While everyone can recognize a round cut diamond right off the bat (it is the most common cut for engagement rings and is considered the classic standard for diamond rings), you may not realize that there are actually several different cuts for your diamonds that may offer unique properties. For starters, your stone can be deep or shallow, but the proper proportions lie somewhere in the middle to ensure maximum brilliance. Then there are the different shapes of cut. Here are a few of the most popular cuts and what you can expect from them.
1. Round. As stated, this is the most traditional cut, mainly because it brings out the most brilliance and fire in your stone. It is also the most researched, so there are precise mathematical calculations to ensure proper depth and symmetry of the stone.
2. Princess. This cut is second to the round cut in both demand and brilliance. It is generally square in shape (although it can be closer to a rectangle), which makes it a nice alternative to round cut since it can still be more or less symmetrical. But because of the way it is cut, even mostly colorless stones may show a bit of color in the corners.
3. Emerald. These diamonds have a rectangular cut in the pavilion (the lower portion of the stone) that gives them a uniquely open table (the face of the stone). This makes it an excellent cut to showcase stones with particularly good clarity.
4. Marquise. The beauty of this cut is that it can make the best of a small carat in that it looks larger than other stones of the same weight. It is a good choice for women with long fingers because the dimensions highlight this attribute.
5. Heart. There is little to recommend this cut aside from the obvious symbolism it embodies. It has no edge over other cuts, although it may be less expensive.