We all know by now that the cut of the diamond is one of the most important things to look for.

The carats are not as relevant as you might think. A diamond that is perfectly clear and flawless will cost more than another one that has a rough shape, even though they both have the same carats. According to the demand and supply rules of the market, people favor brilliance more, but there is a large supply of rough diamonds out there. However, what is the most expensive diamond cut?

most expensive diamond cut

A Bit About the Most Expensive Diamond Cut

Before purchasing the most expensive diamond cut, there are a few distinctions that should be noted. We've broken down everything you need to know to make a wise investment.

most expensive diamond cut

What is the Difference Between Shape and Cut?

Before finding out what is the most expensive diamond cut, we need to establish the terms. The shape refers to the general geometry or the form of the diamond (whether it is round, square, etc.). Meanwhile, the cut designates the facets and proportions of the diamond. Both are important for making a diamond give away brilliance and fire.

The step and the cut are not important only for the looks of it. The more difficult it is for the jeweler to set the stone into its place, the more vulnerable it will be. Nobody wants to have their diamond falling off after a month, and for this reason it’s important to consider your shape and cut before the popularity factor.

Who Determines Which is the Most Expensive Diamond Cut?

Though nowadays people generally agree on the RBC, there was a time when things weren’t like that. It all started with Marcel Tolkowsky and his thesis Diamond Design: A Study of Reflection and Refraction of Light in Diamond. In 1919, he wrote this paper and concluded that the RBC offers the best reflection and refraction.

What’s more, he also established some rules for the perfect diamond shape. For example, he claimed that the ideal proportions if you want to have a perfect round diamond were: 59.3% depth, 52% table, 34.50% crown angle, visible culet. In this way, the diamond cutters maximized the fire and the brilliance of the stones.

This marked the end of an era. If before cutters decided on their own how to shape the diamonds, now everybody looked for this specific shape. Obviously, as more and more people started to buy it, the prices also skyrocketed. Finally, this was the end of the trend with the Old European style diamonds, as well as other custom, transitional shapes.

What is the Most Expensive Diamond Cut?

To state it clearly right from the start, you must know that the most expensive cut of a diamond is the round brilliant. Everybody who wants to buy a stone wants it to be sparkly, just like the round brilliant diamonds. Just look at the brides: they all like this shape for their engagement ring centerpiece, while other shapes are less popular. In fact, 75% of the diamonds sold all around the world belong to this category. And the more popular they are, the higher the prices.

The Round Brilliant Cut (RBC)

most expensive diamond cut

Credit: Dennis Jarvis, Flickr

Most people want to know what is the most expensive diamond cut because they want to buy the best that is out there. What makes this shape so special is the fact that the facets you see act like small prisms. This means that they draw in light and reflect it, creating impressive sparkles. However, the high prices for this diamond shape are not given just by its beauty.

Truth is, they take a lot more money to produce. Obtaining a round shape from a rough diamond means cutting out a lot of the original shape. For this reason, they are more expensive to make, and thus the prices grow even more than they do because of the high demand for it. However, there are also some other shapes that are worth having a look at.

What Other Diamond Cuts Exist?

As you will see, other types of diamonds cost less than the BRC. As we mentioned before, this is caused by the fact that they don’t have perfectly round looks. When a cutter shapes a diamond, they lose precious material each time they alter it. That material cannot be used anymore. With the round shape, they lose the most unusable material they can.

All diamonds have some inclusions in them when they are first mined. 99.9% of them originally contain some small inclusions. The fancy shapes you will see later allow the cutters enough room to use their creativity and maneuver around the inclusions. For example, the heart-shaped diamond, which we will discuss later, has the cleft, where cutters can keep the inclusions, thus keeping most of the material.

most expensive diamond cut

Princess-Cut Diamonds

This is the next most popular shape when it comes to choosing diamonds. The princess cuts are more modern, but they can be adapted to traditional settings as well. Now that you know what is the most expensive diamond cut, you must know why this princess cut is so important. The catch here is that you must buy a symmetrical square. If it’s not perfectly symmetrical, the value of the stone decreases.

This cut underlines a lower color grade and it’s useful for masking out any imperfections. They keep most of the weight of the initial rough diamond shape. For this reason, the prices for the princess cut are quite low if you compare it to other shapes.

Oval-Cut Diamonds

The oval cut is fairly similar to the round brilliant one. However, this one presents a more elongated shape, which doesn’t let light refract as precisely as it does with the round stones. What’s interesting is the fact that the longer shape makes you think it has a higher carat weight. Because of this, the oval-cut diamonds are the perfect choice for people who want to buy something sparkly that looks big.

Even so, this shape is not among the most popular ones. This also translates to a lower price, which is better, compared to the rest of the shapes. Despite this, many people still choose to buy these because they appear bigger than the RBC.

Radiant-Cut Diamonds

This diamond shape shows 70 facets that are purely radiant. It combines the shine of an emerald cut with the fiery look of a round brilliant. All those facets radiate shine and fire, which is awesome, but the cut may still draw your attention to a lower color grade. For this reason, if you choose to buy this shape, you should go for a high color grade. Yet again, radiant diamonds are cheaper than the other shapes, even if you find them at the same carat weight.

Fancy Diamond Shapes (Heart, Marquise, Pear)

In this category, we include other shapes that aren’t that common. The marquise, heart, and pear shapes are inspired from the BRC, but they are friendlier to your wallet than the original round ones. However, people who craft them must also pay attention to their precision. The marquise and pear shapes need to have a certain ratio between their length and width to look appealing.

The two are elongated cuts and they are preferred because they make your fingers look thinner. At the same time, the diamonds on the jewelry seem to be bigger, which is a nice contrast. Meanwhile, the diamond shaped as a heart usually has a larger carat weight. This happens so that the curves of the shape can be visible. Naturally, if you go for a larger weight, the price will increase as well.

Vintage Diamond Shapes (Emerald, Cushion, Asscher)

The cushion cuts are an old trend that is also called the pillow cut. Initially, they offered step facets instead of the RBC that is fashionable today. Step facets are called like that because they look like stair steps. When you think of what is the most expensive diamond cut, you will surely not think about vintage shapes. However, there are plenty of celebrities who go for the cushion type whenever they sport a vintage look or outfit.

The emerald one was created in the Art Deco period and it features glamorous lines assembled in a rectangular shape. Its name comes from the popularity of the emerald shapes in the 1920s.The Asscher shape looks like the emerald one, only that it’s square. It is thick and chunky, with clipped corners. It was created in 1902 by the Asscher brothers who lived in Amsterdam and it became very popular in the 1930s.

Meanwhile, the Emerald and Asscher cuts are more popular, despite having step facets. These types of facets is not as popular as the rest of them, but they still look very sophisticated. These two shapes are preferred for engagement rings that have a vintage style. Even though they are not that common, this can be their advantage. After all, you can make a unique statement with them.


Diamond cuts and shapes are important not only for their brilliantness and fire but also for their construction and resistance.

If you want to know what is the most expensive diamond cut so you can buy it, then look for the round brilliant cut. However, the other shapes are also interesting and they might be more budget-friendly. Regardless of the shape you choose, diamonds are a great way of making a statement and showing off your elegance and style.

Related Article: Lana Jewelry: A Look at Her Collections & Which Accessories to Buy Now

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