Jewelry Trends

Most Expensive Diamond Cut

Rachel Akmakjian


Rachel Akmakjian

We all know diamonds are expensive. But all the different shapes and styles can also be overwhelming. There are so many different types of diamond cuts and each has its unique qualities and price points. By and large, the single most expensive diamond cut is the round brilliant cut diamond. Today we’ll explain why that’s true and we’ll give you our expert opinion on the top 4 less expensive diamond cuts that should be on your radar.


What You Will Learn

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What is the most expensive cut of diamond?

The most expensive diamond shape is by far, the round brilliant cut diamond. This cut has 58 facets to reflect the maximum amount of light, making it the most sparkly and brilliant of all the diamond cuts. The round cut diamond requires a lot of skill and precision to cut correctly, which adds to its high cost. Making one also requires cutting away a large amount of rough diamond waste, more than any other diamond cut. So it’s also not cost-effective in that sense. As if that weren’t enough, round brilliant cut diamonds are also the most in-demand, driving up the price even further.

The round brilliant cut diamond is beautiful. Its round shape will never go out of style and its brilliance will stand out in any setting. But there are so many other diamond shapes that rival its beauty and cost considerably less. 

We’ve rounded up the top 4 you need to consider.

Top 4 cheaper alternatives to the most expensive diamond cut

1. The pear shaped diamond

One of the most popular alternative diamond cuts to the round diamond is the pear shaped diamond. This cut is shaped like a teardrop, with a rounded end and a pointed end. The pear cut diamond is a hybrid of the round brilliant cut and the marquise cut and has a similar sparkle and brilliance to the round cut. However, the pear cut is less expensive than the round cut because it retains more of the rough diamond during the cutting process. Less waste = a lower price tag.


The pear cut diamond is an excellent choice for eye-catching diamond engagement rings at lower price points.  It is also a versatile cut that looks stunning in a variety of settings, from a solitaire engagement ring to a halo setting.

Is a pear cut diamond best for my engagement ring?
Exploring Types of Diamond Settings for Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands

2. Emerald cut diamonds

Another gorgeous alternative to the round cut diamond is the emerald cut diamond. This cut has a rectangular or square shape with truncated corners. It’s a step cut, not a brilliant cut diamond – so it doesn’t have the sparkly facets of the round cut. Instead, it has a deep, hall-of-mirrors look and sparkles in firey flashes.  Step cuts like the emerald showcase the diamond’s clarity and natural beauty, rather than their sparkle. The emerald cut diamond has a classic and elegant look, reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour.

The emerald cut diamond is typically less expensive than the round cut diamond because it is less labor-intensive to cut. However, because it is a step cut rather than a brilliant cut, it is less sparkly than the round cut. If you value elegance and sophistication over sparkle, then the emerald cut is perfect.

Are emerald cut diamonds best for my engagement ring?

3. The cushion cut diamond

Want a diamond cut that combines the brilliance of the round cut with the elegance of the emerald cut?  Look no further than the cushion cut diamond. This cut has a square or rectangular shape with rounded corners and larger facets, giving it a soft and romantic look. The cushion cut diamond has a vintage feel that is perfect for someone who loves antique or vintage-style engagement rings.

The cushion cut diamond has a lot of sparkle and brilliance, but it is typically less expensive than the round cut diamond. It’s also a great choice for someone who wants a diamond with a unique and romantic look.

4. Marquise cut diamonds

The marquise cut diamond is another great alternative to round cut diamonds. This cut has an elongated shape with pointed ends, like an eye or football shape. Like the round cut, it’s made with facets designed to reflect light and sparkle. The marquise is loved for being especially versatile. In some settings, it can look sleek and modern, but in others, it exudes a classic, vintage feel. 


A marquise-shaped diamond also saves you money because it maximizes the diamond’s carat weight. Its elongated shape brings more of the diamond to the top, making it appear larger than it is. If you’d like a diamond that looks a lot bigger (and more expensive) than it is, then the marquise cut is right for you.

Less expensive doesn’t have to mean less beauty. Check out our top picks in these alternative cuts:


All diamonds all over this 14K white gold band with a beautiful pear center

Pick your perfect version at Rare Carat 


Add a little yellow gold for a simple but unique emerald style

Get it today at Jean Dousset 


Sparkle all over with this elegant cushion cut ring

Find it at Dana Rebecca Designs 


All over marquise cuts with this beautiful twisted band and center stone

Check it out at Rare Carat 

Most expensive diamond cut FAQs

Which cut of diamond is the LEAST expensive? Fancy shaped diamonds, which include all the diamond shapes that aren’t round brilliant cuts, will cost less overall. We think the marquise, cushion, emerald, and pear have the most to offer for the best price tags. 

What is the most difficult diamond cut? The round brilliant cut is known for being the most difficult. The precision required plus the high amount of rough diamond that must be cut away takes a lot of skill. Some fancy shaped diamonds like the heart are known to be quite difficult as well. 

Which is the sparkliest diamond cut? Once again, the round brilliant cut reigns supreme in the sparkly category. Other, less expensive, brilliant cuts include oval, pear, marquise, and heart-shaped diamonds. Cushion cuts and radiant cuts are known for their sparkle too. 

Which diamond cut holds its value? Being ever-popular and in demand, round diamonds are a solid bet for holding on to their value. Nearly all diamonds lose their value over time though, especially with the rise of lab diamonds and other diamond alternatives. Ultimately, you should pick the cut you love and try to get the best price for it today. 

What types of diamond cuts are best for my engagement ring?
How Are Diamonds Cut? | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance

Where to Get Jewelry Insurance

Insurance for diamonds is a must. You can’t rely on a homeowners or renters policy for proper coverage. Now there’s finally an affordable and easy way to get comprehensive jewelry insurance from BriteCo.

BriteCo offers affordable specialty jewelry insurance that covers up to 125% of your ring’s appraised value. Our policy covers loss, theft, damage, and mysterious disappearance. 

Get an instant free quote for an affordable monthly or annual payment. Then all you have to do is upload the required documentation and you’ll be covered in minutes.

Also Check:

Unveiling the Brilliance of the Trilliant Cut Diamond
Square Emerald Cut Diamond | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance
The Edgy Elegance of the Shield Cut Diamond
Transitional Cut Diamond | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance


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Rachel's expertise is further enhanced by her distinction as a Graduate Gemologist from the prestigious Gemological Institute of America (GIA), equipping her with exceptional knowledge in gem identification and grading. Her education and experiences have given her an in-depth understanding of the demands and expectations facing jewelers and customers in today’s evolving retail marketplace.