Do you know a marquise from cushion? Or a princess from a pear? Though diamond shape is frequently confused with cut, which refers to the arrangement of a stone’s facets, it actually refers to the outline or overall look of the diamond.
Diamonds come in a variety of shapes for every style — and like each couple’s love story — they’re all beautiful in their own way. Before you begin your search for an engagement ring, familiarize yourself with the most popular shapes and styles, so you can find the perfect one for you.
Round diamonds are a popular choice for solitaire engagement rings. In fact, roughly half of engagement ring center stones are round — chosen for their exceptional fire and brilliance. This shape is best for a classic look with brilliant shine.
Developed in the 1970s, the princess-shaped diamond’s sophisticated square shape creates the illusion of a larger stone. Like round diamonds, this shape works in almost any style of ring — but it really shines in a modern setting. Princess shapes should always be set with prongs that protect the stone's four corners and prevent chipping.
Stunning oval-shaped diamonds have long been a classic choice. (Fun fact: The Koh-I-Noor diamond resides in the Tower of London!) Today's oval became popular in the 1960s for its brilliance and ability to create the illusion of a longer finger. This shape is a lovely choice for someone who wants a timeless look with a twist.
Carat for carat, the marquise diamond has one of the largest surface areas of any diamond shape, making it a good choice for maximizing perceived size. Symmetry is especially important with this shape, as even the slightest difference can create an uneven look. Marquise is also known by the French name navette and is ideal for those who love a little drama.
A distinctive style that resembles a teardrop, pear diamonds combine round and marquise shapes with a tapered point on one end. (The traditional way to wear a pear-shaped diamond is to have the tip pointing out away from you.) Ideally, a pear-shaped diamond should have excellent symmetry with a point that lines up with its apex at the rounded end. This shape may hold more color than others, so pay close attention when choosing a stone.
Originally, the emerald shape was designed to highlight the qualities of emeralds — but the shape works beautifully for diamonds, too! With the step cuts of its pavilion and its large, open table, emerald-shaped diamonds produce a unique hall-of-mirrors effect, with captivating interplay between light and dark planes. Because the facets make it difficult to conceal imperfections, clarity is key with this shape. (More on the 4Cs here.)
Also known as “the old mine cut diamond,” cushion cuts are designed to retain as much diamond weight as possible. The square cut with rounded corners resembles a pillow — hence the name. One of the oldest styles and celebrity favorite, this shape is great for vintage flair and maximum sparkle.
Radiant shapes have a complete brilliant-cut facet pattern on both the crown and pavilion, which creates a vibrant and lively diamond. The design requires more diamond mass in order to achieve brilliance, so you’ll want to choose a stone of high quality.
What’s not to love about this stunning symbol of love and romance? Because of its sharp and distinct cleft and rounded wings, only very skilled cutters can create heart shapes and they’re typically only found in larger sizes.
Now, you know your shapes! Choosing the one for you is purely a style choice — no one shape is better than another. Share which shape speaks to you and come back to The Union to show off your ring, when you’ve found the one.