Choosing a Diamond Shape



Before beginning your quest for a new diamond engagement ring, you may want to spend a little time investigating what your future fiancée’s shape preference in diamonds is.  The safest way to make sure you’re making the correct shape choice is to just ask your girlfriend what her favorite shape diamond is.  Or, if you don’t want to be that forthcoming, then ask her what she thinks of Sally’s new diamond engagement ring (which you know to be an oval shaped diamond), or if she like’s Taylor’s new engagement ring (which you know to be a round diamond).

Once you have determined the shape you are going to be buying, a little research into what makes for a good quality round brilliant cut diamond or oval diamond, etc., etc., will be well worth the time and effort you put in before making a commitment for a diamond.

The ten most popular/practical shapes for the main center diamond are:

  1. Round
  2. Oval
  3. Cushion
  4. Emerald Cut
  5. Princess Cut
  6. Marquise
  7. Pear Shaped
  8. Heart Shaped
  9. Radiant
  10. Asscher

The top four shapes are as follows:




The round brilliant cut diamond is by far the most popular shaped diamond and the most readily available diamond shape sold.  It can be found in a greater variety of qualities than any other shape.  If you’re choosing a round diamond, try to find a GIA stone graded Ideal to Very Good in cut, Excellent or Very Good in polish and symmetry adjusting the color and clarity to what fits your budget.




The second most popular shape (at least at the present, but not always the case) for a diamond engagement ring is the oval brilliant cut.  The most important thing when choosing an oval shaped diamond, besides all the things mentioned in the previous section, is the length to width ratio.  While this is a personal preference, I would avoid a “roval”, which is not round or very oval, and the “hot dog” oval which is very narrow, or any oval with a length to width ratio of 1 ¾ to 1 to a 2 to 1 ratio.  I would suggest a 1 ⅓ to 1 to approximately 1 ⅝ to 1 ratio.




This shape has been around for more than 100 years and is a very popular choice for an engagement ring today.  As with the oval shape, the length to width ratio is something you should consider and experiment with.  You may prefer, as I do, a square cushion whose ratio should be something like 1 to 1 to maybe something like 1 to 1.07.  If you think you like prefer a more rectangular shaped cushion cut, look for a stone with a ratio of 1 to 1.1 to maybe 1 to 1.2.




The emerald cut may be the oldest shape of those listed above.  It gets its name from the shape that the gemstone Emerald (a green gemstone) is traditionally cut.  The important thing to remember about choosing an emerald cut diamond is the fact that it is easy to see inclusions in the stone due to its larger rectangular facets.  I would choose an emerald cut with a clarity grade of SI1 or better.  As with the cushion and the oval, the length to width ratio affects the look of the stone.  If you prefer a more squarish shape, you may want to look at asscher cut diamonds.

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