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The 4C's Shape

Every love takes shape in a different way and forms under different conditions. The same is true for the many interesting shapes that can emerge from a rough diamond in the hands of a master cutter. Each shape has a style of its own that best displays the reflective attributes of a diamond.


Renowned for its unrivaled fire and brilliance, the round-cut diamond is the most popular diamond shape and the most widely researched by certified gemologists. The round-cut diamond boasts excellent light refraction properties, causing it to appear brighter than other shapes. When clarity and color are equal, a round diamond will be more valuable than alternative shapes. Because a round-cut diamond emits higher levels of brilliance and fire, it will offer much of the same aesthetic appeal even if it has a lower color, clarity, or cut.


What set's the Asscher-cut diamond apart is its uniquely angled and cropped corners. Many diamond experts compare the facets of a properly cut Asscher to a hallway lined with reflective mirrors, radiating a great deal of brilliance. The shape is preferred by avant-garde jewelry connoisseurs for its art deco appeal. Although new cutting techniques are always emerging to optimize the sparkle and fire of the Asscher, the same basic characteristics have endured for more than a century. Since the cutting style of an Asscher diamond makes imperfections more visible, it's recommended to choose a clarity grade of SI1 or higher.


This unique radiant-cut diamond is a stunning hybrid of a traditional round-cut and an elegant emerald-cut, resulting in a square, near-square, or rectangular shape. With an intricate 70-facet cut, radiant diamonds exude tremendous brilliance. Those who appreciate the fire of round diamonds and the sophistication of emerald-cut or Asscher diamonds will find the radiant-cut desirable.


The princess-cut shape is one of the most efficiently produced types of diamonds, with nearly 60% of the original rough preserved during the cutting process. The most desirable princess-cut diamonds are perfectly square in shape, with the more rectangular variations decreasing in value. One of the advantageous traits of a princess-cut diamond is that any existing inclusions are less visible due to the unique cutting and polishing technique that is used.


Emerald-cut diamonds are usually shorter in length than a rectangle, falling somewhere in the range between a square and a rectangle shape. Distinguished by beveled corners and step facets, this type of diamond is more transparent than other shapes, resulting in the need for higher standards of clarity. If an emerald-cut diamond is marked by an inclusion, it will be much more likely to be detected with the naked eye. For this reason, try selecting a clarity level of SI1 or higher when choosing an emerald diamond.


Cut into a square or rectangular shape with rounded corners and sides, the cushion-cut is considered to be a softer version of the emerald cut. Possessing a rich antique look, the cushion-cut diamond is a favorite of those who prefer vintage-style rings and jewelry.


There's no denying the timeless elegance of a marquise-cut diamond. Reputed to have been specially made for King Louis XIV of France, who wanted a diamond that simulated the smile of Marquise de Pompadour, this elongated stone has gracefully pointed ends for a dramatic appeal. This cut's flattering effect creates the illusion of long, slender fingers. Due to their extended length, marquise diamonds have more size per carat weight than other shapes, with 58 brilliant facets.


Living up to its name, the heart-cut diamond has become synonymous with love and affection, making it a popular choice for an anniversary or engagement ring. This unique shape is similar to a pear-cut diamond but differentiated by two rounded edges and a cleft at the top. Most high-quality heart-shaped diamonds are cut with 58 facets, although there are some variants depending on the cutting technique used. One of the most difficult diamond cuts to create, a heart-shaped stone requires great skill on the part of the diamond cutter.


Timeless and classic, an oval-cut diamond is flattering to most any wearer, creating the illusion of longer fingers. Cut with the same number of facets as a round diamond, an oval shape emits nearly the same level of brilliance and fire, and its elongated shape makes it appear larger in carat weight than a round.


Pear-cut diamonds are noted for their slenderizing effect, creating the illusion of longer fingers. They are also renowned for their high levels of brilliance, boasting 58 radiant facets. Also referred to as a 'drop cut' or 'teardrop' diamonds, pear-cut diamonds are cut to resemble a drop of water with a single point and rounded end, resulting in a cross between a round and marquise-cut.

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