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By Sam Thomas

Rare and unusual: Extraordinary cuts used in diamond engagement rings

20 October 2023

The most popular, and the most unusual

Diamonds are a timeless symbol of elegance and love, and when it comes to their shapes or cuts, there's a world of variety to explore. You might be aware of some of the most common diamond shapes, such as the classic round brilliant, the sleek princess cut, the sophisticated emerald cut, and others like oval, pear, marquise, Asscher, and radiant. However, the round brilliant cut stands out as the most popular choice for engagement rings worldwide. Its widespread appeal also makes it the priciest, reflecting its high demand. In essence, any cut that deviates from the round brilliant is categorised as a fancy shape.

In the realm of diamonds, experts often emphasise the "4Cs": cut, colour, clarity, and carat weight. Among these, the cut is deemed the paramount factor. As Tanya Parikh, a distinguished figure in the industry and the owner of the renowned US firm Janvier Diamond Concierge, aptly observes, a diamond's uniqueness derives from the intricate angles and facets it boasts. Multiple methods are employed in faceting a diamond, and it is the meticulous placement of these facets that imparts the mesmerising sparkle that we all cherish.

Now, you may already be familiar with the shapes mentioned earlier, and if you happen to be a true connoisseur of diamonds, you might have even encountered some lesser-known cuts. But did you know that the world of diamonds holds an array of rare and unconventional cuts, often unbeknownst to those beyond the jewellery industry? In the sections that follow, we will delve into five of these more unusual diamond cuts that have found their place in the realm of exquisite engagement rings.

The Asprey Cut

The Asprey cut is very similar to the square cushion cut. At a glance, you may not be able to tell the difference. However, the Asprey has a couple of important distinctions. It was created by Sir Gabriel Tolkowsky, the virtuoso diamond cutter. He wanted to make a variation on the beloved cushion cut, which was slightly softer, more contemporary looking and more scintillating (sparkling). Asprey cuts are strictly hand cut only, using only stones that are D — G colour graded and have VS2 - Flawless clarity gradings. Every Asprey cut diamond has the letter ‘A” engraved on the edge, and boasts 81 facets, ensuring super sparkle. These stones are very rare and expensive. An Asprey Cut diamond makes an absolutely stunning centre stone for a truly exceptional engagement ring.

The Ashoka Cut

This shape is also a modified cushion cut. The Ashoka cut is basically an elongated cushion cut, with softer edges. The William Goldberg Diamond Corporation created this cut in 1999. The name derives from the Ashoka Tree, which is venerated as a holy tree throughout India. The word literally means ‘without sorrow’ in Sanskrit. This shape has 62 facets, so it is a spectacular spar<ler. The raw diamond has to be a large one in order to

create this sophisticated form. Ashcka cut diamonds often feature in top-end designer diamond earrings.

The Crisscut

This rare and unusual diamond shape was relatively recently created by legendary diamond cutter Christopher Slowinski. The shape itself is similar

to a traditional emerald cut

The Crisscut gets its name from its texture, which is formed with facets that ‘criss-cross’ each other. It has a phenomenal 77 facets, so the centre stone on an engagement ring which is Crisscut has extraordinary sparkle and brilliance.

Rarities at Paul Bram

Enjoy some of the bold and beautiful cuts available at Paul Bram, right here.

Rarities at Paul Bram

Enjoy some of the bold and beautiful cuts available at Paul Bram, right here.

The Jubilee Cut

This rare cut looks like a round brilliant, but instead of having a flat table at the top it rises up gently with additional facets. Jubilee cut diamonds sport an incredible 88 facets. This shape was first created at the time of Queen Victoria's 50-Year Jubilee celebrations, hence the name. The Jubilee Cut is renowned for the magnificence of its shine and its majestic presence.

The Lily Cut

This most unusual of diamond shapes is cut into a floral form. It can be cut with petals which are either pointed or rounded. It doesn’t resemble a lily but does have somewhat of a four-leaf clover look about it, so it must be lucky. It gets its name because it was first designed and patented by Israeli jewellers Lili Diamonds, in 2007. The shape went on to be closely associated with the luxury brand Louis Vuitton and can be spotted in ultra-high end earrings and other fine jewellery.

Paul Bram

From stunning Trilogy designs to the inclusion of precious gemstones and even Argyle Pink Diamonds, explore the range of engagement rings from Paul Bram.


What is the most popular diamond cut for engagement rings?

The most popular diamond shape for centre stones on engagement rings is the round brilliant,

What is the most rare and unusual diamond shape?

There are many rare and unusual diamond cuts, and new ones are being invented every decade. We have only mentioned a handful above; amongst these, perhaps the Lily cut is the most astonishing.

Should I choose a rare and unusual diamond shape for my engagement ring?

It’s fabulous to have a diamond engagement ring that features a stone that is unique. All natural diamonds are unique essentially. The more well-known fancy cut diamonds, such as marquise shape and princess cut are popular solitaires currently, however, the very rare and unusual shapes are not always suitable for centre stones.