When it comes to diamonds, most consumers tend to use the words ‘cut’ and ‘shape’ interchangeably. However, for diamond professionals, there is a big difference. Diamond ‘shape’ refers to the outline of the stone – which can be round, oval, princess, etc. Diamond’s ‘cut’ refers to the arrangement of a stone’s facets. With this in mind, a diamond’s ‘shapes’ can be faceted or ‘cut’ in a variety of ways.
The most common facet arrangement, known as the brilliant cut, is applied to many shapes. It consists of 57 or 58 facets, depending on if a culet facet is included. In a brilliant cut, there will be one octagonal table (or top flat surface) of the diamond, 16 kite‐shaped facets and 40 triangular shaped facets. An optional small octagonal facet at the culet is the 58th cut.
Diamonds can be purchased in a wide variety of shapes and cuts. While there are plenty of interesting shapes to be found, diamonds are frequently purchased in the ten most popular cut shapes:
The round shaped diamond is the most popular, and is often used as a solitaire in engagement rings, earrings, or pendants. According to The Knot, an engagement and wedding planning website, roughly 53% of engagement ring center stones are round. The cut style known as the round brilliant has been around since the 1700s, but has been modified over the years. The angles seen in today’s modern round brilliant were designed to enhance the diamond’s fire and brilliance, and were first suggested by Henry Morse of Boston in the 1860’s. These cuts were further enhanced by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919, and finally, in 2005, a scientific way to help cutters plan and predict the cut quality of round brilliant cut diamonds was introduced by the GIA.