The brilliant-cut diamond is the most popular diamond shape, representing approximately 75% of all diamonds sold. Its shape maximizes the reflection of light from its facets.
The princess-cut diamond, first created in 1980, is one of the most popular diamond shapes, especially for engagement rings. Like brilliant-cut diamonds, princess-cut diamonds are a good choice because they can be used in almost any design.
Because an oval-cut diamond is essentially a modified brilliant-cut diamond, the two diamond shapes possess similar fire and brilliance. However, the oval cut’s elongated shape can create the illusion of greater size.
The marquise-cut diamond is a football-shaped, modified brilliant-cut. Because the marquise diamond is long and narrow, it can also create the illusion of greater size. The marquise diamond has one of the largest surface areas of any diamond shape, making it a good choice when trying to maximize perceived size.
Another modified brilliant-cut stone, the pear-shaped diamond is a combination of a round and a marquise shape, with a tapered point on one end. Ideally, a pear shaped diamond should possess excellent or very good symmetry.
The cushion cut diamond combines a square cut with rounded corners. This cut has been around for almost 200 years, and for the first century of its existence it was the most popular diamond shape.
The unique look of the emerald cut diamond is due to the step cuts of its edges and its large, open top. Unlike the sparkle of brilliant-cut diamonds, emerald-cut diamonds produce rectangular reflections.
A forerunner to the emerald-cut diamond, the asscher-cut diamond was first produced in 1902 by the Asscher Brothers of Holland. The asscher-cut diamond is similar to the emerald cut, but it features a square shape with larger edge facets and a smaller top surface.
The radiant-cut diamond is the first rectangular cut to have a complete brilliant-cut facet pattern on both its crown and its edges. The modified square shape has features of both a cushion- and a princess-cut diamond, and for that reason, it works well when set with several other shapes.
Heart-shaped diamonds are modified brilliant-cut stones and are popular choices for both rings and solitaire pendants. Because of their delicate silhouettes, heart shapes are best when used for diamonds .5 carats or larger.