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How to Choose a Diamond Shape: Comparing Popular Diamond Shapes

When shopping for a diamond engagement ring, the vast selection of diamond shapes can be overwhelming and, frankly, confusing. How can you make a center stone selection without first knowing how the diamond shape compares to similar diamond shapes? Or, what makes each diamond shape unique and covetable?


We created a diamond showdown to help you during the deliberation stage. We compare and contrast popular diamond shapes so that you leave well-equipped with the knowledge you need to make a confident diamond shape selection.  

 

ladies hands multiple various style engagement rings diamond moissanite yellow

 

If you prefer to digest information in the form of video content, you can watch our YouTube video Popular Diamond Shape Comparisons: Diamonds 101 Series, below. 


Popular Diamond Shape Comparisons

Over the past 40 years, we have witnessed countless clients deliberate long and hard between comparable diamond shapes before selecting the perfect diamond engagement ring. The following diamond shape comparisons were developed by observing diamond shapes most popularly compared and contrasted at Lauren B. 

Round Cut Diamond vs. Cushion Cut Diamond

The round cut diamond and the cushion cut diamond are sister shapes with a proclivity for brilliance and sparkle. When choosing between a round cut diamond and a cushion cut diamond, the decision will likely come down to which cut looks best on your finger.

Round Cut Diamond

2.21 Carat Round Diamond Platinum Solitaire Engagement Ring

2.21 Carat Round Diamond Platinum Solitaire Engagement Ring

 

The round cut diamond is a traditional diamond shape, also known as the “brilliant cut.” Why “brilliant cut”? Round cut diamonds feature triangular facets that enhance brilliance and sparkle. The round cut diamond is considered the gold standard of diamonds as a result of its perfect symmetry and precisely cut shape.

Cushion-Cut Diamond

 

3.50 Carat Cushion Cut Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring

3.50 Carat Cushion Cut Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring

 

Cushion-cut diamonds are soft and pillow-like with rounded corners. The cushion cut diamond is typically cut into a square, though there are few cushion cuts with an elongated table. 

Comparisons

When comparing the round cut and the cushion cut diamond, you will find that there are ample similarities with only slight differences in both faceup appearance and size. 

 

Both diamond shapes have a 1:1 ratio, meaning that their length and width are exactly the same making the round cut and cushion cut diamonds suitable for any setting. The facets on both the round cut and the cushion cut diamonds enhance brilliance, which allows both of these diamond shapes to effectively hide color

 

The round cut diamond has a slightly larger faceup appearance, which can be attributed to the softer outline and bowed outer sides of the cushion cut diamond. If you are looking for a more diverse diamond shape, the cushion cut offers a variety of cuts including crushed ice, brilliant antique, and square or elongated. 

 

As far as pricing is concerned, a round cut diamond will be priced higher than a cushion cut diamond of similar carat and clarity. In fact, a round-cut diamond will be priced higher than any other fancy shape diamond. 


Oval-Cut Diamond vs. Pear Shape Diamond

Both the oval cut diamond and the pear shape diamond provide an elongated aesthetic that lengthens the finger. The oval and pear-shaped diamonds are the most popular center stone diamond shapes of the past 2 years. 

Oval-Cut Diamond

 

2.32 Ct Oval Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring

2.32 Ct Oval Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring

 

The oval diamond is an elongated brilliant-cut that provides ample finger coverage and provides a soft, delicate appearance on the hand. 

 

Pear Shape Diamond

 

2.50 ct Pear Shape Diamond Yellow Gold Solitaire Ring

2.50 ct Pear Shape Diamond Yellow Gold Solitaire Ring

 

The pear-shaped diamond is a hybrid diamond shape that marries the marquis cut diamond and the oval cut diamond.  The pear-shaped diamond resembles a teardrop with one rounded edge and one-pointed edge with the pointed edge facing the wearer. 

Comparisons

The oval cut and pear-shaped diamonds are, as we mentioned, elongated shapes that provide ample finger coverage. Both diamond shapes are brilliant-cut, which lends itself to plenty of sparkle and diamond brilliance while effectively hiding inclusions; S1 GIA clarity grade is most popular when purchasing an oval cut or pear-shaped diamond. In addition, most of our clients prefer colorless oval cut and pear-shaped diamonds since the larger surface area of these diamond shapes does not successfully hide color. 

 

While both the oval cut and pear-shaped diamonds are brilliant cuts, the elongated shape of the diamond will create a bowtie effect across the diamond face. A bowtie is a dark spot in the center of the stone in which light cannot be reflected as a result of the diamond shape. Whether or not you want to avoid a bowtie is based on personal preference; many of our clients do not mind the appearance of a bowtie in their oval or pear-shaped diamonds and are extremely happy with their diamond engagement ring center stones.

 

1.74 Carat Pear Shape Diamond Pave Prong Engagement Ring

1.74 Carat Pear Shape Diamond Pave Prong Engagement Ring

 

The one-pointed edge of the pear-shaped diamond makes this diamond shape appear sharper and more severe than the oval-shaped diamond. It is imperative that the pointed edge of the pear-shaped diamond is protected in the diamond setting to prevent chipping or dulling the edge. 

 

Pear-shaped diamonds also have a longer length-to-width ratio with most pear diamonds ranging from 1:5 to 1:7 while the oval cut diamonds range from 1:35 to 1:6. The longer length to width ratio of the pear-shaped diamond will contribute to a slightly longer diamond with most ovals sitting at 10mm and most pears sitting at 11mm. 

 

Diamond ratio and measurements are key features to discuss with your jeweler when shopping for an oval cut or pear-shaped diamond. If the diamond you are viewing is cut poorly, you can end up with a 2-carat diamond that looks like a 1.5-carat diamond if the depth percentage is too high. In contrast, you can have a 1.5-carat diamond that looks like a 2-carat diamond if the cut is exceptional and the depth percentage is moderate. Shop smarter not harder!


Radiant Cut Diamond vs. Emerald Cut Diamond

The radiant cut diamond and the emerald cut diamond have the exact same outlines, yet they appear so vastly different. When choosing between these two diamond shapes, it winds down to your facet preference. 

 

Radiant Cut Diamond

 

2.50 Carat Radiant Diamond Split Band Solitaire Ring

2.50 Carat Radiant Diamond Split Band Solitaire Ring

 

The radiant-cut diamond is shaped into either a square or a rectangle with cut-off corners. The facets of the diamond cut enhance brilliance, though not as powerfully as the brilliant-cut or princess-cut diamonds. 

 

Emerald-Cut Diamond

 

1.70 Ct Emerald Cut Diamond Two-tone Invisible Gallery Ring

1.70 Ct Emerald Cut Diamond Two-tone Invisible Gallery Ring

 

The emerald-cut diamond is also shaped into a square or a rectangle, and it is uniquely characterized by its step-cut facets, which resemble a row of steps that cascade away from the table of the diamond. 

Comparisons

The radiant cut and emerald-cut diamonds have identical silhouettes with parallel sides and cut corners. The length-to-width ratio for both of these diamond cuts ranges from 1:25 (for a wider appearance) to 1:4 (for a slender appearance) depending on the preference. 

 

The difference between these two diamond shapes is their faceting. The emerald cut diamond features step cuts, which have long parallel facets that create a hall of mirrors effect that emphasizes clarity whereas the radiant cut is a brilliant-cut with triangular facets to highlight brilliance. 

 

The emerald cut diamond can hide diamond color well while requiring a higher quality grade as a result of the direct line of sight into the stone; we recommend emerald cut diamonds of a VS2 clarity grade or higher. The radiant cut, on the other hand, can hide inclusions well as a result of the diamond faceting, but the radiant cut diamond reveals more color saturation requiring a higher color grade. 


Princess-Cut Diamond vs. Asscher Cut Diamond

The princess cut and Asscher cut diamonds are less popular among brides, but they have beautiful features that create a lovely center stone when paired with the right setting and band.

Princess-Cut Diamond

 

1.60 Carat Princess Cut Diamond Invisible Gallery™ Engagement Ring

1.60 Carat Princess Cut Diamond Invisible Gallery™ Engagement Ring

 

The princess-cut diamond is a square-shaped diamond that accentuates diamond brilliance with similar levels of brilliance as the round-cut diamond. 

Asscher Cut Diamond

 

1.70 ct Asscher Cut Diamond Two-Tone Solitaire Engagement Ring

1.70 ct Asscher Cut Diamond Two-Tone Solitaire Engagement Ring

 

The Asscher-cut diamond is also a square-shaped diamond with cut corners similar to that of the radiant cut diamond. The step-cut facets of the Asscher cut are similar to those of the emerald cut diamond making this diamond shape a hybrid of both the radiant cut and the emerald-cut diamonds.

Comparisons

The princess cut and Asscher cut diamonds typically have a 1:1 ratio, though this ratio can range up to 1.05:1. This is where the similarities end and the differences take center stage. 

 

The Asscher cut diamond has cut corners whereas the princess cut has pointed edges at perfect 90-degree angles, which is the most notable feature of the princess cut. In a similar fashion to the radiant cut vs. the emerald cut, the step cut facets of the Asscher cut diamond reveal inclusions more prominently in the center stone yet hides color more effectively than the princess cut. The princess cut diamond requires the exact opposite attention with less prominent inclusions and a more difficult time hiding color saturation.


Marquise-Cut Diamond vs. Heart Shape Diamond

While the marquis cut diamond and the heart-shaped diamond look dramatically different in aesthetic, they do have similar features and are considered the fanciest shaped diamonds. 

Marquise-Cut Diamond

 

1.75 ct Marquise Diamond Platinum Engagement Ring

1.75 ct Marquise Diamond Platinum Engagement Ring

 

The marquise cut diamond features two pointed edges and rounded sides to create a football shape. The marquise diamond is twice as long as it is wide and features facets similar to the round cut diamond.

Heart Shape Diamond

 

2.7 ct Heart Shape Diamond Signature Wrap Solitaire

2.7 ct Heart Shape Diamond Signature Wrap Solitaire

 

The heart-shaped diamond is a diamond stone shaped like a heart with one pointed edge, and two rounded edges separated by a “v.” The facets of the heart-shaped diamond are also brilliant facets. 

Comparisons

The marquise cut and heart-shaped diamonds are often overlooked by diamond engagement ring shoppers, but these diamond shapes have unique characteristics that are appealing to many.

 

The heart-shaped diamond was largely popular in the ’90s and is an incredibly romantic diamond shape; you will see heart-shaped diamonds in our custom engagement ring designs ever so often. The marquise cut diamond has a distinct appearance with pointed edges and is the most elongated diamond shape available with a ratio range from 1:8 to 2:21, which creates robust finger coverage.   


Finding the Right Diamond Shape for You

Whether you prefer a traditional, round-cut diamond or a uniquely romantic heart-shaped diamond, we are here to help you find that magical diamond engagement ring that makes your heart soar. 

 

Our dedicated team at Lauren B is with you through every step of your diamond engagement ring shopping experience, and we are prepared to answer every question you might have along the way. If you do not find a ready-to-buy diamond engagement ring that fits your aesthetic or if you have a specific ring stack in mind, our design specialists will work with you to create a custom diamond engagement ring that exceeds your expectations. 

 

Enjoy your journey, and let’s celebrate love together.

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