What is a Fancy Diamond Shape?

What is a Fancy Diamond Shape?

8 Types of Diamond Cuts Used in SH Jewellery Engagement Rings 

A fancy diamond shape (or diamond cut) refers to any diamond that is not a traditional Round Brilliant Cut. SH Jewellery’s exclusive range of 18kt gold engagement rings features eight of the nine most common fancy types of diamond cuts available, outlined below.

What is a Fancy Diamond Shape?


The technical name for a Princess Cut diamond is 'Square Modified Brilliant’, as it combines the brilliance of a Round Brilliant Cut with a square or rectangular shape.

Dating back to the 1960s, Princess Cuts are today recognised as the second most popular design behind Round Cuts and feature heavily in contemporary style Solitaire and Halo Engagement Rings.

Princess Cuts have sharply defined 90 degree corners creating a square shape when viewed from above, and inverted pyramids when viewed from the side.

Because the shape is fairly consistent with the dimensions of the most common rough diamond, the carat weight yield of a Princess Cut is usually much greater than a Round Cut - Princess Cuts only lose about 20% of their rough diamond in the cutting process, whereas Round Brilliant diamonds lose about 40%-60% of their original stone.





Oval Cut Diamonds as we know them today were perfected in the late 1950s by a Russian Diamond Cutter whose techniques were capable of turning even the least favourable stone into a sparkling masterpiece.

Oval Cut diamonds are elongated Round Brilliant Cuts that can create the illusion of thinner, longer fingers. They can also appear larger than a Round Brilliant Cut of the same carat weight due to their stretched proportions.

The ideal ratio of length to width for an oval-shaped diamond is considered to be between 1.30 to 1.50, and with no sharp sides or corners, Oval Cuts create a durable design well protected from chipping.

For those who love the sparkle and fire of a Round Brilliant Cut, but the distinction of a fancy shape, Oval Cuts are a popular choice in Prong-Set Solitaires, Timeless Engagement Rings and Halo Engagement Rings.






Steeped in history and mystique, the original version of the Marquise Cut diamond is rumoured to have been created in the 18th century by a court jeweller commissioned to resemble the mouth of King Louis XV’s famed mistress, Marchioness Madame de Pompadour.

Marquise Cuts, also known as “Navette” diamonds (meaning “little ship” in French) are dramatic eye-shaped diamonds with pointed ends boasting the ability to make fingers appear longer and thinner.

The ideal length to width ratio for a marquise-shaped diamond is considered to be between 1.75 to 2.25, however personal preference prevails. Carat for carat, Marquise Cuts have one of the largest crown surface areas of all the diamond shapes, appealing to those with an eye for size.

A highly effective cut for optimally utilising the carat weight of the diamond, Marquise-shaped engagement rings offer a vintage-inspired style for those seeking something a little less mainstream.



Also known as a Teardrop, the Pear Cut diamond dates back to Belgium in 1458, where a Polish gemstone polisher created the shape using a revolutionary diamond polishing wheel he invented, called the “Scaif”.

Pear-shaped diamond rings combine the best of Round and Marquise to produce gently rounded shoulders and wings that taper to a striking point, traditionally worn facing away from the body.

Pear Cut diamond settings should always feature a prong at the tip for maximum protection, and while the perfect length to width ratio for pear-shaped diamond rings is subjective, somewhere in the range of 1.50–1.75:1 is considered the sweet spot.



Cushion Cut diamonds date back around 200 years when they were originally known as Old Mine Cuts; a reference to Brazilian diamond mines, which became known as “old mines” once diamonds were discovered in South Africa.

Similar in appearance to a pillow, Cushion Cuts combine a square cut with gently rounded corners, and are also available in slightly rectangular shapes.

The modern Cushion Cut has evolved to include 64 facets (flat surfaces or etchings), up from 58 facets in the earlier Old Mine Cut, making them more brilliant today than ever before.

While often less brilliant than Round Brilliant Cuts, cushion-shaped diamonds generally produce better fire; the effect created when white light hits the diamond and disperses into rainbow colours.

A timeless shape, Cushion Cuts feature prominently in antique pieces and halo designs, referencing the romance of yesteryear with the technical sophistication and contemporary influences of today.




The Emerald Cut dates back to the 1500s, when stonecutters created this distinctive shape for emerald gemstones to reduce pressure while cutting and prevent chips.
Rectangular or square in shape featuring 57 facets and cut-off corners, Emerald Cuts are famous for their ‘Hall of Mirrors’ effect, which causes flashes of light generated by straight, linear facets.
The ideal length to width ratio for Emerald Cuts ranges from 1.30 to 1.50, with rectangular shapes more common than square.
Often used in Three-Stone settings and Solitaires, Emerald Cuts can appear bigger than other shaped diamonds of equal carat weight and are popular in art deco inspired engagement rings.
With deep clarity and a large surface table, they strike the ultimate balance between strength and femininity.





Instantly recognisable heart shaped diamond rings are an enduring symbol of love and friendship dating back to the 16th century when Mary Queen of Scots gifted a heart-shaped diamond ring to Queen Elizabeth.
Based on the popular Round Brilliant Cut diamond, Heart Cuts contain between 56-58 facets, with six to eight facets forming the diamond’s pavilion (bottom half of the diamond).
Heart Cut diamonds are far less common amongst the different engagement ring cuts, but a popular choice for romantics seeking something a little more enchanting.



A relatively new shape, the Radiant Cut was designed in 1977 to combine the finest elements of a Round Brilliant Cut with an Emerald Cut.
The Radiant Cut has a complete Brilliant Cut facet pattern applied to both the crown and pavilion, with cropped corners offering excellent protection from chipping.
The most common ratio for a traditional rectangular shaped Radiant Cut is 1.25, however ratios range from 1.05 – 1.50. For a less common square shaped Radiant Cut, ratios between 1.00-1.05 are considered ideal.
Radiant Cuts are an excellent choice for those who like the octagonal shape of the Emerald Cut, but seek the radiance and brilliance of a Round Cut.


Accounting for over 75% of diamonds sold worldwide, Round Brilliant Cuts remain the universal favourite of all diamond ring shapes.
Designed to emit maximum brightness, fire and sparkle in a colourless diamond, these undisputed champions feature 56 symmetrically placed triangular and kite-shaped facets, a table facet and an optional culet facet, totalling 57 or 58 facets.
With a rounded top and cone shaped bottom, this strictly graded classic cut is a popular choice for all variety of jewellery, including engagement rings, wedding bands, diamond earrings and diamond pendants.


If you need help deciding between the different types of diamond cuts for your engagement ring or special occasion piece, our Diamond & Jewellery Specialists are here to help. Book a complimentary phone consultation, or visit our Springvale Showroom to experience the famous SH customer experience in-store.


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