Which Diamond Cut Is Least Expensive?

Diamonds are a beautiful but expensive addition to your jewelry wardrobe. Many people want to get the best value for their money when shopping for a diamond, whether it’s a ring, a necklace, or a pair of earrings. If you are in the market for a diamond and need to stick to a budget, this article should help you pick out a diamond that meets your financial needs. We've researched and compiled all you need to know about diamond cuts.

The least expensive diamond cuts are as follows:

  • Asscher
  • Emerald
  • Cushion/Pillow
  • Radiant
  • Princess
  • Oval
  • Marquise
  • Pear

Want to know more about these diamond cuts? You're in the right place. We'll provide you with a comprehensive guide for diamond cuts, their associated costs, their value, and more. So be sure to keep reading.

A woman holding an expensive diamond ring, Which Diamond Cut Is Least Expensive?

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A Bit About Diamonds – Color, Clarity, Cut & Carats

Fine jewelry diamonds are rated according to a system called the 4Cs: Color, Clarity, Cut & Carats. Color refers to how white or colorless the diamond is – more colorless diamonds have a higher value. Clarity refers to how transparent and free of blemishes (called “inclusions”) the diamond is. Diamonds that are clearer and less included have a higher value.

Cut refers to the shape and facets the finished diamond has – some cuts show the brilliance and sparkle of the diamond better than others, so they may cost more. Carats refers to the weight of the diamond; bigger, heavier diamonds will have a higher price tag.

A detailed view of precision cut diamonds for jewelry

Less Expensive Diamond Cut Options

Any diamond cut other than round is classified as a “fancy” cut. But don’t let that word fool you – “fancy” doesn’t always mean “highest value.” Fancy cut diamonds typically don’t produce the same amount of sparkle and brilliance as a round cut diamond, therefore reducing their price tag somewhat. But that doesn’t mean fancy cut diamonds are less beautiful – it’s all about personal tastes and preferences!

Below, we have rounded up the least expensive diamond cuts, from least to most expensive.


The asscher cut is a square diamond shape that has stepped sides, much like the emerald cut. The asscher diamond cut is one of the least expensive diamond cuts available due to the low demand, smaller face-up size, and the fact that it uses more of the rough diamond to produce the final stone.

Click here to see this 1-carat asscher-cut diamond ring on Amazon.


The emerald diamond cut is very similar to the asscher cut except that it is a rectangle shape instead of a square. The emerald cut is less precise and is not the best for hiding blemishes, and does not have as high of a demand, therefore reducing the cost.


The cushion or pillow cut is one of the oldest fancy diamond cuts and is known for showing lots of fire and flash. The cushion cut is a square shape with rounded corners. It is thick in the middle, creating a cushion shape. Cushion cut diamonds are only slightly smaller than round brilliant cut at the same weight, making them attractive to those who want a higher carat diamond while keeping the price down.

Click here to see this 1-carat cushion-cut diamond ring on Amazon.


Radiant cut diamonds are available in either a rectangle or square shape and will have cut-off corners. The radiant cut is one of the most brilliant diamond cuts and therefore is popular with those who want maximum sparkle but a minimal price tag.


The princess cut is a square diamond shape with pointed corners, as opposed to the trimmed corners of the radiant cut. The princess is also one of the more brilliant diamond cuts and retains a large face-up area, but its sharp corners make it prone to snagging and chipping.


The oval diamond cut retains much of the brilliance of the round cut, but the oval shape creates a larger face-up size and can have a slimming effect on the hand if worn in a ring. Oval cuts are great at hiding inclusions, so you may be able to find an oval diamond that is a lower clarity but still retains brilliance and flash!


The marquise cut has the largest face-up size of all diamond shapes, and its football shape adds the illusion of length to the hand and fingers it is worn on. However, the pointed corners of the Marquise shape tend to snag and chip, so it is best in a protective setting.

Click here to see this marquise-cut diamond ring on Amazon.


The pear diamond cut is a teardrop shape and is one of the less popular shapes for diamonds. In addition, it is one of the more difficult cuts to create and the pointed tip is prone to breaking. These qualities drive the value down a bit, though pear-shaped diamonds are one of the most brilliant cuts besides the round cut.

What is the best cut for a yellow diamond?

A gem cutter holding a lemon gem stone using pinchers

Yellow diamonds are no less beautiful than colorless diamonds, and depending on the color intensity, can have a similar value. However, yellow diamonds do not have the same light-reflecting qualities as colorless ones, so the round cut isn’t the best for yellow diamonds.

Retaining the vibrancy of color is more important with colored diamonds. The best cuts for this are the radiant or the cushion cut. These cuts are more square-shaped which maximizes the depth of the color in the diamond.

Click here to see this yellow diamond ring on Amazon.

Which diamond cut holds its value?

The round brilliant cut tends to hold its value the best because of the light reflecting qualities of the type of cut. Round cut diamonds, when cut correctly, will sparkle and reflect the light and will retain those qualities forever. This helps them hold their value over time. Other diamond cuts do not have the same brilliance and sparkle as the round brilliant and are less expensive both initially and over time.

An up close and detailed view of a diamond on a black background

How do you tell if a diamond is cut well?

There are five accepted grades for diamond cuts: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor. Diamonds with an “Excellent” cut grade are the most expensive, while “Poor” graded diamonds will be the least expensive. Diamonds with a better cut will reflect more light, producing more brilliance and flash. The diamond is essentially a prism and will refract and bounce the light, sparkling with a rainbow of colors.

When shopping for a diamond, you will want to inspect your options for the best cut. Diamonds are best viewed under lots of light. Turn the diamond in different directions to see how it catches the light. Better quality diamonds will show more flash, brilliance, and sparkle. Try to view the diamond in natural and artificial light to get the best visual representation of the diamond’s qualities.

Looking for diamond necklaces? Check out our article, How Much Does A Diamond Necklace Cost?

Which diamond cut sparkles the most?

The most brilliant diamond cut is the round brilliant. The round brilliant diamond cut is scientifically engineered and proven to produce the maximum brilliance, fire, flash, and sparkle. If the raw gemstone is of top quality and if the cut is done correctly, the gem will catch the light and bounce it off the facets inside the gem, which then reflects back out of the gem, creating maximum brilliance.

Diamond spread on a white background

Round brilliant-cut diamonds are very popular. Their high quality and demand come with a higher price tag.

Want to learn more about diamond rings? Check out our article, Do Diamond Rings Have Serial Numbers?

In Closing

So, if you are looking to buy a diamond but you don’t want to break the bank, you don’t have to sacrifice the beauty and aesthetics of your stone and your final jewelry piece. There are plenty of diamond options available to suit your style needs. Good luck in your search!

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