Beauty in Every Diamond Shape

"Diamond Cut" officially describes the quality of the diamond's symmetry and proportions after it is cut and polished.

However, you might hear Plum and other jewelers use the words diamond “cut” and “shape” interchangeably and be a little confused. Understandable, because "cut" can be used in two ways: cut can refer to the shape or to the cut grade, which is one of the 4Cs. Cut grade is technically only given to round diamonds to designate where they fall on a cut scale. Cut grade is very useful for round diamonds and can help us predict whether the diamond is going to have maximum fire and brightness. The higher the cut grade, the better - we only offer the best grades that we believe to be acceptable in round diamonds, which is Very Good and higher.

Shape is different - there are round, pear, square, oval shaped diamonds (and more). To make things even more confusing, different diamond shapes can be followed by the word “cut” if the shape is named after something that might show up in other parts of the English language. That’s why we say Emerald Cut, Cushion Cut, etc. Helps everyone understand what we’re talking about (diamonds, not couch cushions!).

Diamond Cut Chart

round

cushion

oval

pear

emerald

radiant

What Makes Plum a Cut Above

authenticity

100% lab diamonds, which have the same properties as mined, but way more eco- and economic perks.

value

Expect the best quality on the market, plus free lifetime sizing and service is included.

consideration

Our facilities are certified by the industry's global leader in sustainability and ethics.

trust

Founded and run by experienced women jewelers, we won't steer you wrong.

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History of Diamond Shapes

Since people started cutting diamonds in the 14th century, dozens of different diamond cuts and specialty cuts have emerged to be used in jewelry. Starting with primitive “Point”, “Table” and “Step” cuts, today we have lots of updated diamond shapes that help make each diamond special - and sparkly.

About 100 years later, technology progressed, and people realized that diamonds could be cut with — other diamonds. It was during the 16th century when cutting tools evolved massively and new sets of tools were invented to cut facets into the diamonds. Around this time, faceting and polishing was used by European cutters, but most of the diamond trade continued to flourish in India.

As cutting techniques slowly matured, demand for diamonds grew steadily in the European market, and then came the discovery of African mines in the latter half of the 19th century which skyrocketed the attention towards diamonds, across the world.
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Diamond Shapes in Detail

We focus on 6 of our favorite different cuts of diamonds: round, oval, pear, cushion cut, emerald cut, and radiant. There are plenty more beautiful diamond shapes out there, but we can't help being partial to these beauties!

Round Cut

Round brilliant cut diamonds are typically the sparkliest of the bunch, due to their mathematically perfect, symmetrical faceting pattern that maximizes fire and brilliance. They also tend to look large for their carat weight, in part because of all that blazing sparkle!

Deciding on a round brilliant cut diamond is made a little easier with the help of the standard, universal cut grades established by the GIA. If you can stick to a round diamond in the top cut grades (the only ones we offer), you’re going to be in good shape. Cut grade is a major (some say the #1, we agree in certain cases) factor in fire and sparkle.

Well-cut round diamonds will perfectly reflect and refract light, making them look bigger and brighter. This is a plus because they can come out looking a bit higher on the color and clarity scales than their true grades may reflect.

Oval Cut

There are lots of reasons to love oval shaped diamonds, which can make fingers look long, lean, and casually elegant. The oval cut is also believed to represent longevity in a relationship. Who doesn't want that?

Although oval diamonds look sort of like an extended version of round brilliant cut diamonds, the appeal of oval diamonds goes deeper. They also tend to look larger for their carat weight and cost slightly less per carat than rounds.

While the shape itself has been around as long as we’ve worn diamonds, the modern oval shaped diamonds only appeared on the market in 1957. So they’re a little less common than some other cuts, but they have the same timeless appeal.

You need to watch for some essential things when buying an oval shaped diamond. For example, a dramatic bowtie effect can decrease sparkle and make an oval diamond appear dark in the middle. Before purchasing, it’s important to check photos and videos when possible to make sure that the bowtie effect does not take away from the overall brilliance of the diamond. Learn more tips and shop oval cut engagement rings here.

Pear Cut

Modern pear shaped diamond rings are a favorite at Plum! One question is always whether to wear the point up or down; traditionally the point is up, but no preference here. Do whatever feels best and suits you any given day. It’s nice to have that versatility in a diamond ring.

When shopping for pear-shaped diamonds, keep an eye on the measurements and carat weight. Do you think you'll want something short and plump or long and slim? Watch videos and avoid stones with noticeable dark areas (we do our best to filter out those diamonds at Plum).

One great thing about pear cuts is that they tend to be priced lower than rounds (generally the highest priced diamond shape) and look bigger than rounds. They often take up more finger space, sometimes called spread.

When Flemish gemstone cutter Lodewyk van Berquem invented the pear-shaped diamond in the 1400s, he gave diamonds exceptional glitter, which he likened to the sparkle of eyes. Fitting since the pear shape is sometimes called the “teardrop” diamond, although we we can’t find anything sad about it.

Fun fact: the largest pear shaped diamond is the Cullinan I (503.20 Carat), and it has been set in the Imperial Scepter of the Crown Jewels. Another name for Cullinan I is the 'Great Star of Africa.'
Shop pear shaped diamond rings

Radiant Cut

So you want to know more about the newest diamond cut around. We can’t blame you, as radiant cut diamonds can be the best of both worlds: brilliant faceting and sparkle found in a round and the angular silhouette of an emerald cut. It’s fresh and new but not flash-in-the-pan trendy.

In 1977 Henry Grossbard blended the very best of the emerald cut and the round brilliant cut to create the radiant cut. Grossbard combined the stunning shape of the old-school emerald cut with the round brilliant cut's glassy, starry facet feature. The result was a cut of maximum brilliance - the radiant cut.

Radiant cuts can be square or elongated. When choosing a radiant cut diamond, look at the photos and video if possible to see if you like the shape. There’s no “best choice” for radiant cut shapes, so our advice is to find one you love whether it’s square or long and lean. Learn more and shop radiant cut diamond rings

Emerald Cut

Emerald cuts are one of the oldest among the modern cuts, known for mesmerizing ‘hall of mirrors’ effects the step cut facets can create. They are clean, crisp, and very classy.

Look out for clean / high clarity emerald cuts (VS+) since the long step cuts can be unforgiving with visible inclusions. They don’t bounce and refract light the way that brilliant cuts do (rounds, ovals, some modified cushions and other cuts tend to be more forgiving with inclusions because there's so much sparkle going on). Lab created diamonds are perfect if you’re after an emerald cut — you do not need to work very hard to find diamonds with clarity in the VS ranges.

As the name suggests, at first this technique of cutting was not meant for diamonds but was created for emeralds. Starting with the Art Deco period of 1920-1939, ‘Emerald Cut’ diamonds gained popularity, and as the cut evolved with more and more facets, it reached its modern iteration in the 1940s. Today, this diamond cut is hailed as something more than magnificent because it puts diamond clarity and simplicity center stage.

So, what exactly do we think makes the emerald cut so appealing? The long facets and short corners highlight the glossy luster and clarity of the stone. Emerald cuts don’t flash brilliant fire from across the room like round brilliant diamonds. But emerald cuts are classic, signaling elegance, sophistication, and modern beauty.
Shop emerald cut diamond rings

Cushion Cut

We think the softly angled cushion cut is so romantic! Cushion cut diamonds have been around for over 100 years. They used to be called ‘Candlelight Diamonds’, referring to the soothing shine that comes from their rounded corners and a larger top facets. Some jewelers might refer to the ‘cushion cut’ as ‘pillow cut’.

Cushion cut diamond proportions can vary, and they are not always square with a 1:1 ratio (1:1 ratio means that the length and width of the diamond are the same). They can also be rectangular (elongated), and depending on the shapes, faceting patterns can vary. An especially sparkly cushion cut is one that’s probably faceted in a modified brilliant pattern, which is reminiscent of the traditional round brilliant cut.

Cushion cuts are also cool because many of the world’s most stunning and famous diamonds are cushions – the Regent Diamond (140.50 Carat), the Hope Diamond (45.52 Carat), and the Yellow Tiffany Diamond (128.54 Carat) are some of the most notable.

We think cushion cut diamonds are all about elegance and romance with their soft rounded shapes. Shop cushion cut rings here.

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