The Big Decision:
Over the course of my 16 years working in the family business, we have helped many clients purchase diamond solitaires to celebrate many different milestones in their lives but most specifically anniversaries and engagements. One of the questions a lot of our clients ask us which is the best shape and my response has always been there is no such thing as the best shape but more about finding a diamond that speaks to you. In this article, I will speak about the shapes we sell the most with a brief description of the main characteristics of each one to provide you insight into your next diamond purchase.
Round Brilliant Cut
The first and most popular shape is the Round Brilliant cut. This cut is known for having the most facets usually 57 or 58 facets allowing it to reflect the light and creating amazing fire and sparkle at all angles. Marcel Tolkowsky is credited with being the creator of this cut in 1919, he used a mathematical formula to cut the diamond proportionally and over the years it has been modified to produce an optimal light reflection. At KFJ we are well known for our inventory of hearts and arrows diamonds known as the most optimal cut with perfect proportions for light reflection and when viewed under a special gem microscope when viewed from the top you see arrows and from the bottom hearts. Some most notable celebrities that wear round cut diamonds include Brittany Spears owns a 3ct round diamond and Mila Kunis from “That 70’s show” wears a 5ct given to her by her now-husband Ashton Kutcher.
The next shape widely known by most is the Princess Cut Diamond (Square Modified Brilliant) was created by Betazel Ambar and Israel Itzkowitz. Princess cuts can be lower in price than rounds because to cut a princess cut, diamond cutters need to use up less of the diamond rough. The downside to the princess cut is that the bulk of its carat weight is at the pavilion (bottom) of the stone so from the top the stone looks smaller than it is. Princess cuts also have 57 facets similar to the round diamond allowing for similar brilliance. According to Wikipedia in 2015 Princess Cuts were the second most popular shape for engagement rings behind only the Round Brilliant. Sheri Shepard from “The View” wears a 3ct Princess Cut engagement ring. Other notable shapes that have evolved from this cut are Cushion, Radiant cuts.
Many of you have also heard about the Oval shape diamond which had made a big comeback over the last 18-24 months. This shape was revived and recreated in the late 1950s by a gentleman named Lazare Kaplan. Contrary to the princess cut above Oval shape diamonds tend to look bigger than their actual carat weight because most of their weight tend to be from the table of the stone. Aside from having a bigger look, another positive when choosing an Oval shape similar to the round is when choosing a setting for your stone you can choose from a larger variety of settings as there are no sharp edges on the stone compared to the Princess cut. The one downside to the oval stone is you have to be on the lookout for the “bow tie” effect in the middle of the stone, depending on how well the stone is cut this effect can vary. The most famous Oval stone is the Oval Sapphire ring that Princess Diana made famously and now passed on to Princess Kate Middleton. Justin Bieber proposed to his wife with a 6ct G, VS1 oval shape.
Another shape that has been around for many years is the Marquise cut. We must go back to the 18th century when King Louis XV gifted his mistress with a Marquise diamond. He designed the shape that when held horizontally the shape matches her lips. Similar to the oval the marquise can have the bow tie effect and again the effect varies depending on how the diamond has been cut. When cut right the marquise diamond looks larger than its actual carat weight and provides beautiful brilliance. The two ends of the marquise shape are very sharp and if not set very carefully by only a master jeweler they can chip. Michael Douglas proposed to Catherine Zeta-Jones with a 10ct marquise diamond and in 1998 David Beckham proposed to Victoria Beckham with a 3ct marquise diamond.
The Emerald cut is another one that has been around since the early 1500s, but over the years has been perfected to have perfect step cuts in the stone to bring out the most brilliance. Due to its shape and not as many facets as some of the other shapes the brilliance and fire are not as prevalent but have a clean beautiful “art deco” look when worn. Similar to the Oval shape we have seen a nice increase in demand for the Emerald cut of the last few years. The larger the emerald cut the more beautiful the stone It looks like a mirror. When choosing this cut we always try to recommend our client looks for a high clarity since it has a large surface stone with inclusions that are more easily visible compared to some of the other cuts mentioned above. Angelina Jolie wears a 16ct emerald cut and not to be outdone. Beyonce’s engagement ring features an 18ct flawless clarity emerald cut diamond. The Asscher cut is one cut that has evolved from the emerald cut it is a fusion of the emerald and the princess merged.
The Pear shape also is known as the teardrop shape is a combination of the round brilliant and marquise listed above. There is always confusion when clients purchase this shape as to which direction should the pointed side goes. As per most jewelers, the pointed side should point to the person, but we do not judge if you prefer to have it pointed out! 😊 Again, the weight of this diamond is mostly at the top, so the stone always looks larger than its carat weight states. The original pear shape diamond dates back to 1475 created by Lodewyk van Bercken. This cut also has 58 facets like to round so provides similar brilliance and fire when cut proportionally. Victoria Beckham has upgraded from her original 3ct marquise mentioned above to now a 17ct pear shaped diamond ring. Now that’s what we call an UPGRADE!
As mentioned in the first paragraph there is no one shape better than the other, it is more of which diamond speaks to you and fits your lifestyle. Please reach out to any of our family members for your bridal rings, and your diamond upgrades.