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Choosing Your Diamond Shape

By Keith Thompson

Choosing the shape of your diamond jewelry is one of the key elements in determining the overall appearance of your ring or other diamond jewelry. There are many shapes and variations from which to choose, but first off do not confuse "shape" with "cut". A diamond's shape is just that: the outward appearance of the stone, whether it is round, oval etc.; while the cut refers to how the diamond itself is fashioned, how many facets and so on. Below I'll examine the various diamond shapes and tell a little about each of them, in order to help you make that all-important choice.

Round Brilliant Diamonds - By far the most popular, accounting for more than 75% of diamonds purchased today, they are also the most expensive. Most coveted as an engagement ring, they also find their way into earrings and pendants. Round Brilliant Diamonds are noted for their fire and brilliance.

Oval Diamonds - A perfectly symmetrical design yields a large surface area that gives the impression of a much larger diamond, oval diamonds are favored by women with smaller hands or shorter fingers, it's shape giving an elongated look to the hand.

Princess Cut Diamonds - Though in appearance the smallest of diamonds, a Princess Cut Diamond is basically an inverted pyramid which puts most of the carat weight near the bottom. Princess cut diamonds are most often sought as solitaires, and are a relatively recent shape.

Marquise Diamonds - Another diamond shape that looks larger than it actually is, the Marquise diamond is elongated with points on each end, though sometimes altered to a "French tip" where the end point is excised. A great choice for a solitaire.

Emerald Cut - Rectangular with corner cuts, this diamond is also called a step cut, because of the shape that resembles stair steps. Large, open facets on this diamond make it imperative to choose a stone of greater clarity and higher color, as inclusions and weak color are more noticeable in this cut.

Pear Shape Diamond - Exactly as it says, this diamond is pear-shaped, or sometimes reminding one of a teardrop. Most often found on pendants and earrings.

Heart Shaped Diamonds - A brilliant cut, the heart shaped diamond is a romantic choice that varies from jeweler to jeweler as it's shape can be greatly influenced by the skill of whimsy of the gem cutter, as well as variable facet configurations. Seek out a perfectly symmetrical stone.

Trillion Cut Diamonds - A newcomer, born in the late seventies, this diamond is a triangle stone with equal sides. These can make stunning earrings.

Baguette Cut Diamonds - Another step cut diamond shape that is most frequently employed as side stones. Because it has few facets, quality and color come into play more here as imperfections become more visible in these uncomplicated, though elegant diamonds.

Radiant Diamonds - A square or rectangularly shaped diamond, the Radiant resembles the emerald shape but has 70 facets, making it much more brilliant and dazzling than the Emerald shape.

Asscher Cut Diamonds - A rectangular shaped diamond with high crown step facets, this shape was patented in 1902 and is know for it's fire and ability to return light.

Cushion Cut Diamonds - Sometimes referred to as "pillow cut", this shape was popular in the 1800's. Cut with candle light in mind, (nothing else available at the time!) the cushion cut is a rectangular/squarish shape, with more than a touch of old world elegance about it.

Kite, Trapezoid & Half-Moon diamonds - Lesser know shapes used mainly for side stones.

Choosing the right diamond shape can be more easily accomplished with a little information and the help of a professional jeweler. Here's hoping you find that perfect diamond!

Copyright 2005 Keith Thompson

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