Top 10 Most Expensive Diamond Cuts in the World


Top-10-Most-Expensive-Diamond-Cuts

Diamonds are some of the most popular and expensive gemstones in the world. But did you know that a diamond’s cut can significantly influence its price?

The most expensive diamond cut in the world is the round brilliant (also called round). This cut wastes the greatest percentage of precious stone and results in the greatest level of brilliance. The round cut is also one of the most popular, as it lends itself well to engagement rings.

If you’d like to purchase a high-quality diamond, you’ll want to ensure you choose the right cut. This guide will help you select the priciest cut to suit your style!

Here Are the Top 10 Most Expensive Diamond Cuts in the World:

  1. Round Brilliant
  2. Princess
  3. Oval
  4. Cushion
  5. Pear
  6. Radiant
  7. Emerald
  8. Asscher
  9. Marquise
  10. Heart

10. Heart

Heart-Cut-Diamond-Sketch

If you were born in April, you’re likely familiar with diamonds. After all, these precious stones are some of the world’s most expensive birthstones!

That said, the heart cut is one of the least pricey of all diamond cuts, partly because it’s considered juvenile and a little tacky. Heart-shaped jewelry is associated with youth and love, making it one of the least-appropriate options for formal functions.

However, heart-cut diamonds aren’t cheap, especially when they feature top-notch clarity or are several carats. So, a heart-cut diamond could be an excellent choice if you want to give that special someone a valuable, romantic gift.

Why It’s Expensive

A heart-cut loose diamond can cost anywhere between $900 and $30,000, though the average specimen costs about $4,5000.

Like all other diamonds, a heart-cut diamond’s value primarily stems from its quality and weight (carat). That said, this cut is one of the least desirable among high-paying buyers due to its connotations.

9. Marquise

Marquise-Cut-Diamond-Sketch

In terms of size, the marquise cut is undeniably one of the slimmest. This highly angled cut features two sharp points (one at each end) and a slightly wider middle, resembling two joined arrowheads or a vertical eye.

The average marquise-cut diamond costs about $6,500, and like the heart cut, it’s not one of the most popular options. This comparative unpopularity likely stems from the fact that marquise-cut diamonds tend to feature a lower average carat (weight) and size, making them less impressive than other cuts.

Why It’s Expensive

The marquise cut is one of the most classic of all still-used diamond cuts, and it often appeals to those looking for an antique-looking diamond jewelry piece.

That said, marquise-cut diamonds aren’t commonly used for engagement rings. And observing which diamond cuts are most popular in engagement rings is an excellent way to judge cut value.

After all, diamonds are the most popular type of gemstone used in engagement rings, so if a cut isn’t appealing to couples, there’s an excellent chance it won’t command the highest prices.

8. Asscher

Asscher-Cut-Diamond-Sketch

The Asscher cut (also called the Art Deco cut) is a square-like cut that features a perfect square center with graduated sides. Though most popular during the first half of the 19th century, this cut remains popular due to its classic elegance and simplicity.

Asscher-cut diamonds typically cost between $400 and $500,000.

Why It’s Expensive

Though the Asscher cut doesn’t sparkle as much as other cuts, it’s an expensive option due to its comparative rarity and historical significance. Besides, Asscher-cut diamonds are iconic and instantly recognizable, making them a popular option for those hoping to make an indelible first impression.

7. Emerald

Emerald-Cut-Diamond-Sketch

The term “emerald-cut diamond” might be a little confusing, as emeralds are an entirely different type of precious stone.

However, the emerald cut is essentially just an octagonal, rectangle-like stone cut often used for costume jewelry. It’s like an elongated version of the square-like Asscher cut.

Large diamonds with imperfections (reduced clarity) often feature this type of cut, a trade-off between transparency and size.

Diamonds featuring this cut can cost as little as $300, but some can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Like other diamonds, clarity and carat impact the final price, often more than cut.

Why It’s Expensive

Emerald-cut diamonds might not be as subtle or refined as other cuts, but this quality makes them ideal for those looking to make a bold statement with their jewelry.

Additionally, the heftier surface area featured via the emerald cut can result in a stone with a higher carat. Gemstones with an unnaturally high carat measurement almost always sell for higher prices than smaller, lower-carat stones.

6. Radiant

Square-Radiant-Cut-Diamond-Sketch

If you’re unfamiliar with gemstone cuts, you could easily confuse radiant-cut diamonds with emerald-cut ones. These cuts are incredibly similar, with both featuring rectangular shapes. The primary differences are edge shape and facets.

While emerald-cut diamonds have angled edges, radiant-cut ones have smooth edges that wrap around the entire stone. Radiant-cut diamonds also feature more facets, allowing them to reflect more light than emerald-cut options.

This greater number of facets allows radiant-cut diamonds to catch and reflect more light, making them sparkle brilliantly. This cut tends to be slightly more popular than the emerald cut, and diamonds featuring a radiant cut can outsell emerald-cut versions.

That said, low-quality radiant-cut diamonds sell for as little as $300, with higher-end options typically selling for about $600,000.

Why It’s Expensive

The primary reason why radiant-cut diamonds outsell similar types is faceting. This cut allows diamonds to reflect more light, creating a more brilliant stone.

5. Pear

Pear-Cut-Diamond-Sketch

What happens when you combine an oval-cut diamond with a marquise-cut diamond? You get a pear-cut stone!

This cut (also called a teardrop-style cut) features a rounded bottom and pointed top, and it’s essentially covered in facets with no flat surfaces. This cut generally results in smaller stones, which can be a drawback for some buyers, but there’s no denying that pear-cut diamonds reflect light beautifully.

A one-carat pear-cut diamond can easily cost upwards of $14,000 due to its highly reflective nature and classic style.

Why It’s Expensive

Reflectivity is the main reason pear-cut diamonds sell for big bucks. Well, that and diamonds (cut or raw) are some of the priciest and rarest materials on the planet, not to mention perpetually in demand.

4. Cushion

Brilliant-Cushion-Cut-Diamond-Sketch

Diamonds are the hardest material on Earth, so cushion-cut diamonds aren’t the comfiest in terms of softness! But this cut gets its name from its rounded square-like shape, which bulges slightly in a cross-like shape toward the sides.

That said, these stones are remarkably reflective, with some cushion-cut diamonds featuring up to 64 facets. This unusually high number of sides and cuts makes cushion-cut diamonds highly reflective, one of the most desirable qualities in diamond cuts.

The average price for a one-carat cushion-cut diamond is about $11,000.

Why It’s Expensive

The cushion-cut diamond is a brilliant alternative to the duller Asscher cut. While it might not draw as much focus as the latter, it sparkles wonderfully under any light, making it a popular choice for all types of jewelry.

3. Oval

Oval-Cut-Diamond-Sketch

People have been cutting and shaping precious stones since the birth of human civilization, and one of the oldest and first cuts ever perfected by early peoples is the oval cut.

That said, the smooth, facet-free faces of ancient oval-cut stones are a far cry from modern versions. The contemporary oval-cut diamond features an oval-shaped flat surface that graduates (via a flurry of faceted cuts) toward a rounded, oval-shaped border or edge.

A one-carat oval-cut diamond costs an average of $12,300, though (as always) clarity, color, and carat are significant influences in terms of price.

Why It’s Expensive

Oval-cut diamonds are a classic choice. Though they’re not the most popular choice for engagement rings, they are a common part of other types of jewelry.

The comparatively high number of facets seen with oval-cut diamonds is also alluring, making the stones more reflective and eye-catching.

2. Princess

Princess-Cut-Diamond-Sketch

The princess cut is a graduated square with a mostly flat face that descends into an angled, almost pyramid-like bottom.

Diamonds featuring this cut are often heavier than those with slimmer cuts (like pearl or oval). Because a princess-cut diamond is often the higher-carat option, it can fetch prices of $1 million or higher, much like round-cut diamonds.

Still, the surface area of a princess-cut diamond is typically slightly less than that of a round-cut one. So, while princess-cut diamonds can sell for top-dollar prices, they tend to be slightly less expensive than their round counterparts.

Why It’s Expensive

The princess cut is considered a modern classic and is often used to create engagement rings. It’s an elegant and subtle alternative to slightly gaudier options like the heart or marquise cuts.

Additionally, high-quality princess-cut diamonds are extraordinarily brilliant, making them highly reflective. Their ability to reflect and refract light partially stems from their multi-faceted design.

However, princess-cut diamonds don’t reflect as much light as round-cut diamonds. Most are about 20% less reflective than round-cut stones. For this reason, they’re not the costliest cut available.

1. Round Brilliant

Round-Brilliant-Cut-Diamond-Sketch

The most expensive diamond cut is round brilliant. A loose round brilliant diamond can cost upwards of $500 million, making it the costliest cut.

Round-cut diamonds are also extremely popular, resulting in a higher demand that generally outpaces supply. As the law of supply and demand states, prices are bound to rise when demand is higher than supply.

Still, what are the other reasons this cut is so much pricier than others?

Why It’s Expensive

A round diamond fits perfectly into most ring settings and is subtle enough for multiple uses. For example, a round brilliant diamond could be the ideal choice for an engagement ring, but it also looks gorgeous when placed on a necklace or bracelet.

Additionally, round-cut diamonds tend to sparkle more brilliantly than diamonds of other cuts due to their multi-faceted faces. The highest-grade round-cut diamonds are particularly valuable thanks to their transparency (clarity).

Because a large percentage of a diamond is wasted when creating this cut, the final price of a round-cut diamond partially stems from the fact that more material is required to create a smaller item.

What Other Factors Influence a Diamond’s Price?

While a diamond’s cut is exceptionally influential when it comes to price, it’s far from the only factor impacting diamond price. In fact, some round-cut diamonds are far more affordable than other cuts due to their weight or clarity.

As such, a precious stone’s cut isn’t the bottom line in determining price. It would help if you also considered the following:

  • Carat
  • Clarity
  • Color

So, suppose you’re searching for the most expensive diamond to transform into a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry (or beef up your collection of physical assets). In that case, you’ll need to consider the four C’s of diamonds: cut, carat, clarity, and color.

Let’s quickly review these factors to help you select the best possible diamonds to suit your needs and preferences.

Carat

When discussing gemstones (including diamonds), the term “carat” is essentially synonymous with weight and size, with larger and heavier stones typically being a higher carat than smaller, lighter ones.

Like the most expensive opals, the priciest diamonds feature a higher-than-average carat measurement. For example, a one-carat diamond is almost always more affordable than a 20-carat one.

That said, a one-carat diamond could end up outpricing heavier ones if it features exceptional clarity and color (or lack thereof).

Clarity

If you’ve ever tried to look through a cracked window or windshield, you likely understand how crucial clarity is. The same concept applies to diamonds.

When a diamond is clear and free of blemishes or inclusions (internal cracks), it tends to shine more brightly. This means that it’s more brilliant, and therefore more desirable, than other diamonds.

Diamonds with the highest level of clarity are called FL (flawless). Those with many inclusions, which give diamonds the appearance of being smashed internally, are often graded with the letter I (for inclusion).

Though it’s challenging to find diamonds with an FL grade, they’re guaranteed to be more expensive than other types, regardless of cut and carat.

Color

When you think of a diamond, you likely think of a glass-like stone that’s perfectly transparent—i.e., colorless.

But diamonds can come in a wide variety of colors, from light pink to smoky yellow. Still, several of the priciest and most valuable diamonds are virtually colorless.

While there are a few exceptions to this rule (as shown by checking out the most expensive crystals), many buyers prefer their diamonds to be as colorless as possible.

You can choose discolored stones with a slightly yellow hue to save a little money when buying diamonds. But if you’re hoping to acquire only the highest-quality stones, it’s crucial to select diamonds that feature a color grading of D (totally colorless).

What’s the Most Expensive Diamond Cut?

The most expensive diamond cut in the world is round brilliant. This cut might be the most wasteful, but it also allows diamonds to shine at their maximum level of brilliance.

Besides, round-cut diamonds fit neatly into ring settings, making them ideal for engagement rings. This cut enjoys a higher demand than others, resulting in a greater overall price, as the supply of high-quality diamonds is limited.

Check out these related articles to learn more about the world’s most expensive natural wonders!

Eric Lyons

Eric is a subject-matter expert on the world's most expensive luxuries and collectibles. He has explored thousands of luxuries and collectibles over the past few years and now brings them to readers around the world.

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