Diamond Shapes

For centuries, diamonds have been sought after for their shine, their color and their desirability. Diamonds, the end result of a process begun millions of years ago are found deep in the earth, and when mined are completely different from the diamonds that we here at Jordan River Diamonds use to create out fine jewelry.

A raw, or rough diamond can be, to the untrained eye, just another piece of rock lacking the brilliance, the luster and the beauty that we associate with a diamond.

What gives the finished diamond its beauty and its desirability is a process demanding many long hours of work by highly skilled craftsmen who painstaking cut and polish the rough diamond until they finally bring its inner beauty to the fore.

A cut diamond’s final appeal is determined by what is known as the “Four C’s” – color, clarity, carat and cut. Whilst all are important, a diamonds cut is perhaps the single most important. The final cut, the symmetry of its facets and its proportions are what determine its ability to reflect light and give it its final scintillating beauty.

There are 10 main recognized diamond cuts in use today. Some have been used for centuries, some for just a few years. The final decision as to what cut will be used is based on a wide variety of considerations, the most important being the desired final effect, shape and size of the cut and polished diamond.

The 10 main diamond cuts are:

Round Cut

The round cut, with its 58 facets (33 on the top section or crown and 25 on the bottom or pavilion) and also known as the Brilliant Cut, the American Ideal Cut and the American Standard Cut is the most popular of all diamond cuts. Marcel Tolkowsky designed the cut, which he considered the “perfect diamond shape” in the early 20th century.

The design and the techniques used for the round cut ensure that the maximum amount of light is reflected back each of the 57 facets. This makes it one of the most brilliant and scintillating of all cut diamonds. For this reason, the round cut is particularly popular for engagement rings.

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Princess Cut

The Princess Cut, also known by names such as Squarillion, Quadrillion has a great many variations but the basic shape is square or rectangular with a 90 degree angle at each corner. It is second in its brilliance only to the round cut and is also a great favorite for an engagement ring.

Proportions of a princess cut are very important - a square princess cut stone should have sides with a 1 to 1.10 ratio whilst a rectangular stone should have sides with a ratio of 1.5 to 2.0.

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Emerald Cut

The Emerald cut differs from other cut diamonds in that the diamond’s bottom section (pavilion) starting from the diamond’s widest point (girdle) and finishing at its lower point point (culet), is cut with rectangular facets that create a unique shape with excellent optical qualities which emphasize the diamond’s clarity.

The Emerald cut¸ is often used to cut exceptionally large diamonds. Emerald cut diamonds can be either square or rectangular in shape and the ratio of length to width should be between 1.00 and 1.05.

Oval Cut

The oval cut is a long and slender cut whose 56 facets give it a brilliance that is similar to that of a round cut and an emerald cut, very similar to that of a round cut diamond. Developed by Lazare Kaplan at the beginning of the 1960’s, oval cut diamonds are popular as their elongated shape accentuates long, slender finger.

Color and clarity are of much greater importance in an oval cut as it’s much easier to see inclusions and impurities with the naked eye. Oval cut diamonds are usually at their best when they have no color as this allows them to reflect light in a particularly brilliant fashion.

The ideal ratio for the oval cut be 1.5:1. Any greater then you could see what is called the “bow tie” effect because of the dark, bow tie shape that appears in the diamond due to inaccurate cut angles.

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Marquise Cut

The Marquise Cut is similar to the oval cut but is more elongated and has pointed ends. Developed in France during the reign of Louis XIV (1638 - 1715) it is no longer as popular as it once was but is still considered by many to be a classic diamond cut.

Marquise cut diamonds are often used as the center piece for engagement rings as its unique shape and exceptional brilliance demand to be the center of attraction.

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Pear Cut

The pear cut is a fusion of oval and marquise cuts and resembles a pear or a teardrop. The 58 facet pear cut has what many people consider to be a soothing and calming effect. A badly of incorrectly pear cut can also exhibit the bow tie effect found in some marquise and oval cuts.

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Radiant Cut

The Radiant Cut is a rectangular or square, 53 or 54 faceted cut (some radiant cut diamonds have 70 facets which give them added brilliance) with truncated corners. It is unique in that resembles cracked ice. Another characteristic of radiant-cut diamonds, especially colored ones, is the brilliance exhibited throughout the diamond. The length to width ratio for a squared radiant cut diamond should be between 1 and 1.05 and 1.10 for a rectangular radiant cut diamond. The length to width ration for a 70 faceted radiant cut diamond should be between to 1.2 - 1.5.

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Heart Cut

Shaped in the form of a heart, the 57 or 58 faceted heart cut diamond is cut in a similar fashion to the pear cup but with a characteristic cleft on top rather than the rounded edges of the pear cut. Achieving the perfect heart shape with length to width ratios of 0.9 to 1.10 takes a lot of skill and patience, but once obtained, the result is truly dazzling.

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Cushion Cut

The cushion cut (once known as the Old Mine cut) is a relatively old cut, common in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries before the advent of electric lighting. The cut doesn’t give the brilliance of modern cuts but, when viewed in candlelight the effect can be captivating. Until recently, cushion cut diamonds were to be found mainly at estate auctions. However, over the past few years the cut has been enjoying something of a comeback.

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Trillian Cut

Originally developed in Amsterdam, Holland the trillion cut diamond (also known as trilliant or trillion) has three points with sides that can be straight or curved. As with many cuts, the exact design of a trillion cut diamond is dependent on two factors: the skill and preference of the cutter and the natural characteristics of the stone. A trillion cut diamond with must be cut with perfect proportions and close to perfect symmetry with recommended proportions of 1:1.

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