visit our london showroom to discuss your ideas - book your consultation

Diamond Shapes for Engagement Rings: Find Your Match


What is a diamond shape?

The definition of a diamond shape is the way it looks when you look at it from the top. Imagine looking down at your ring and taking it in. The most common shapes include round, princess, emerald, Asscher, oval, marquise, pear and heart. Each shape is crafted to enhance the diamond’s brilliance, fire and overall aesthetic appeal.

Whether you’re looking for something timeless and elegant, contemporary and sophisticated, or filled with romantic symbolism, the shape you choose will reflect personal style while celebrating the beauty of nature’s fanciest gemstone.

Diamond shape vs. diamond cut

‘Diamond shape’ and ‘diamond cut’ are related terms, but they refer to different aspects of a diamond’s appearance and quality. Let’s get into the specifics.

Diamond shape refers to the external outline of the diamond when we view it from the top. The most well-known diamond shapes, and ones we use the most often in jewellery are round, princess, emerald, marquise, pear, oval, heart and Asscher. Each shape has its own little details that add to the unique appearance of the stones. There are also variations in symmetry, facet arrangement and overall silhouette. To put it plainly, you’ll be able to see the differences with your own eyes.

Diamond cut is a bit more technical and refers to the precision and quality of a diamond’s facets. It focuses on the proportions and symmetry that result from the cutting process. A well cut diamond reflects light internally and disperses it through its facets, maximising brilliance, fire and sparkle. Cut grades typically assess parameters such as polish, symmetry, depth and table percentage. A diamond’s cut significantly impacts its visual appeal and overall value. An official cut grade is only applicable to a round shape diamond (in the 4 Cs), but all shapes do have a level of cut that is analysed to ensure symmetry and good light performance throughout the stone.

In summary, while diamond shape describes the external form of the diamond, diamond cut refers to the quality and craftsmanship of the facets and proportions that determine its brilliance and sparkle. Both aspects are crucial considerations when evaluating a diamond’s beauty and value.

What is the best diamond shape?

The ‘best’ diamond shape is subjective and ultimately depends on personal preferences, style and individual taste. Some people like a fiery sparkle while others opt for a more linear flash effect. Each diamond shape has its own unique characteristics and appeal so we’d suggest going with what you’ll enjoy looking at every day.

That being said, the round brilliant cut is often considered the most popular and widely favoured choice due to its exceptional brilliance and fire. Round diamonds are known for their symmetry, balanced proportions and the ability to maximise light reflection, which results in a dazzling effect.

They’re also pretty iconic. Whenever you picture or imagine an engagement ring, a round diamond on a polished solitaire band is, more often than not, exactly what comes to mind because of old school advertising and classic movies. They account for around 75% of the world’s diamonds, and around 35% of our customers opt for a round. Its popularity costs though. Due to there being the most waste in the cutting process combined with their popularity, they demand a price premium.

It’s important to remember that the ‘best’ shape is the one that person who wears the stone likes the most. Princess cuts have an air of modernity, the vintage charm of cushion or Asscher cuts will suit someone with a more classic style, and the unabashed romance of heart or pear shapes is ideal for the perennial dreamers. As long as you consider factors such as personal style, setting preferences and budget when choosing your diamond shape, you’re very likely to find the right one for you.

What are the different diamond shapes?

What are the most popular diamond shapes?

The popularity of diamond shapes can vary over time, with certain silhouettes going in and out of style. Not to mention celebrity influence and fashion trends. At Taylor & Hart, we’ve experienced this phenomenon as well, but in recent times the most popular shape has been the oval. It had surpassed the round, which is still up there, but due to its larger-looking appearance and slightly more unique look, it has taken the edge (figuratively of course).

Speaking of edges, the next most popular is the emerald shape, which has gained a lot of traction among celebrities and royalty. Other high flyers are the pear, marquise and cushion cut.

The radiant, princess and hexagonal shapes are also among our popular choices. Ultimately, the stone has to appeal to the customer. Some may enjoy a more mainstream choice, it’s usually popular for good reason, and others like opting for a unique stone that not many other people have.

Round diamonds have been the top choice for engagement ring centre stones for a long, long time but this year has seen the oval shape equal its circular rival in popularity.

Kate Earlam-Charnley, Design Director

What do diamond shapes symbolise?

While diamond shapes themselves don’t inherently have specific symbolic meanings attributed to them, they often carry connotations based on cultural, historical and personal associations. Here are some of the most common associations with each diamond shape.

Round Brilliant: This cut is the Queen Bee of engagement rings and it’s for good reason. The circular shape represents a never ending cycle, which is such a powerful way to symbolise enduring love. Other themes evoked are perfection and smooth sailing, which are also important things we look for in lasting relationships. The historical popularity of the shape, along with its rich heritage also add a lot of symbolism to this choice of ring.

Princess: The sharp corners and clean lines of a princess cut diamond highlight modernity, strength and confidence. Its clean lines keep the ring looking contemporary in a way that’ll be meaningful to the person wearing it. With the shape being square on the top, it boasts four bevelled sides that come in at a point, much like an upside-down pyramid. This unusual design also evokes a rense of excitement and unpredictability that is appealing to many adventurous couples.

Emerald: Long-associated with elegance and sophistication, the emerald cut focuses on confidence and balance. The popularity of this shape has been unwavering and could be down to its perfectly symmetrical beauty. The shape exudes strength on is own, as well as in a popular trio design, which symbolises the fortitude and strength of a lasting relationship.

Cushion: The curved corners and brilliant facets of a cushion cut diamond are perfect for someone who longs for a delicate look with a lot of sparkle. The shape is so impactful because of its soft and feminine aspects, while still boasting strong, angular lines. These faceting features make for a balanced and striking feel, which resonates with many people symbolically.


Oval: The oval cut offers so many options as to how it’s presented, which symbolises its flexible and adaptable nature. Worn in a north-west alignment, it elongates the finger and represents the long-lasting love it celebrates. The east-west positioning can denote individuality and a devil-may-care attitude. The stone can also be displayed in various settings that all highlight other individual attributes of the shapes. Its innate elegance also adds to its unending appeal.

Pear: Symbolising tears of joy, the pear shape’s unique silhouette is particularly appealing to those who march to the beat of their own drum. If you don’t want a ring that looks just like everyone else’s, then the pear’s gravitational pull will draw you in. The rounded side evokes the gentle part of love’s embrace, with the tapered point shining a light on renewal and new beginnings.

Marquise: With its beginnings steeped in royal history and opulent sophistication, the marquise shape certainly lives up to its rich heritage. The oval shape meets in pointed ends, that resemble the hull of a ship. The shape of this cut has influenced its other name – the Navette – which translates to ‘little boat’ in French. Choosing this style highlights one’s power and innate extravagance, whilst adding a dash of the dramatic in for good measure.

Heart: A statement-making yet incredibly sweet choice, the heart cut is the epitome of romance. The sentimentality behind such an unmistakable shape is apparent, and those who opt for this style are saying they’re in love with their whole chest. The boldness of a heart cut also highlights the wearer’s individuality and unabashed optimism

So, what shape is right for me?

Each shape has its own associations and merits, whether historical, current or inherently sentimental, therefore whatever choice one makes will always provide symbolism on a personal level. When choosing a shape for your engagement ring or any other jewellery choice, it’s always important to go with your gut and personal preferences. Which looks best to me or my future fiancé? Once you’ve answered that question, you know you’re onto a winner.

Which diamond shape is the most affordable?

Generally, diamond shapes with less demand, lower labour costs, and more efficient use of rough material tend to be more affordable on a price-per-carat basis. Here’s a breakdown of how a natural and lab grown diamond of the exact same quality characteristics compare shape by shape.


Shape vs. Price Chart

Diamond shapelab grown natural

* Based on 1ct, colour F and clarity VS1 for both lab grown and natural.
Prices correct as of May 2024.

Tell us more?

Here’s a little behind-the-scenes of the cutting process which will hopefully help illustrate exactly what goes into transforming raw materials into the sparkling showpieces you see in the showrooms.

Diamond cutters utilise a digital system that examines the rough stone and maps out the desired cut. After that, typically by hand, they will use cleaving or laser cutting to separate the original rough parts into smaller, more workable and aesthetically pleasing diamond sections. It’s then shaped into the overall outline mapped by the digital system and sent over for the facets to be created per the chosen shape’s specs.

So what does this all mean?

Essentially this means that a rough diamond could potentially be split into several parts – and each of these sections could be a different shape. Cutters and suppliers always look for the most efficient way to utilise the rough materials to ensure minimal waste while still ensuring the best possible look of the gem.


With this in mind, the round cut would be considered the most premium due to the wastage involved as well as its iconic status. Other cuts are fairly stable in pricing with some fluctuations based on a variety of factors such as quality (cut, colour, clarity), market trends and individual sellers. When buying a diamond, we recommend comparing prices and quality characteristics to ensure you’ve got a couple of good options to consider. Our skilled jewellery consultants are also on hand not only to help you choose the perfect shape for you, but they’ll also scour the globe to find that perfect diamond in the rough.

Why diamond pricing varies from shape to shape?

Diamond pricing varies from shape to shape due to a few key factors such as demand, popularity and the efficiency of the cutting process. Shapes that are more popular and in higher demand, such as the round brilliant cut, often command higher prices due to their widespread appeal and perceived beauty.

Additionally, certain shapes require more skill and time to cut, resulting in higher labour costs and potentially higher prices. Factors such as yield loss during cutting, market trends and consumer preferences also play a significant role in determining diamond prices. Ultimately, the pricing of diamond shapes is influenced by a complex interplay of supply and demand dynamics, craftsmanship and market forces, leading to variations in pricing across different shapes.

What diamond shapes look the biggest?

Diamond shapes that typically appear larger for their carat weight often have longer-looking shapes that create an optical illusion of size. Here are some diamond shapes that tend to look bigger than a round diamond of equal carat weight on the finger:

Oval: This shape displays elongated proportions which, to the naked eye, make them look larger than round diamonds of the same carat weight. This silhouette creates the appearance of a greater surface area.

Pear: Their tapered point and rounded end create the illusion of a bigger size due to this non-symmetrical shape. The pointed end can visually elongate the finger, making it seem like it goes on further than it actually does.

Marquise: Another style with an elongated shape, this cut also features pointed ends, which maximise the appearance of its size. The way it looks on the finger creates more of a story than its more compact counterparts.

These shapes are generally considered to offer the most visible carat weight distribution across their elongated form, which enhances their perceived size. To put it simply, they look bigger than they actually are. If you’re after a style that takes up more real estate on the hand or wherever you choose to wear it, then these are the cuts for you.

Stone shape1 carat2 carat3 carat
Round6.4 x 6.4mm8.1 x 8.1mm9.4 x 9.4mm
Princess5.5 x 5.5mm7.3 x 7.3mm8.6 x 8.6mm
Emerald7 x 5mm8.5 x 6.5mm10 x 7mm
Asscher5.5 x 5.5mm7 x 7mm8 x 8mm
Oval8 x 5.5mm10 x 7mm11 x 8mm
Marquise10 x 5mm12 x 6mm14 x 7mm
Pear8 x 5.5mm10 x 7mm12 x 8mm
Heart6.5 x 6.5mm8.5 x 8.5mm10 x 10mm
Cushion6.5 x 6.5mm8 x 8mm9.5 x 9.5mm

What are antique diamond shapes?

Antique diamond shapes refer to diamond cuts that were popular during specific historical periods, typically before the advent of modern cutting techniques. These cuts often reflect the design preferences, technological limitations and cultural influences of their respective eras. Some common antique diamond shapes include:

Old Mine Cut: Originating in the 18th century, the old mine cut diamond features a square or cushion shape outline with a high crown, small table, and large facets. This cut is known for its romance and subtle sparkle, showcasing the craftsmanship of early diamond cutters.

Old European Cut: Developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the old European cut diamond is similar to the old mine cut but with a round shape. It features a smaller table and larger, chunkier facets, resulting in a distinctive play of light and a warmer appearance.

Vintage old european cut rose gold engagement ring

Rose Cut: Dating back to the 16th century, the rose cut diamond is characterised by a flat base and a domed top covered in triangular facets arranged in a symmetrical pattern. This cut resembles the shape of a rosebud and is prized for its vintage appeal.

Single Cut and Full Cut: Single cut diamonds feature a simple round shape with a single row of facets, while full cut diamonds have additional facets for enhanced brilliance. These cuts were prevalent during the Art Deco period of the 1920s and 1930s, reflecting the geometric and streamlined design aesthetic of the era.

Antique cut diamonds offer a glimpse into the rich history of diamond cutting and design, with each cut carrying its own unique charm and character. Today, these vintage cuts are often sought after for their rarity, craftsmanship and century-spanning beauty, adding a feeling of nostalgia and bygone elegance to modern jewellery pieces.

What other unique diamond shapes are there?

Several diamond shapes offer unusual and distinctive appearances, catering to those who’d like to venture beyond the traditional round or princess cuts. These unique shapes often evoke individuality, creativity and strong sense of style. Here are some examples:

Trillion: Also known as ‘trilliant’ or ‘triangle cut’, it’s a diamond shape that is essentially a ‘brilliant cut’ triangle. It shares a similar facet structure to a round or cushion diamond, resulting in the ever-famed brilliance and fire. The sides of the shape may sometimes have straight or curved edges, but so long as the overarching shape looks triangular, it’s considered a trillion.

Kite: Kite shaped diamonds are a variation of the traditional diamond shape, featuring pointed corners and a distinct kite-like outline. This shape offers a contemporary twist on the classic diamond silhouette, appealing to those with an eye for unconventional designs.

Hexagonal: Hexagonal shaped diamonds showcase six sides and a distinctive angular profile. With their sharp lines and geometric symmetry, hexagonal diamonds exude a bold and avant-garde aesthetic.

Baguette: Baguette cut diamonds are elongated, rectangular or tapered shapes with step cut facets. Quite similar to the emerald cut but with 90 degree angle corners as opposed to tipped corners. Often used as accent stones in jewellery, baguette diamonds add a touch of sophistication and vintage charm to any setting. They can also come in tapered formation where their long vertical sides angle inwards so that one horizontal end is wider than the other – almost like a very elongated or slender trapezoid shape.

Shield: Shield shaped diamonds feature a bold and angular silhouette reminiscent of a, you guessed it, medieval shield. This shape offers a sense of strength and protection, making it a symbolic choice for those seeking a meaningful and distinctive design to reflect their relationship.


These unique diamond shapes provide a creative canvas for expressing individuality and personal style, offering a refreshing departure from more conventional options. Whether chosen as a centrepiece stone or as accent diamonds, these shapes add character and personality to any jewellery piece.

As you can see, diamonds come in all shapes and sizes, each showcasing various facets of its personality and potential. Whatever stone you happen to choose on your diamond journey, hopefully this guide was able to offer some helpful information and advice.

This website uses cookies. For more information, please read our cookies policy.