How Does Diamond Shape Impact Price?

Are you ready to begin diamond shopping but weary about the expensive price tag? There are a lot of factors to consider when buying the perfect diamond, and that includes budget. Though you want to pick out a beautiful diamond, you also want to stay within your means. Luckily, with a little bit of knowledge, you can find ways to cut costs while still buying an amazing diamond. 

A diamond's shape is a big determinant of the stone's overall price. Depending on which diamond shape you choose, you can potentially save a lot of money. Due to raw materials wasted and the high demand for particular shapes, some diamond shapes are priced significantly higher than others with the same carat weight. If you're ready to learn more about the relationship between diamond shape and price, we'll get into the details. We'll go over the definition of a diamond shape, the different types, and how you can save money by choosing specific ones.

What Does Diamond Shape Mean?

When discussing a diamond's shape, jewelers are referring to the stone's overall geometric shape or outline. Each cut has its own specifications that play a role in the diamond's appearance. A diamond cutter may choose a particular shape for a variety of reasons. For instance, a diamond might have inclusions that would be better hidden with a particular shape. However, the main goals of the diamond cutter include using most of the rough diamonds (little material waste) and maximizing profits (what shape will sell for the most money). 

What Are the Differences Between Diamond Shape and Diamond Cut?

You may have heard the words "shape" and "cut" tossed around in conversation and thought they meant the same thing. While it's common for people to use the words interchangeably, they have slightly different definitions. Shape refers to the geometric outline of the diamond as a whole stone. Diamond cut refers to the proportions, facets, and qualities that influence a diamond's sparkle. 

Why Are Round Cuts the Most Expensive Shape?

Are you wondering what the best shape is? Diamonds can come in nine different shapes. However, not all shapes are created to have the same sparkle and other diamond qualities. The most popular shape is the round diamond. Due to its brilliance and sparkle, the round diamond sells the best in jewelry stores. Besides its obvious beauty, the round-cut diamond is versatile and flattering. It looks nice in many styles of settings and will flatter most fingers and hands. 

Round diamonds are precisely cut to maximize fire, brilliance, and sparkle. Since the sparkle of the diamond is so apparent, it's often the easiest shape to balance differing grades of clarity, color, and cut to still retain sparkle. This means that you could potentially select varying grades of the 4Cs and still have a beautiful sparkling diamond.

Since round diamonds are the most popular kind of shape, jewelers charge more for them. The high demand allows them to price these shapes higher than other types of shapes with the same carat weight. 

They are also priced differently than other shapes due to the fact that there is more waste during the cutting process. During the cutting process, in order to to get a perfectly round shape, cutters must shave off the excess of the rough diamond. While diamond cutters have to do this with all kinds of shapes, round-cut causes the most amount of waste. To make up for this loss in material, round diamonds are priced higher than fancy-shaped diamonds (all diamonds except round diamonds).

If you are looking for a diamond that doesn't skimp on size but is still affordable, you'll want to consider a fancy-shaped diamond. Because of the reasons outlined above, the round diamond is more expensive than fancy-shaped diamonds despite having the same carat weight. Opting for a fancy-shaped diamond instead of a round-cut diamond of the same carat weight will get you a stone with more surface area. If you care more about the size and appearance of a big stone rather than the sparkle or brilliance of the round cut, then you'll want to consider fancy-shaped diamonds.

What Are the Different Kinds of Fancy Shapes Available?

There are nine different types of shapes available for purchase. Each has its own dimensions, proportions, and sparkle qualities. Ultimately, when it comes down to choosing a fancy-shaped diamond, your preferences and taste are most important. 

  • Princess cut: The princess cut is square-shaped with pointed corners, though it can be formed into a rectangle shape. With this kind of shape and cut, the princess diamond shows off color in the corners, which is why it's a good idea to opt for a higher grade in color for this type of shape. Overall, it has a beautiful brilliance that makes it a popular alternative to the round diamond at a much lower price.
  • Asscher cut: The Asscher diamond is almost identical to the emerald cut, except for the fact that it is square and the emerald is rectangular. With its rectangular facets, the Asscher cut shows off a unique and distinct appearance. Though this shape generally has one of the lowest prices, you'll want to make sure that you choose the clarity and color grades carefully. With this shape and cut, inclusions may be apparently obvious, and any off colors may show up in the corners. You'll want to plan your budget for this diamond shape with these factors in mind.
  • Cushion cut: The cushion cut is square or rectangular in shape with soft, rounded edges. Also known as the pillow cut, this shape has great brilliance thanks to its roundness and bigger facets. Though the cushion cut is one of the least expensive diamond shapes, you'll want to budget for a high clarity grade. This type of shape often exposes any inclusions, so you'll want to pay close attention to the clarity.
  • Radiant cut: This style comes in a square shape or elongated rectangle shape with trimmed corners. One of the most brilliant and sparkling of all diamond shapes, the radiant cut can be balanced with lower grades of clarity and color without much noticeable difference. However, this type of cut doesn't have as much fire as a round-cut diamond, though it will be a lot cheaper because it uses more of the rough diamond material.
  • Emerald cut: The emerald, like the Asscher, is unique and distinctive from other diamond shapes with its rectangular facets. With its step-cut pavilion and open table, the clarity is on full display. Though this is a cheap shape because it doesn't waste raw materials as much as other shapes, you may need to allocate more money for a higher clarity grade. With this kind of shape, any inclusions or blemishes will be apparently obvious. 
  • Marquise cut: Unlike the square or rectangular shapes on this list, the marquise shape looks like a long grain of rice with tapered ends and a full middle. Though it's cheaper than a round-cut diamond, the marquise tends to be more expensive than some of the rectangular or square options on this list, depending on carat weight. Also, due to its elongated shape, the marquise diamond generally appears larger than the round-cut diamond.
  • Oval cut: The oval shape is popular due to its brilliance and flattering effect on long fingers. Similar looking to the round shape, its elongated shape adds uniqueness and stylish sophistication to those looking for a diamond shape that is a bit out of the ordinary. Just like the other fancy-shaped diamonds on this list, ovals do not waste as much material as the round shape, making it a lower price. The oval cuts tend to show color and hide inclusions. So you should be sure to budget for a higher grade in color, but you'll be able to be more flexible with the clarity grade.
  • Pear cut: The pear shape is also known as the teardrop cut due to its fully rounded end and single sharp point. Like the Marquise and oval shapes, the pear diamond has an elongating effect on the finger, giving it a long and slim appearance. Its popularity is due to its uniqueness, so those who are more style conscious might prefer to go with this type of diamond shape. It is cheaper than the round diamond, though it also has quite a lot of brilliance. A well-cut pear-shaped diamond should have good symmetry. If it's not well-cut, then you may notice that the shape is asymmetrical. 
  • Heart cut: The heart-shaped diamond is a symbolic expression of love and, thus, a popular option. Though it's a less expensive shape than the round diamond, you'll need to budget for cut and color. Due to its unique shape, a lot of skill is needed to make the heart symmetrical. A well-cut heart-shaped diamond will be symmetrical, but lower grades of cut might mean that the stone is asymmetrical. It also shows color easily, so you'll want to opt for a higher color grade.

What Are the Least Expensive Shapes?

Are you looking for the least expensive diamond shapes? Maybe you want to have the biggest size for your money. Or, perhaps you are looking for ways to offset the overall price while maintaining the 4Cs. Whatever your reason is, buying a fancy-shaped diamond over a round diamond is a cost-effective way to purchase a diamond. 

People often think that a diamond's price is directly related to its final carat weight. While the finalized carat weight will play a role in the overall price, one of the biggest factors when determining price is the carat weight that is wasted during the cutting process. Diamond shapes all have their unique cutting process, with some diamond shapes wasting more of the rough diamond than others. In order to make up for the carat weight that was lost, diamond cutters will charge a higher price for the diamonds that use a lot of waste.

Diamond shapes have varying degrees of price, but often the least expensive shapes are ones that utilize the most of the rough materials. Commonly, Asscher, cushion, emerald, princess, and radiant are some of the least expensive shapes. If you are looking for a diamond that doesn't sacrifice size, then you'll want to consider buying one of these fancy-shaped diamonds.

How Can You Save Money When Buying a Diamond?

You can save money by choosing to buy a fancy-shaped diamond over a round-cut diamond. You can also manipulate the 4Cs to save money. However, though it's easy to manipulate the 4Cs with round-cut diamonds, fancy-shaped diamonds may need closer consideration. 

For certain shapes, clarity and color may need to have higher grades due to the style of the cut. The emerald cut, for example, will need a higher clarity grade because it shows inclusions very easily. Conversely, with certain shapes, inclusions might be easily hidden. This means you can save money by choosing an option with a lower clarity grade.

When it comes to buying diamonds, there are a lot of factors to consider. You might even feel overwhelmed by all of the choices. Picking out the perfect diamond in your price range is not an easy task. Luckily, with a little bit of knowledge about diamond shapes and how they affect price, you can choose a beautiful stone that suits your taste and your budget. If you are after a stone that has a big appearance but a low price tag, then you'll want to consider some of the least expensive fancy-shaped diamonds. Though they may not have the brilliance or sparkle of the round cut, you can still get an amazing diamond within your price range. If you're ready to start perusing all of the unique and beautiful diamond shapes available, take a look at our full selection.