A Complete Glossary of Diamond Ring Shapes

Plus, expert advice on how to choose which style is right for you.
Stack of different diamond engagement ring shapes on finger
Aleona/Shutterstock
sarah hanlon associate editor the knot
by
Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon associate editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Associate Editor
  • Sarah is an Associate Digital Editor for The Knot, with special focuses in fashion, pop culture and wedding trends.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated Dec 13, 2021
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When it comes to engagement ring terminology, the shape is one of the most important factors to know as you shop for a sparkler. A diamond's shape is one of its most defining characteristics, after all, so it's crucial to know the difference between asschers and cushions, ovals and pears, and everything in between. And while it's common to assume a diamond's shape is also its cut (AKA one of the 4 C's), we'll let you in on a secret: They're completely different!

A diamond's cut refers to its symmetry, proportioning and polish, thus determining its brilliance (read: sparkle and luminescence). The diamond shape, on the other hand, is exactly what it sounds like: the literal shape of the stone. And, believe it or not, there are plenty of shape names that you might not even recognize.

As your go-to resource for all things engagement rings and diamonds, we've compiled a comprehensive guide to the most popular diamond shapes. Here, industry experts break down common diamond shapes along with their respective design notes. So, whether you're starting to shop for an engagement ring for your S.O. or you just want to brush up on your gemstone expertise, use this glossary to learn everything you could ever need to know about diamond shapes.

Asscher Diamond Shape

Asscher cut diamond shape
DiamondGalaxy/Shutterstock

Not to be confused with an emerald-cut diamond shape, an Asscher-cut diamond has a square shape with deep, trimmed edges that resemble cropped corners. This particular style (otherwise known as a step-cut shape) creates a distinct, geometric look thanks to its parallel facets. "The Asscher's facets are arranged in an octagonal shape like a square," explains Jennie Yoon, founder of Kinn. The shape generally comes in three styles: royal, classic and modern. While royal cuts tend to be wider than modern cuts, which skew more square, all three have a vintage, Art Deco-esque look.

When shopping for an Asscher-cut ring, note that its distinct facets can sometimes show inclusions more clearly. This requires an emphasis on its clarity grade and cut to preserve its brilliance. "Asscher-cut diamonds feature large facets, and as a result, it's important to prioritize clarity or cut quality over carat size and color for a deep transparency," says Mona Akhavi, CEO of VRAI.

Baguette Diamond Shape

A baguette diamond is essentially a thin rectangle that has an elongated shape. This diamond is generally available in two styles: straight or tapered. A straight baguette has a perfect rectangular shape, while a tapered baguette has edges that angle inwards. Since baguette diamonds are small, they're most often used as side stones on a ring setting.

Cushion Diamond Shape

If you're looking for something structured and romantic, a cushion-cut diamond may be right for you. "A cushion-cut diamond is generally a square or rectangular shape with rounded corners," says Akhavi, noting that cushion-cut diamonds also offer a lot of sparkle. "The cushion shape has about four to eight facets in its pavilion, creating a 'hearts' pattern, similar to a round brilliant-cut diamond," she adds. (Pro tip: A pavilion is the base underneath the face of the stone—it's the part of a diamond that resembles a noticeable V shape.) Plus, Akhavi notes that cushion cuts are one of the more charming diamond shapes: "The rounded edge of a cushion cut has a softer, romantic feel."

Plus, because they're available in a variety of sizes, cushion-cut diamonds give the wearer plenty of customization options. "Cushion cuts are one of our most popular fancy shapes because they are so versatile," explains Olivia Landau, founder of The Clear Cut. "They can be square, elongated, modern, or antique, so many people are attracted to their versatility." And, according to The Knot 2021 Jewelry and Engagement Study, which surveyed over 5,000 recently-engaged couples, cushion-cut stones make up 8% of all engagement rings.

Emerald Diamond Shape

There's no denying that an emerald-cut diamond is the epitome of all things glam—and according to our data, this shape accounts for 5% of all engagement rings. As one of the most timeless engagement ring styles, an emerald-cut boasts clean, straight lines and a chic "Hall of Mirrors" effect. "The emerald cut is a step-cut diamond that draws in and reflects an abundance of white and colored light, composed of 49 rectangular facets that ascend outward and descend downward," says Akhavi.

Thanks to its shallow depth, an emerald diamond often takes up more surface area on the hand, thus giving the impression of a larger diamond. "Emerald shapes may appear larger in comparison to the other shapes due to the overall depth of the cut which is exaggerated by the elongated shape, which takes up more real estate on the finger," advises Yoon. So, if size matters to you, an emerald-cut engagement ring can appear larger than its actual carat weight.

Heart Diamond Shape

Heart-cut diamond shape
DiamondGalaxy/Shutterstock

This unique shape is exactly what it sounds like. This statement-making diamond is a literal symbol of love thanks to its heart cut. Since heart-shaped diamonds are rarer than, say, a round-cut diamond, they can come at a higher cost. And, since they're a unique fancy cut shape, you'll want an expertly cut stone that's symmetrical, so prepare to spend a bit more on a heart-shaped diamond engagement ring.

Marquise Diamond Shape

Vintage lovers may have a preference for a marquise-cut diamond engagement ring, which accounts for 2% of all engagement ring shapes per our findings. This diamond shape, which was created in the 18th century, has a rich history that cements itself as a staple of antique style: King Louis XV of France hired a jeweler to make a diamond in the shape of his mistress's lips, thus creating the marquise cut. Over time, the diamond shape has evolved to become what we know today.

Thanks to its oblong style, marquise diamonds often give off an antique, regal vibe thanks to their pointed edges and rounded centers. Unlike an oval-cut diamond, a marquise has a shape that more closely resembles a football. And, if you're looking for a rock that shows its carat weight well, consider it this. "The marquise shape has 58 facets with 33 on the crown and 25 on the pavilion," explains Yoon. "This distribution gives the marquise a large surface area." Adds Landau: "Marquise diamonds show their carat weight well and are very finger flattering."

Oval Diamond Shape

Oval-cut diamond shape
Kinn

Behold, one of the most popular diamond shapes: the oval. Recently, oval-cut diamonds have skyrocketed in popularity thanks to A-list wearers like Blake Lively, Hailey Bieber and Kourtney Kardashian. "Oval diamonds have been popular for the past few years because they show their weight well and look very feminine," says Landau. "Their elongated shape makes them flattering on any hand." This claim is data-driven too: Our study found that 19% of engagement rings are oval-cut, which is up from just 2% in 2015.

And, much like marquise and emerald cuts, an oval shape can appear larger than its actual size. "The oval diamond shape features a large face, prioritizing color clarity or cut quality, over carat size," says Akhavi. "This provides maximum sparkle with its beautifully balanced curves that combine sleek symmetry with a soft silhouette."

Pear Diamond Shape

The pear-cut is another fancy shape diamond that has risen in popularity, as it accounts for 7% of engagement rings. Also called a teardrop shape, a pear-shaped diamond has a pointed top that extends to a full, rounded bottom, resembling a ripe, juicy pear. And if you're looking for a ring that makes your finger look extra-long, this shape will do just that. "A diamond shape like a pear is shallower, and thus looks larger from the top down," Akhavi shares. "This gives the finger an elongated look."

While pear-cut diamonds have been increasingly in-demand thanks to celebs like Cardi B, Ariana Grande and Paris Hilton, the shape is actually quite timeless—it was the exact style Elizabeth Taylor once infamously donned, courtesy of Richard Burton.

Princess Diamond Shape

With strong, angular lines, a princess-cut diamond offers one of the sharpest shapes on the market. Often set in rectangle or square cuts, a princess diamond looks like an inverted pyramid. "The princess shape offers more of a geometric look with harder corners that like a square," explains Yoon. This particular diamond is a popular choice among shoppers who want a classic look without opting for a round shape. Our survey found that 11% of engagement rings are princess-cut, which has actually decreased from 22% in 2015.

Radiant Diamond Shape

If you're looking for the sparkliest bauble on the market, a radiant-cut diamond is just your style. As one of the newer diamond shapes (it first debuted in the 1970s), a radiant shape features an intricate facet pattern that emphasizes a diamond's brilliance. The stone's face is structured with square edges, and it features 70 intricate facet cuts that allow light to reflect from all angles, creating a dazzling scintillation effect.

It's common to confuse a radiant-cut diamond with an emerald-cut diamond, but the difference lies in the facet patterns. "While both styles have the same rectangular body and clipped corners, an emerald is a step cut, so it has long skinny facets, while a radiant has a brilliant faceting pattern," says Akhavi.

Rose Diamond Shape

Rose-cut diamond shape
DiamondGalaxy/Shutterstock

Much like its name implies, a rose-cut diamond is meant to resemble the petals of a rose. Since this was one of the very first diamond shapes ever created, it's usually cut by hand with fewer facets, which explains why it looks different from modern day cuts. This diamond shape is much different than a traditional brilliant-cut diamond, which categorizes most of the other diamond shapes on this list. While a brilliant-cut diamond has a pavilion in a pointed "V" shape that allows light to reflect off the facets, a rose-cut diamond does not have a pavilion. Instead, the flat bottom creates a look that's more glassy and lustrous than it is sparkly. You'll also be able to recognize a rose-cut diamond thanks to its distinctive triangle facets on the face.

Round Diamond Shape

If you're not sure what the perfect diamond looks like for your S.O., you can't go wrong with a round-cut diamond. There's a reason the round brilliant cut center stone is the most popular shape on the market. Not only is a round shape incredibly versatile, it's also timeless. Most, if not all, jewelers report that solitaire round engagement rings are their most popular sellers year after year. "The round brilliant is an enduring classic with the perfect balance of proportion and symmetry," Akhavi shares. Adds Landau: "Our clients love round brilliants because they are the most sparkly, brilliant, and they show their weight well too." This is reflected in our data too, as round-cut shapes account for 41% of engagement rings.

Available in a variety of sizes and at a number of price points, a round diamond is easy to source within your budget. It's also easily customizable, as a variety of settings, halos, and side stone designs will complement the simplicity of a round cut.

Trilliant Diamond Shape

Unlike any other diamond shape in this list, a trilliant-cut stone has a unique triangle shape. Its three equal sides come together to create a bold, sharp look with intense brilliance. While trilliant-cut diamonds are often used as engagement ring side stones, they can also be used as a unique solitaire center stone for a sparkler that's completely individual.

Other Diamond Shapes

Antique old mine cut diamond shape
DiamondGalaxy/Shutterstock

While we've outlined the most common diamond shapes above, these just barely scratch the surface. There are plenty of different shapes that go beyond the basics. A hexagon cut, for example, resembles an Asscher-cut diamond with six straight sides. And while the center stone can be cut in a hexagonal shape, it's also possible to place a round diamond within a hexagon setting.

Similarly, an angular kite-cut diamond marries the oblong shape of a marquise with the step-cut pattern that's associated with emeralds. While this shape is most commonly used for side stones, it's becoming a trendy center stone option as well.

Antique shapes—like old mine or European cuts—have also risen in demand. Prior to the creation of the modern technology that produces the brilliant-cut diamonds we know today, jewelers used to cut stones by hand. This process resulted in facets and faces that look much more antique than what often hits showrooms now. As a result, antique shapes like old mine and European cuts draw the eye inwards, rather than reflecting light out. "Old European and old mine cuts have recently become more popular among our shoppers," Landau says. "Our clients love them because they have an antique look and are super rare. Each stone has a unique faceting pattern, so no two are the same. Plus, they are both a great value because you can go lower in color without compromising the quality."

So, with a seemingly endless list of diamond shapes, it can feel downright impossible to pick just one. If you find yourself wondering, "What diamond shape is best for me?" you can't go wrong by trying multiple (if not all!) shapes to see what fits your preference. And, if you're not sure how to pick a diamond cut, it won't hurt to think outside the box and try something completely unique. "Be open to various shapes—even the ones that may not necessarily have been on your initial list," advises Yoon. "Each diamond is unique, and so is your hand."

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