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A guide to Diamond Shapes

A diamond shape for every style & application


When most people think about Diamonds – they think about the brilliance of the classic round shape. But in fact diamonds are cut into many different shapes. The classic round shape is so popular because when well cut it reflects light in the best possible way to give the best sparkle.


All diamonds that aren’t round are categorized as fancy cut diamonds.

Brilliant Cut

The round brilliant cut diamond has set the standard for all other diamond shapes and is the most popular and most researched diamond shape. There are 58 facets in a Round Brilliant Cut including the culet. Cut grading of Excellent – Fair is given by GIA based on the proportions, symmetry and polish of the diamond.


Round Brilliant

Today’s modern round brilliant diamond is precisely cut to maximize the diamond’s brilliance, fire and size. These sparkling gems represent the collective talents of generations of skilled cutters over more than six centuries.

Modified Brilliant Cuts

Modified brilliant cut diamond is a variation of a brilliant cut diamond. In the last 20 years, modified brilliant cutting on the pavilion have become very popular. There is no GIA Cut grading on Modified Brilliant Cuts but symmetry and polish grades of excellent – fair are given.



The marquise cut or marquise modified brilliant cut is usually cut as an adaptation of the 58 facet standard brilliant. The shape of a marquise diamond can maximise carat weight, giving you a much larger-looking diamond.



This pear-shaped modified brilliant cut diamond combines the soft, rounded end of an Oval shape with the sharp, tapered point of a Marquise-cut. They usually have 58 facet brilliant pattern, but can be cut with different numbers of pavilion mains.



The technical name for this shape is “Heart-Shaped Modified Brilliant” – based on its shape and modifications of the traditional round brilliant cut. Occasionally used for engagement rings, it makes a beautiful choice for pendants in fancy colours (yellow, pink or red).



The Princess cut or Square Modified Brilliant, has pointed corners and is traditionally square in shape with length-to-width ratios between 1 and 1.05, but can also be found in a rectangle shape with ratios greater than 1.10.



The Cushion Cut or Cushion Modified Brilliant are names for the Old Mine Cut developed before the turn of the century. The modern Cushion cut diamonds can have one of three basic facet arrangements.



An oval or oval modified brilliant has beautiful brilliance that’s similar to a round diamond. The oval is seen most frequently cut in the standard 58 facet brilliant pattern, but can have a varying number of pavilion main facets.



The radiant is the name used to describe the cut-cornered, rectangular or square modified brilliant, the technical description on GIA grading reports. This cut combines the geometrical lines of the emerald shape with the sparkling brilliance of the round cut.

Step Cuts

The step cut has rows of facets that resemble the steps of a staircase and are usually four-sided and elongated. The emerald, asscher and baguette cuts are examples of this cut. There is no GIA Cut grading on Step Cuts but symmetry and polish grades of excellent – fair are given.



The Asscher or Square Emerald Cut, is a square cut characterized by a smaller table and larger step facet than an emerald cut. It features dramatic, cut corners. It usually has a high crown and a deeper pavilion than today’s emerald cuts.



The emerald cut has 58 facets (25 crown, 8 girdle and 25 pavilion). The emerald cut shows less brilliance and fire (dispersion) than the other cuts. A traditional emerald-cut shape, should have a length-to-width ratio between 1.30 and 1.40.

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