A Complete Guide to Fancy-Shape Diamonds

Fancy Shape Diamonds

Pear, Oval, Marquise, Emerald, Princess? All you need to know about Fancy Shape Diamonds.

Fancy Shape Diamonds

When people think about diamonds they usually imagine a classic round brilliant shape. You’ve seen the round diamond in solitaire engagement rings, pendants, earrings and tennis bracelets. It’s the go to diamond, due to its super sparkly refraction of light and classic look. However there is more to diamonds that just rounds. If you aren’t familiar with fancy shaped diamonds then let me introduce you to a world of sparkle.

Diamond shape refers to a diamond’s physical attributes and is usually one of the first attributes that couples consider when choosing a diamond. While round diamonds are still the most popular – especially for engagement rings, many couples are also drawn to the unique look of non-round, or “fancy shaped” diamond. Fancy shaped diamonds include oval, cushion, princess, pear, heart shaped, emerald, marquise, asscher, and radiant cut diamonds.

At Valentina Fine Diamonds, we have a beautiful and diverse collection of diamond shapes to ensure that each ring we have create is as unique! Discover which diamond shape best reflects your dream ring.

Are Fancy Shape Diamonds Popular?

Diamonds come in all kinds of fancy shapes

Fancy shapes have always been popular and are often trend driven. However until recently people knew less about them. Thanks to Pinterest and Instagram, consumers have been able to access engagement rings that they have never seen before by exploring thousands of fancy shaped diamonds in different styles. 

If you love fancy shapes and have recently gotten engaged there’s no doubt you have multiple Pinterest boards for inspiration! Cuts like the oval, pear, emerald and marquise have been super popular in recent years – paired with thin gold bands and subtle halos. Each fancy shaped diamond has their own beautifully unique characteristics, so here’s the breakdown.

Categories of Fancy Shape Diamonds

When hunting for your perfect “fancy shape” there’s much to think about, including style, size, price, individual style and trends! In this guide we will cover all of this and hopefully it will help you on your diamond journey. Firstly fancy shaped diamonds are broken up into three different categories ( this detail isn’t too important but it will help break the sparkle a bit ! )

  1. Modified Brilliant cuts: Oval, Marquise, Pear, Heart, Trilliant, Heart
  2. Stepped Cuts: Emeralds and Asscher  
  3. Mixed Cuts: Princess and Radiant

Modified Brilliant Cuts

1. Oval Cut Diamonds

What’s great about oval diamonds : Part of the modified brilliant category. The sparkle of an oval diamond resembles a glitter effect due to the way they are cut .They are a close cousin of the round brilliant but have a slightly more elongated shape which is a fabulous option if you want the classic look but something a little unique. Another great plus is that per carat they look larger than a round diamond and they are usually about 15 percent cheaper!

Oval Diamond Solitaire

Classic 4-claw setting in 18k yellow gold.

Look out for: A characteristic of an oval is that is called a bowtie or the bowtie effect. This means that there is a small dark line in the middle of the diamond where the light doesn’t reflect as well. All ovals have bowties but some are more pronounced than others!

Blake Lively’s iconic 12ct oval cut diamond engagement ring from Ryan Reynolds

2. Pear Cut Diamonds

What’s great about pear shape diamonds: Pear diamonds, like ovals, have a modified brilliant cut so they are also super sparkly. Pear diamonds are seen as a luxurious option for a fancy shape diamond because they appear larger per carat than round diamonds and other fancy shapes. Pear diamonds are extremely popular in halo and solitaire styles and are accentuated in white gold or platinum settings. 

Look out for: In pear shape diamonds colour is very important as the darker colours show up more. Going for a  D – G colour will ensure maximum brilliance and light reflection. 

Pear Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring
One of Victoria Beckham’s 14 engagement rings. A pear cut diamond solitaire.

3. Marquise Cut Diamonds

What’s great about about marquise diamonds: Marquise are have the biggest surface size per carat, coming in at 15 percent larger than rounds. This shape is ideal if your mantra is ‘the bigger the better’. Marquise diamonds have an elongated shape so they make the finger appear longer.

marquise solitaire

Things to look out for: Marquise diamonds are similar to ovals in the way that they can display a ‘bowtie effect’. A well cut marquise will have a consistent light reflection throughout the diamond without a dark centre.

Catherine Zeta-Jones marquise engagement ring worth $335k

4. Emerald Cut Diamonds

What’s great about emerald cut diamonds: Emerald cuts have a unique look to them due to the way they are cut. Instead of that fiery brilliance possessed by round diamonds, emeralds display a glassy reflection or a ‘hall of mirrors’ effect. 

1 carat Emerald-Cut Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring

What to look out for: Emerald cut diamonds appear slightly smaller than rounds and also show up inclusions easily.

Beyoncé’s engagement ring – 24 carat emerald cut diamond worth $5 million

5. Asscher Cut Diamonds

What’s great about Asscher cut diamonds: The twinkling windmill pattern of an asscher-cut diamond is perfect if you like a vintage or Art Deco look. The geometric outlines give this diamond cut a contemporary look but with a nod to the past. Another plus is they cost 20-40% less than equivalent rounds!

Jessica Alba’s stunning 5 carat Asscher engagement ring

What to look out for: Similar to the emerald cut, asscher cuts don’t hide inclusions well so make sure to go for a high clarity!

6. Mixed Cuts

Radiant Cut Diamonds

What’s great about radiant cut diamonds: Radiant cuts are one of the most brilliant cuts a diamond can have. This cut provides tons of sparkle. Another advantage is they can cost 20-33% less than round diamonds! If you go with an elongated radiant cut, it may also appear larger than a round brilliant.

Things to look out for: Radiant diamonds are about 4 percent smaller than rounds per carat.

Lea Michele’s gorgeous 4 carat radiant cut diamond solitaire engagement ring

Princess Cut Diamonds

What’s great about princess-cut diamonds: Princess cuts are boast incredible light reflection and are the ultimate symbol of glamour due to their intricate facets and modern silhouette. 

1ct Princess Cut Lab Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring

What to look out for: Due to their sharp corners princess cut diamonds need to be set into 4 claws to avoid chipping.

Kate Bosworth’s engagement ring

Which Fancy Shape Diamond Should You Choose?

Round shaped diamonds have the most brilliance and sparkle, but come at a high price. While fancy shapes are cheaper compared to rounds none have the same glitter effect as a round brilliant. However if you want something a little more unique then fancy shape diamonds could be for you! At the end of the day the diamond shape you should choose is the one you love the most!