Diamond Education – What is Length to Width Ratio?

There are two diamond cuts that I find the length to width ratio to be a common topic of conversation– cushion and radiant cut diamonds. Unlike a square princess or rectangular emerald cut, where one already expects a certain shape, cushion and radiant diamonds can be cut to be either square or rectangular. Their natural shape is less rigid, allowing a larger room for variations in length to width ratio. Generally speaking, cushion and radiant cut diamonds are more likely to be cut square because of the shape of the rough selected for fancy shape diamonds. The diamond market does, however, have an appreciation for elongated cushion and radiant cuts, and many people feel a strong preference towards one or the other. One of the first questions I ask a client when considering a cushion or radiant cut diamond is if they like it square or more rectangular. Cushion and radiant diamonds have more acceptable measurements in their length to width ratio so it is important to disclose this to the client.

Generally speaking, elongated shapes appear larger to the eye than square cut stones of the same carat weight. So emerald, pear, and oval cut diamonds will suggest a larger appearance than a princess, cushion or radiant cut of the same weight. Every diamond has the potential to be cut with a length to width ratio that enhances its shape and size. So when looking to purchase a diamond, it is important to convey what kind of shape you want. When you see a stone that measures very long, it is most likely narrower in width. Conversely, when the length and width measure very closely, you can assume it will be more of a square or rounded shape (depending on the kind of cut). Since it can be very overwhelming comparing and contrasting measurements of stones, it is important to seek help from a gemologist who will be able recommend an appropriate length to width ratio for what you are looking for.

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