With twelve different stone shapes—fifteen if you count accent stones!—how do you choose a center stone for your engagement ring design? From classics to contemporary looks, we’ll give you some background and details about each different stone shape.

  Stone Shapes

Round Brilliant Round Brilliant

History: This is the most popular style. It was originally created around 1919 based on master jewel cutter Marcel Tolkowsky’s mathematical Ideal Cut formula.


Design Style: Any ring style from solitaires to halos look beautiful with Round Brilliant shaped stones.

Princess Princess

History: The name “princess” was originally used for a different stone shape, but by the 1970s, the square cut stone we know and love was commonly known as Princess cut.


Design Style: Most ring styles are lovely with a Princess stone shape. It’s commonly seen in solitaires and three-stone designs.

Cushion Cushion

History: The original Cushion cut stones reach back to the 1700s! It was the closest thing to a round shape until the 1800s, when technology was finally invented to make geometrically round cuts possible. The modern Cushion cut has curved sides and gently rounded corners.


Design Style: This shape fits in most ring styles. It is ideal for brides who love a traditional look like Round or Princess but want something a little different.

Emerald Emerald

History: This cut has roots to the 1500s, making it one of the oldest diamond shapes. It was officially named the Emerald cut during the Roaring 20s, when Art Deco architecture influenced all aspects of society—even engagement rings.


Design Style: Emeralds are perfect for solitaires, halos, and vintage-inspired designs.

Marquise Marquise

History: The story behind this stone is that it was created for King Louis XV in the mid-1700s, when he commissioned a stone to recall the shape of his mistress’ lips.


Design Style: This shape is best for simpler designs that show off the Marquise cut’s unique shape.

Asscher Asscher

History: This cut was invented by Joseph Asscher in 1902. It is similar to an Emerald cut, but is almost octagonal in shape. It became popular during the Art Deco movement and after World War I.


Design Style: Asscher cut stones are ideal for vintage inspired designs that show off the open step-cut facets.

Oval Oval

History: The Oval cut was invented in 1957 by Lazare Kaplan—a cousin of the famous Marcel Tolkowsky (who invented the Ideal Cut formula). The Oval cut is among the most brilliantly sparkly.


Design Style: Most ring styles look stunning with an Oval stone, especially for those who want timeless elegance with a more unusual shape.

Radiant Radiant

History: This stone shape was invented by Henry Grossbard in 1977. It combines the elongated elegance of the Emerald with the fiery sparkle of the Round Brilliant cut.


Design Style: Stick to simpler designs that show off the stone’s elegant shape.

Pear Pear

History: The oldest shape (that we know of), the Pear cut reaches as far back as 1458. It was created by Louis van Berquem, who is credited with establishing the concepts of symmetry and faceting that make diamonds sparkle.


Best for: Pear stones will work with many styles, though they are particularly good for solitaires and delicately accented designs.

Trillion Trillion

History: The Asscher brothers originally created the first “trillion” cut diamond, but the modern Trillion as we know it was designed in 1962 by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company. Over time, “trillion” has become the name generally used for all triangular shaped cuts.


Design Style: Simpler designs like solitaires or accented bands are ideal to showcase the Trillion cut.

Heart Heart

History: References to Heart cut diamonds can be found as far back as 1463. In 1592, Mary Queen of Scots sent a Heart cut ring to Queen Elizabeth I as a symbol of goodwill and friendship.


Design Style: Heart stones are best used in solitaires, to show off the shape of the cut.


Used as accent stones, baguettes can be straight, tapered or trapezoid in shape. They have open step facets like the emerald stone and add a little flash as accents to a main center diamond.

Regardless of whether you choose Nexus Diamond Alternatives or True Grown Diamonds for your custom design, all of these shapes are available to you. Choosing a stone shape is one of the first decisions you’ll make in the design process—your center stone shape is one of the first things that people will notice about your ring.

Which one would you build a design around?