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Diamond Characteristics

Diamond Shape

Diamonds come in many shapes with the round brilliant cut being the most common. All the others are called fancy shapes:  Oval, Princes, Radiant, Emerald, Pear, Marquise, Kite, Trillion, Baguette, Asscher, Cushion, Half Moon, Trapezoids.  Deciding on the shape is the first step in the selection process and if you have some input from that special someone receiving the gift this could be very helpful. If not, maybe get some information from her friends.
The Jewelry Hut apply high round diamond quality standards to our fancy shaped diamonds as well. We only offer the finest fancy shaped diamonds that are graded by GIA to have FL - SI clarity, D - J color, and Excellent, Very Good, Good, and Fair Cut.
Since fancy shapes are all very different, unique characteristics determine quality for each shape.  Select your shape below to learn how to recognize the most beautiful diamond.

  • Round
    The round brilliant diamond is the most popular diamond shape and, because of the laws of supply and demand is the most expensive.  Rounds make up the vast majority of diamonds found in engagement rings and are popular as stud earrings and in pendants.


  • Oval
    The oval is seen most frequently cut in the standard 58 facet brilliant pattern but can have a varying number of pavilion main facets ranging from 4, 6, or 8.  Look for even well rounded ends with a full body having an optimal length to width ratio of 1.33 - 1.66. Ovals provide a bigger surface area than a round with the same carat weight and therefore are an excellent option for shoppers looking for the brilliance of the round but a bigger size for their money.


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  • Princess
    The Princess cut is called a square or rectangular modified brilliant in GIA grading reports.  It is the most popular fancy shaped diamond. Its beautiful brilliance and unique cut makes it a favorite for engagement rings.  It may have either 50 facets, 21 crown, 4 girdle, 25 pavilion, or 58 facets, 21 crown, 4 girdle, 33 pavilion, depending on how the pavilion is cut. This cut is most frequently a square shape where the length to width ratio is 1.0 to 1.1. The princess cut tends to be the smallest of the shapes for the same carat weight since the cut is basically an upside down pyramid with most of the carat weight in the pavilion or bottom of the stone.


  • Emerald
    The emerald cut is not a brilliant cut, It’s called a step cut.  Step cuts are comprised of larger facets which act like mirrors.  The emerald cut has 58 facets, 25 crown, 8 girdle, and 25 pavilion. Because of the angle, size and shape of the facets, this cut shows less brilliance and fire (dispersion) than other brilliant cut diamonds.  However, the emerald cut stone reveals a classic beauty and elegance not seen in other cuts.  Because of the open and large facets, we recommend a higher color and clarity than you might consider for a brilliant cut stone because they are more likely o become visible at lower grades.  The classic emerald has a length to width ratio or 1.50, the recent trend is toward the more square shape.



  • Pear
    The pear shape usually has the 58 facet brilliant pattern, but can be cut with different numbers of pavilion main of 8,7,6, or 4 facets. In a pear, look for a well shaped head and even shoulders with the length to width ratio of 1.50 - 1.75.  Pear shaped diamonds work great for pendants and drop earrings.


  • Heart
    The heart shape is a brilliant cut, which can be modified so that the number of pavilion mains may be 6, 7, or 8.  It is important to look for a perfectly symmetrical appearance where the lobes, top arches, are of even height and breadth and the overall shape pleasing to the eye.  The length to width ratio should ideally be 0.98 - 1.02.


  • Marquise
    The marquise is usually cut as an adaptation of 58 facet standard brilliant, 33 crown and 25 pavilion, the same as the round brilliant. However, the pavilion can be cut with 4, 6, or 8 pavilion main facets. The crown cut is sometimes modified in the marquise to form what is called a “French Tip,” where the bezel facet at the point of the stone is eliminated. The length to width ratio should be in the 1.75 - 2.25 range. Marquise diamonds frequently display a bow tie, so try to to find a stone in which this is minimal or absent. The marquise has a very big surface area for the carat weight so is an excellent option if you want a big, long look for less money.


  • Trillion
    The trillion cut was developed in the late 70s.  The cut is an adaptation of radiant cut but it is in a triangular shape.  The trillion is a triangle that has equilateral sides and is combinations cut of the step cut and the brilliant cut diamond and when cut correctly have a wonderful brilliance. They are often cut shallow and often look large for their carat weight. Trillion diamonds are beautiful when flanking a center diamond, or in a more avant-garde piece as a center diamond. A matched pair also creates beautiful earrings.


  • Baguette
    The baguette is a step cut style used frequently as side stones. Baguettes have unleveled corner, usually only two rows of facets and may be rectangular or tapered. Like the emerald cut, the baguette does not have a sparkle of a brilliant cut but has a classic beauty. Higher color and clarity are important because there are not facets to hide inclusions or body color.


  • Radiant
    The radiant cut is a patented name and cut also known as cut cornered, rectangular, or square, modified brilliant on GIA grading reports. It has 70 facets, 25 on the crown, 8 on on the girdle, and 37 on the pavilion. The truncated corners help to minimize chipping. The radiant cut diamond is considered the father of branded fancy cut diamonds with a birth over 20 years ago.  Originally protected by patent, the design is now public domain.  It is the first cut to have complete brilliant fact pattern applied to both the crown and pavilion and as such presents a much more dazzling and brilliant diamond than the emerald cut.  The same ratio of 1:1.5 will provide the most pleasing emerald shape but the square shape has become very popular recently.


  • Asscher
    In 1902, Asscher Diamond Co. patented a rectilinear diamond cut. Developed by Joseph Asscher, the squarish step cut’s deeply cut corners give it an almost octagonal outline.  It features a small table, high crown broad step facets,  deep pavilion and square culet. The Asscher cut was inspired by he table cuts of the Renaissance, however, it was a big departure from the brilliant cuts that dominated the 1800’s and was a forerunner of the standard emerald cut. Because of its high crown and small table, the Assvher cut has more light and fire than an emerald cut.


  • Cushion
    The cushion cut diamond was one of the most popular cuts of diamonds ever. For more than 70 years from 1830 to the turn of the century this was the diamonds cut.  Sometimes referred to as a “pillow cut”, the cushion cut has an open culet, the bottom of the diamond, and a rectangular to square shape with rounded corners and a facet plan to give the diamond depth. The cushion cut diamond was cut for candle light.  This is quite different from today’s diamonds which are cut for brighter denser electric light.  The beauty of a cushion cut is the depth of the diamond.  The facets allow the eye to travel into the diamond. It’s a calmer more soothing cut than a modern cut and at a romantic candlelight dinner, the cushion is at its best.


  • Half Moon
    The half moon diamonds are used mainly for side stones and have the profile of half a round or half oval diamond.  They look great with a rectangular center stone such as princess, radiant or emerald because they have one straight side. Because of the rounded edge, half moon diamonds also work well with oval shaped stones.


  • Step-Cut Trapezoid
    The Trapezoid cut diamonds are used mainly for side stones and are cut in brilliant cut or step cut. The brilliant looks great with brilliant cut rectangular center stones like radiant and princess diamonds.  The step cut trapezoids are usually seen next to emerald or Asscher cut center stones.


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