20 May

What are the different diamond cuts and diamond shapes?

Table of contents

Coloured diamonds in a small dish with tweezers resting on top.

Diamonds can come in all sorts of cuts and shapes, and these affect the value for investment.

We often think of the 4 C’s of diamonds: carat, clarity, cut and colour as having the biggest impact on their retail value. However, shape is also an important consideration, which can drastically affect the diamonds’ value.

Whether you are looking for a more traditional ‘round’ cut or a ‘fancy cut’, doing some research into the different cuts and shapes of diamond will ensure you make the right choice for your investment goals.

What is the difference between a diamond cut and diamond shape?

A diamond’s shape refers to its geometric appearance and the outer shape of the stone; these can include round, oval, spherical, or princess.

When deciding what diamond shape to buy, it’s important to consider how the diamond will be used, for example in a piece of jewellery, for display, or investment. As well as considering how the shape accents the other value factors including clarity, carat, and colour of the diamond.

The cut refers to the proportion, symmetry, polishing and sparkle of the diamond and is determined by a master gem cutter to best accentuate those value factors

Using computer scanning technology and the expertise of the gem cutter, the diamond’s cut should bring out the best of its clarity and colour, while maximising its carat weight. At Australian Diamond Portfolio, we work with a world-renowned diamond polisher, who crafts rough diamonds into works of art.

A poorly cut diamond will not catch the light, appearing dull and therefore reducing its value.

What are the different shapes of a diamond?

While diamonds can be cut into any shape, there are several popular diamond shapes such as Round, or ‘fancy cut’ such as Princess, Cushion, Oval, Emerald, Pear, Marquise, Asscher, Radiant and Heart shape.

Illustrations of different diamond shapes. From left to right: Round, Princess, Emerald, Cushion, Asscher, Pear, Oval, Heart, Radiant and Marquise.


Round diamonds are the most classic and in-demand due to their sparkle. This type of diamond is cut in such a way that it reflects light or shines, this increases its brightness. Round diamonds have a higher market demand and this can increase their value, when compared size-on-size to a fancy shaped diamond.

Round brilliant cut pink diamonds are also the shape in shortest supply. This is due to the challenge in maximising depth of colour in the round form, and to the greater loss of weight from the rough diamond during the cutting process. Fancy colour round cut diamonds exhibiting high colour retention are therefore priced at a significant premium.


A cushion shaped or ‘pillow cut’ diamond is well proportioned with equal sides. Its corners and ends are frequently rounded by jewellers giving it a classic appearance and enabling jewellers more room to be imaginative when designing settings, such as by engraving or adding filigree decorations.

Rectangular or Emerald

Emerald-cut diamonds are prized for their subtle glimmer and eye-catching depth, enabling the diamond to show off more colour and clarity. They are a wise cut option for investments, heirloom jewellery or as part of a portfolio of assets.

Emerald cuts are also a rare shape for a pink diamond. With respect to colour retention, the emerald cut is rarely found because the angles of the polished gem are not conducive to great depths of colour and results in less colour saturation. As with rounds, fancy colour emerald-cut diamonds are also priced at a significant premium, especially in the ‘intense’, ‘deep’, and ‘vivid’ saturation grades.


Princess-shaped diamonds were first produced in 1960 and rose to fame thanks to the type of brilliance they provide. These diamonds have modified brilliant cuts that are square with rounded corners. This cut has more than 50 chevron-shaped facets and is distinguished by extraordinary fire and scintillation. It is a favourite for engagement rings because it is both elegant and stylish.


This diamond shape is an interesting blend of the round brilliant cut and the marquise shape that looks both elegant and dramatic. It is one of the most desired diamond shapes. Its unique form makes it appear larger than other diamond shapes of the same carat.


A heart-shaped diamond is an excellent choice for a traditional romantic because it is sentimental and as rare as true connection. In most cases, a heart-shaped diamond is cut this way because it brings out the diamond’s greatest features.


The Asscher-cut has recently had a popularity spike, particularly among celebrities. Due to their similar cut styles, emerald and Asscher cuts of diamonds are frequently confused. The main distinction is that the table is smaller and the crown is taller, compared to an emerald cut diamond, it provides more brightness and brilliance.


The cut of a radiant-cut diamond combines the lines of an emerald cut with the brilliance of a round diamond. This shape appears somewhat triangular while enhancing the depth of the diamond. This diamond cut looks good combined with a range of other diamond cuts.


The pear shape creates a tapering teardrop with an exceptional display of light by fusing round brilliant and marquise cut designs. They exhibit precise symmetry.


The marquise pattern was given its name in honour of the 18th century when courtiers denoted their status by donning marquise diamonds. Despite being smaller than it really is, a marquise diamond looks much bigger thanks to its shape.

Which diamond shapes are the most expensive?

Round diamonds tend to be more expensive than fancy shaped diamonds when compared like-for-like and this is for a number of reasons:

They require a larger rough diamond to cut from.

Cutting a round shape out of a rough diamond produces more waste than cutting a fancy shape, which makes them more valuable per carat.

The shape has to be very precise

All round shaped diamonds are cut the same way and are easier to cut to be precisely round. This is not the case with square cut diamonds, for example, and any flaw in the symmetry can affect the price.

They shine brilliantly

The round shape is proportional, meaning these stones reflect the light better than other shapes. Buyers often look for shine and light reflection when deciding which diamond to buy, making round shaped diamonds more appealing.

Where can I buy an investment diamond?

When considering a diamond for investment value, it is important to consider the 4 C’s, as well as cut and market demand.

As we have seen, the market demand for round cut diamonds is higher, meaning they can command more at resale. For this same reason, considering diamonds that are in high demand due to their colour, such as pink diamonds, can also be a savvy investment choice.

If you’re interested in finding out more about investing in certified, investment-grade (and conflict-free) pink diamonds, get a free Pink Diamond Guide from Australian Diamond Portfolio.


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