Designed by one of the 19th century’s most famous diamantaires, Joseph Asscher, the Asscher-cut diamond hit the market in 1902 and became the craze of the early 20th century. The rectangular shape and cropped octagon corners, paired with the internal “hall of mirrors” effect, creates a wonderful, geometric diamond that pairs well with the geometric style and bold look of Art Deco jewelry. While Asscher cuts lack the inner fire of other cuts of diamond, they make up for it with an unconventional, vintage charm.
You may have seen the cushion-cut diamond also referred to as “pillow cut,” and the shape of the cut speaks for itself. This cut is another antique style, but its uninterrupted success over the century comes from the fact that it’s an easy style to alter by diamantaires. The cut’s large facets and round corners give it a feminine grace, and cushion cuts capture even the smallest sources of light in those facets. They’re a good shape to conceal inclusions, and while they don’t have the same sparkle as a round-cut diamond, they’re ideal when you’re looking to show off the color of a fancy diamond.
Emerald-cut diamonds are rectangular stones that have eight sides and a long pyramidal shape on the underside of the cut. Like Asscher cuts, emerald-cut diamonds are known as “step cut diamonds,” because steps like a staircase are cut into them. This process minimizes sparkle, but it creates the “hall of mirrors” look, where long planes of white contrast with dark ones. Emerald-cut diamonds, in addition to this effect, benefit from being a very long shape. This offers two benefits: they look bigger than a more compact stone, and they make a finger look slenderer.
The marquise-cut diamond is more familiar as a side stone. You may have seen it in some of your favorite engagement ring designs: A long stone, curved on both sides, and surmounted on its ends with two sharp points. But as with the emerald cut, the sheer length of the marquise-cut diamond makes it a stone that inherently looks larger while narrowing the finger. More and more often, however, this vintage-chic style is chosen as a center stone for rings. When the delicate points are protected with prongs or a tension setting, this glittering cut of diamond makes a gorgeous and offbeat choice.
An invention of the 1960s, the oval-cut diamond has a similar number of facets to a round-cut diamond, which makes it a dazzling choice comparable to the popular shape. Thus, the oval-cut diamond is the best of both worlds. Blending the fire and sparkle of round cuts with the narrowing effect of emerald-cut diamonds, ovals hide any inner imperfections beautifully. However, because of certain qualities of their design, it’s important to pick an oval-cut diamond within the ratio of 1.30 to 1.50 to prevent the unsightly “bow-tie effect” from unwanted light seepage.
The second most popular cut of diamond in the world, the princess cut has a shocking brilliance packed into a dainty square shape. In addition to the 58 facets which give the princess cut its dazzle, you’ll appreciate that a princess-cut diamond is significantly less costly than rounder shapes, due to the fact that there’s less waste of raw diamond when making a square-shaped diamond. Feminine, cost-effective, and radiant, the princess cut’s only real downside is that you’ll have to stick to settings that protect the four delicate points on each side of the stone. But once that’s settled, you can admire this modern cut for generations to come.
Last, but certainly not least, the round-cut diamond takes the stage as the most popular diamond in the world. When a round-cut diamond is properly faceted, it has more fire and scintillation than any other shape. Plus, the compactness and facets conceal inclusions better than other shapes, and the lack of any points means that you can put these gorgeous diamonds in any setting you like! While the demand for round-cut diamonds means they’re more expensive than other cuts, paying close attention to the 4 C’s can knock the price of your ideal stone down significantly.