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A diamond shape describes the outline of the stone and pattern of the facet arrangement. Although diamonds are available in various shapes like Round, Princess, Heart, Oval, Pear etc., when most people think of diamonds, what comes to their mind is the modern round brilliant cut, because in jewellery industry this shape is sold more than 75% of all diamonds. All other non-round shapes are called fancy shapes and these different diamond shapes reflect individual's style and personality.

The most popular and stylish shapes are defined as under:

Round Brilliant Cut

The classic and most popular of diamond shapes, accounts for more than 75% of all diamonds sold. This shape of diamond is most recognized for its magnificence and splendor.

In 1919, Marcel Tolkosky, used the round shape as a focus for major research, because it is most open to maximum light display. To this day this shape is most researched and the only one which receives highly specific grading.

When clarity and color are equal, a round diamond will have greater value than the other shapes.

Princess Cut

The princess cut is the second most popular shape, after the round brilliant. It was created in the late 1970s in Los Angeles and is cut for maximum light reflection. Its beautiful brilliance and unique cut makes it a favorite for engagement rings. The princess cut has pointed corners and is traditionally square in shape.

Born to have the brilliance of the round shape diamond it suits people with a taste for symmetry. This stone looks at home in almost any setting and is a beautiful variation of the standard round cut without losing the diamond look.

Emerald Shape

The emerald cut diamond is a square or rectangular shaped stone with cut corners. This is also known as step cut because it has rows of facets, usually 48 to 50, that resemble a staircase.

Due to its larger, more open table, this shape highlights the clarity of a diamond. However its fewer facets brings less brilliance than the other shapes.

It makes up for the lack of brilliance by the crystal like clarity of its vast, open table. Therefore it is important that it should maintain a higher quality of color and clarity.

Oval Cut

This shape brings with it an eternal class, flattering the hand of its bearer and giving an optical image of longer fingers. It is similar to the "round cut" but longer and far less common.

Its lengthy oval shape gives an aura of a diamond larger than even a round shape diamond of similar carat weight and showing similar brilliance.

Marquise Cut

The marquise shape is like an oval with the tips coming elegantly together at a point. Its appealing elongated shape and pointed ends make it appear larger than it really is, with larger size per carat weight than other shapes. This shape will lengthen the fingers it rests upon.

The Marquise dates back to the Sun King, Louis XIV . History recounts that he wanted a shape that would mimic the alluring smile of his said mistress, the Marquise of Pompadour.

Pear Cut

The pear shaped diamond is like a teardrop in form, reminiscent of a pure drop of water.

A beautiful blend of the Oval and Marquise, it bears the fluid rounded edge at the bottom and the definitive point at the top.

Chic and sophisticated with a delicate feel to it, one can easily relate this magnificent shaped diamond to the Greek myth that diamonds are "Teardrops of the Gods".

Heart Cut

The Heart shaped diamond is the most romantic of the diamond shapes. This symbolic shape of the heart shaped diamond instantly evokes the innocence and purity of love. It is due to this that the heart shaped diamond has become so popular, especially around Valentine's Day as well as for dates marking personal relationship milestones.

The origin of the heart shape can be linked to the pear shape diamond. Look closely at the heart shape diamond and you will notice that it is quite similar to the pear shape.

Asscher Shape

The Asscher was created in 1902 by the famous diamond cutter Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company.

This diamond shape is almost identical to the emerald cut, but square rather than rectangular. Thus it is sometimes fittingly referred to as the "square emerald".

This diamond is also cut by the step cut method and has cropped corners, giving it an almost octagonal look.

Radiant Cut

Radiant is another square or rectangular diamond shape (as is the princess) but with angled, cut off edges, a combination of the round and emerald cuts. Another newcomer to the diamond world, it was created less than 30 years back.

This shape is truly "radiant" with tremendous light return. One who appreciates the sparkle of round diamonds and the individual symmetry of the emerald shape, will find the radiant shape a wonderful blend of both.

Its compact symmetry may give the illusion of petite fingers, making it ideal for those who want a lighter effect.

Cushion Shape

The Cushion shape is like a square where the sides and corners have been rounded out - a hybrid of the old miner cut and the more modern cuts, sometimes brilliant cut or step cut. It may be described as a softer emerald shape.

Typically recognized as an "antique" shape, the cushion has been around since the 1830s. At one point it lost its popularity but with new technologies in cutting, it is becoming a trendy character filled shape, retaining a vintage charisma. It is displays good light reflection and brilliance under low lighting.