Which diamond shape looks the largest?

When it comes to diamonds, many people are interested in getting the most bang—or sparkle—for their buck.

Diamonds typically hold their weight differently depending on the cut, and the shape (for instance, round, oval, emerald, marquis) does play into that. Because of this, diamonds of the same carat weight but DIFFERENT cut and shape will look like they’re a different size.

Round diamonds

These are, by far, the most popular shape for diamonds. An ideal cut round diamond is the most brilliant, which means that it will put off the most light. Round diamonds are a traditional shape for engagement rings, but that doesn’t mean that they look the biggest. The cut can often hide some of the carat weight, making it look smaller than an identical carat weight diamond of a different shape.

Elongated diamonds

Shapes such as the marquise, pear, or oval are what the jewelry industry calls “fancy” shape. Because they’re not perfectly round, they have more surface area on the table, or top of the diamond. This means that the diamond will look larger from the top down. Marquise diamonds have the greatest surface area, but pear shaped diamonds have a point that makes the diamond look longer, and therefore bigger. If you’re looking to maximize visible size, a marquise, pear, or oval shape will do so at the expense of a little bit of the sparkle that the round has.  

Deeper cuts

On the other end of the spectrum, there are diamonds that carry more of their carat weight on the underside or pavilion of the gem. A round fits into this category, but some other shapes that tend to be a bit bottom heavy are the princess, asscher, and heart shaped diamonds. These fancy shapes all have elements that make them uniquely beautiful—the size appearance of a stone is only one aspect of what makes it wonderful.