It is such a thrill to pick a piece of diamond jewelry. Whether you’re a prospective fiance looking for a gorgeous diamond engagement ring or a pair of diamond earrings for a special occasion gift, there is a great deal of joy in giving and receiving something considered beautiful by everyone.

When buying a diamond, you consider the 4Cs - cut, color, clarity, and carat as well as the setting and design of the piece of jewelry. The 4Cs are the most important factors so where does the shape enter into the equation?

Many people confuse shape and cut, believing them to be the same thing. It can be confusing because even though the terms are quite distinct they are used interchangeably and even together.

The shape is the geometric description, the outline, if you like, of the stone. The cut is one of the grades (4Cs) and has the biggest effect on a stone’s beauty and sparkle. A diamond’s cut refers to its facets, symmetry, dimensions, and reflective qualities.

The cut is the result of the craftsmanship of the diamond cutter. They will assess each rough stone and decide the best shape to make the best-faceted gem.

The shape is purely an aesthetic choice.

If you are looking for the perfect diamond and would like a little bit of gemstone knowledge before you head to the jeweler, then keep reading for a guide on which diamond shape is right for you. We’ll help you find the right diamond at the appropriate price point to suit both the buyer and the wearer (If they aren’t the same person).

You’ll have a much better experience when you need to assess things like ring style, carat weight, diamond size, and diamond shape.

What Are the Diamond Shapes?

There are nine popular diamond shapes and other less popular and less common shapes. The top nine are:

Less common and less popular are:

The most popular diamond shapes tend to garner the highest prices, but only if the quality of the shape is matched by the quality of other factors like color grade, clarity grade, presence of inclusions, and cut grade.

Let’s now take a look at shapes in detail to enable you to make a buying decision.

Round Cut Diamond

1.79ct Round Cut Lab Grown Diamond
Round-cut diamonds or round brilliant-cut diamonds are by far the most popular shape and are renowned for being the most brilliant and the most sparkling of all. The classic round shape accounts for around 2 in 3 of every diamond sold in the world.

Usually, a round brilliant will have 58 facets and these produce the most scintillating sparkle and flashes of rainbow color when hit by the light. No other diamond shape shines quite like a round diamond, which makes it perfect for a solitaire engagement ring or something similarly momentous and important.

Naturally, the most brilliant round-cut diamonds come with a pretty amazing price tag. Aim for a cut grade of 3 excellent or at a minimum, very good, to ensure value for money.

Oval Cut Diamond

1.01ct Oval Cut Lab Grown Diamond
Oval-cut diamonds are an ideal choice for anybody who is looking to give a more elongated look to their hands and fingers.

Many people believe that the oval-shaped diamond is the most complementary on the ring finger, like a modified version of a round diamond but with a more unique shape that catches the eye instantly.

Something to remember about oval shapes is that they can sometimes have an uneven light distribution through the stone.

Princess Cut Diamond

1.7ct Princess Cut Lab Grown Diamond
The princess cut diamond, another of the more traditional shapes, is similar to a round cut diamond in that they are designed to provide the optimum amount of brilliance.

The square shape of the princess cut has better fire and brilliance than the other fancy-cut diamonds with similar shapes.

Something to remember about the princess cut diamond is that if you are working with a setting that doesn’t protect the stone as much as it could, it could start to chip away at the corners. Chipping is one of the biggest issues that princess cut diamond owners deal with so a prong setting is the best option.

Cushion Cut Diamond

3.43ct Cushion Cut Lab Grown Diamond
Cushion cut diamonds, as the name suggests, look very much like pillows in a square shape with softened edges which are considered to be very vintage and antique. The classic square cushion shape is often seen on the fingers of fairy tale princesses and queens!

It is one of the few diamond shapes that have variations, namely standard, modified, and modern.

The biggest benefit of cushion shape is that it is considered to be the perfect blend of trendy and classic, but make sure that you find a stone that is well cut because a less talented jeweler can make a mess of a cushion cut! The better the symmetry, the better the sparkle.

Emerald Cut Diamond

1.57ct Emerald Cut Lab Grown Diamond
The emerald-cut diamond is one of the most elegant shapes that you can choose. These stones are cut with long, sophisticated lines and stepped facets that give the illusion of a more elongated shape or rectangular shape.

Emerald-cut diamonds tend to look larger than a lot of other shapes even if the carat weight is slightly smaller, which means you can get more for your money.

Remember to consider the fact that emerald cut diamonds have a larger surface area and usually an intense clarity, which means that imperfection and inclusions are more likely to be noticed!

Asscher Cut Diamond

4.24ct Asscher Cut Lab Grown Diamond
First introduced in 1902 by the Dutch firm, Asscher Brothers, the cutting method was slightly updated in 2002 to enhance its brilliance.

The Asscher is similar to an emerald cut but has a steeper crown thanks to slightly softer edges, a smaller face, and deeper stepping to make the shine come from the inner depths of the stone.

The cut improves clarity and shininess but doesn’t always hide the flaws. The better Asscher diamonds will have a color grade higher than H and a clarity grade higher than VS.

Marquise-Cut Diamond

3.07ct Marquise Cut Lab Grown Diamond
Marquise cut diamonds are classic choices for engagement rings and they are boat-shaped and incredibly brilliant at their best.

They are very similar to emerald cut diamonds, which means that they are another shape of stone that can often look larger than the truth of their carat size.

The only thing to consider about marquise diamonds is that they do tend to look and feel a little bit outdated in the modern jewelry landscape. If you are a lover of vintage, however, then this might be exactly what you are looking for!

Pear Shaped Diamond

0.52ct Pear Cut Lab Grown Diamond
Pear-cut diamonds are also referred to as teardrop diamonds by some, and they are designed to make as much light dance through them as possible.

Inspired by nature, the pear shape possesses the best benefits of some other diamonds; they can elongate your finger in the same way as the oval diamond, and they can capture the light the same way as the round diamond.

They are often chosen for sentimental reasons, especially in engagement rings. When the sharp end of the diamond is pointed toward the wearer’s heart it is said to be a symbol of pure and enduring love.

Be careful with the pointed tip end of a pear-cut diamond, as it can sometimes be at higher risk of chipping.

How to Choose a Diamond Shape

A Traditional Choice
Traditional by no means equals boring if you know how to find the perfect classical diamond shape for your desired look. If you are someone who leans more into the vintage or antique, then you should consider cushion, round, and marquise diamonds. These three shapes in particular are considered the classics of the fancy shape diamond club!

A Modern Choice
If you prefer a more contemporary twist in your jewelry, then the shapes at the top of your list should be oval, emerald, and princess cut. These are all popular options for modern diamond engagement rings in particular. Though the shapes are not considered to be ‘new’, they do boast some more contemporary flair compared to others.

An Unconventional Choice
If you want to be more unique in your diamond shape choice, then opt for a pear or baguette shape. Both of these shapes are more unconventional than the rest, but they can be equally as stunning for the appropriate wearer. Another unconventional route is to go beyond the nine most popular and choose a heart shape or radiant-cut diamond.

Bespoke Cut
Of course, if you don’t see something that blows you away right from the jewelry case, then you can always use the custom design by Lealor. Choosing from the best diamonds (both lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds), you have the option to build your ring setting from scratch with all of the different diamond shapes to choose from for your own center stone.

When you choose the custom route, you can dictate every feature of the ring, from the rough diamond to ring size to potential side stones and everything in between!