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Diamond Shapes & Cut

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A diamond's cut refers to two things. First of all, the diamond's cut refers to its shape, which is the outline.  Secondly, the cut also refers to the diamond’s proportions. When it comes time to determine the value of the diamond the proportions are extremely important.

If a diamond is cut too deeply, light comes in through the top, and leaks out at the bottom. This leaves you with a diamond with a very dark center. When this occurs you don’t get that sparkle, and it’s not very attractive.

When a diamond is cut too shallow, the sides are very open. Again, light is able to sneak into the top and leaks out through the bottom and you get what's called a “fish eye.”  A fish eye is a dark circle surrounded by a white ring.

However, when a diamond is cut properly, something beautiful happens. The light will flow through the top of the diamond, bounce around from facet to facet and reflect the light back out at you.

When the light can reflect back at you, it creates that sparkling effect, and you are presented with a dazzling diamond which is easy to fall in love with. 

All diamond shapes have different attributes.  The beauty of the individual shapes is a matter of personal taste. Shape dramatically impacts its overall appearance, including the way light interacts with a stone and the intricacy of the diamond cutting.

Diamond shapes include:  round, princess, emerald, asscher, marquise, oval, radiant, pear, heart and cushion.

 ROUND DIAMOND

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The round brilliant cut diamond is the most popular diamond shape universally available today.  They are valued for their simplicity.  Diamond cutters use advanced theories of light behaviour and precise mathematical calculations that optimize the fire and brilliance in a round diamond.  Because of these exact factors, even lower quality round stones appear more brilliant.

 PRINCESS DIAMOND

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This is the most popular non-round diamond.  Princess diamonds are immensely popular for their classic, elegant look, their beautiful brilliance and unique cut.  The highest amount of the stone's initial carat weight is preserved during the cutting process with this shape.  Square princess cuts are more expensive than those that are rectangular shaped.  A length-to-width ratio is used to describe the shape of these diamonds, with 1 being as perfectly square and most valuable.

 EMERALD DIAMOND

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Emerald diamonds are a modern shape characterized by its cut, angled corners and stepped facets, called its pavilion, granting the stone a unique amount of transparency.   Its larger, open table creates a unique optical appearance, highlighting the clarity of the diamond.  High quality diamonds with a few flaws are ideal for this shape.  They are described using a length-to-width ratio.  A length-to-width ratio between 1.30 and 1.40 is best for a classic emerald-cut shape.

ASSCHER DIAMOND  

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Named after a famed diamond-cutter, Joseph Asscher, this unique shape is similar to the emerald -cut, except that it is square, granting the stone a remarkable amount of brilliance. These diamonds are characterized by their angled corners that create a distinctively modern look.  It is recommended that only the highest quality diamonds be chosen for this shape.  Asscher diamonds are described by using a length-to-width ratio.  A length-to-width ratio between 1.00 and 1.05 is favorable for this shape.

MARQUISE DIAMOND

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This is a brilliant-cut diamond characterized by its elongated shape an pointed ends.  Its shape can maximize carat weight, giving it a much larger look.  These pristine, elegant diamonds were cherished by royalty for their elegant and luxurious appearance.  Marquise diamonds look beautiful set with round or pear-shaped side stones.  The length of the marquise diamonds makes fingers appear long and slender. Marquise diamonds are described by using a length-to-width ratio.   For a traditional marquise a length-to-width ratio between 1.785 and 2.25 is ideal.

OVAL DIAMOND

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This shape has become very popular in recent years because they dramatically flatter a finger by making it appear delicate, thin and longer.  These classically elegant diamonds have beautiful brilliance that is similar to a round diamond.  Its radiant brilliance is due to its cut which has similar mathematical precision as a round diamond.  A length-to-width ratio of 1.33 and 1.66 is ideal for these diamonds.  

RADIANT DIAMOND

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Radiant cut diamonds are a popular and versatile cut for jewellery, with a distinctively modern  shape. They are a stunning mix of an emerald-cut  diamond and a round-cut diamond.  The signature of these diamonds are trimmed corners, resulting in a rectangular or square shape, with rounded corners.  Its complex cut includes 70 facets, creating a brilliance which is truly remarkable.  A radiant cut diamond is beautiful when set with baguette or round side diamonds.  One might prefer a square shape or rectangular shape.  The length-to-width ratio will determine the diamond's outline, or what it will look like when viewed from the top.  Look for a length-to-width ratio between 1 and 1.05 for a radiant shape that is square.   For a rectangular shape, look for a length-to-width ratio greater than 1.10.

PEAR DIAMOND

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Pear diamonds are sometimes referred to as teardrop diamonds.  This brilliant-cut diamond is another classic and elegant shape with its single point and rounded end.  It is unique and radiates classic beauty.  Pear-shaped diamonds are a hybrid between a marquise  and a round diamond, with 58 facets, resulting in a brilliant stone.  Pear diamonds are available in shorter, wider shapes as well as long and slender varieties.  For the most traditional pear-shaped diamond look for a length-to-width ratio between 1.45 and 1.75.

HEART DIAMOND

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The heart-shaped diamond is the perfect shape to commemorate love.  They are ideal as a gift for someone special or as an engagement ring.  Only the most skilled diamond cutters can create this timeless and elegant shape because it is a very complicated shape to develop.  Heart-shaped diamonds have up to 58 facets creating a magnificent brilliance.  These stones have characteristics similar to pear-shaped diamonds.   The length-to-width ratio will determine the diamond's outline, whether it is short and wide or long and slender.  For a more traditional heart-shaped diamond, look for a length-to-width ratio between .90 and 1.10.

CUSHION DIAMOND

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Cushion-cut diamonds are also known as pillow-cut diamonds.  Rounded corners and larger facets increase its brilliance, highlighting its clarity.  Cushion-cut diamonds range in shapes from square to rectangular.  These unique stones have been popular for more than a century.   The length-to-width ratio determines the diamond's outline.  For a square cushion-cut diamond, look for a length-to-width ratio between 1 and 1.05.  For a rectangular shape, look for a length-to-width ratio greater than 1.15.

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