When it comes to diamonds, most consumers tend to use the words “cut” and “shape” interchangeably. But for diamond professionals, there is a big difference. Diamond Shapes refers to the outline of the stone (pear, oval, round, etc.). The diamonds cut refers to a stone’s facet arrangement. There is a variety of ways or cutting styles shapes are faceted. The most common facet arrangement, the brilliant cut, is applied to many shapes. Consisting of 58 facets (if a culet facet is included) or 57 facets (if the culet is pointed). There will be one octagonal table, or top flat surface of the diamond and 16 kite-shaped facets and 40 triangular shaped facets and an optional small octagonal facet at the culet.
For the Purpose of this blog we will use the word ‘CUT’ for ‘SHAPE’. This is what most our clients refer to as shape.
Round Cut Diamond
The round shape is the most popular, often used as a solitaire engagement ring, earrings, or pendants. Approximately 75% of all diamonds sold are round-shaped. Also Estimated 53% of engagement ring center stones are round. The cutting style known as the round brilliant has been around since the 1700’s. Round brilliant cuts are constantly being modified and improved. The angles we see in today’s modern round brilliant are angles that help to enhance the diamond’s fire and brilliance. Henry Morse of Boston first suggested the modifications in the 1860’s. Later slightly enhanced by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. In 2005 the GIA produced a scientific way to assess and help cutters plan and predict the cut quality of round brilliant cut diamonds.
Oval Cut Diamond
The oval shape has probably the longest known history, with the first mention of an oval shaped diamond occurring in 1304: the famous Koh-I-Noor, which now resides in the Tower of London. One of the most notable oval brilliant cut diamonds is the 184 carat Victoria. The oval victoria Cut in 1887. The oval brilliant was popularized and modernized in the 1960′s. Containing fire and brilliance, the oval is suggestive of the round shape but is more unique. This shape also creates an illusion that the finger is longer and slimmer. The oval can be narrow or wide, depending on personal preference.
Marquise Shape Diamond
The marquise shape was named in 1745 for the Marquise de Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV of France. The long and narrow shape, said to resemble the shape of the Marquise’s mouth, creates an illusion that the diamond is of greater size. Symmetry is quite important with this shape, as even the slightest difference can create and uneven, imbalanced look.
Pear Cut Diamond
The pear shapes trace their history to the 1400’s. In the 1700’s the brilliant style was added. Pears have gently rounded shoulders and wings (the sides near the point) for an appealing outline. Directing the point toward the fingers tips of the wearer has a slimming effect on the hand. This shape is similar to the marquise shape, in that symmetry is extremely important.
Emerald Cut Diamond
An octagonal shape diamond. The emerald cut by design highlighs the qualities of emeralds. A highly cut coveted due to its square or rectangle table-top cut and step-cut facets. The emerald cut’s smoothly beveled corners add visual appeal and provide a secure setting area for the prongs. This cut results in a more mirror-like look and requires a stone of very high quality.
Square shaped Diamond
These diamonds include the princess cut and quadrillion cut. These cutting styles were created in the 1980′s and are also very popular cuts for engagement rings. The square shape creates the illusion of a larger diamond. When setting a princess or quadrillion cut diamond protect the four corners with claws or prongs. These are the areas most prone to chipping.
Among other square or rectangular shaped diamonds, some of the most notable cutting styles include:
The cushion cut. The brilliant style has been around since the mid-1700’s, it was the most common cut until the early 20th century. Originally designed to retain as much weight from the original crystal as possible, this brilliant cut combines a square cut with rounded corners (much like a cushion). Antique dealers are often on the lookout for the older version of these diamonds, as their light patterns tend to be chunkier and more distinctive than modern-cut diamonds.
The radiant and barion cuts. Perfected around in the 1970’s, these create vibrant and fiery diamonds, ideal as a center-stone surrounded by smaller diamonds.
The baguette cut. Named for the French word baguette, which means “long rod,” this cut became popular during the 1920′s. The 1920’s was an era when the Art Deco movement encouraged geometric shape and symmetrical flow. This baguette cut is more generally used for smaller side stones. Baguettes are often times measured by dimensional size rather than carat weight.
Asscher Cut Diamond
Developed in 1902 and named after its creator, Joseph Asscher. Not surprisingly a popular cut for Art Deco jewelry. It is similar to the emerald cut. The Asscher cut differs in that its facets are larger and it tends to be square rather than rectangular. Modifications to the Asscher cut were made in 2002. This made them become popular again.
Heart Shape Diamond
The heart shape diamond can be a beautiful symbol of love and romance. A skilled cutter creates the heart shape, always keeping an eye on the heart’s balance and symmetry. This shape is ideal as a pendant and is very popular around Valentine’s Day.
Trilliant Shaped Diamond
Last, and by no means least, triangular shaped diamonds first made their appearance in the 1500’s. Brilliant cut versions of this shape gained popularity in the 1960’s with the appearance of a variation called Trillion. In 1978 an additional variation called the Trilliant came on the market. Developed as a triangular version of the square-shaped radiant diamond. Many considered it an adventurous and provocative diamond choice.
If you would like to view the various shapes we will be happy to show you. Contact Loyes today for an appointment.
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