So many diamond cutting styles and shapes. Which to choose?
Diamonds come in a variety of shapes and cutting styles. From the round to the princess cut diamond, the shape of the diamond you choose will directly affect the appearance of your engagement ring as well as its price.
Now, fashion fads come and go all the time and the tastes of the consumer market are ever-changing. So, what are the current jewelry trends and the most popular diamond cuts that people are buying today?
In this article, we will reveal the top 5 most popular diamond shapes and also provide a quick overview of the various cutting styles. Let’s dive in…
Here is a list of topics we will be covering:
A super ideal cut round diamond engagement ring I bought from White Flash.
The round cut diamond is by far the most popular shape throughout the worldwide market today. In fact, it accounts for more than 70% of the total volume of diamonds sold! Due to its symmetrically balanced shape, the level of light performance displayed by modern round brilliant cuts surpasses any other cuts of diamonds.
It is no coincidence that the round brilliant cut is the default choice for couples who are selecting a proposal ring or buying an anniversary gift. Also, its versatility and ability to complement various styles of settings makes them the “poster child” of diamond jewelry.
Square princess cut diamond ring I purchased from James Allen.
The princess cut diamond might not have won the “war” with the round cuts, but it has definitely won the battle. Princess cut diamonds may not be a top choice when it comes to applications like earrings or necklaces. But, when it comes to engagement rings, it is without a doubt one of the most sought-after shapes after the round cut.
Did you know that the princess cut was created as a simple and elegant engineering solution to improve the yield of a polished diamond back in the 1960s? Not only was it able to make better use of the rough stone, but it also offered consumers an alternative shape with similar brilliance of a round diamond.
Due to its quadrilateral and squarish outline, princess cuts have sharp ends that are more vulnerable and require some extra care. For that reason, you should always opt for a setting that provides adequate protection to the delicate edges.
Inspect and scrutinize diamonds using an interactive video listing at James Allen.
Oval cut diamonds exhibit a similar level of brilliance and fire compared to the round cut. This makes them a popular shape for people who want to stand out from the norm and provide a soft, elegant appearance in a ring setting.
The outline of an oval cut diamond accentuates its face up size and they are moderately priced among the different diamond shapes. Ovals also look very attractive when set in wider looking rings because of their elongated shape.
Due to their shape and faceting structure, most oval shaped diamonds exhibit a bowtie across their belly. If you are searching for a well cut diamond, make sure you pay attention to the degree of bowtie and outline it has.
My wife wearing a cushion cut halo diamond engagement ring I bought.
In the US market, the cushion cut is making waves in the jewelry industry. For some reason, there is a recent surge of interest in this shape and dealers are seeing an increasing demand for them. In my opinion, I speculate that their popularity coincides with the resurgence of vintage-inspired fashion trends.
Among all the different types of shapes, cushion cuts have the largest amount of variations in their cutting style and can be broadly classified as modern or antique based on its faceting structure. Modern cushions tend to exhibit a “crushed ice” appearance while the antique styled cushions exhibit “broad fire” types of scintillation.
Whichever look you prefer, do note that cushions are not made equally and cut quality can differ greatly from one stone to another.
Emerald shaped diamonds have a mesmerizing appearance.
The emerald cut diamond was originally developed for – as the name suggests – emeralds. However, the cutting style was so successful with emeralds that it was soon picked up by diamond cutters. Thanks to appearances in well-known TV shows and engagement rings of celebrities like Kate Hudson, the emerald cut gained significant popularity in recent years.
Unlike the round diamonds, emerald cuts employ a step-cutting process which results in a different scintillation pattern similar to a hall-of-mirrors effect. They also have huge table facets which show off the diamond’s clarity and color. As a result, emerald cut diamonds generally require higher color and clarity ratings to look white and be eyeclean.
While I’ve listed the most popular cuts of diamonds above, there are a few other shapes that are commonly found in the market. If I were to rank the top 10 shapes based on consumer statistics, the 6th to 10th positions would be as follow:
Each of these diamond shapes has its own unique features and appeal. If you are interested to find out more details or shopping tips about any particular shape, you can simply navigate to the corresponding section of Beyond4cs.com using the header menu.
The round cut diamond takes the crown for being the most popular diamond cut because of its superior light performance and versatility in jewelry design. With that said, every woman has their own preferences and tastes.
Just because the round cut is the most popular diamond shape doesn’t mean you have to buy it for your recipient. What matters most is that you choose a shape that best represents her sense of style and select the one that she will love.
Now I’d like to hear from you. Which is the diamond shape you would choose if you were buying an engagement ring? Do leave a comment below to share your thoughts as I would absolutely love to hear what you think.
I have read quite a bit of your postings while educating myself prior to buying an Emerald cut diamond online. I noticed your fondness for James Allen, and your stated concern about Blue Nile. I have been going back and forth on the same advanced search criteria between James Allen, Whiteflash, Adiamor, Brian Gavin, and Blue Nile. My belief is the sites listed are all pretty good for round diamonds, but most of them have very little in the way of Emerald cuts. Regardless, when comparing quality and pricing for similar diamonds, I’m struggling to see why Blue Nile is so much worse.
Perhaps things have changed over the last couple of years, and I can’t tell when particular posts were made.
Full disclosure, I have been a repeat customer of Blue Nile over the years and have always been very happy with whatever I have purchased there (tends to look better in person than online). having said that, I am truly open to buying from a different site if they have a clear advantage on a specific diamond.
So my question to you is whether you still feel that BN is much worse a retailer than the others? If so, why?
Beyond that, even though I am getting pretty well educated on viewing ASET, Idealscope, etc. images as well as knowing the right range of dimensional parameters I will likely reach out for help once I have gotten my shortlist down to around 3 diamonds. Ahead of the shortlist being finalized, I wanted to get your current view on BN so I can understand if I’m wasting my time on their inventory.
Some of the articles you read were written more than 3 years ago and those articles are in the midst of an update to reflect the current status. Anyway, BlueNile has stepped up their game a lot since. They used to only provide a grading report and nothing else but have recently included magnified videos in their listings.
This is a more recent review:
It’s perfectly fine to shop at Blue Nile. Just make sure you only buy diamonds with videos from Bluenile because you do need tangible details on the stone’s performance. I would recommend stick with their signature Astor emerald cut diamonds with BlueNile as those are popular with people looking for better light return in their diamonds.
Let me know if you need help or 2nd opinions in your diamond selections.
Thanks for the quick response, and your answer makes sense based on what I’m seeing in the market. Blue Nile seems to be a really popular online site for many consumers. I read the entire review you indicated, and that helps give me some confidence. I have explored everybody with videos and/or ASET images, and my eyes tell me the BN signature cuts have that extra performance in the video. Of course, maybe I’m seeing what I want to see…
Regardless, based on my search parameters, I believe this specific diamond outperforms everyone else: https://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD06678806
If you have a moment, perhaps you can take a quick look and let me know your thoughts on it. The GIA report mentions internal graining, but having studied this diamond quite a bit I cannot see it. I just don’t know if that’s due to my untrained eye or its truly not visible (certainly not in real life given I can’t see it in the magnified view).
BTW After reading your BN review, I widened my search to VS1 and VS2 but found that the pricing was not any better given everything else (such as color, carat, etc.) was the same. Curious.
Lastly, if you are inclined, here is what I thought was the absolute best value in sig ideal emerald cuts on BN: https://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD06914062
Because of it’s proportions and cut, it will appear from top view to be almost the same size as the 1.5 carat class diamonds, and its light performance via GCAL is better than all of them (IMO) except the diamond I linked above.
My issue is that it seems very obviously yellow compared to the F color diamonds in my list, and I think I don’t want that warmth. However, I’m open to considering it if you have a point of view on how much that yellow will be a factor in person and in real size (vs. the highly magnified views I am dealing with). I did perform your re-sizing method for the eye cleanliness, but I found that using that method for color is not as definitive (plus I’m a computer tech guy and understand I’m at the mercy of color calibration on my monitor).
Sorry for the long message, but I wanted to cover everything as I know you are very busy and want to prevent as much back and forth as possible. Thanks in advance for your help.
It really depends on what shape of diamond you are buying and the setting you are looking for when deciding on a vendor. Blue Nile don’t have the best options when it comes to popular shapes like round cuts and princess. They do offer a wide selection of options for emerald cut diamonds and other fancy cut diamonds.
Now, color is largely subjective and depends on how acute your eyesight is. If you are color sensitive, stick with G and better and you will get a nice icy white diamond. Cutwise, this is the best stone compared to the diamonds above: https://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD06678806
Thank you very much for all the guidance. I bought the 1.54 carat from BlueNile, and in person the stone is absolutely stunning! It has unbelievable scintillation for an emerald cut diamond. Given my girlfriend is in the jewelry business, I know she will appreciate the quality.
If you accept donations to help fund your site, let me know and I will gladly contribute. Otherwise, thanks again and good luck with your ventures.
My bf and I recently started looking at engagement rings and doing our best to be educated on the topic. However, choosing a diamond has been difficult! After reading your blog, I know cut is king! So I’d like the most sparkly emerald cut diamond possible. Our budget is no higher than $8000 for the whole ring, and we’re even considering going for a custom made setting using some diamonds and gold we already have. We’re not exactly sure how much that drops our budget for the center stone. My ideal emerald cut diamond would be 1.2-1.5 carats, G-H color, eye-clean SI1-VS2, with medium to strong fluorescence (we think it’s a cool feature, but could do without too). We’ve looked at some Brian Gavin diamonds, but we’re curious how much of a visible difference a Brian Gavin Signature diamond would be in comparison to another Ideal cut diamond from elsewhere? Do you think it would be worth it to go smaller like .8-.9 carat vs. 1.2 carat in order to get a Brian Gavin Signature diamond?
We look forward to your recommendations! And thank you in advance for your help!
The majority of emerald cut diamonds in the market are “junk” in terms of cut quality due to the lack of expertise as well as the goal of maximizing carat weight (more profits). BGD is one vendor that prioritizes sparkle and beauty in its signature diamonds. I would say that his diamonds are far better than 99.99% of the diamonds you see in the market in terms of cut quality and sparkle.
So, yes. The BGD diamonds will have better fire and brightness and a distinct scintillation patterning (See from ASET). I’ve seen a number of them in person and can confirm this.
Also, you need to manage your expectations with a small budget. Asking for a 1.5ct well cut diamond with G color that is eyeclean is impossible. They don’t exist. If you expect a 1.5ct and above, expect to pay a lot more than $8,000 for the diamond alone.
This would be a great diamond that would fit your budget: https://www.briangavindiamonds.com/diamonds/diamond-details/1.081-h-vs1-emerald-diamond-ags-104097911007
Here are 2 other diamonds that I would recommend for performance:
Personally, out of the 3 diamonds, I would have the strongest preference for the F 1.2ct diamond as it offers the best value for money. The 2nd stone in the order of my preferences would be the BGD option.