Where do I start?
If you’re shopping for a wholesale diamond, we’ve put together a comprehensive diamond buying guide to help you. One of the first decisions you will have to make is to choose a shape. Wholesale diamonds come in many different and exciting shapes. Selection should be based on personal taste – choose a shape that you will enjoy looking at every day and that reflects your individuality. In addition to personal taste, one should look for a diamond shape that will flatter the shape and length of the owner’s hand. Finally, it is good to note that certain shapes (such as Round) cost more than others (such as Pear). The effect of shape on price depends on the size of the stone, supply and demand.
Please note that the shape of a wholesale diamond should never be confused with its Cut – though it often is.
Shape refers to the basic form of a stone – Round, Oval, etc. Cut, on the other hand, grades the proportions, polish, and symmetry of a diamond given a particular shape. Regardless of shape, a wholesale diamond that is cut well will reflect light better and therefore create more sparkle.
The most popular and traditional diamond shape is Round. Round diamonds account for over 75% of stones sold today. A Round shaped diamond has a total of 58 facets, 33 on the top and 25 on the bottom. Its name refers to the actual shape of the stone’s table and crown. The Round shape was based on extensive analysis in light optimisation which determined that this shape helps to maximise a stone’s light display as it allows light to both enter and exit the crown. In addition, they are very versatile, as they can look brilliantly beautiful in many types of settings.
The facet arrangements and proportions of the Round diamond cut in the brilliant style have been perfected over time by both mathematical and empirical analysis. In 1919, a Russian Mathematician named Marcel Tolkowsky, who was a member of a large and powerful diamond family, calculated the cut specifications necessary to create the ideal shape (which later became known as the brilliant cut). Based on his analysis, and along with the development of modern tools and techniques, the Round brilliant diamond was born.
A Princess cut diamond has pointed corners and is usually square. However, there are some Princess cut diamonds that are more rectangular in shape. This shape may have as few as 50 facets (21 crown, 4 girdle, 25 pavilion) or up to 74 facets (21 crown, 4 girdle, 49 pavilion), depending on how the pavilion is cut. It is important to note that Princess cut diamonds are commonly referred to as a “square modified brilliant” or “rectangular modified brilliant” on most lab reports.
The Princess cut was developed in Los Angeles around 1980 by Betzalel Ambar and Israel Itzkowitz. At the time, this shape was considered Avant-Garde but is now one of the most popular shapes.
Cushion cut diamonds, one of the oldest shapes in the history of diamonds, come from the square shape family, but have rounded corners and larger facets to increase their brilliance. Some Cushion stones are more rectangular depending on their specific length-to-width ratio. Cushion-cut diamonds have an old world charm and a romantic feel. When cut finely, they can display magnificent brilliance. Cushion-cut diamonds look remarkable in most settings, including diamond solitaire engagement rings, a cluster design surrounded by pave diamonds, or flanked by two smaller stones.
This shape was created around 1830 when cutting and polishing of loose diamonds was all performed by hand. It was the most admired shape until the time of modern electric lighting, when it lost some popularity to other shapes. The Cushion-cut is based on the Old Mine Cut, which was a square cut with rounded corners, deeply cut with a high crown, small table and large facets. Today’s Cushion-cut has benefited from the use of modern cutting and polishing techniques. It has 64 facets and resembles a cross between the Old Mine Cut and the Oval shape. Recently the Cushion-cut has experienced a huge comeback and has become an extremely fashionable choice for engagement rings and other high quality handcrafted jewellery.
The Emerald cut diamond, similar to the shape of a precious emerald gemstone, is also known as a “step cut??? since its facets are cut like a set of steps. The Emerald-cut is more rectangular in shape and has tapered corners. High-quality Emerald-cut diamonds produce dramatic flashes of light due to their long lines. This shape conveys a timeless and sophisticated elegance. The colour and clarity is very important since body colour and inclusions within the stone will be more visible to the naked eye. It can look stunning set as a diamond solitaire engagement ring or with smaller accent stones, especially step-cut Trapezoid diamonds.
The Emerald-cut was based on the technique originally created for cutting emerald gemstones. While the emerald gemstone is a relatively hard stone, it is vulnerable to breakage, making it difficult to cut. The rectangular step cut with cropped corners was developed to address these issues. Diamond cutters soon discovered that this cut can also be applied to diamonds.
An Oval shape diamond is an elongated Round brilliant cut. Like a Round diamond, it normally has 56 to 58 facets. Its structure flatters the shape of the hand since its length makes the fingers look long and slender. An oval shape is also considered to be very classic and elegant. In addition, when cut finely, an Oval diamond’s brilliance will be as superb as that of a Round stone. The ideal length-to-width ratio for the Oval is considered to be in between 1.3 and 1.65. The beauty of a ring with an Oval stone can be greatly accentuated by its setting. An Oval diamond looks best when set in a Cluster diamond ring or with two smaller flanking stones.
The Oval shaped diamond was crafted in the 1960s by Lazare Kaplan. He was a Russian-born diamond cutter who came from a family of jewellers. He was inducted into the Jewellers International Hall of Fame for the development of this breathtaking shape.
A Pear shape diamond combines the Marquise’s unique taper on the bottom and the Oval’s beautiful rounded edge on top. Also known as the Teardrop diamond, this shape usually has 58 facets and is cut in the brilliant style. The Pear is commonly used to create exquisite rings as well as pendants and earrings. In a ring, the elongated shape of the Pear diamond makes the fingers look longer and slender. In a well-cut Pear, the culet is centred directly below the table to create the greatest light effect. The ideal length-to-width ratio is between 1.45 and 1.75. In a ring, it looks beautiful when set as a solitaire stone or with two round or Trilliant side stones.
Like its name suggests, the Radiant cut diamond is one of the most brilliant and beautiful shapes. This is the cut of choice for royalty and is considered by many to be the most regal and elegant of all shapes. Radiant-cut, which typically has 70 facets, is a hybrid between a round cut and an Emerald-cut, depending on whether it is square or rectangular in shape. Radiant-cut diamonds are currently a very popular choice for diamond solitaire engagement rings. Radiant-cut stones look beautiful on their own or when set in a pave diamond ring or with two flanking stones. It is important to note that they are commonly referred to as a “cut-cornered square modified brilliant” or “cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant” on most lab reports.
The Radiant-cut diamond was created by Henry Grossbard in 1977. His ground-breaking technique was based on the Round and Emerald-cuts, combining the best of both worlds. By doing so, Grossbard’s Radiant-cut was able to bring out the full brilliance of a diamond with a square or rectangular shape.
The Marquise cut has an elongated brilliant shape with tapered points on each end. Since it is approximately twice as long as it is wide, it makes the fingers look long and slender. It is important to pay attention to the length-to-width ratio of a Marquise-cut diamond. A well-cut Marquise will exhibit excellent brilliance. However, if it isn’t cut properly, it will result in an undesirable “bow-tie??? effect, which means the stone will have a dark black area in the centre in the shape of a bow-tie, greatly reducing its brilliance. The ideal length-to-width ratio is considered to be between 1.8 and 2.2. This cut looks beautiful set with round or pear-shaped side stones.
The Marquise shape was named after a historical legend involving the French king Louis XIV. The legend claims that he desired a diamond whose shape would look like and be as brilliant as the smile of the Marquise of Pompadour, his influential mistress and notable patron of literature and the arts. The king’s cutters custom crafted the Marquise-cut shape based on this directive.
The Asscher cut diamond has step-cut facets just like the Emerald-cut, but with a square outline. Its structure – deep pavilion, faceted culet, high crown and small table – brings out the diamond’s inner fire. An Asscher-cut also has unique blocked corners and a pavillion faceted in a “scissor cut??? style. The clarity is very important since its flat and broad facets will make scratches, inclusions, or other flaws more visible to the naked eye. When searching for an Asscher-cut diamond, a clarity of VS2 or greater is preferred. There may be some exceptions with SI1 and SI2 clarities if their imperfections are not visible to the naked eye.
The Asscher-cut was invented by Joseph Asscher, a well-renowned diamond cutter who founded the Royal Asscher Company in Amsterdam in 1854. He is also known for cutting the world’s largest known diamond, named the Cullinan Diamond (3,205 carat). Joseph Asscher created his namesake cut in 1902. It quickly gained popularity since it captured the essence of the Art-Deco movement, which was just beginning to develop at that time. Today, the Asscher-cut is enjoying a strong revival due to its fashionable look.
The romantic Heart shape is the ultimate symbol of love. Not surprisingly, jewellery with Heart diamonds has become a very popular gift to mark special occasions in a relationship such as Valentine’s Day or anniversaries. Only a highly skilled cutter can cut a Heart shape properly since it requires great precision and expertise. An otherwise gorgeous Heart diamond can turn into a lifeless stone if the cutter makes even one small mistake. The Heart’s lobes need to be symmetrical, well-defined, and smooth. The ideal length-to-width ratio should be between .90 and 1.10. This means that the diameter of the stone across its widest perimeter should be approximately equal to its length (measured by running a vertical line from the cleft to the tip of the diamond). It is popular for many kinds of settings in pendants, earrings, and rings.
The origin of the Heart shape diamond remains a mystery. While most people would guess this dramatic shape was developed recently, the Heart shape is conjectured to be quite old. A book written by Jean Baptiste Tavernier in 1665 mentions a 36-carat Heart-shaped diamond. It is speculated that this was the first time the western world came across this cut and that it originated in India.
The Triangle shaped diamond, also known as Trillian/Trillion/Trilliant-cut, is a stone with a triangular shape cut in the brilliant style. This shape usually has 44 facets – but may contain as many as 50 – and has either sharp or slightly rounded corners. The Trilliant’s length, width and depth as specified on a certificate, are not calculated by measuring from tip to tip. The length is the measurement of the diamond’s longest side, while the width and height measure the distance from the longest side to the opposite point. It is important to carefully examine the table of a Trilliant since poor cutting or polishing could lead to “windowing??? or areas where there is less brilliance than other areas of the table. Since the ideal Trilliant cut is an equilateral triangle, the preferred length to width ratio is approximately 1. The Trilliant can serve as a unique center-piece or accent as side stones in a ring. It is also commonly used in necklaces and earrings and is very popular in high-quality jewellery for men.
Leon Finker invented this special cut in Amsterdam in 1978. His technique was actually developed by turning the square shaped Radiant into a triangle.