The diamonds found naturally are found in different shapes. They are then cut into one of the shapes that would mean the least wastage. How the diamond is cut is extremely important for its ultimate quality and value. Following are the major cuts used in the diamond industry and jewellery trade.
Round: The most popular among all the shapes, the round cut diamond accounts for 75% of total worldwide sales. In terms of brilliance, they are the best. They are also the most expensive because of the amount of wastage involved in cutting.
Princess: This is a fancy cut that is very popular for engagement rings. They work well with all kinds of jewellery. They are cost-effective because two stones can be cut from one rough stone, with very low level of wastage.
Oval: The oval cut is similar to the round cut, had has the same level of brilliance. It also possesses the additional advantage of giving an illusion of being a larger sized diamond.
Marquise: Originating from royalty, the Marquise cut was pioneered by Louis XIV who considered this shape to be the perfect mouth. Like the oval cut, this too gives an illusion of size. This style has considerably less wastage and provides a good value for money.
Pear: A combination of round and marquise, the pear shaped diamond tapers off towards one end. It is advisable to choose a well-cut diamond as this cut often is messed around with by jewellers in an attempt to give it a sturdier appearance.
Cushion: The de facto shape of a diamond until the early years of the 20th century, the cushion cut is a classic square shape with rounded corners. Today, it is set in antique jewellery and is a prized cut among collectors.
Asscher: Originally introduced by the Asscher brothers from the Netherlands, this is a complex cut that gives the stone the appearance of having concentric squares. This is another popular style for antique jewellery.
Radiant: Square or rectangular in shape and with rounded corners, a radiant cut offers excellent sparkle to the stone. It is a cut that is halfway between the cushion and the princess.
Heart: Most popular as solitaire pendants or rings, the heart cut is romantic and often bought as presents. It is advisable to opt for a slightly larger size stone in order for the shape to be discernible.
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