How to choose a beautiful Fancy Shape diamond?
So you are searching for a Fancy shape/cut diamond? Not sure how to choose a pretty one? Do not worry. I will show you how to choose a Fancy shape/cut diamond that is not only beautiful but also full of fire, brilliance, and sparkle. In this blog, you will know everything about Fancy Shape diamonds.
Round is the most popular shape with nearly 80% of market share. If you pause a little and think about the history of diamond jewelry, you will find from crown princes’ to celebrities, people with unique taste and innovative ideas have chosen Fancy shape diamonds as their favorites. They belong to the exclusive 20%. If you are thinking to go for Fancy cut diamond that means you are in the elite league.
By choosing a different shape than what most people choose, they redefined the jewelry style. They showed how a fancy shape diamond can add flavor and beauty to your jewelry wardrobe.
They do not follow the crowd instead they make the people change direction. It is because of them people have started to think differently. Now more and more people are choosing Fancy shape diamonds as their first preference over round shape.
In the following section I will explain to you in detail how to choose a sparkling fancy shape diamond, factors that contribute to its beauty, different shapes and their price comparison with Round diamond.
Let’s get started.
What is a Fancy Shape diamond?
You know well about the round shape diamond which is also known as Round brilliant cut. Any shape that is not round is called fancy shape.
Broadly speaking Fancy shape/cut is divided into three categories.
- Modified brilliant Cut: Oval, Pear, Heart, and Marquise belong to this category
- Step Cut: In this category diamond’s facets are cut like many steps. Emerald, Cushion, Asscher are example of step cut diamonds
- Mixed cut: Princess, Radiant
Note: Sept cut and Mixed cut when modified (facets added, modified or removed) are also known as modified brilliant cut i.e. Cushion modified brilliant cut
I will elaborate each and every Fancy shape/cut one by one in the following section. Before that let me tell you what makes a diamond look beautiful. What are the things you should know to judge a diamond’s beauty?
Once you know this, it will be super easy for you to choose your favorite diamond.
So, keep reading.
What is the single most important factor that contributes to diamond’s beauty?
This is perhaps the most important question about a diamond, the answer of which is searched by millions of diamond lovers like you.
The answer is diamond’s CUT followed by its Polish and Symmetry. Another important factor that enhances the beauty of Fancy shape diamond is its length to width ratio.
I will come to these factors (Polish, Symmetry, and length to width ratio) later in this section. Let’s know about the cut-grade first.
It is a proven fact that “The best the cut-grade is, the prettiest the diamond is”. So, you should be looking for the best cut diamond certified by GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or AGSL (American Gem Society Laboratories).
What does the best cut imply? How does it work in making a diamond beautiful?
Before answering the question let me ask you this “What do you want the most in a diamond?
My answer is sparkle and brilliance. What is yours? Hope your answers are as same as mine.
Light plays a major role in the scintillation of the diamond. When light enters into every facet of a diamond and then bounces back equally to your eyes through top facets, it creates the magic sparkling effect.
This is what everybody wants in a diamond. The absence of this makes a diamond looking dull or lifeless.
This is called light performance of the diamond. When different facets of a diamond are Cut perfectly, it acts like many mirrors, dispersing lights through its facets. The result is scintillation or sparkle.
You might be thinking “Choose the best cut-grade diamond and it is done. Why the fuss? This is so simple.”
Here comes the twist. GIA (Gemological Institute of America) does not certify the cut-grade of Fancy shape/cut diamonds. Nor does it has any plan to do so in near future.
However, the good news is that AGSL (American Gem Society Laboratories) is doing the cut grading. Its report is based on cut quality and light performance of the diamond. Now it is limited to four shapes/cuts i.e. Princess, Oval, Emerald, and Cushion cut only. More will be added in the future.
In the absence of AGS cut-grading report, you may take the help of AGA’s (Accredited Gems Appraiser) cut guidelines of Fancy shape/cut diamonds. This will help you in narrowing down to the best possible cut grade.
Remember there is no unanimity on guidelines among the experts. You may find different parameters of different labs or experts about Fancy shape diamonds.
So what to do? How do you know the cut grade or the light performance of other shapes/cuts?
The answer is the ASET-scope image report. This is the only logical and credible way to know whether your diamond is the prettiest or an ugly one.
Ideal-scope (another tool that measures light performance) does not read the light performance of the Fancy shape/cut correctly. So, do not rely on Ideal-scope image report for Fancy cut/shape.
In Fancy shape diamonds where there are so many variations in cut standards, it is very difficult to judge the best one. Even cut quality does not always guarantee excellent light performance.
Hence, ASET-scope image report is the best and reliable alternative to know a diamond’s light performance and a diamond’s beauty.
What is an ASET-scope and how it works?
ASET stands for Angular Spectrum Evaluation Tool. It was introduced by AGS (American Gems Society) in 2006. Since then it has been doing the most difficult part of analyzing diamond’s light performance exceptionally well. It is scientific, logical and most importantly easy to understand. It works well for both round and fancy shapes.
Let’s understand quickly how it works.
Its rays scan a diamond and prepare an image in different colors that represent light return, light leakages, contrast, and reflective light return.
In the report, Red indicates excellent light return, Green represents reflective light return, Blue tells you about contrast, and white or black represents light leakages.
See the following image to understand it better. This is important because you need this report in your diamond. There is no better way to choose a pretty diamond in fancy shape than this.
Look at the above image; you should be looking for a diamond that gives maximum red and green areas. Fancy shape diamonds having more white areas should always be avoided irrespective of its cut-grade in the grading certificate.
In simple word, it means how beautiful your diamond’s surface is looking and how good the finish is. Let me show you the difference between an average and an excellent polish grade diamond.
This is another vital factor that contributes to diamond’s beauty. Symmetry is the combination of many small but very important things like equal facet size, perfect meeting of their edges, centered culet, and ideal outline. It also shows how faultless are all the angles (pavilion, crown) of a diamond.
Any variation or defects in the above factors will make your diamond look less appealing and less attractive.
See the following images to understand why I am stressing on these factors.
Have a look at another image to understand it better.
Length to Width Ratio: Fancy Shape/Cut
Like cut and symmetry this one aspect is critical to diamonds appearance. It varies from shape to shape. I will mention the ideal L/W ratio of each shape separately in the following section. The length to width ratio of a diamond should be ideal otherwise it will look odd to your eyes.
Fancy Shape Diamonds: Price Advantage
Another reason why you should prefer a Fancy shape diamond over round shape is its price.
You will be pleased to know that Fancy shape diamonds are 15 to 40% cheaper than a round shape diamond. You will find some Fancy shapes/cuts are even cheaper than this.
In the following chart, you will see how different Fancy Shape diamonds have different prices. The price is taken from a famous online store recently in the first week of August-2018.
I have compared a 1.00-carat round diamond’s price with other fancy shape diamonds of similar weight (1.00-carat). All the other parameters (Color, Clarity, Cut, Carat, and fluorescence) are same. Let’s find out the difference of price in percentage.
Note: Price may vary when you read this article but more or less this is the benchmark. Any variation in price is due to demand and supply factor.
Recap: Fancy Shape/Cut Diamond Tips
Factors contribute to diamond’s beauty, sparkle, and brilliance.
- Polish & Symmetry
- Length to width ratio
The best tool to measure a diamond’s light performance?
- ASET-scope image report
- Choose a diamond based on ASET- image report that displays more red and green areas(light return), avoid diamond having white areas (light leakage)
Price Factor: Remember this:-
- Fancy shapes/cuts diamonds are 15 to 40% cheaper than Round shape/cut diamond
Now that you know the details about how to choose a beautiful and sparkling diamond, let’s understand each Fancy shape one by one.
I will make it easy for you. First, you will know about those shapes that are very close to round brilliant cut in terms of sparkle and brilliance. Then I will tell you about the popular ones followed by other shapes/cuts.
Fancy Shapes/Cuts that resemble same sparkle and brilliance as Round brilliant cut:
Trending now: Cushion CutOther Popular Cuts: Emerald-Cut & Asscher Cut