Best Diamond Cuts

The most popular diamond cut for engagement rings is the round brilliant cut. However, there is also a wonderful variety of fancy diamond shapes available to include the princess cut, cushion cut, emerald cut, marquise cut, and Asscher cut. If you are searching for a round cut specifically, the old cut, rose cut or transition cut may be another good option.

Finding the best diamond cut for you is a matter of personal preference and budget, balanced with the 4 Cs of diamond grading. Read our guide to the more affordable diamond shapes as affordable alternatives to the round brilliant cut.

The round brilliant cut is the undisputed number one choice for diamond engagement ring. Approximately 80% of diamond engagement rings purchased in 2017 were set with a round brilliant cut diamond. Within the 58 facets of the round brilliant cut are proportions that have taken hundreds of years to perfect, and specifically designed to give the very best return of light, fire and brilliance in a faceted diamond. In this respect, a round brilliant cut diamond cannot be rivaled for sparkle! However, there are an array of fancy cut diamonds on the market today that are equally as mesmerizing for their unique, elegant and eye-catching shapes.

All other factors being equal, round brilliant cut diamonds are more expensive than their fancy cut counterparts. This is because they are allocated different industry standards of pricing. Therefore, if you have a budget in mind, it is a good idea to see what quality of round brilliant cut diamond you could purchase and compare to the fancy cut diamond that your price would allow. You may be pleasantly surprised.

What Are Fancy Cut Diamonds?

Fancy cut is the term used for any diamond that is not a round brilliant cut. Many of the fancy cuts are in fact modified brilliant cuts, such as the oval cut, heart cut and princess cut. Others are step cuts, meaning that they have step-like crown facets, these include the emerald cut and Asscher cut.

Fancy cut diamonds offer something a little bit different from the traditional and conventional round brilliant cut. Fancy cuts are mainly borne from irregular shaped diamond crystals. Most diamonds form in octahedral crystals, and these are easily fashioned into two round brilliant cut diamonds.

However, some diamond crystals occur in elongated or distorted shapes, and this affects the shape that they are faceted into. For example, an elongated octahedron crystal is often fashioned into an emerald cut, as this would increase the yield of the rough material. Other elegant fancy cuts such as the marquise cut, pear cut and oval cut are often created from elongated rough crystals.

                                          Rough Diamond CrystalFaceted Emerald Cut Diamond

Some diamond crystals are referred to as ‘twinned crystals’. This means that there is a sudden change in the direction of the crystal growth. This twinning effect forms triangular shaped crystals that are known in the industry as macles. These diamond crystals tend to form trillion cut diamonds when faceted as this is the cut that maximizes the weight of the original crystal.

                                          Rough Diamond MacleFaceted Trillion Cut Diamond 

Formed from unique and individual crystals, fancy cut diamonds were destined to stand out. Fancy cut diamonds retain many other wonderful properties that make them the ideal choice for a diamond engagement ring.

  • Fancy cut diamonds tend to look larger per carat that round brilliant cut diamonds.

Generally, fancy cut diamonds in elongated shapes such as the oval cut, pear cut and marquise cut, tend to look larger per carat than a round brilliant cut diamond. This is because of their unique facet arrangements. With these fancy elongated shapes, there is a lot more weight in the table and crown facets than in the pavilion. Therefore, more of the weight of the stone is shown in the surface area of the face of the stone. In a round brilliant cut diamond, a lot more of the weight is in the reverse facets, dedicated to maximizing brilliance. If you want to maximize the size of the diamond for your budget, these fancy cuts will give the appearance of a larger stone, particularly when set in jewellery.

  • Fancy cut diamonds are flattering shapes when worn

Fancy cut diamonds are highly flattering to wear. The longer shapes such as the marquise cut, pear cut and oval cut all tend to elongate the fingers, and slim the hands of the wearer. This is a great attribute for a ring that will be worn for a lifetime!

  • Fancy cut diamonds can show off a diamond with exceptional clarity

Step cuts, such as the emerald cut and the Asscher cut are renowned for showing off a diamond’s clarity. This is because their large table facet offers an unparalleled view into the heart of the stone. The stepped side facets give these gorgeous diamonds their ‘hall of mirrors’ effect. If you want an ‘ice’ effect diamond with crystal clear clarity, a step cut is the very best option.

Similarly, modified brilliant cuts such as the heart cut, oval cut, pear cut and marquise cut all have larger table facets than the round brilliant cut. This larger table gives more of a view into the diamond. These stones boast a degree of fire and brilliance that can mask some inclusions that are in the crown facets, but overall show a diamond’s clarity off to a greater effect.

  • Fancy cut diamonds can enhance and deepen a diamond’s colour

For those desiring a diamond with a noticeable body colour, either tinted or fancy, a fancy cut diamond is the ideal choice! The radiant cut in particular is a very popular cut for slightly tinted and fancy colour diamonds, as it enhances and deepens a diamond’s body colour.

  • Fancy cut diamonds make unique and stunning engagement rings

Although fancy cut diamonds have not surpassed the round brilliant cut diamond’s popularity, they are increasingly the choice for fashion forward ladies! When choosing a fancy cut diamond, you are essentially choosing a diamond shape that is tailored to your taste, and reflects your personal style. Do you want an elegant and feminine shape? Opt for an oval or pear cut. Do you desire a vintage feel to your ring? Choose an old, cushion or transition cut. Would you love a bold geometric ring? Go for a princess, emerald or Asscher cut! There is no wonder that many celebrity engagement rings boast fancy cut diamonds. The plethora of choice and personality in these unique stones is highly appealing.

To read more about the fancy cuts individually click on the links below: Asscher cut, cushion cut, emerald cut, heart cut, marquise cut, old cut, oval cut, pear cut, princess cut, radiant cut and trillion cut

To conclude, fancy cut diamonds are an affordable alternative to a round brilliant cut diamond. Fancy cuts are shaped from unique rough crystals, and offer a personalised and stunning choice for an engagement ring. Although by choosing a fancy cut diamond, some brilliance is sacrificed, the fancy cuts more than make up for this with impressive individual attributes. For further information on finding the best diamond shape for you, contact our team of jewellery specialists on 01335 453 453 or email