Gemstones & Their Cuts

Gemstones & Their Cuts

Selecting a stone shape is one of the most important personal preference decisions when choosing a diamond or gemstone. At Serpentine, we often gravitate towards "fancy shapes" - ovals, cushions, pears, marquise, hearts, etc. as we love anything that makes an elevated statement, conveys confidence and feels both unique and personal.

We love to educate our clients about all the available stone options before they make their final selection.  We encourage our clients to keep an open mind, since each shape offers something unique and even if they come in looking for one cut, they often end up falling in love with something completely different. Below, you’ll find an overview of stone shapes you can expect to see when shopping for an engagement ring along with some of our bespoke Serpentine designs.



The most common diamond shape, round diamonds have always been the most traditional choice for engagement rings. The versatile and timeless round solitaire never goes out of style and can always be accented or upgraded with one of our signature ring jackets.


The oval shape creates the illusion of a larger stone. It has a vintage feel to it and was a popular stone choice for engagement rings in the 1950s that has experienced a huge resurgence in popularity. We also love the way the oval cut looks when set side-by-side in an eternity band.


Cushion cut diamonds have soft, round edges like a couch cushion. There are two types of cushion cuts: "cushion brilliant" and "cushion modified brilliant". Cushion brilliants are known for their larger, chunkier facets and more antique look, whereas cushion modified brilliants often have more of a "crushed ice" look that makes them especially sparkly. Cushions often have large facets that catch the light in a dramatic way and have the most variability in shape of all the stone cuts.


Pears are a favorite at Serpentine, and the bigger the better! Their teardrop cut has made them our go-to choice for the toi et moi two stone ring design, making for a nice contrast paired with a round or emerald cut stone. They also look deceptively large in size for the carat weight due to their tapered design.


Emerald cut stones are what is known as a step cut stone, made of rectangular faceted surfaces arranged to catch the light. Their sleek, elongated shape became popular in the Art Deco era. Our most popular setting for emerald cuts is a classic and timeless 3-stone design.


Marquise, or “petal” shaped diamonds feature dramatic pointed ends with a curved middle, making for a larger perceived size and elongating the finger as an engagement ring. They also look elegant and modern when set side by side in a line, on earrings or in a tennis bracelet.


The square emerald cut, an Asscher is a step cut diamond with angled corners and spectacular inner dimension. From above, it has a kaleidoscope effect which also appears as a distinctive "X" shape.


The Radiant cut features the elegant rectangular shape of an emerald, while also embodying the faceting style and brilliance of a round, making it an eye catching and coveted shape. 


Symmetrical and romantic, this modern choice for a stone cut always conveys an element of whimsy and unexpected charm. They look great in a prong setting or when they are bezel set in a signet ring or other decorative setting that really highlights their fancy shape.


Princess cut diamonds really deliver in terms of sparkle. With four, geometric corners, they are bold and radiate light. This can make for for an edgier, modern design, especially when flipped on its side, like in our above toi et moi design.