F&D | Guide to Diamond Shapes

Diamonds come in all sizes, shapes and cuts. Size refers to the overall carat weight of the diamond, and an even more indicative measurement of a diamond's size is its millimeter dimensions.

The other two important characteristics of a diamond are Shape and Cut. While sometimes the Shape and Cut of a diamond can be used synonymously, they are actually very different! Shape defines the overall shape of the stone as it’s viewed straight-on from the table and crown. Some common Shapes are round, pear, cut-corner rectangle, square and oval.

Anatomy of a Round Brilliant Diamond


Facets - the flat surfaces cut onto a diamond that control how light is reflected and bounced around

This differs from the Cut, which specifically relates to the type of facets that have been cut onto the surface of the diamond to enhance the way light is reflected through its surface. Some popular cuts are the Brilliant-cut, Stepcut, and Rosecut. Each of these have a style of facets that make up a certain pattern. The Brilliant-cut is made up of 57 or 58 facets with specific proportions to the pavilion, crown and table. Generally Brilliant-cuts have triangular or trapezoidal facets that form a pyramid like shape. The Brilliant-cut has a dense and bright, flashy sparkle.


Round Cuts

For a different sparkle from Brilliant-cuts, Stepcuts are another popular style.  Stepcuts are made up of facets that resemble descending steps or stairs like the name suggests. Using parallel lines and facets cut into the surface length and width, the facets are a rectangular shape rather than triangular or trapezoidal like a Brilliant-cut. The use of long lines in a Stepcut draw the viewer's attention down and to the center of the stone. These longer, stepped facets create a reflection similar to a hall of mirrors.  

Rosecuts are an older style of cut, developed in the 1800s when diamonds were being cut with steam-powered machinery. This type of cut has 24 triangular facets that resemble a geodesic dome. And unlike the typical pyramid shape we’re used to seeing when you view a diamond from its side, a Rosecut is flat along the bottom. The fewer facets of a Rosecut produce a more diffused reflection of light.

Cut Corner Rectangle Cuts

Example of Diamond Description

A diamond Shape can come in many cuts, like Round Brilliants or Round Rosecuts. Following in that format, a diamond will generally be named by its Shape first, and then its Cut. There are some instances where titles refer to the Shape and Cut synonymously, like Emeralds. Emeralds have to be a cut-corner rectangle shape with a Stepcut to be named Emeralds. Much is the same with Radiants, Radiants are a cut-corner rectangle shape but with a Brilliant-cut. 


With those factors in mind, what is most important about the characteristics of a diamond to you?

Round GuideOval GuidePear Guide

Cushion GuideMarquise Guide

Radiant Guide

Emerald GuideAsscher Guide

Princess Guide