Diamond Shapes: A Beginner's Guide to Sparkling Brilliance


Diamond Shapes: A Beginner's Guide to Sparkling Brilliance

With their captivating brilliance and scintillating beauty, diamonds have always been subject to admiration and desire. While many aspects contribute to the beauty of a diamond, it is often its shape that turns a stone into a jewel that's adored and passed down as an heirloom piece. In the world of jewelry, the shape of a diamond plays an important role in its overall aesthetic and appeal. 

Essentially, when we talk about the shape of a diamond, we're referring to its outline when viewed from above. For instance, this might be its silhouette or the way the facets are arranged. However, the shape of a diamond influences so much more than its appearance. It determines how a stone interacts with the light, its durability, and even its perceived size. In this guide, we'll explore some of the most popular diamond shapes, the factors that affect their brilliance, and how to choose the best diamond shape for your individual style. 




What are the different diamond shapes?

Whether you're looking to elevate your jewelry collection, drop hints about your dream engagement ring, or find the perfect gift, an understanding of diamond shapes will help you to navigate the abundance of styles on the market. Here, we outline a few of the most popular diamond shapes and their characteristics.

  • Emerald shape: Renowned for its elongated form and step-cut facets, the emerald-shaped diamond exudes vintage glamour, giving a sophisticated nod to times gone by.
  • Princess shape: Featuring geometric lines and a square or rectangular outline, the princess-shaped diamond is both classic and contemporary, contrasting beautifully with round-shaped watches.
  • Round shape: A favorite for engagement rings, the round-shaped diamond reflects the light exquisitely, evoking a classic aesthetic that never goes out of style.
  • Oval shape: With its brilliant-cut facets and elongated silhouette, the oval-shaped diamond is as exquisite as it is eye-catching, offering a unique alternative to round and princess-shaped diamonds.
  • Marquise shape: Timeless and regal, the marquise-shaped diamond has a flattering effect on the finger due to its elongated form and sharp pointed ends.
  • Pear shape: Otherwise known as the teardrop shape, a pear-shaped diamond oozes elegance and romance, combining the roundness of a brilliant cut with the sharp point of a marquise.
  • Heart shape: With symmetrical lobes and a subtly rounded bottom, a heart-shaped diamond emanates with sentimental value and the gesture of love everlasting.
  • Cushion shape:  Opt for an air of soft brilliance with multiple facets, beautifully arranged in a square or rectangular form with gently rounded corners for a vintage-inspired finish.


Which diamond shape looks the biggest?

When it comes to assessing which diamond shape looks the biggest and has the most sparkle, there are several factors that come into play. One of the most significant is how the facets are arranged across the stone's surface. This is because the facets act as tiny mirrors, absorbing and reflecting the light in a number of different directions. The meticulous way in which these facets are arranged ultimately determines how the light interacts with the diamond, creating a visual spectacle that's as beautiful as it is fascinating.


Another factor affecting the sparkle and size of a diamond is its ability to create an optical illusion. For example, the shape of a diamond can make it appear bigger than others, even if they are the same carat weight. By arranging the facets in such a way, it's possible to create the illusion of dimension and depth. This can make a diamond seem larger, smaller, or more visually complex than meets the eye.


It's also worth considering that the mounting and setting of a diamond can change how it is perceived. A well-set diamond, for instance, can enhance its brilliance through factors such as its design, metal choice, and where the prongs are placed. There are also certain diamond shapes and settings that can further accentuate a jewel's sparkle, like a halo setting. This is where a center stone is surrounded by smaller diamonds, which amplify the light and add to the overall radiance of the piece. In the same way, a pavé setting features lots of tiny diamonds set closely together, which gives the impression of a continuing, sparkling surface.

How to Choose the Best Diamond Shape for You

Finding the best diamond shape for your style is a personal decision that involves taking into account your taste, budget, and where you envision wearing your piece. As jewelry is often connected to important milestones and occasions, you may find you are drawn to certain diamond shapes because they hold symbolic meaning for you.  


Another element to consider is how the diamond shape will look on your finger. While elongated shapes like oval and marquise diamonds tend to complement slender fingers, those with wider fingers might like to add angular dimensions with a princess or emerald-shaped diamond.


To summarize, the beauty of a diamond is inseparable from its shape, as this is what dictates how it reflects the light and the way its brilliance is perceived. How the facets are arranged, the inclusion of optical illusions and how a diamond is mounted and set, all play a role in its sparkle and apparent size. At the end of the day, the best diamond shape is the one that sparks joy and feels right for you. By avoiding trends and the opinions of others, you can be sure of a jewel you'll continue to adore for years to come. 


Finally, by having an awareness of the different elements that make up the shape of a diamond, you can make a more informed decision about the next stone to add to or sell from your collection. For support in selling your diamonds to make space for something new, our expert team of jewelry advisors offer a no-obligation quote. We negotiate your behalf with our network of diamond buyers, ready and waiting to make an offer on the diamonds you no longer wear.