The 4Cs influence the price of every stone. A flawless, perfectly clear, well-proportioned stone will cost much more than a flawed diamond of the same carat weight. However, the diamond market works around supply and demand, and the demand for brilliance and the supply of rough diamonds nudge certain shapes (or diamond cuts) into a higher price range.
What’s the Most Expensive Cut for a Diamond?
The answer, simply put, is the round brilliant. Buyers want their stones to sparkle, and round brilliant diamonds deliver. By far, brides prefer a round brilliant diamond as their engagement ring centerpiece to any other shape. Seventy-five percent of all diamonds sold (and over fifty-five percent of diamonds sold in the U.S.) are round brilliant diamonds. That popularity drives up the price. The cut features 58 facets, perfected with precise calculations. The facets act like little prisms, drawing in light and reflecting it into spectacular sparkles. But the main reason that round diamonds are more expensive than other shapes is that cutting a round diamond results in more loss of the original rough stone than cutting any other shape. This makes round diamonds the most expensive to produce, and that impacts the price even more than the demand.
While round brilliant diamonds secure the top spot in popularity and price, the other shapes offer their own unique benefits, often at lower price points. Here’s how the rest of those glittering shapes stack up:
This is the second most popular diamond shape. Princess cuts offer a modern look but also fit well with traditional settings. The catch? The cut must be a symmetrical square — anything less decreases the diamond’s value. The cut of the stone may highlight a lower color grade, but it also masks imperfections. Princess diamonds retain most of the original rough diamond’s weight, allowing the stones to sit fairly low on the overall price scale.
The oval cut is similar to the round brilliant, but the oval’s elongated shape doesn’t allow light to refract as precisely as in a round stone. However, the length of the cut does give the illusion of a higher carat weight. For this reason, the oval is perfect for buyers who want sparkle and the look of a larger stone. The lower popularity of the oval stone impacts its price, and these stones are often much less expensive than other shapes.
This shape boasts 70 facets, which exude pure…radiance! Radiant diamonds bring together the fire of a round brilliant with the shape and shine of an emerald cut. While those numerous facets radiate with vibrant shine and fire, the cut may draw attention to a lower color grade. That’s why Brilliance recommends a high color grade for this shape. Radiant diamonds are usually lower in price compared to other shapes at the same carat weight.
The Brilliant Fancy Diamond Shapes (Marquise, Heart & Pear)
All of these fancy shapes have a brilliant-inspired cut, but they are more budget-friendly than round stones. The longer shapes (marquise & pear) must be cut with precision to ensure a proper ratio between the stone’s length and width.
Elongated cuts like the pear and marquise make fingers appear thinner and diamonds appear larger.
On the other hand, heart-shaped diamonds should be larger in carat weight so that the curves of the shape are fully visible. Of course, a larger carat weight will increase the price.
The Vintage Diamond Shapes (Cushion, Emerald & Asscher)
Cushion cuts are an older cut sometimes referred to as a pillow cut. Originally, cushion-cut diamonds featured step facets instead of the brilliant cut that is used today. Many celebrities have selected cushion cut diamonds for the shape’s vintage inspiration.
Emerald and Asscher cuts are the only two “popular” diamond shapes that still feature step facets. These shapes aren’t as fiery and sparkly as others, but are known for their sophistication. Asscher and emerald shapes are often used in vintage-inspired engagement ring settings. While they aren’t the most common cuts, they make a unique and stunning statement.
The round brilliant diamond continues to reign supreme both in popularity and price. Although more brides desire the round brilliant for their engagement rings, other brilliant cuts like the oval, princess, and radiant offer beautiful sparkle for less money. Buyers who opt for unique designs gravitate toward other fancy shapes and the vintage-inspired cuts.
Of course, budget, style, and personality are the true deciding factors when shopping for that ideal diamond, and the perfect diamond is always the diamond you like best!