For thousands of years, we have fashioned uncut gems into specific shapes to display the play of light across their surfaces and to enhance their color and sparkle. Here are the most popular shapes and styles for diamonds and colored gemstones:
Round cuts tend to be the most balanced, versatile, and popular shapes. Most round cut colored gemstones are faceted to enhance sparkle and the play of light. Round diamonds, in particular, are often brilliant‐cut, which enhances the diamond's angles and maximizes sparkle and brilliance. A round diamond will give you the most sparkle out of all of the diamond shapes.
Round cut colored gemstones; however, can also be made into cabochons. Unlike other round shapes, cabochons are not faceted but instead have been shaped and polished. Cabochons are typically high‐shine stones with a dome‐like top.
Like round shapes, oval stones are usually either brilliant cut or shaped into cabochons. Oval diamonds are typically brilliant cut to exhibit a similar fire and brilliance to a round diamond. This shape is little less common than the ubiquitous round, though, and so is often beloved by people looking for something sparkly but a little more unique.
An emerald cut stone refers to both the piece's shape and cut (faceting). These rectangular stones have a step‐like facet pattern. Unlike brilliant cut stones, which are designed to create as much sparkle as possible, emerald‐cut diamonds and gemstones are designed to create flashes of light and a clean, mirror‐like look. When you look at an emerald cut stone, you can see the individual step cuts. For emerald cut diamonds, in particular, stones with higher clarity ensure the most beautiful display of attributes.
The marquise cut and shape are named after Marquise de Pompadour, a mistress of King Louis XV who reigned in 18th century France. This shape is known for creating the illusion that the stone is larger in size than its actual karat weight. Symmetry is considered the critical component for a high‐quality marquise cut.
The pear shape, designed to resemble a sparkling teardrop, is a blend of the round and marquise cuts. Like marquise cut stones, excellent symmetry is key for the pear shape, as even the slightest difference can make a diamond or gemstone appear uneven. Some people like to wear pear stones with the point facing up and others like to wear them with the point facing down ‐ it's up to you!
For the true romantic, heart‐shaped stones can be a literal expression of love. Symmetry is the key aspect of a heart‐shaped diamond or gemstone: the two halves of the heart must be identical. Heart‐shaped stones are faceted to enhance sparkle while also keeping their iconic heart shape.
Square designs give a clean, modern look to a gemstone or diamond. Unlike emerald, pear, and marquise stones, which refer to both the shape and the specific cut (faceting) of the gem, square shaped gemstones can come in a variety of cuts, including:
This square with rounded corners is a slightly more angular take on the traditional round‐cut stone. Increasingly popular as a diamond, the cushion cut offers traditional sparkle with a modern shape.
Princess cut stones are square in shape, but like round diamonds, they are cut with a brilliant facet pattern. This sparkly cut gives just as much brilliance and fire as a round cut brilliant stone, but with an angular line.
To put it simply, asscher cut diamonds are square diamonds that have an emerald cut's step‐like facet pattern. Unlike brilliant cut stones, which are designed to create as much sparkle as possible, step‐cut diamonds and gemstones are designed to create flashes of light and a clean, mirror‐like look. When you look at an asscher cut stone, you can see the individual step cuts. For asscher cut diamonds, stones with higher clarity ensure the most beautiful display of attributes.