Diamond Shape Guide
Did you know that the 10 universally recognized diamond shapes that we know today are in fact relatively recent innovations, created and given a theoretic, public platform beginning only in the early 20th century? The 14th century marked the start of European diamond cutting novelties that yielded shapes which, while being the predecessors of today's cuts, are unknown to the modern day diamond consumer: The Point Cut, Old Eight Cut, Pendeloque, Briolette, Rosette, Mazarin and Peruzzi. These advances were in fact the stepping stones to today's 10 contemporary diamond cuts, the global diamond industry's accepted standards.
As part of Zoara's unfailing commitment to thoroughly educating our customers before, during and after your diamond purchase, we are delighted to present the following diamond shape guide within the scope of our Diamond Learning Center. Each diamond shape has specific and unique characteristics that influence the quality of the diamond. To help you decide what shape best suits your personal taste, take a look below at the different qualities of each distinct diamond shape.
We invite you to look, learn, and marvel. And if you have any questions about diamond shapes, Zoara welcomes you to Contact Us and speak with one of our experienced customer service representatives.
The round brilliant diamond is the most popular and perhaps the most technically advanced of all of the diamond shapes. Only after the development of new diamond cutting technology and a breakthrough in research regarding proportion and symmetry, was the round brilliant born. The round brilliant that we know today was invented by Marcel Tolkowsky, a Belgian mathematician born to a family of diamond cutters who, in 1919, wrote his doctoral thesis on diamond proportion and symmetry, and "invented" the round brilliant. According to his research, the round brilliant, with its 58 facets, has the perfect proportions and symmetry to maximise a diamond's brilliance and fire. This superior quality, therefore, allows for those interested in the round brilliant to be quite flexible regarding the other qualities of their diamond: colour, cut and clarity.
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The princess diamond is the most popular shape after the round brilliant and is typically square in shape, although it can also be rectangular. The princess shape was created in the 1980s and displays the same high degree of brilliance as the round brilliant. It is a unique and distinctive alternative to the popular round brilliant. It's important to note that when weighing colour grades and prices, sometimes a lower colour grade diamond in a princess shape will manifest as visible colour in the corners of the stone.
What is the ideal cut for a princess diamond?
Princess cut diamonds are the second most popular diamond for engagement rings after round brilliant diamonds, and are valued because of their terrific value and appearance. However, unlike round diamonds, the princess diamond lacks a standardized cut grading, so therefore the GIA or other diamond grading agencies will not grade the cut on a princess diamond.
So, how does one determine the ideal cut proportions for a princess diamond? Like with round brilliant diamonds, the ideal cut for a princess diamond is determined by many factors, most importantly depth and table proportions as well as crown and pavilion angles. The cut is also determined by the symmetrical arrangement of the facets on the diamond, which is simply put, how well all of the facets align with each other in a way that maximises brilliance and fire.
So what are the ideal proportions of a princess cut diamond? It is Zoara’ recommendation that for a princess diamond to have ideal proportions, its table must be within 62-68%, the depth must be 64-75% and the crown height should be 10-15%. The symmetry should also be very good to excellent.
Also, another important thing when determining the ideal cut for a princess diamond, it is crucial to take the width to length ratio into account, because this will decide how rectangular or square the diamond is. The ratio is calculated by dividing the length against the width. A perfect square princess diamond will have a ratio of 1, while a more rectangular one will be over 1.05.
When searching for the perfect princess cut diamond, it is always recommended to check with one of Zoara’s certified gemologists who will be happy to suggest some excellent options for ideal princess diamonds.
The emerald cut is not a brilliant cut, but rather features a large open table with step cuts. The emerald cut is traditionally rectangular and most closely resembles the natural diamond shape. Although the emerald diamond is not as brilliant as the round shape or princess shape, it is considered to be an elegant cut, vintage in style, and less "flashy" than other shapes.
Note that due to the large table of the emerald shape, inclusions and colour can be easier to detect. It is recommended that you choose a diamond with a higher clarity and colour grade than you would if choosing a brilliant diamond.
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