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The practical history of diamond cuts can be traced back to the Middle Ages, while their theoretical basis was not developed until the turn of the 20th century.

The standard round brilliant is by far the most popular diamond shape. Shapes other than round are called fancy shapes. Fancy shapes have names of their own. The most familiar are the marquise, princess, pear, oval, cushion, radiant, heart and emerald cut.


The round brilliant cut diamond is by far the most popular and most researched diamond shape available today. For almost 100 years, diamond cutters have been using advanced theories of light behavior and precise mathematical calculations to optimize the fire and brilliance in a round diamond.The classic diamond is, to most people, a round gem of sparkling white brilliance with a kaleidoscope of dazzling facets to entice the eye.

The most popular of diamond cuts is the modern round brilliant , which facet arrangements and proportions have been perfected by both mathematical  and empirical analysis.

The modern round brilliant  consists of 58 facets; 33 on the crown (the top half above the middle or girdle of the stone) and 25 on the pavilion (the lower half below the girdle). The girdle may be frosted, polished smooth, or faceted. In recent decades, most girdles are faceted; many have 32, 64, 80, or 96 facets; these facets are excluded from the total facet count.


This is a square or rectangular cut with numerous sparkling facets.

First introduced in 1960 by A. Nagy of London, It was originally intended for flat rough , but has since become popular enough that some gemological  labs, have developed Princess cut grading standards with stringency akin to standards applied to round brilliant. The princess has pointed corners and is traditionally square in shape with many sparkling facets. Many princess cut diamonds are slightly rectangular. It is all about what you prefer in a diamond.



The emerald shape is a rectangle with corner facets and broad, flat planes.

What makes this shape different is its pavilion, which is cut with rectangular facets to create a unique optical appearance. An antique style of cut that looks like a cross between an Old Mine Cut (a deep cut with large facets that was common in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries) and a modern oval cut. When selecting an emerald-cut diamond, good clarity and color are essential  because inclusions and body color are much more obvious in this shape. Emerald cut diamonds produce a hall-of-mirrors effect, with the interplay of light and dark planes. While less fiery, the long lines and dramatic flashes of light give the emerald cut an elegant appeal.


The Asscher-cut diamond was developed in 1902  at the birth of the stylish and popular Art Deco movement by the Asscher Brothers of Holland, and originally peaked in popularity in the 1920’s.  The modern asscher cut diamond is similar to a square emerald cut, usually with larger step facets, a higher crown, and a smaller  table. It is a “stepped” square cut with cropped corners and  is a unique shape with prismatic brilliance and a rectangular-faceted pavilion in the same style as the emerald cut. Asscher cut diamonds radiate superb shine when you compare their facets to an ostensibly long hallway lined with reflective mirrors.


The marquise is an elongated shape with pointed ends. The name is derived from the Marquise of Pompadour, for whom King Louis XIV of France allegedly had a stone fashioned to resemble what he considered her perfectly shaped mouth. The shape of a marquise diamond can maximize carat weight, giving you a much larger-looking diamond.

The Marquise Brilliant cut may also be referred to as the “Navette” shape, meaning “little boat,” as the shape of the diamond is said to mirror the hull of a small boat. It is generally comprised of 58 facets, with 33 on the crown and 25 on the pavilion, although the number of pavilion facets may range between 4 and 8.


Like other fancy shapes ,Oval diamonds are another popular choice for engagement rings. An Oval cut is a brilliant cut diamond because it is made very much like a round brilliant cut diamond. The Oval cut  is an elliptical shaped brilliant cut. The oval diamond is seen most frequently cut in the standard 58 facet brilliant pattern.

Fancy shapes like Ovals, Marquises, Hearts, and Pears will have bow ties of varying degrees, and it is best to avoid excessively deep or shallow stones. Look out for prominent bow ties. Well proportioned Oval cuts should have a minimal bow tie effect.

Oval diamonds can elongate the finger while exhibiting a high brilliance look. Recommended length to width ratio for Ovals is between 1.33 to 1.66.
Look for graceful, and symmetrically shaped Oval cuts. Ovals also may show color and inclusions more than other shapes and It is best to see the stones in person.


First popular in the 1980’s, the cropped corner square shape of the radiant is a nice bridge between a cushion and a princess cut.  The rectangular radiant cut is an excellent option for buyers who like the emerald cut shape, but want something with the brilliance of a round. The radiant cut 70 facets maximize the effect of its color refraction. Radiant cuts have angled corners and can range from square to rectangle. Because of its extra facets, the Radiant cut can disperse more light through the stone making it one of the most brilliant of all square- and rectangular-shaped stones. It also hides inclusions more efficiently than other shapes.


The stunning look of the heart-shaped diamond has a romantic symbolism. The heart shape is a brilliant cut that is modified. The number of pavilion main facets may be 6, 7, or 8, and the preferred length to width ratio for Hearts is 1:1.

This beautiful shape diamond is brilliant cut with curved lobes that stem from a centered cleft. The lobes slope down to form a sharp point.

A Heart cut diamond may also show a bow tie. A bow tie is a dark area across the center width of many fancy shapes.

Look for hearts with balanced and symmetrical proportions.  A defined cleft with even lobes and a sharp point are generally preferred.

A Heart cut diamond shape helps make it a fantastic choice for a variety of diamond jewelry and a common gift for Valentine’s Day or wedding anniversary.


The pear shape, combining the best of the oval and the marquise or combination of a round and a marquise shape, with a tapered point on one end, it is shaped most like a sparkling teardrop. A pear-shaped diamond should possess excellent or very good symmetry. The point should line up with the apex of the rounded end. The unique look of the pear shape helps make it a popular choice for a variety of diamond jewelry. If you choose an elongated pear shape, the length of the diamond creates a subtle slimming effect on the fingers.


An antique style of cut that looks like a cross between an Old Mine Cut (a deep cut with large facets that was common in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries) and a modern oval cut. Cushion Brilliant Cut diamonds were originally instigated by Marcel Tolkowsky during the 1920’s when he was doing research on different cuts of diamonds. Overtime, the cushion cut diamonds went trough some conspicuous changes such as smaller culet, larger table, and an improvement in its brilliance. Many buyers are attracted to the antique feel combined with modern performance offered by the cushion cut. Cushion cut diamonds have great fire  which is part of their appeal.