Diamond Shapes 101: Why The Shape Matters

Have you decided to take “the leap” and get engaged? Make the moment of proposing special and memorable. The time-honored symbol of this event is an engagement ring. But, with such a wide range of ring styles and diamond shapes, finding the perfect engagement ring to express your love can be overwhelming. 

According to TheKnot’s Jewelry and Engagement research, the most popular center stone choice is diamond at 83%. These precious gems are a symbol of your love that has everlasting beauty. It's impossible to remain unmoved when someone gives you diamonds.

The world of diamonds is vast and fascinating. In this article, you will find out more about the most popular shapes of diamonds, and the process of mining and cutting. You'll also discover more about engagement ring cuts, and what makes diamonds beautiful, timeless, and appealing. 

With all this knowledge, you'll be able to choose the best engagement ring to symbolize your love.

What Determines the Diamond Shapes?

Diamonds are rare natural gemstones. They form under pressure conditions and high temperatures, which exist about 100 miles beneath the earth’s surface.

Diamonds take between 1 and 3 billion years to be formed and come to the surface of the earth through volcanic activity.  Then, they are mined from diamond pipes in the earth, collected through alluvial deposits in stream beds, and even gathered on the ocean floors using massive seabed “vacuum cleaners.” 

A diamond has an internal crystal structure called a diamond cubic which is the most symmetrical of crystal forms. The shape of the crystal is affected by geological processes, such as pressure and contamination. The most natural crystal shape is called an octahedron. It looks like two four-sided pyramids placed back to back. The crystal is sawn in half and forms two rough diamonds. There are also several other forms, among them the cube and the dodecahedron. 

Rough diamonds have different shapes and appearances. Uncut, they aren’t particularly attractive. It is the skill and artistry of the diamond cutter that brings out the beauty of the polished diamond. Diamonds are cut based upon the shape of the crystal and the combination of maximizing the beauty of the diamond while keeping the most amount of weight of the rough diamond. It takes an amazing amount of skill and experience for this magic to happen.

Moreover, the popularity of a particular shape of a diamond at a certain period of time also influences the choice of the diamond shape. Thus, the cutter tries to find the balance between a natural form of the crystal, potential demand of the society, and what diamond shape will bring the most beauty while keeping the maximum yield.

10 Most Popular Diamond Shapes and Cuts

Diamonds come in a diversity of shapes. From round to cushion form, each of them has its distinctive features. Everyone can find a diamond that will steal his or her heart. People like different diamond shapes, but these are the 10 most popular ones which will look great in an engagement ring.

Round Diamonds

Round Diamonds

A round diamond is historically the most popular shape. It is often set in engagement rings, earrings, and pendants. It is the standard for all other diamond shapes. The round diamond has 58 (and sometimes 59) facets and is highly symmetrical which allows an even reflection of light.

This shape became popular after publishing Marcel Tolkowsky’s work “Diamond Design: A Study of the Reflection and Refraction of Light in Diamond.” He described the ideal proportions for a diamond to have the maximum brilliance (while light reflected), fire (breaking white light into colors), and scintillation (the play of light and dark in the diamond). Today demand for round cut diamond engagement rings continues to be the top shape and it’s a perfect choice for those, who like elegant, ageless jewelry. 


Using the Engage iOS app, that offers a vast selection of diamonds and jewelry, you will be able to find a special round diamond ring that matches your lover’s personality.

Cushion Diamonds

Cushion Diamonds

A cushion cut diamond holds the second place. The diamond is a combination of classic fashion with a modern flair. It has a soft squarish shape and its appearance is similar to a pillow. A notable Cushion Shape diamond is the Hope Diamond in the Smithsonian Institution. So, if you want to dazzle people, a cushion-shaped diamond is a nice variant for your engagement ring.

Oval Diamonds

Oval Diamonds

The third most popular diamond shape is oval. It is a perfect option for those, who like a classical round shape, but wish to consider something more unique. The oval diamond is symmetrical, elongated, and has 56-58 facets. This diamond is favorite among wealthy people, especially members of royalty.

Princess Cut Diamonds

Princess Cut Diamonds

The next popular shape is Princess Cut. The princess diamond is usually cut in a square shape and has uncut corners. It has 76 facets, so you can admire its brilliance in full. It’s called “princess” presumably because it looks graceful and solemn, and fits modern ladies perfectly.

Emerald Cut Diamonds

Emerald Cut Diamonds

The Emerald Cut diamond shape takes the fifth place. The unique and clean emerald diamond is attractive for women all over the world. This shape differs from others by its parallel arrangement of facets that makes a special optical effect. This diamond typically has 57 facets that spotlight the clarity of the diamond. 


The Emerald Cut diamond is one of the oldest shapes and is favorite among celebrities, such as Amal Clooney, Angelina Jolie, and Beyonce.

Amal Clooney Emerald Cut Diamond
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Angelina Jolie Emerald Cut Diamond
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Beyonce Emerald Cut Diamond
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Asscher Cut Diamonds

Asscher Cut Diamonds

An Asscher cut diamond is sometimes called an “Emerald Cut’s more sparkly sister” because they are so similar. The name of this diamond shape was created by Joseph Asscher who also cut the Cullinan Diamond for the English Crown Jewels.

Joseph Asscher changed certain criteria in cutting a diamond to leverage its natural beauty. So, an Asscheroctagonal diamond has a square shape and originally 58 facets. This shape is extremely popular among fans of antique and vintage jewelry, particularly the Art Deco style.

Marquise Diamonds

Marquise Diamonds

A marquise cut diamond is unique and attracts attention. According to legend, this diamond shape has its roots in the 18th century. 

French King Louis XV commissioned a jeweler to cut diamonds to resemble the lips of his mistress, Marquise de Pompadour.

Due to its elliptical shape, it creates the illusion of greater size and your finger looks longer and slimmer.

Radiant Cut Diamonds

Radiant Cut Diamonds

A radiant cut diamond has a fascinating sparkle, which hypnotizes your glance. This shape appeared thanks to Henry Grossbard. In 1977 the inventor wanted to design a diamond shape, which combines the best elements of the emerald cut and round shape.

Cropped corners surrounding a square or rectangular shape create perfect proportions for showing the ideal brilliance of the diamond.

The undeniable beauty of this diamond shape draws the attention of many celebs. Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Lopez, and Megan Fox had radiant cut diamond engagement rings.

Jennifer Lopez Radiant Cut Diamond
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Pear Shape Diamonds

Pear Shape Diamonds

A pear-shaped diamond is often referred to as a “teardrop” cut due to its shape. You can wear the ring with the tip of the diamond pointing upwards or downwards and it will always look attractive. Many celebrities, such as Victoria Beckham, Katherine Heigl, Anna Kournikova, prefer the pear-shaped diamond engagement ring. The most famous diamond ring belongs to Elizabeth Taylor, a Hollywood star and style icon.

Heart Shape Diamonds

Heart Shape Diamonds

The perfect way to celebrate a romantic relationship between two people is to present a heart-shaped diamond ring. This shape is an ultimate symbol of love, affection, and commitment. Diamond heart appeared as a symbol of royalty in the conversation between the Duke of Milan, Galeazzo Maria Sforza, and Nicodemo in 1463. It will be a unique alternative to the common diamond shapes.

Why Different Diamond Shapes Have Different Values

Why Different Diamond Shapes Have Different Values

Diamonds are cut and polished from a rough stone by a team of trained experts in bringing out a diamond's beauty. The cutter analyses the diamond and makes the decision on how to maximize the diamond's beauty while keeping as much of the rough diamond intact in the process.

The 4C’s of diamond quality — color, clarity, cut, and carat weight — influence how much the diamond will cost. But they are only basic factors. Diamond shape has a big impact on the price of a gemstone. Depending on the diamond shape, the price may be substantially different.

What’s the most expensive diamond shape? It’s the round one. Pricescope informs that round diamonds represent over 75% of all diamonds sold. Why so? When it’s being cut and polished, a large amount of the rough diamond is lost. As a result, as much as 60% of the weight can be lost.

Pear, cushion, radiant, marquise, and heart shapes are lovely diamond shapes that speak to the wearer. Each of them is unique and alluring. Depending on the shape, some of them have more sparkle, while others look more antique.

Final Thoughts 

What does The Heart of the Ocean necklace in The Titanic, the necklace worn by Audrey Hepburn in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s,the pendant worn by Marilyn Monroe in the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes have in common? All of these iconic pieces of jewelry contain diamonds. This gemstone is a symbol of love, elegance, and nobility. Millions of people around the world are thrilled with the beauty of diamonds. Diamond jewelry is always a good choice for expressing your feelings and intention. When selecting engagement ring shapes, it’s important to consider the character and taste of your partner. Traditional and elegant, stylish and vintage, modern and romantic — among a wide range of diamond shapes, you can find the perfect diamond for your engagement ring at Engage.

Engage presents a collection of jewelry for all tastes. In the Engage app you can customize an engagement ring according to your loved one’s preferences with the help of our amazing technology.

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