise shapes have their own unique price charts, while the charts for pear shapes are used for all other shapes.
While it may not be possible to access the Rapaport Report in all cases, most top jewelers are able to answer queries about shape and value by consulting this monthly. However, remember that the internet today influences diamond prices. There are several diamond web sites competing for market share that offer very good prices and enormous selections. This gives the customer today a very good chance of finding the diamond of his or her choice at a very attractive price.
Prices in the Rapaport report depend on the shape, since the more sought after shapes are costlier than the shapes that have less demand. Prices also depend on how a diamond has shaped up from its rough original shape - the closer the cut shape is to the original, the lower the price. This is because less effort and diamond volume has been lost during the cutting stage.
Round Brilliant Diamonds:
The most popular shape preferred by over 75% of buyers. It is cut according to a precise formula with 58-facets, divided among its crown (top), girdle (widest part) and pavilion (base). This ensures maximum brilliance.
Princess Cut Diamond:
This square or rectangular cut with numerous sparkling facets is a relatively new cut and is flattering to a hand with long fingers when worn as a solitaire. It is often embellished with triangular stones at its sides.
Emerald Cut Diamond:
This is a rectangular shape with cut corners, typifying the classic step cut. Its concentric broad, flat planes resemble stair steps. When choosing square or rectangular cuts, remember that the square cuts typically cost about 10% less for a diamond of the same weight and quality as a round cut diamond.
Asscher cut diamonds are actually cut on a variation of the Emerald cut, known on a GIA Report as a 'Modified Square Emerald cut'. This style was first created in 1902 by the Asscher brothers. It features a small table, high crown, deep pavilion, and cut corners. In terms of sparkle, this cut ranks alongside the Round Brilliant cut diamond. The Asscher cut is a square cut diamond with 72 wide step facets and deep clipped corners, which make the diamond resemble an octagon.
This elongated shape with pointed ends is named after the Marquise de Pompadour in the court of France's King, Louis XIV. This shape looks best when used as a solitaire or when enhanced by smaller diamonds.
This even, perfectly symmetrical design is popular among women with small hands or short fingers. The elongated shape gives a flattering illusion of length to the hand.
Radiant Cut Diamonds:
This square or rectangular cut combines the elegance of the emerald shape diamond with the brilliance of the round, and its 70 facets maximize the effect of its color refraction.
Pear Shaped Diamonds:
This is a hybrid cut, combining the best of the oval and the marquise. Shaped most like a sparkling teardrop, it is also another shape flattering to short fingers, and looks particularly beautiful in pendants or earrings.
For the most traditional pear-shaped diamond, look for a length-to-width ratio between 1.45 and 1.75.
Heart Shaped Diamonds:
This ultimate symbol of romance is created with a pear-shaped diamond that has a cleft at the top. The skill of the cutter determines the beauty of the cut.
Cushion Shaped Diamonds:
Cushion cut diamonds are very popular. They are of a rectangular shape, though more proportionately looking like a square. This cut is sometimes also referred to as a 'pillow cut', because the cushion cut has an open culet and a rectangular to square shape with rounded corners which gives it the appearance of a pillow. The facet plan gives depth to the diamond. The price that you pay for these diamonds depend on the grade. An ideal choice is a 2 ct. Cushion Cut Diamond of the color 'G' and 'VS2' clarity. Modern 2 ct. Cushion Cut Diamonds are also known as Candlelight Diamonds, because their looks evoke a romantic ambience. Their corners are rounded and they exhibit a high degree of returning light, which makes them sparkle in an extraordinary way.
• Unless you're purchasing a diamond as an investment, for which a round brilliant is strongly recommended, choose the shape which pleases you most.
• Other than your personal preference, what is most important to consider is how much the shape of the diamond is enhancing its brilliance and fire.
Among the other factors that influence your decision about choosing the shape and the cut of your stone, look at Proportions.