Tastes in diamonds change. Just like one year skinny jeans are in, and the next year it’s all about the boyfriend jean cut—the same is true for diamonds. We’ve seen major transitions in the most popular diamond shapes over the years. These trends are sometimes based on what diamond styles celebrities are wearing, and other times the rise in popularity of a new diamond is simply because more people are becoming aware that there are many different diamond shapes available to express personal style. Yes, just like designer jeans.
The biggest trend has been that fancy shaped stones are gaining ground on the ever-popular classic round shaped diamonds. And within this category, some shapes have gained more interest than others. For example, for the past three years the cushion shaped diamond has consistently trended higher than the princess diamond.
Scroll below to learn more about the 10 most popular diamond ring shapes of 2016.
Pro tip: Understanding the difference between the terms “diamond shape” and “diamond cut” can be helpful when choosing a diamond. These terms are often confused, but there is actually a big difference between them.
Diamond shape refers to the outline of a diamond when viewed from above. The names of some diamond shapes simply describe the actual outline, such as round, pear and oval; others, such as Asscher and Marquise, are named after historical references.
Diamond cut refers to the quality of a diamond’s proportions and symmetry. Different diamond cut grades (such as Ideal, Very Good, Good) determine how much the diamond will sparkle. Cut is widely considered to be the most important of the 4Cs (Cut, Color, Clarity, Carat Weight), having the greatest impact on a diamond’s overall appearance and quality. Because of this, a cut grade of Ideal or Very Good is recommended if you’re seeking an exceptionally brilliant diamond.
And if you’re purchasing a step-cut diamond shape—such as Asscher or emerald—choose one with a higher clarity grade in addition to a high cut grade. The step-cut diamond shapes have large, open tables (the top of the diamond), which means that imperfections in clarity can be easier to notice. A clarity grade of VS2 or better will ensure that clean, stunning sparkle is exhibited across the surface of the entire stone.
Although we’ve seen a slight decrease in popularity of the round diamond in favor of fancy shapes such as the oval and princess in 2016, the round diamond is still the most popular diamond shape. Sparkle is the wow factor that over 50% of Ritani customers seek, and with 58 facets and a classic round outline, the round diamond offers the most sparkle compared to any other diamond shape.
A blend of the modern round brilliant and the Old Mine facet pattern, the cushion diamond is also referred to as a pillow cut diamond. The cushion shaped diamond has a vintage look, and the pillow name refers to its pillow-like resemblance (a soft square curved shape of the stone). To achieve maximum sparkle with a square cushion, we recommend a diamond with a length to width ratio no greater than 1.00 by 1.05.
The princess diamond is one of the brilliant-cut shapes, boasting a pattern of 49 facets. This diamond offers a modern square shape, which differentiates it from the cushion diamonds’ rounded corners. We tracked a mild increase in interest in this shape in 2016 as compared to last year.
A noticeable shift in positive interest has begun with the oval shaped diamond, a variation of the iconic round diamond shape. We’ve seen a 4% decline in interest with the round diamond over the past 2 years, versus nearly a 1% jump in interest in the oval diamond during the same timeframe. Choose the oval diamond if you like the classic lines of the round diamond, but are seeking something a little more unique.
The emerald diamond is a type of step-cut diamond, so called because the flat facets at the diamond’s base and crown corners resemble steps. The emerald diamond has a different type of sparkle than a brilliant-cut shape such as round or princess. Because of the facets on the top and bottom of the gemstone and its large, open table, the long lines and dramatic flashes of light give the emerald cut an elegant, symmetrical and organized sparkle, unlike the bright sparkly effect of brilliant-cut diamonds. Because the cut tends to allow for more visibility inside the diamond, choose a higher color and clarity grade when purchasing an emerald shaped diamond.
It’s not surprising that the radiant diamond has received nearly a 1% jump in interest from 2014 to 2016. Offering the best of both worlds, the radiant-cut diamond combines the elegant rectangular symmetry of an emerald shape with the brilliant sparkle of a round. In order to produce the most sparkle, well-cut radiant diamonds are traditionally deeper in the base (or pavilion) than other diamond shapes.
The Asscher diamond has gained almost a 1% increase in popularity over the past few years. Innumerable A-listers have said yes to the Asscher diamond engagement ring, from Elizabeth Taylor to Jessica Alba to Zooey Deschanel. Asscher shaped diamonds are typically square and are identified by a visible “X” pattern when viewed from the top down. Inventor and renowned jeweler Joseph Asscher of Europe developed and patented the first Asscher diamond in 1902. In this blog post, it is noted that the original Asscher diamond had 58 facets, and in the early 2000s the Royal Asscher Company updated the shape to have 74 facets for added brilliance.
8. Pear Shaped
The pear-shaped diamond evokes a pure, sparkling drop of water. Consistently gaining interest over the past 2 years, part of the allure of the pear-cut diamond is its versatility: it can be worn with the point facing up or down. Most ring settings that fit a round diamond will also fit a pear-shaped diamond.
Many celebrities adore the vintage look of the Marquise shape. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Portia de Rossi and Christina Milian have worn the long and curvaceous Marquise shape, very similar to an oval. The stone name is inspired by Marquise de Pompadour—it is said that King Louis XIV of France commissioned a stone to be created in the perfect shape of her smile.
A heart truly does say it all. We’re proud to offer heart-shaped diamond engagement rings at Ritani, providing you the unequivocal symbol of love. Style icons Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj have been known to wear heart-shaped diamonds, so it’s no wonder we’ve seen a rise in popularity of these exquisitely cut pieces. Tip: For a classic heart shape diamond, select diamonds with a length-to-width ratio between 0.90 and 1.10. Diamonds with specifications smaller than that will appear wide, while a larger ratio will appear narrow. Lower color grades may also affect the different parts of a heart-shaped diamond, so we recommend you invest carefully in a stone that looks clear and brilliant.
Whatever shape of diamond you choose, know that all Ritani diamonds are GIA or AGS certified, and selected for superior cut, color and clarity. They are also 100% ethically sourced. We only work with Kimberley Process compliant vendors—which means we’re part of a collective of world governments and diamond industry professionals that track the sourcing and production of rough diamonds. This ensures the ethical treatment of all workers in the supply chain. Purchase a Ritani diamond with utmost confidence that it is ethically mined, superbly cut and fairly traded.
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