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Diamond Shapes: A Sparkling History

by Janelle Mead 22 Jun 2024
Diamond Shapes: A Sparkling History

For centuries, diamonds have held a coveted place for their mesmerizing beauty, adding enchantment to jewelry pieces across the globe. Through meticulous cutting and polishing, raw diamonds, initially unrefined stones, are transformed into exquisite jewels fit for jewelry. These techniques offer a plethora of shapes for diamonds to adopt.

The shape of a diamond stands as a defining characteristic. Each diamond shape has its own advantages and can complement various styles and settings. Whether mined or created in a lab, diamonds are expertly cut to highlight their unique sparkle.

Evolution of Diamond Shapes

Round Brilliant

The round brilliant cut reigns as the pinnacle of diamond shapes, cherished for its symmetrical form and unparalleled sparkle. Marcel Tolkowsky revolutionized this cut in 1919, refining its proportions and facets to perfection, setting the standard for modern brilliance. Since then, it has remained the benchmark against which all other diamond shapes are measured.

Oval Cut

The oval cut diamond, renowned for its elongated shape and dazzling brilliance, presents a contemporary take on classic round cuts. Originating in the 1960s, this versatile shape has endured as a beloved choice, particularly among individuals drawn to its combination of sophistication and understated charm. Its timeless appeal transcends trends, making it a perennial favorite for engagement rings and sophisticated jewelry designs.

Princess Cut

Arpad Nagy pioneered the contemporary princess cut, aiming to rival the brilliance of the round with his square-shaped invention, initially named the profile cut. The princess cut emerged in the 1960s - a square shape with sharp, uncut corners. By 1979, the princess cut had surged in popularity, becoming one of the most beloved diamond shapes of the following decades. This modern twist on traditional cuts has become a popular choice for engagement rings and statement jewelry.

Cushion Cut

With its rounded corners and large facets, the cushion cut combines the brilliance of the round brilliant with the softness of a pillow, resulting in a timeless and romantic shape. Originating in the 19th century, the cushion cut has undergone various transformations over the years, from the antique "old mine" style to the modern brilliant cushion cut seen today. Its vintage charm and exceptional sparkle make it a popular choice for vintage-inspired engagement rings and heirloom pieces.

Emerald Cut

Inspired by the elegant step-cutting of emeralds, the emerald cut features long, rectangular facets that emphasize clarity and sophistication. Popularized during the Art Deco era of the 1920s and 1930s, this timeless shape exudes vintage charm and refinement. Its elongated silhouette makes it an ideal choice for those seeking a diamond with understated elegance and timeless appeal.

Pear Cut

Dating back to the 15th century, the pear cut, once known as the "pendeloque," offers timeless elegance. Its versatile teardrop shape makes it ideal for engagement rings and fine jewelry. Balanced proportions and evenly cut facets enhance its brilliance, ensuring maximum sparkle. Despite changing trends, the pear cut remains a sophisticated choice, adding historical charm to any jewelry piece.

Marquise Cut

The marquise cut, with its elongated shape and pointed ends, is said to have originated in the court of King Louis XV of France during the 18th century. Legend has it that the shape was inspired by the lips of his mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour. The marquise cut's unique silhouette creates the illusion of greater size and makes fingers appear longer, making it a favorite among those seeking a distinctive and eye-catching diamond shape.

Asscher Cut

The Asscher cut, also known as the square emerald cut, features a distinctive step-cut design with cropped corners. Developed in the early 20th century by the Asscher Brothers of Amsterdam, this sleek and sophisticated shape enjoyed a resurgence in popularity during the early 2000s. Its clean lines and geometric allure make it a favorite among those with a penchant for Art Deco aesthetics and contemporary elegance.

Heart Shape

The heart shape, a timeless symbol of love and affection, has captivated hearts since its origin in the 16th century. Few diamond shapes evoke as much sentiment and romance as the beloved heart. Its distinctive silhouette and emotional resonance make it a cherished choice for expressions of love and commitment, particularly in engagement rings and sentimental jewelry pieces.

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