What Diamond Shape Is The Most Expensive?

What Diamond Shape Is The Most Expensive?

When shopping for diamonds, the shape you choose not only affects the gem's appearance but also its price. At Acredo, we believe in guiding our customers through every aspect of their diamond selection, including understanding why certain diamond shapes might command higher prices than others. This blog will explore the various diamond shapes available and discuss which tend to be the most expensive and why.

Popular Diamond Shapes and Their Characteristics

Round Brilliant

  1. Popularity: The round brilliant cut is the most popular diamond shape due to its ability to maximize light return, or brilliance.
  2. Pricing: This shape typically commands the highest prices per carat due to its high demand and the significant amount of rough loss during cutting.

Princess Cut

  1. Features: Known for its square or rectangular shape with pointed corners, the princess cut is favored for its modern look and excellent fire.
  2. Cost Efficiency: It is generally less expensive than the round brilliant because it retains more carat weight from the rough diamond.

Oval, Pear, and Marquise

  1. Design Appeal: These shapes are appreciated for their elongated appearance, which can make the finger look longer and more slender.
  2. Cutting Efficiency: They tend to be priced lower than round diamonds but can vary depending on the quality of the cut and the general demand.

Emerald and Asscher

  1. Unique Aspects: Characterized by their step cuts, which create a hall-of-mirrors effect rather than brilliance, these shapes offer a different type of beauty.
  2. Price Considerations: These shapes can sometimes carry a lower price per carat than more brilliant cuts because they are less in demand and the cutting process preserves more carat weight.

Cushion Cut

  1. Vintage Charm: With rounded corners and larger facets, the cushion cut combines the brilliance of a round cut with a softer, more antique appearance.
  2. Market Value: While beautiful, cushion cuts generally do not command the same high prices as round brilliants but are comparable to ovals and pears.

Why Round Brilliance Comes at a Premium

Maximizing Light Performance

The round brilliant cut is not just another diamond shape; it is a pinnacle of gem-cutting precision designed to achieve the maximum possible light reflection and brilliance. This shape is universally recognized for its ability to optimize the fire, brilliance, and scintillation of a diamond:

  1. Optimal Facet Arrangement: The round brilliant cut features 58 meticulously arranged facets that are engineered to reflect as much light as possible back through the top of the diamond. This not only enhances the stone’s brilliance but also its perceived clarity and color.
  2. Light Leakage Minimization: Unlike other cuts where the light may escape from other angles, the round brilliant's architecture ensures that light enters and exits through the table (the top), maximizing visible sparkle. This level of optimization in cutting requires removing more material from the rough diamond, thus increasing the wastage and, consequently, the cost of the final gem.

Market Demand and Versatility

Round diamonds are the go-to choice for many buyers, making them the most sought-after shape in the market:

  1. Universal Appeal: The round brilliant's timeless appearance and unmatched sparkle make it highly sought after for nearly all types of jewelry, from engagement rings and wedding bands to earrings and pendants.
  2. Adaptability in Design: Its versatility makes it suitable for a variety of settings, from simple solitaires to more complex vintage designs and modern halo settings. This adaptability sustains its high demand, pushing its prices higher than less versatile shapes.

Cutting Complexity

The process of transforming a rough diamond into a round brilliant cut is an art that demands exceptional skill and technological precision:

  1. Craftsmanship Requirements: Each of the round brilliant’s 58 facets must be cut and polished to exact angles and proportions to enhance the stone's optical performance. This level of detail requires advanced equipment and the expertise of skilled artisans, contributing to higher labor costs.
  2. Waste of Rough Material: Crafting a round brilliant cut from a rough diamond results in more waste compared to other shapes like the princess cut or marquise, which can be cut more economically from the rough stone. The higher waste factor means that more raw material cost is factored into each carat of the finished diamond.

Impact of Clarity and Color on Round Brilliant Diamonds

The allure of the round brilliant cut is not solely due to its shape; the clarity and color of these diamonds also play a critical role in determining their overall appeal and value. Understanding how these factors interplay with the round cut can help you make an informed decision when selecting a diamond.

Clarity Considerations for Round Brilliance

The clarity of a diamond refers to the absence of inclusions and blemishes. For round brilliant cut diamonds:

  • High Visibility of Inclusions: Due to the round brilliant's exceptional ability to reflect light, inclusions can be more visible compared to other cuts. This means choosing a higher clarity grade can be crucial for maintaining the stone's brilliance.
  • Clarity Sweet Spot: Many consumers find that diamonds in the VS1 to VS2 clarity range offer a good balance between cost and appearance. These diamonds typically appear flawless to the naked eye but are less expensive than the more inclusive VVS1 or VVS2 grades.

The Role of Color in Round Brilliant Diamonds

Color in diamonds is graded from D (colorless) to Z (light color). For round brilliants:

  • Color and Light Performance: The round brilliant cut is particularly adept at dispersing light, which can both mask and emphasize the color. Lower color grades (G-H) often appear more colorless in a round cut due to this dispersal, providing an opportunity to purchase a visually appealing diamond at a lower price point.
  • Choosing the Right Color Grade: While D-F color grades are considered colorless, opting for a G-H color in a round brilliant cut can offer excellent value. These diamonds will still appear white but come at a significantly lower cost.

Combining Clarity and Color

When selecting a round brilliant diamond, consider both clarity and color together:

  • Balanced Approach: Opting for a combination of VS2 clarity and G color, for example, can often yield a diamond that looks perfect to the unaided eye but is more affordable than one with higher grades.
  • Customization Potential: At Acredo, we help clients choose clarity and color combinations that best fit their design ambitions and budget. Our experts can show how different grades affect the appearance of a diamond in various settings, ensuring you make a choice that feels personalized and informed.


The premium cost of round brilliant diamonds is a direct result of their complex production process, superior light performance, and broad market demand. At Acredo, we recognize that choosing a diamond involves balancing many factors, including shape, cost, and aesthetic preference. Our experts are dedicated to helping you understand these nuances so that you can make a choice that best suits your personal style and budget. Whether you are drawn to the unrivaled brilliance of the round brilliant or the unique charm of other shapes, we are here to guide you through every step of the selection process.