How Does a Diamond's Shape Affect Its Price?

woman wearing engagement ring holding man's arm

The diamond's shape is technically the most important factor affecting the diamond's price for a few critical reasons. First, the shape is the most visual aspect of the diamond. More popular shapes tend to have a premium because they're more desired and less popular shapes, a discount. Second, a diamond manufacturer must try and preserve as much diamond rough as possible. Shapes with the most rough carat wastage tend to be most expensive. Diamonds with greater carat weight in their depth tend to be less expensive because they also look smaller and deeper than other shapes.

So what's the most popular and most expensive shape? The round brilliant cut. As described above, it is also the shape that has the lowest yield from the rough diamond and therefore the maximum wastage. Rounds are typically about 10% - 20% more expensive than other shapes (fancy shapes: shapes other than round) in the same carat weight and quality. The fancy shapes include Princess, Oval, Cushion, Emerald, Pear, Marquise, Asscher, Radiant and Heart. Other non traditional fancy shapes include, Trapezoid, Bullet, Half Moon, and triangular. With Clarity carries the popular major shapes at the lowest possible discounts to retail so you maximize value.


Diamond prices by shape

We want to illustrate the differences in diamond prices by shape, holding all other factors and diamond attributes constant among GIA certified stones. In the chart below, we've examined the 10 popular shapes Carat: 1.00 - 1.05, Cut: Excellent, Color: G, Clarity: VS2

As you can see, fancy shapes can save 25% in some instances against round diamond shapes of the same carat weight and quality. Shapes such as marquise and pear can also in fact look larger than round diamonds due to the shallow depth and elongated shape. Almost 40% of all engagement rings now have a non round diamond in the center as the main stone. The most popular shape is princess, followed by cushion and oval.


How are diamonds priced?

Diamonds are priced depending on the 4 C’s namely carat, color, clarity, and the cut. The diamond cut or shape is the most important factor that will affect the price since it is not only the most visual aspect but also showcases the diamond manufacturer’s expertise in preserving as much of the rough diamond as possible. Shapes with the most rough carat wastage tend to be the most expensive. The round cut is the most expensive shape because it has the maximum wastage from the rough stone.

Do diamond prices generally go up?

Yes, diamond prices do generally go up and increase in value over time because they are rare and unique.

What is the average price for diamond stud earrings?

The average price for diamond stud earrings would depend on the origin of the diamond (whether lab grown or original), and the other 4 C’s namely cut, carat, color, and clarity. For a 1 carat pair of round studs, you could expect to pay anywhere between $2000-$4000 for natural diamonds, and for lab grown diamonds with the same parameters, you could expect to pay about 40% less.

Do diamond prices fluctuate over the course of the year?

Yes, the price of diamonds fluctuates over the course of the year and depends on demand as well as supply.
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