Fancy diamond cuts refer to any diamonds that aren’t round. The labels, from princess cut diamond to cushion cut diamond, are akin to fashion trends, with some diamond shapes more and less sought after in different eras. Like the rise and fall of the waist on our jeans, many come ’round again. But bell bottoms or no, at Bario Neal, we think choosing a diamond isn’t about what’s “in” or “out.” What draws your eye and what gemstone works in a meaningful handcrafted piece of jewelry that fits your style is most important. Another priority: All of Bario Neal’s diamonds are either recycled or fully traceable to an ethical source.
Speaking of fancy, jewelry industry terms can be confusing, especially when we’re talking about “cut” and “shape.” For example, an emerald cut is an octagonal-shaped diamond. To make this an easy guide and not a gemologist’s exam, we’re covering the basics and giving you design inspiration based on the appearance of diamonds labeled as they are in this simple chart.
Diamonds Come in All Shapes and Styles
The rose cut has been around since the mid-16th century, the radiant cut has 70 facets, and the first princess cut diamond to hit the scene arrived in 1960. Today, round diamonds are by far the most popular, so diamond rings in fancy shapes are typically more accessibly priced.
Whatever the carat weight, the cut of a diamond affects how big or small a stone appears. If you want a modest look, cushion and princess cut diamonds are on the minimal side. Oval, pear, and marquise cuts have a larger visual presence relative to carat. For example, a 1 carat oval cut diamond can look much larger than a 1 carat round diamond.
If you use your hands a lot and you’re buying a diamond ring you want to wear every day, then emerald, asscher, and radiant cut diamonds could be perfect for your action-oriented life. They all have beveled corners that create a place for prongs to go and help prevent chipping. (Bonus: Those bevels are pretty too.)
Aliyah Gold, Bario Neal Gemstone & Custom Design Specialist, suggests thinking about color and clarity too. “I also consider the symmetry and the polish,” she says. Good polish is essential for maximum brilliance in a diamond. Symmetry means the facets of the diamonds look well-balanced.
Fancy Diamond Cuts Come in All Colors Too
If you want a shape other than round, you won’t be limited to white diamonds. A champagne diamond brings a hue that somehow manages to be earthy and otherworldly all at once in this Custom Lash Champagne Diamond Triad Ring.
Fancy Diamond Cuts Work in Solitaires, Linear, and Cluster Ring Designs
Bario Neal’s jewelry designs tap into the strength and beauty of many fancy diamond cuts. Here’s how rings in our collection (many get personalized with a client’s diamond shape ideal) and our custom designed rings prove that pears, roses, and princesses are just as current as round diamonds.
- Princess Cut Diamonds
As Bario Neal Co-founders + Principle Designers Anna Bario and Page Neal explained to fashion website Who What Wear, “The beauty of the rings with a princess cut lies in their minimalism and celebration of classic geometry.” Nothing proves them more right than this Custom Heirloom Princess Cut Diamond Cluster Ring.
- Cushion Cut Diamonds
There’s a reason the classic cushion cut held the “most popular” title until the early 1900s, as you can see in the Avens Asymmetrical Cushion Cut Diamond and Champagne Ring.
- Emerald Cut Diamonds
This Custom 1 ct. Emerald Cut Diamond Cluster Ring with Aqua and Sea Foam Sapphires is one of Aliyah’s favorite examples of designing a cluster ring using a fancy diamond shape. The emerald cut diamond takes center stage in its own bezel setting while other gemstones — aquamarine, two seafoam sapphires, two rough diamonds, and a champagne diamond — dance around.
In a solitaire ring, the emerald cut in our Custom .5ct Bezel Set Emerald Cut Diamond Ring is a good reminder why it’s good to tilt your head to the side sometimes and see the world from a new angle. With all of this guide’s diamond ring ideas, think about how the fancy cut would look horizontal and vertical.
- Rose Cut Diamonds
“Rose cuts are really nice for people who want a faceted diamond but not quite as much sparkle,” Aliyah says. “Rose cut is just a little toned down and shines differently than a round brilliant cut. They are really beautiful and different to work with. And they’re flat on the bottom, so they allow for a much lower-profile ring.” She says one of her favorite Bario Neal custom designed rings is this Custom Nikko .98ct Grey Pear Shaped Rose Cut Diamond Ring.
Our Gale Rose Cut Diamond Ring reflects another reason people love this cut: It feels contemporary while still paying homage to an era when all diamonds were cut by hand.
- Radiant Cut Diamonds
The radiant cut leads to vibrant diamonds that stand alone easily or shine in cluster rings. Aliyah has one word to describe our Avens Radiant Diamond Ring: “stunner.” According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the radiant cut is a good match for diamonds that aren’t the best clarity because the faceting disguises inclusions (natural “flaws” in the stone) that would stand out more in an emerald cut.
- Marquise Cut Diamonds
You can make your favorite shape stand out by setting a diamond with round gemstones in a cluster or linear ring. See how that works in this Custom 1ct Marquise Diamond Cluster Ring with White Diamonds and our Fringe Cluster Diamond Ring. As a center stone, the elongated look of the sleek, contemporary marquise is flattering on the hand and makes a finger look longer.
- Pear Cut Diamonds
Our Nikko Pear White Sapphire Ring, with its pear cut white sapphire, is so beloved by clients, we’re releasing a version with a pear cut diamond in 2019. This Custom Heirloom Diamond Angled Ring mixes a pear cut with two slivers of baguette-cut diamonds. (Read on for more about how we incorporate heirloom fancy diamond cuts in new custom designs.)
Compare a pear cut diamond and a round diamond of the same carat weight, and the pear will likely look bigger. The cut is a good choice for someone who wants a larger-looking diamond on a limited budget.
“We’re also going to release a ring in 2019 with a pear cut diamond set vertically,” Aliyah says. “It uses our signature Lash setting, with three prongs on the bottom.”
- Oval Cut Diamonds
Mixing prong styles and diamond shapes set off the oval cut in this Custom Icon 5mm Oval Cut Diamond Ring. Like the pear cut diamond, the oval diamond reads big. A 1 carat oval cut diamond can look much larger than a 1 carat round diamond because the oval, which is like a stretched round diamond, has more surface. The GIA suggests setting an oval cut into a halo ring to play this up so imagine our Dez Opal with Rainbow Halo Ring with a white diamond replacing the center stone.
- Baguette Cut Diamonds
Named for their long look, baguettes are often used on the smaller side to set off other diamond shapes, but our Baguette Solitaire Diamond Ring is perfect for anyone after a clean, delicate ring. Fully traceable smaller diamonds like baguettes have traditionally been harder to find, but we spent two years on research and collaboration to make it happen at Bario Neal. We start with rough Canadian diamonds. Those are cut in a Surat, India, facility that follows high labor standards. We redesigned our Demi-Baguette Diamond Band in 2015 to celebrate this achievement.
- Trillion Cut Diamonds
You’ll forget all about associating triangles with caution signs when you see this Custom 3.5mm Trillion Diamond Cluster Band. The ring highlights how well several different diamond shapes can work together in a cluster ring. (P.S. If we’re talking triangles, we have to call out our Custom Macle Prong Ring. Raw diamonds aren’t of the fancy cut world, but they do have their very own eye-catching geometry for people who want a more rugged look than fancy diamonds.)
- Half-Moon Cut Diamonds
Aliyah says she’s had to source more than a few half-moon diamonds after clients fell in love with a Bario Neal collection ring like the Half-Moon Dyad Ring. The half-moon cut is actually a round diamond split in two, and its unique appearance makes it an equally popular side stone as an accent for other fancy diamond cuts. Our Half-Moon Black Jade Ring is the perfect alternative if you want the shape in a higher-contrast design.
- Asscher Cut Diamonds
Part of a family of gem cutters, Joseph Asscher was the jeweler who introduced this cut, which evokes Art Deco. If you’re torn between a rectangle and a square, the stately Asscher might be perfect for you, like the one in this Custom Heirloom Asscher Cut Solitaire Engagement Ring.
Transform an Heirloom Fancy Diamond Into Your Own Unique Ring
Custom designing with heirloom gemstones is a meaningful way to create fine jewelry that honors the past and stays true to the modern you. If a ring with a fancy diamond cut that’s been passed down through your family seems dated, the Bario Neal team can take your mother’s princess cut diamond or your uncle’s cushion cut diamond and set it in a ring with a very today feel. We love the play of a delicate shape against an angular bold setting that one of our client’s achieved by personalizing our Nikko Ring with their heirloom marquise cut diamond.
“We can take a diamond from heirloom jewelry and source new gemstones to handcraft a modern cluster ring,” Aliyah says, “or we can take a diamond from an old setting that’s too busy for your taste and make a solitaire.”
Finding your perfect diamond shape should be a fun connect-the-dots, not an overwhelming puzzle. We’re the diamond experts so you don’t have to be, but we also want you to make an educated purchase and feel like you know as much as you need to know about the many fancy diamond cuts. Start by checking out our Custom Design Questionnaire, and contact us today to make an appointment at our Philadelphia or New York City showrooms.