Diamonds have been treasured and admired for centuries for their rarity, durability, and brilliance. However, not all diamonds are created equal. The shape and cut of a diamond can dramatically affect its appearance, value, and even how it interacts with light. In this blog, we will explore the different styles of diamond shapes and when they were first introduced.
The earliest diamonds were found in India and were often used in their natural crystal shapes as talismans and decorations. It wasn't until the late 14th century that diamond-cutting techniques were developed in Europe, which transformed rough, unpolished stones into sparkling gems.
The earliest diamond cuts were simple and focused on removing rough, uneven areas from the stone to improve its overall appearance. The table cut, for example, involved flattening one end of a diamond and then creating facets on the other end to create a sparkling, diamond-shaped gem.
Over time, diamond-cutting techniques became more advanced, and new shapes were developed to showcase the diamond's unique properties. Some of the most popular diamond shapes include
Round Brilliant Cut
This is the most popular diamond shape and has been in use since the 17th century. It features 57-58 facets arranged in a symmetrical pattern, which maximizes the diamond's brilliance, fire, and scintillation. The round brilliant cut is ideal for those looking for a timeless and classic style.
Introduced in the 1980s, the princess cut is a square-shaped diamond with pointed corners. It is the second most popular diamond shape and features a stunning, modern look that showcases the diamond's brilliance and fire.
This rectangular diamond shape was first introduced in the 1920s and features step-cut facets that create a unique "hall of mirrors" effect. The emerald cut is a sophisticated and elegant style that showcases the diamond's clarity and colour.
This square or rectangular-shaped diamond features rounded corners and has been in use since the 19th century. It is a versatile style that can showcase the diamond's brilliance or a more vintage, romantic look.
This elongated diamond shape was first introduced in the 18th century and features pointed ends that create a striking, unique look. The marquise cut is ideal for those looking for a dramatic, elegant style.
This diamond shape combines the round brilliant and marquise shapes and has a tapered point at one end. It was first introduced in the 1400s and is often used in solitaire rings or drop earrings.
This diamond shape was first introduced in the 1960s and features a similar design to the round brilliant cut, but elongated. It is a popular choice for those who want a classic shape with a modern twist.
This diamond shape was first introduced in the 1970s and features a square or rectangular shape with trimmed corners and bevelled edges. It is a popular choice for those who want a bold, geometric shape with lots of sparkles.
This diamond shape is instantly recognizable and features a heart-shaped design. It was first introduced in the 16th century and is a popular choice for romantic occasions such as engagements or anniversaries.
Asscher cut (All time Favourite)
The Asscher cut is a unique diamond shape that was first introduced in 1902 by the Asscher Brothers of Amsterdam, Netherlands. The Asscher cut is a variation of the emerald cut, with larger step facets, a higher crown, and a smaller table. This results in a square shape with cropped corners, giving it a more geometric appearance.
The Asscher cut became popular during the Art Deco period of the 1920s and 1930s, where it was often used in engagement rings and other jewellery pieces. However, the popularity of the Asscher cut waned after World War II, and it wasn't until the early 2000s that it made a comeback.
Today, the Asscher cut is once again a popular diamond shape, known for its unique appearance and vintage appeal. It is often used in engagement rings and other high-end jewellery pieces, and it is a popular choice for those who want a diamond with a classic yet modern look.
While these are some of the most popular diamond shapes, there are many other styles to choose from, including pear, oval, radiant, and heart-shaped diamonds. Each shape has its own unique characteristics, and the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference.
One person who played a significant role in the evolution of diamond-cutting techniques is Marcel Tolkowsky. Born in Belgium in 1899, Tolkowsky was a physicist and mathematician who was passionate about diamond cutting. In 1919, he published a groundbreaking thesis titled "Diamond Design," which outlined the ideal proportions for a round brilliant cut diamond.
Tolkowsky's thesis was based on complex mathematical calculations that took into account the diamond's refractive index, dispersion, and other optical properties. He determined that a diamond with a specific depth, table size, and crown and pavilion angles would reflect the maximum amount of light and create the most beautiful, sparkling diamond.
Tolkowsky's thesis revolutionized diamond cutting and became the foundation for the modern round brilliant cut diamond. His work also inspired further research and advancements in diamond-cutting techniques, which led to the development of many of the popular diamond shapes we see today.
Each diamond shape has its own unique characteristics and appeal, and choosing the right one comes down to personal preference and style. It's important to note that the shape of a diamond can also affect its perceived size and weight. For example, a cushion cut diamond may appear larger than a round brilliant cut diamond of the same carat weight due to its larger surface area.
The evolution of diamond shapes and cutting techniques has come a long way since the early days of diamond cutting. From the simple table cut to the complex round brilliant cut and the many shapes that have followed, each diamond shape has its own unique beauty and appeal.
Whether you prefer a classic and timeless look or a modern and bold design, there is a diamond shape out there that will suit your style and personality.