Rough diamonds generally do not show their beauty, they must be cut and smoothed to exhibit the desired brilliance. Diamonds are generally cut into a variety of shapes, each having unique characteristics.
The "brilliant" cut diamond is also the most popular on the market today. A diamonds "cut" has many facets which determine the overall brilliance. More than 100 years ago, a Russian Mathematician named Marcel Tolkowsky calculated the number of cuts necessary to create the reflective properties desired, the fire of a diamond. Today, many advanced scientific methods are used by the GIA and high end designers to create truly brilliant diamonds, the industry standard for round diamonds being 57 facets. This means a round brilliant cut has 57 incredibly small faces all around the top, creating an ideal amount of ways for light to expose the inherent beauty of the diamond.
This cut today is considered a classic style, being more common in the past because of it's larger rectangular facets being less intricate. A truly brilliant emerald is a stunning example of elegance even now. The larger more open faces allow for more light to refract from one angle, usually creating a brighter shine or sparkle. Even with modern science there is no way to ensure a perfect cut. Jewelers through years of experience will be able to inspect many of these criteria with a high degree of precision, yet we are still having a hard time measuring such features at the precision required for modern science. If the diamond is cut too deep, light will escape through the sides making the gem appear darker than desired. If the diamond is cut too shallow, light will be lost out of the bottom losing brilliance.
Inspired by a round cut, the radiant cut shares many features including fire and brilliance. The shape of the gem itself is closer to an emerald, being square but lacking the stair case steps of the emerald instead featuring facets closer to that of a round cut. The overall feel of the cut is closer to that of an emerald because of its closer to square shape. Despite this difference, the radiant cut gives off much more fire than an emerald because of it's facets.
A square from the top, the princess cut signifies absolute brilliance and is the second most popular cut in the world. Known for its sharp uncut pointed corners and collection of 58 facets, it offers a fire and brilliance unparalled. Originally it was known as the Barion cut devised in the 1960's by Basil Watermeyer and named using his 1st initial and all but the 1st letter of his wife's name, Marion. Some say it was considered a "crown" by Basil to his wife. Today it has gained prominence as a distinctive symbol of elegance with its high degree of light return relative to a round cut but having a squarish shape closer to an emerald.
Almost 100 years old, this cut has gained prominance in recent times because of its signature octagon shape, with the inclusion of stair steps from an emerald cut. Also known as the modified square emerald cut, it features a higher crown (taller) with a smaller top face allowing for 72 wide step facets that create a shine rivaling that of the round brilliant cut. The relatively round shape draws the eye towards the center of the diamond and the wider facets.
This cut is commonly termed an ovular shape. It came into commonality relatively recently yet it has a classic romance feel that sets it apart from the rest. It contains some of the largest side facets of any other cut, creating an overall brilliance that's incredibly powerful.
This cut is an ovular take on the round brilliant cut. Featuring many of the same features including brilliance and fire, the oval accents slender profiles and skinny fingers. It's a great alternative to the most popular cut, the round.
This cuts brilliance and fire is only beaten by it's one of a kind symbolism. The absolute representation of love with the same brilliance of the round cut. It's actually a wide pear shape with a dip inwards at the top to create the shape that is truly breathtaking.
Also known as a teardrop, this cut used to be the most popular in the world during the renaissance period but then fell out of the spotlight. Ideally it has 58 facets with a wide variation on the shape of the facets because of the uneven outline of the gem. This creates a varying degree of brilliance that captivates many.
Sometimes referred to as the Navette Cut, this lesser common shape has a rich background. Known for its smile shape, it was made for Louis XIV after he wanted a diamond shaped like the smile of his mistress, Marquise de Pompadour.