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The cut of a diamond is different from its shape. Naturally, you need to cut a diamond to form a shape but the shape is more of the overall form of the diamond, while the cut refers to its facets and proportions that determine the brilliance of the gem.

There are actually many diamond shapes – 10 to be precise. When deciding on a diamond ring, you can choose from the following shapes: princess, emerald, round, Asscher, radiant, pear, oval, cushion, heart and marquise.

Princess

A princess shape is very ladylike and first appeared in 1961 when jewelry designer Arpad Nagy in London decided to create one. This shape of diamond comes with an array of intricate facets and it didn’t take long before it gained huge popularity among girly-girls. Often, the princess diamond is donned as a solitaire engagement ring.

Emerald

Glamorous women love the emerald shaped diamond. This rectangular shape has long and lean facets that enable you to better see the clarity of the rock. It exudes elegance and confidence. Well-known personalities who wear emerald shaped diamonds include Amal Clooney, Elizabeth Taylor (who was well known for her penchant for diamonds), Beyonce and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Round

Also known as the RBC (round brilliant cut), the round shaped diamond is the most brilliant of them all and it remains the most popular choice for engagement rings. Marcel Tolkowsky first created it in 1919 and its shape has remained timeless and versatile ever since. It’s a great choice for women who have decidedly classic tastes.

Asscher

This shape looks like the emerald cut however it has a more vintage appeal. It is dramatic and striking, evoking an art deco feel. Its profile is thick and chunky with stepped sides and clipped corners.

Radiant

This shape is very rare and is not a popular choice for engagement rings mainly because it is hard to find. It marries the brilliance of round and the glamour of the emerald shape, and the result is a very sparkling square diamond with trimmed corners.

Pear

This shape is an haute hybrid between the oval and marquise (which we will talk about shortly). It resembles a teardrop and is more popular in earrings and pendants. But, it’s also great as an engagement ring because its shape is unique.

Oval

This shape denotes innovation. Just like the round shaped diamond, the oval offers remarkable brilliance. It is popular as a solitaire especially for women with short fingers or small hands. It is also often flanked by sapphires or emeralds on the side.

Cushion

This is a very romantic looking shape. Also referred to as the pillow cut, the cushion diamond appears rectangular in shape with round corners and bigger facets. This shape dates back to the era of elegance and romance.

More info: Jewellery for Your Personal Collection

Heart

This shape is the ultimate symbol of sentimentality and romance. It is more of a novelty and is not a popular choice for engagement rings. The shape of the rocks can be more elongated or fatter. Often times, the ring will have flaws because the heart diamond is difficult to shape.

Marquise

This shape is wrapped in dramatic history. It was first invented during the reign of Louis XIV in the 18th century and he allegedly named it after Marquise de Pompadour, his mistress. The tapered cut is oval with rounded sides that are pointed at both ends. But there is now a modern version, which is hexagon-shaped and it can make the fingers appear more slender.