Amal Alamuddin-Clooney wears an emerald cut, Johnny Depp’s wife Amber Heard sports a round brilliant, and Kanye West presented wife Kim Kardashian with a cushion cut when he proposed. It’s when you start looking at the different shapes that diamond selection gets really exciting. But where to start? Ultimately it’s about personal taste, however there are some factors worth keeping in mind...
It’s believed 75 percent of all diamonds sold are round brilliants, which reflect the most light of all the cuts, for an extra bright effect. Round shapes are perfect for larger fingers, as they don’t cut the length of the finger visually. They’re also a classic, timeless choice that offers both visual impact and understated style.
Princess cut diamonds are the second most popular diamond shape. Like round brilliants, they reflect light well for a fiery effect, while offering a classic, stylish choice. Square shapes are best for women with long fingers as they can make fingers appear a little shorter. A princess cut should always be set with prongs to protect its delicate corners.
Oval diamonds were created in the 60s and have a classic, regal feel to them. They also offer a similar fire to the round brilliant, so if you love a bright stone but want something unique, the oval could be for you. Oval diamonds also create the illusion of greater size thanks to their elongated shape, which helps lengthen the finger.
The cushion cut diamond is a popular choice for its sumptuous, pillowy plumpness. Once known as an ‘old mine’ cut, it’s been around for 200 years and until the round brilliant came to be 100 years ago was the de facto diamond shape. A distinctive look with a beautiful history behind it, this is the go-to for many celebrities.
The name of this diamond shape comes from the Marquise of Pompadour; it’s believed that King Louis XIV of France had a stone cut to resemble what he considered her perfectly shaped mouth. Marquise diamonds are long and narrow, so appear big for their weight. Like the oval, their elongated shape can lengthen the wearer’s finger.
Pear diamonds are a blend of round brilliant and marquise. The diamond should be worn with the pointed end directed at its wearer and comes in a range of cuts – from slim to plump. Which you choose should depend simply on personal taste. Pears have an elegant and slimming effect on the wearer’s finger.
The heart-shaped diamond – worn by none other than Lady Gaga – is a unique choice, and of course the symbol of love. It is popular for solitaire rings and necklace pendants. Symmetry is a very important characteristic when choosing this shape.
Emerald cut diamonds are the epitome of elegance. Thanks to step cuts and a large, open table, they give a ‘hall of mirrors’ effect for drama and grace. The shape was initially designed for actual emeralds, hence the name, and looks best on slim and petite hands and fingers.
Radiant cut diamonds are a bright and lively square diamond. Rising to popularity in the 80s, the cropped- corner shape acts as a nice compromise between the cushion and princess cuts.
Sometimes called a trillion, this triangular shape may have curved or uncurved sides. A unique choice that offers a dynamic look, trillions can be placed as solitaires or act as side accent stones.