What Does the SHAPE of the Diamond Mean?

Baguette Diamond Cut

Baguette

Princess Diamond Cut

Princess

At the beginning, diamonds are rough stones.   They must be cut and polished to exhibit the characteristic fire and brilliance that diamond gemstones are known for.  Diamonds are cut into a variety of shapes that are generally designed to accentuate these features.

Cushion Diamond Cut

Cushion

Diamonds which are not cut into a round brilliant shape are known as “fancy cuts.”  Popular fancy cuts include the baguette, marquise, princess, emerald, heart, briolette, oval, and pear cuts.  Newer cuts that have been introduced into the jewelry industry are the cushion, radiant, and Asscher cuts.  Many fancy-colored diamonds are now being cut according to these new styles.  

Marquise Diamond Cut

Marquise

Pear Diamond Cut

Pear

Generally speaking, these “fancy cuts” are not held to the same strict standards as Tolkowsky-derived round brilliants and there are less specific mathematical guidelines of angles which determine a well-cut stone.  

Cuts are influenced heavily by fashion.  For example, the baguette cut (which accentuates a diamond’s luster and downplays its fire) was all the rage during the Art Deco period.  

Asscher Diamond Cut

Asscher

Radiant Diamond Cut

Radiant

On the other hand, the princess cut (which accentuates a diamond’s fire rather than its luster) is currently gaining popularity.  The princess cut is also popular among diamond cutters.  Of all the cuts, it wastes the least of the original crystal.   

The past decades have seen the development of new diamond cuts, often based on a modification of an existing cut.  Some of these include extra facets. These newly-developed cuts are viewed by many as more of an attempt at brand differentiation by diamond sellers than actual improvements to the state of the art.  

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