fancy cut diamonds

A fancy cut diamond doesn’t need a lot of bling. There may not be a halo or tons of stones everywhere, and it doesn’t even have to be large. 

No, it’s not required to wear a fancy cut diamond to a ball or to a fancy restaurant.  In fact, a fancy cut diamond doesn’t even have to be fancy. 

Today, we’re talking all things fancy cut diamonds. What they are, a brief history, and why you should consider one for your next diamond ring!

What Makes a Fancy Cut Diamond “Fancy”?

A fancy cut diamond is literally any other diamond shape other than the round brilliant cut. Some of the more popular fancy diamond shapes  include emerald, pear, radiant, cushion, and asscher cut diamonds. 

While round brilliant diamonds are still the most popular choice for engagement rings, fancy cut diamonds are trending up. We’ve covered many celebrity engagements lately, all of which featured fancy cut diamonds. 

Jennifer Lopez and her gorgeous emerald cut diamond 

Wilmer Valderrama giving his fiancé a beautiful pear cut

Katherine Schwarzenegger’s cushion cut from Chris Pratt

Jennifer Lawrence with a huge emerald cut diamond

Katy Perry and her famous oval shaped ruby ring

Why Are Fancy Cuts Considered Fancy?

More and more brides are breaking from tradition, including conventional round diamond engagement rings. Fancy cuts or shapes make it easy to express individuality.

Fancy cuts aren’t just for engagement rings. Their design versatility makes them great for multi-diamond jewelry use. Pendants and earrings often feature eye catching, fancy cut diamonds. 

They’re often used as side stones or as accent stones. Many main stones that have side stones or accent stones are actually fancy cut diamonds.

A Brief History of Fancy Cut Diamonds

The term ‘fancy cut’ was created in an attempt to diversify the diamond market and promote shapes other than the typical round.

Various diamond shapes have been popular over the years, and they’re cyclical just like with fashion.

Emerald cut diamonds were popular throughout the 1950’s-1970’s. Brightly colored oval shaped gemstones were popular in the 80’s. The 1990’s saw a rise in Marquise-cut diamonds, followed by princess and cushion cuts throughout the 2000’s. 

Today, we’re still seeing some cushion cut sales, but even more oval and emerald cuts diamonds. 

Considerations When Buying Fancy Cuts


Buying a fancy cut diamond is totally different than purchasing a round brilliant cut diamond. Clarity is extra important. 

The inclusions on a table that is larger, such as that of an oval shape or an emerald shape stone, are much easier to spot. Make sure you can’t see the inclusions and that they’re either hidden by the prongs or not directly under the table.


Another consideration is the actual shape of the fancy diamond.  Is the pear too fat or the marquise too thin?  Is the heart too wide or the oval too round?

Unlike the round brilliant cut, which has precise measurements, it’s more a matter of taste than a matter of precision for a fancy diamond.  The GIA still has fancy cut diamond grading standards for best proportions.

These guidelines are useful, but it’s still best to choose by what you like and want. Because these are not your standard stones, size and shape will vary.


Fancy cut diamonds can actually make your money go further. Some fancy shaped diamonds cost nearly 50% less than round, brilliant cuts of the same weight. An added bonus– fancy cuts actually appear larger than their round, brilliant diamond counterparts. 

Round, brilliant stones require the highest amount of labor. More of the original rough stone has to be removed to achieve the perfectly proportioned round, brilliant shape. Where as a fancy cut keeps more of the rough stone in the shaping process. 

Another reason fancy cuts are less expensive is the type of stones used. Cheaper, rough stones are often used in fancy cuts, because inclusions are easier to hide or remove during the polishing process. 

Final Thoughts on Fancy Cut Diamonds

We actually prefer fancy diamonds over the round, brilliant ones here in the showroom. One member of our team actually gave his wife an emerald cut with trillions set in platinum. It’s the perfect example of a classic engagement ring with a modern twist.

We always have gorgeous fancy diamonds in stock, as well as traditional brilliant round diamonds. Tell us what your favorite is!

If you’re in the market for an engagement ring– whether it’s a traditional diamond OR a unique, colored fancy shaped gemstone–  call Jonathan’s Fine Jewelers today to make an appointment and see our beautiful selection. Our in house jewelry designers can help you craft any design you can imagine. 

Want to see more of our favorite ring styles? Like our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Make sure you check out our personal Instagram accounts below:

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