Every diamond’s price is affected by the Four Cs: color, cut, clarity, and carat weight. The higher a diamond ranks in each of these four categories, the more expensive it will be. While the 4Cs will always have an impact on a diamond’s price, there’s another (often overlooked) factor that can dramatically affect a diamond’s price: its shape.
Diamond shape is the shape a diamond was cut into, such as round, princess cut, or emerald cut. (Note: Diamond shape is not to be confused with diamond cut, which is a grading of how well a diamond was cut into its shape.) And every diamond shape comes with different average prices. Some diamond shapes are more affordable because they lead to less raw diamond waste, which means that diamond cutters can give them a better price. Then, other diamond shapes are more affordable due to market demand. More popular diamond shapes are simply more expensive, since retailers know they can charge more for them.
So, which diamond shapes can give you the most bang for your buck? Read on to learn which diamond shapes can help you save big on your diamond jewelry!
Most Affordable Diamond Shapes: Fancy Shaped Diamonds
Some diamonds fall into the fancy shaped diamond category— and these are the diamonds that can help you save big on your engagement ring, your diamond studs, or your other diamond jewelry. A fancy shaped diamond is any diamond that isn’t round, the most popular diamond shape. Round diamonds are by far the most expensive diamond shape. On average, a round diamond will cost 20% to 40% more than a fancy shaped diamond with the same carat weight and qualities. So if you opt for any fancy shaped diamond, you can save a staggering amount of money on your engagement ring or other diamond jewelry.
Wondering which fancy diamond shapes are the most affordable? Below, we’ve ranked the 9 most popular fancy shaped diamonds by their average price per carat. While the price of each diamond shape can vary from year to year (due to market changes), this ranking can give you a general idea of which fancy shaped diamonds tend have the best prices.
Fancy Diamond Shapes Ranked by Average Affordability
1. Emerald Cut Diamonds
First up, we have the diamond shape that tends to be the most affordable of all: the chic emerald cut. Emerald cut diamonds are shaped like rectangles with cut corners. This beautiful vintage shape features step cut faceting, which gives it its signature “hall of mirrors” light pattern.
While emerald cut diamonds tend to be the most affordable of all the diamond shapes, jewelers and gemologists (including those at the GIA) recommend that you keep clarity in mind when you buy an emerald cut diamond. This diamond shape shows blemishes and inclusions clearly, due to its step cut facets and large open table. So if you save money by selecting a more affordable emerald cut diamond, you may want to use some of your savings to go up a bit in clarity grade so no flaws are visible to the naked eye. Jewelers and diamond experts generally recommend choosing an emerald cut diamond that is eye clean and has a clarity grading of flawless, internally flawless, VVS1, or VVS2.
2. Cushion Cut Diamonds
Next up, we have the cushion cut, a beautiful vintage shape that tends to be one of the most affordable shapes. Cushion cut diamonds tend to be more affordable because they are a rare choice and because cutting a diamond into the cushion cut shape usually leads to less raw diamond waste.
Cushion cut diamonds are shaped like a square with rounded corners, much like a cushion (hence the name). Cushion cut diamonds are a modern version of an antique diamond cut, the old mine cut. Cushion cut diamonds have the same shape as the old mine cut, yet are outfitted with a modern brilliant faceting pattern. Cushion cut diamonds are a highly romantic diamond shape and many people adore this shape’s elegant vintage look.
One thing to note about cushion cut diamonds is that they tend to hold color well. So if you’re concerned about your diamond looking very white, it’s a good idea to prioritize diamond color grade if you opt for a cushion cut diamond. Jewelers generally recommend going with an H color diamond or higher for cushion cut diamonds. If you want to go a bit lower than that in color grade, select a yellow gold or rose gold setting rather than a white gold or platinum setting for your jewelry. White precious metals can make a hint of yellow color more noticeable, while warmer precious metals can help mask a hint of yellow color.
3. Asscher Cut Diamonds
The asscher cut is a vintage diamond shape that features beautifully arranged step cut facets. This diamond shape looks like a square with cut corners and it has a signature x-shaped facet pattern across its table. This shape is loved for its distinctive Art Deco era vintage style.
Asscher cut diamonds tend to be lower in price because they are the one of the mostly rarely chosen diamond cuts. Less than 1% of all diamonds sold today are asscher cut diamonds. However, they can often still a bit more expensive than some more popular fancy shaped diamonds (like emerald and cushion cut diamonds) because cutting a diamond into this shape generally leads to more raw diamond loss.
4. Heart Shaped Diamonds
The heart shaped diamond is an ultra romantic brilliant cut shape that is cut into a the shape of a heart. The heart shaped diamond is another diamond shape that is more affordable because it is a rare choice. One thing that’s important to note about heart shaped diamonds, however, is that people usually prefer higher carat diamonds with this shape. A higher carat diamond allows the curves of the heart shape to look more clear. And, of course, if you go up in diamond carat size, you’ll also go up in diamond price.
5. Pear Cut Diamonds
Pear cut diamonds, also known as teardrop diamonds, are rounded on one end and pointed at the other. This sophisticated diamond shape tends to be more affordable because it is an uncommon choice (around 2.5% of all diamonds sold today are pear shaped diamonds). Yet, cutting this diamond gemstone shape takes a high level of skill, so it is a bit more expensive than some other fancy shaped diamonds.
6. Marquise Cut Diamonds
The marquise shape is a highly unique diamond shape. This elongated shape is pointed at both ends, with curving sides that arch to meet each point. Marquise diamonds are a rare choice (making up around 5% of all diamond sales). As with the pear cut diamond, cutting this diamond shape requires a high level of skill, so marquise cut diamonds can be a bit more expensive than some other fancy shaped diamonds.
7. Radiant Cut Diamonds
Radiant cut diamonds have the same shape as emerald cut diamonds (they are rectangular with cut corners) but this diamond shape is brilliant cut, rather than step cut, so they offer more shimmer. Radiant cut diamonds can be a bit more expensive than some other fancy shapes because more raw diamond material is lost when cutting a radiant cut diamond.
8. Oval Cut Diamonds
Oval cut diamonds have a classic and traditional style. This diamond is shaped like an oval and is brilliant cut. While oval cut diamonds tend to be a bit more expensive than some other fancy diamond shapes, oval cut diamonds are an excellent choice if you love the look of a round diamond but want something more affordable. Oval diamonds have a similar style to round diamonds, yet have a much more attractive price tag. Then, additionally, oval diamonds will look larger per carat than round diamonds, which gives you even more bang for your buck. Halo settings are very popular for oval cut diamonds, especially for engagement rings or other diamond rings, since they make this already large per carat shape look even larger.
9. Princess Cut Diamonds
Last up in our fancy shaped diamond ranking, we have the princess cut diamond, a modern style shape that looks square when viewed from above. Princess cut diamonds tend to be more expensive than other fancy diamond shapes because they’re very popular. Princess cut diamonds are the second most popular diamond shape for diamond engagement rings, wedding bands, and other diamond jewelry. In popularity, princess cut diamonds are second only to round diamonds. However, a princess cut diamond will still cost around 20 to 35% less than a round diamond with the same carat weight and qualities.