Diamond Shapes

choosing the right diamond shape

How do you choose the right shape?

Buying diamonds isn’t like buying hamburgers or a pair of new shoes. While it is often said that a diamond is a girl’s best friend, many people fail to realize that the choice of shape can reflect the personality of the wearer. So, how do you pick one that suits your recipient’s preferences?

Before we delve deeper into details, I need to address a common misunderstanding about the terms “shape” and “cut”. Many consumers and jewelers (!) think that both terms refer to the same thing and often use them interchangeably.

Strictly speaking, the shape and cut of a diamond represent two separate things all together. The irresponsible usage of these terms by “professionals” in the industry has led to widespread confusion among consumers. I know this because I had experienced it myself and I often get such questions from readers as well.

To set the record straight, shape refers to the geometrical outline of the stone – oval, pear, heart etc. On the other hand, cut refers to how well the diamond’s facets are proportioned and finished.

The Top 10 Most Popular Shapes And Their Symbolic Meaning


round cut diamondsThe round brilliant cut is the most well-known shape when people think about diamonds. They account for more than 70% of the diamonds sold in today’s market. Besides a flattering appearance on most hand shapes, round diamonds are also popular for a good reason.

Among all the shapes, the round brilliant cut has the best overall fire and brilliance. This is achieved as a result of careful mathematical calculations and years of research to optimize the round cut’s optical performance.

Symbolic meaning of wearer’s personality: Empathetic, dependable, honest, faithful and trustworthy.


oval cut diamondsThe oval diamond follows a cutting style that is somewhat similar to the round brilliant cut. However, the differences are obvious – oval diamonds have a different length-to-width ratio and an elongated outline.

The outline of the oval helps create an illusion of a slender looking finger and is popular with people who have smaller hands.

Symbolic meaning of wearer’s personality: Elegant, stable, disciplined, risk-taker and embraces individuality.


princess cut diamondsIf romance has driven you here, it is likely that you are looking for something to put on your bride’s finger – or trying to convince your groom to put something exquisite on your finger.

Princess diamonds can look really good in both traditional and modern engagement ring designs. This makes them ideal choices for trend-setters or fashionable women who enjoy being in the limelight.

Symbolic meaning of wearer’s personality: Sensible, efficient leader, organized, bold and fun-loving.


emerald cut diamondsEmerald-shaped diamonds are rectangular diamonds with beveled corners and are easily recognizable by their large surfaces. Their pavilion, made of successive step facets creates a remarkably elegant look. The thing you should probably be aware of emerald cuts is that they aren’t as brilliant or fiery as the rounds.

Lately, emerald cuts are experiencing a trend revival as Hollywood stars and the fashion elite have taken a huge interest in them. Every once in a while, we will hear news of celebrities being engaged and presented with huge emerald cut proposal rings.

Symbolic meaning of wearer’s personality: Charming, classy, attention seeking, confident and straightforward.


Asscher cut diamondsThe Asscher shape has a vintage appeal and looks identical to the emerald cut except except that it has a squarish appearance. For the fashion conscious consumers, the Asscher diamond offers a good balance of scintillation and contrast patterning without sacrificing its classic appearance.

Symbolic meaning of wearer’s personality: Feminine, special, meticulous and authoritative.



marquise cut diamondsA marquise-cut diamond can turn you into the center of attention at a party with its extravagant appearances. Due to their unique shape and cutting style, a marquise diamond maximizes its carat weight for a high spread factor. That means that it can offer good finger coverage even if you buy a smaller diamond.

Symbolic meaning of wearer’s personality: Stylish, flair for drama, daring, innovative and full of zest.


radiant cut diamondsRadiant cut diamonds can be considered as a hybrid between princess and round cut diamonds. They have very versatile uses and can be found in many types of jewelry like earrings, rings and pendants. Radiant cuts can also be combined with other diamond shapes in a three-stone or multi-stone setting.

Symbolic meaning of wearer’s personality: Trend setter, flirty, even-tempered, sentimental and highly adaptable.


pear cut diamondsYou can imagine a pear-cut diamond as a drop of crystallized water. Pear cuts are elegant choices for solitaire necklaces and also excellent options for rings. With a sexy-looking rounded edge and a smooth taper near the tip, pears have distinctly refined flavors to them.

Like the marquise, pears can make the fingers look longer and appear more feminine. This makes them perfect choices for ladies with small to average length fingers. who have exquisite tastes.

Symbolic meaning of wearer’s personality: Has exquisite tastes, adventurous, romantic and passionate.


heart cut diamondsHeart-shaped diamonds are crafted to resemble the universal symbol of love. For romantic people, this is the best diamond shape for an engagement ring.

Hearts combine very well with other shapes of diamonds. However, their dominant characteristic comes through best when they are used separately as a solitaire, or surrounded with significantly smaller accent stones.

Symbolic meaning of wearer’s personality: Emotional, thoughtful, feminine, affectionate and sensitive.


cushion cut diamondsCushion-cut diamonds, also known as the pillow cut, have a similar appearance to the radiant cut diamonds. They offer a classic appeal and have a long history in its evolution since the Art Deco period.

With an increasing demand for vintage styled jewelry, cushion cuts had gain a lot of popularity in the consumer market today.

Symbolic meaning of wearer’s personality: Likes individuality, kind, traditional and family orientated.



So Many Shapes, So Little Money?

I know it is very easy for first-time buyers to get confused by the variety of available shapes. Don’t feel bad if you are one of them because that’s normal. Since every shape has their own set of attributes to look out for, I encourage you to spend some time in reading up the appropriate sections of Beyond4Cs.com.

Ultimately, you need to figure out what you or your recipient’s preferences are before you head into the stores. Remember, every diamond has its own story to tell. Make sure that it is one which pulls heart strings and brings back fond memories to you and your partner many years down the road.

Visit JamesAllen.com to view an assortment of GIA graded loose diamonds with all types of shapes and sizes. With their cutting edge video technology, you can now see and interact with every single diamond up close!

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  1. JoJo Henry-
    July 28, 2015 at 12:06 am

    What’s the meaning behind a Trilliant diamond? It seems to be the best shape for creating a pendant.

  2. Paul Gian-
    July 29, 2015 at 9:04 am
  3. shahin-
    May 14, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    great. Thanks for this comprehensive article on the different cuts of diamonds. : )

  4. Sweety-
    September 8, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Hello Paul,

    Loved your article. I am planning on getting a diamond ring for myself. The choice of center stone is a pear. I have shortlisted a few of them. It would be great if you could provide your expert advice for the stone and also on the type of setting you recommend. Please let me know and I can share the details with you.


  5. Paul Gian-
    September 9, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Sure. You probably want to drop me an email. To get a headstart, check out these links first:


    You should also have a budget in mind as well as the expectations of the 4Cs (please be realistic) before you start shopping. in terms of setting type, it’s really up to personal tastes and I’ve highlighted some ideas for you in the links above.

  6. Marc-
    December 20, 2019 at 11:50 pm

    Thank you Paul for answering my mail and your expert opinion. Now I am much more confident. Great website and very happy to have found you. Very appreciated your help!

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