Princess cut diamonds are the second most popular shape diamond for engagement rings. They are a wonderful option for people that like the brilliance of a round diamond but prefer a more square appearance. They will appear smaller than round diamonds, though, due to their shape and typically greater depth. The top of a Princess-cut diamond is either square or rectangular, while the bottom looks like an inverted pyramid. Princess cut diamonds are a relatively new diamond cut and were specifically designed to maximize brilliance. This is largely due to the fact that they are cut to follow the natural crystalline structure of the diamond. They also offer great value per carat, as more of the rough diamond is preserved in the cutting process. Princess diamonds are cut to achieve the highest degree of brilliance and offer maximum light return.
Emerald-cut diamonds are characterized by step cuts and a long table. Although emerald-cut diamonds are less brilliant than round diamonds or princess diamonds, they are revered for their clarity. Emerald-cut diamonds are known for their angled corners and step-cut, as well as their rectangular shapes. Because of their long table, inclusions are more easily seen on emerald shape diamonds than other more brilliant cuts. Emerald-cut diamonds are named as such because the cut was originally only used on emeralds.
Square-cut or Asscher-cut, diamonds are a popular diamond shape that are characterized by a step cut. This cut results in less light return when compared to their more brilliant alternatives, but offers a more vintage appeal. Square-cut diamonds feature cropped corners, which give it a unique, almost octagonal shape. Square-cut diamonds became very popular during the 1920s and as a result, are a desirable diamond cut for a vintage looking engagement ring.
Pear-Shaped Diamonds are typically a combination of a round and a marquise shape. A quality Pear diamond ought to have very good or excellent symmetry, and the point of the diamond should be in line with the apex of the rounded end. A pear-shaped diamond should be set with a prong at the point of the stone – this ensures that most flaws and inclusions will be covered by a prong. Pear diamonds typically contain 58 facets, which allows light to pass through the diamond much in the way light passes through a round diamond.