When talking about the worth of a diamond, most people focus on the four C’s—cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. Some may even believe that the carat weight of the diamond is the ultimate determinant of price. But did you know that diamond shape can also affect the cost?
We’ve organized a guide to help you understand how different shapes of diamonds can affect its price. We’ll also discuss how you can use diamond shapes and sizes to estimate its real value and get the best price when selling your jewelry.
What’s the Difference Between Diamond Shape and Cut?
It’s important to first note the difference between the terms “cut” and “shape” because they are often used interchangeably. However, they mean very different things when discussing how a diamond's shape or cut and prices are related. The “cut” refers to how precisely the diamond was fashioned to reflect light, and the quality of the cut is graded by the GIA on a scale from Excellent to Poor. The diamond “shape”, however, refers to the stylistic appearance of the stone, referring to whether it’s a princess or round, marquise or pear, etc. The question of “what is the most expensive diamond cut?” is usually seeking an answer that has more to do with shape than cut. The two do, however, work together to create the overall look and value of a piece.
Different shapes of diamonds are more popular than others, whereas different cut grades of diamonds have to do with quality. For example, one of the most popular diamond shapes is round brilliant. When cut well, a round brilliant diamond will shine with fire and brilliance, have flashes of color, and plenty of sparkle. This is where diamond cut and prices can affect one another, because generally, a poorly cut diamond will appear lifeless or dull and therefore have a much lower value, regardless of its shape.
Using a Diamond Shape Chart to Explain How Shape Impacts Price
For a standardized guide to how diamond shapes and sizes affect its typical price, the International Gem Society (IGS) looked at the different shapes of Blue Nile’s G color, VS2 diamonds with benchmark carat weights—0.5, 0.7, 1.0, 1.2, 1.5, and 2.0. They then compiled this diamond price chart:
Interpreting the Diamond Shapes Chart
At a quick glance, a diamond price chart can be difficult to understand. Here’s how to interpret it: The lowest price for each carat weight is shown in bold. In general, the different shapes of diamonds do not have a significant effect on diamond price. Instead, carat weight is a bigger determinant of price. For instance, the Pear diamond shape is the least expensive when it’s 2 carats, but it falls on the more expensive side when it’s closer to 1-1.5 carats.
Round diamonds are the only shape that seems to consistently be above average in price no matter what the carat size is.
If you find yourself wondering what types of diamonds command the highest prices look no further than the classic round shape. They are the most popular style and are more frequently desired than any other shape, so it makes sense that retailers would be able to drive up the price. Princess and oval are also extremely popular types of diamond shapes, as they are both classics, and they typically fall in the average to above average range.
When it comes to round diamonds with “excellent” cuts, they are typically 10-43% more expensive than “fancy-shape” diamonds. It’s not always useful to consider diamond shape prices in this fashion, however. For example, if you’re comparing a round diamond with a pear or emerald shape of the same carat weight, the latter will appear larger to the naked eye despite the lower price tag.
Fancy-shape diamonds such as marquise, pear, oval, or emerald create an elongated effect on the user’s hand. Square radiant, cushion, princess, and Asscher diamond shapes have a corner-to-corner length that’s larger than a round’s diameter, making these appear bigger.
Deciding Which Diamond Shape and Size Commands the Best Price
Types of diamonds and prices will be different according to not only carat size, but also cut, clarity, and color. It’s important to consider all these factors when selling your jewelry.
Understanding how different shapes of diamonds and prices are related is probably the most difficult hurdle when selling your jewelry because it relies solely on style instead of quality. If you recently experienced a divorce, broken engagement or just want to upgrade an unwanted diamond jewelry piece, Mondiamo is here to help. We’ll evaluate your current diamond, maximize its value, and help you sell the piece quickly and easily while feeling assured you received the best value possible.