Diamond shapes contribute to the overall style of an engagement ring. Different from cut (one of the 4Cs which determines the amount of brilliance, fire, and sparkle in a diamond), the diamond shape is usually your first priority when selecting a diamond.
Round diamonds are the most popular shape for engagement rings, a classic choice that surpasses any setting or style of ring. Cut and shape are combined to create the round brilliant diamond, which offers maximum brightness, sparkle, and beauty. For a brilliant cut diamond to dazzle, more of the rough diamond is cut and polished away. A smaller diamond, in terms of carats, may actually be more expensive and valuable than a larger diamond that is not cut to ideal proportions.
The most popular fancy shape diamond is the princess cut, which is a square design with a brilliant cut. Princess cut diamonds are a flexible shape and work in almost any style ring, appealing to the modern or fashion-forward bride.
With pointed corners, the princess is traditionally a square cut, though many princess cut diamonds are slightly rectangular. The square emerald-cut, another geometric shape, is best for diamonds with few inclusions because the step-cuts act like a window, revealing any inclusions.
In square-shaped diamonds, color may be visible toward the corners, even in an almost-colorless stone. The metals used in the setting, the band itself, and whether diamonds or colored gemstones surround the center diamond can also create the perception of color.
The cushion cut diamond has rounded corners and larger facets for more radiance and clarity. Cushion-cuts range from rounded-square to rounded-rectangle, and are a go-to shape for celebrity rings, especially with large stones or fancy color diamonds.
Emerald-cut diamonds are defined by a unique facet arrangement, cut with long and narrow parallel facets for an optical appearance. The top of the diamond is large and open, and highlights the clarity of the diamond. Traditionally rectangular, the shape was originally developed for the cutting of emeralds, hence the name.
Like the round and princess cut diamonds, these alternative shapes have a brilliant cut. Though fancy shaped diamonds are less common, they add unique style and interest to engagement rings. Heart shaped diamonds are a romantic choice for engagement rings and solitaire pendants. Marquise diamonds maximize carat weight, giving the illusion of a much larger diamond. Pear shaped diamonds are rare, and the elongated shape can make fingers appear long and slim. With a brilliant cut for sparkle, the elongated shape of oval diamonds can create the illusion of larger size.