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Gemstone Shapes: Which Is Right for You?

Of course, the most popular gemstone shape is the round brilliant. Everything else is considered a fancy shape. Important fancy shapes include emerald, marquise (resembling a football), pear, oval, square (princess) and baguette (rectangle). Baguettes are often used as accent stones surrounding a larger center stone. Heart, trillion (triangle), flower, and briolette (drop-shaped) are also important fancy cuts. Fancy shapes can be more expensive than round shapes because they are more difficult to cut.

Although these cuts account for the vast majority of gemstone shapes on the market today, there are many, many other shapes available. Some are variations of these standard shapes, with a different number of facets or slightly different parameters. For instance, the cut-corner triangle cut is a triangle from which two of the corners have been cut. The shield cut is a variation of the emerald cut resembling a shield. The nostalgia craze and the popularity of the heirloom/estate market also has brought a number of old-fashioned cuts back into the public eye, such as the cushion cut (a type of rectangular cut) and the rose cut (a round cut featuring triangular facets that form a point on the top of the stone).

Many diamond companies in recent years also have introduced branded diamonds that feature new cuts (or modifications of existing cuts). While the round brilliant is generally regarded as the shape that most showcases a stone's brilliance and fire, each fancy shape has its own special qualities and unique appeal.