October 10, 2017 3 min read

There are many factors that go into selecting the right diamond for you (for a deeper dive in to the 4 Cs of buying a diamond, be sure to check THIS BLOG SERIES). In today’s article, we’ll take a look at diamond shape, which shapes are currently the most popular, and how to choose the diamond shape that’s right for you.

Want a great cheat sheet? Be sure to save this infographic:

different diamond shapes infographic

Choosing The Right Diamond Shape, Tip #1: Choose a Shape That’s Flattering For Your Hand

The first thing to consider when choosing the right diamond shape is your own hand. For example, if you have shorter fingers you may want to choose a diamond shape that creates an elongating effect. If you have long, slender fingers, you may want to create contrast with a square or angular diamond.

For diamond shapes that create an elongating effect, be sure to explore diamond shapes like oval, a rectangular emerald cut diamond, or a rectangular radiant cut diamond.

For diamond shapes that create strong contrast on long, slim fingers, be sure to check out princess or cushion cut diamonds.

If you’re buying a diamond engagement ring as a surprise and you’re not 100% sure which diamond shape to go with, consider choosing a round brilliant diamond.

Round brilliant diamonds are by far the most popular shape, they typically offer the most sparkle, and they look great on any hand!

Choosing The Right Diamond Shape, Tip #2: Know The Pros and Cons of Different Diamond Shapes

While it’s true that diamonds are the hardest substance on earth and don’t break or chip easily. However, some diamonds with pointed corners, like princess cut diamonds, can be prone to chipping when struck against hard surfaces like kitchen counter tops, which can happen in day-to-day wear.

If you’re thinking about buying a princess cut diamond, be sure to choose a setting that will adequately protect the corners of the diamond. Or consider purchasing another square-shaped diamond like a cushion cut.

Another thing to watch out for with diamond shapes like oval or marquise, is the “bowtie” effect that can sometimes occur. Here is an example from the Gemological Institute of America of an oval shaped diamond with the bowtie effect:

image of oval diamond with bowtie effect

diagram of bowtie effect in oval diamond

With some diamonds that have an elongated shape, you may notice two dark, triangular spots in the diamond that resemble a bowtie.



When purchasing an oval or marquise diamond in particular, you want to find a diamond that’s been cut to minimize that effect as much as possible.

Choosing The Right Diamond Shape, Tip #3: When In Doubt, Use Your Own Eyes

As you shop for diamonds, you will come across many pieces of advice about what shape is best. Ultimately, the diamond you choose is as unique as your personality and the love the diamond celebrates.

At some point, reading articles and looking at images online just isn’t enough to know which diamond is right for you. You need to try different rings on to see what looks best on your hand. You need to see the diamond in motion and under different kinds of light to know if it really has the beauty you’re looking for.

And you need to see some diamond cuts in person (like emerald cut diamonds) to get the full effect of the beauty and dimension those cuts offer.

It definitely helps to know what the different shapes and pros and cons are, but the best way to discover the right diamond shape for you is to handle different diamonds for yourself in person.

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