Cut can also refer to the diamond shape, the most popular of which is the round brilliant cut, originally developed by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919 with a total of 58 facets. There are, however, many other diamond shapes available which are known as a fancy cut, including popular choices such as princess cut, emerald cut, oval and baguette. Deciding the shape of the diamond is a matter of personal taste and style.
Over the past century, diamond cutters have perfected the round brilliant cut diamond using advanced light theories and mathematical calculations to develop its optimum fire and brilliance. They are the only diamond shape to have perfectly defined proportions and account for more than three-quarters of all diamonds sold today.
Round brilliant cut diamonds
For the traditional bride, a round brilliant cut is the most popular option for an engagement ring. The stone is cut in the shape of a cone with the top rounded off which enables it to return the light that enters it. It is considered the most brilliant of diamond cuts and its symmetrical shape allows it to maximise all its qualities.
Princess cut diamonds
Created in the 1970s, this fairly modern style is an adaptation of the standard brilliant cut which highlights the diamond's fire. The top of a princess cut diamond is square with pointed corners, while its general shape is a pyramid. Radiating fire and brilliance, princess cut diamond engagement rings are a contemporary alternative to the classic round brilliant diamond engagement ring.
Emerald cut diamonds
As its name implies, this method of cutting was originally used for the cutting of emeralds, but was revealed to be useful for other gemstones, including diamonds. The emerald cut diamond is designed to draw attention to a diamond's shine. It is a step cut – a cut with rectangular facets that are arranged parallel to each edge of the diamond. An emerald cut diamond has a rectangular top with chiseled corners. This shape is enjoying a huge revival in diamond jewellery.
An oval diamond engagement ring is perfect for the woman who adores the fire of the round brilliant diamond, but wants something that is slightly different. The Oval shape was designed in the 1960s by Lazare Kaplan, the cousin of Marcel Tolkowsky who aided the development of round brilliant diamonds. Oval shaped diamonds share a similar cut with the traditional round brilliant but have a more contemporary edge.
Named after the French word for breadstick, this slim and rectangular baguette shaped diamond is the most familiar form of step cuts. This is a popular choice for eternity and wedding rings, the baguette diamonds have a small, rectangular cut. They are also used as an accent stone to accentuate a larger stone in a diamond cluster ring or are united with similar sized round brilliant cut diamonds to create a stunning look.
This unique diamond which is also known as a teardrop because of its single point and rounded end exudes simple sophistication. The pear shaped diamond is a brilliant cut diamond that blends the shape of an oval diamond and a marquise diamond. Pear shaped diamonds are also sublime in pendants and earrings. On an engagement ring the point of the diamond can be worn towards or away from the hand depending on the preference of the individual.
Folklore would say the marquise shape was created at the request of King Louis X1V who wanted a stone to represent the sultry smile of his mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour. The end result was a lengthened shape in a diamond cut with sharp ends. The marquise diamond is cut to exploit its carat weight, giving a superior looking stone.
Marquise diamonds work beautifully as a central stone in a diamond engagement ring, or as an accent stone in diamond jewellery.
There's no better way to express your love than with a heart shaped diamond, it is the ultimate symbol of love. A heart shaped diamond is similar to a pear shaped diamond with a cleft cut into its top. This fancy diamond cut adds a distinct, feminine and romantic touch to any piece of diamond jewellery. The cut requires a highly skilled diamond cutter to ensure optimum brilliance as it is intricate.
Developed in the 1970s by World War II veteran Henry Gossbard, radiant cut diamonds unify the grace of an emerald cut diamond with the brilliance of a round diamond. This is a versatile choice for diamond jewellery as it has trimmed corners and 70 facets giving it an individual look. They are typically rectangular in shape but can also be square.
Over the last 100 years, the cushion cut diamond has gained popularity because of its rounded corners and larger facets for enhanced brilliance. Also known as pillow cut diamonds; they can be square or rectangular in shape.
If you appreciate bold and dramatic jewellery, then the trilliant diamond may be the perfect cut for you. Created in the 1970's in Amsterdam, trilliant diamonds vary between traditional triangular shapes with pointed corners to a more rounded shape. A unique and intriguing diamond shape, the trilliant diamond is rarely used as a central stone in diamond jewellery but creates an irresistible accent stone for a round brilliant diamond solitaire.