Fancy Cut Diamonds



Clarity and color play a big role in the brilliance of a diamond, but the cut of the diamond is what pulls it all together! Deemed “fancy cut diamonds” by the jewelers, let’s look at these diamond-cut options and all they have to offer. 


Brilliance, Clarity, and Color Explained

When diamond shopping, there are a few terms that are often used to describe gemstones. Understanding these words before learning about the fancy cut diamonds will help you make the best decision. 



The term brilliance in the jewelry world is an optical term that refers to how light passes through the stone- in other words, the sparkle factor of a gemstone. The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance. The more facets a diamond has the more brilliant it will look. 



Clarity refers to the purity of a gemstone. When a diamond is being formed other minerals and tiny fractures can become part of it. These impurities affect how clear the diamond is which then affects how light is refracted through it thus affecting its brilliance. 



A diamond acts as a prism and reflects light through it. The way it reflects light can influence the color of the diamond. Colorless diamonds are the rarest. The color is graded on a scale determined by the Gemological Institute of America. 


Diamond Cuts combined with Color and Clarity


A diamond may have a brilliant cut, but if clarity is compromised it may not sparkle as much. In the same way, the color can influence the brilliance or be disguised by the cut. These three properties combine to make the perfect diamond cut you are searching for…you just need to find it! 


Round Brilliant Cut Diamond

The round brilliant cut diamond is the iconic diamond shape you see portrayed most often. Making up almost 75% of the diamond cuts you see on the market, this cut is the most popular. The round brilliant cut diamond solitaire is the most brilliant diamond-cut you can choose. If you are looking for the most sparkle, this cut is your choice. What if you are drawn to something a little different though? What are your options? That is where the fancy cut diamonds come in! 

round brilliant cut diamond engagement ring
A round brilliant cut diamond engagement ring.


What Do You Mean “Fancy Cut Diamonds?”

Outside of the traditional and gorgeous round brilliant cut diamonds are what jewelers refer to as “fancy cut diamonds.” These are shapes, edges, and facets outside of the round brilliant cut. Let’s examine the different types of fancy cut diamonds and all they have to offer! 


Princess Cut

The princess cut is square-shaped with equal length and widths. The corners are cut with a sharp right angle. These are brilliant cuts due to how the facets are aligned but do not offer quite as much sparkle as the round brilliant cut (no other fancy cut does) Princess cuts are modern and edgy and a popular choice for engagement rings. Because of their large diagonal cuts, the surface area is larger thus making the stone appear larger than other stones of equal carat weight. 

princess cut diamond ring
A beautiful diamond wedding band with a princess cut halo setting.



Radiant Cut

A radiant cut diamond has strong brilliance like the princess cut. The biggest difference between a radiant cut and a princess cut is how the corners are cut. A radiant cut diamond will have beveled edges and 4 sides more rectangular than the square princess cut. This adds to their brilliance almost appearing as “cracked ice.” They are very durable because of their beveled edges. This cut was invented in 1977 making it the most modern in style but also plays well with more vintage-inspired jewelry styles. If you have your heart set on a colored diamond, the radiant cut will display its color with the most brilliance. 

radiant cut diamond wedding ring
A stunning example of a fancy cut diamond with a radiant cut.


Emerald Cut

Emerald cut diamonds are easily recognizable because of their “step cuts” and “hall of mirrors” effect. Step cuts are cuts that run in parallel lines. Rectangular in shape the cut first began in the 1500s when true emeralds were cut to increase their stability. These cuts also make the stone appear larger than other cuts with the same carat weight. Similar to a radiant cut, emerald cuts do not have the same “cracked ice” appearance and seem to gleam more like clear, still water. If you are looking for a diamond cut that is different from most others, the emerald cut is your choice. It is popular with many celebrities who want to stand out from the crowd. 

emerald cut diamond ring
An emerald-cut diamond ring.



The oval cut diamond was first created in the 1960s. It is a variation of the round brilliant cut but obviously with an oval shape. If you are looking for a cut that exudes sparkle and durability like the round brilliant but is a little different than everyone else, you could choose the oval cut diamond. You can choose a wider or thinner oval although the ideal length to width ratio is 1.35-1.50. A thinner oval is gorgeous when surrounded by smaller diamonds! The elongated oval can appear larger in size and make the wearer’s hands appear longer and slimmer! 

An oval cut diamond ring
An oval cut diamond ring with two smaller oval diamonds surrounding it.



Originating in France in the court of King Louis XIV, the marquise cut is regal and elegant. It is also referred to as the navette or “little boat.” These cuts are long and narrow. They also boast a large surface area giving the impression of a larger stone when compared to others of the same carat weight. It is often styled as a solitaire or with smaller stones along the edges. They have a vintage appearance and give the feel of romance and tradition. The marquise cut has a sophisticated style and is a popular choice for many styles of jewelry. 

A fancy cut diamond in a marquise cut
A 2 carat Marquise cut diamond ring.


The pear diamond cut is a gorgeous combination of the brilliant-cut round with the pointed style of the marquise cut. Often called the “teardrop” cut, it embodies grace and style. It is beautiful as a stand-alone solitaire or surrounded by other smaller diamonds.  It has 58 facets that bring a sparkling brilliance to the wearer! The pear shape cut is popular in white gold, yellow, and rose gold settings. 

a pear cut diamond ring and band styled in a red rose
A Pear shaped diamond cut. Sometimes called a teardrop cut.



The heart-shaped diamond is the most unique among diamonds. It has the sparkling brilliance of the round brilliant but the unique cut of the timeless symbol for love. The heart-shaped cut is a popular choice for pendants or bracelets but can also be a gorgeous choice for an engagement ring. The heart can vary in length and width but it is best to find one with a length to width ratio as close to 1.00 as possible and these fancy cut diamonds look best at 1-carat size or more. The larger the flat top table of the heart, the more light can enter and increase the sparkle. 

heart shaped diamond ring
Heart-shaped cut diamonds.


Let’s Design Your Dream Diamond!


Isbell Jewelers has a diverse collection of diamond rings, earrings, pendants, and bracelets. We would love to help you find the perfect fancy cut diamond for your collection! If we don’t have your dream diamond, we can work with you to design a custom piece you are sure to treasure for years to come! Stop by our showroom and let one of our experienced jewelers guide you on finding the right diamond for you! 

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