A quick guide to Fancy Cut Diamonds – including the new Cadillac Cut Diamond

In this blog we answer a few questions about Fancy Cut diamonds, which are fast becoming a must on engagement ring wish lists.  

I also chatted to our designer-maker Kerry about the design process of making a ring with fancy cut diamonds in her new Tanzanite and Cadillac Diamond ring.

Fancy cut loose diamonds

What is a Fancy Cut Diamond?

A fancy cut diamond, is a diamond which has been cut into any shape other than a Round Brilliant Cut.

Popular fancy cuts include: Oval, Pear, Cushion, Marquise and Heart shape cuts which are modifications of the Round Brilliant Cut, with a multitude of facets underneath which give a glittering fiery brilliance. Emerald Cut and Baguette Cut diamonds, are rectangular cuts with the facets cut in a stepped-style so the ice-like transparency of a diamond is on full show.

More unusual fancy cuts include Asscher Cut, Radiant Cut, Princess Cut, Trilliant Cut, Trapezoid Cut, Half Moon Cut and Cadillac Cut (more on the Cadi cut later).

Fancy Cut loose diamonds

Our Jewellery shops in Brighton, Chichester and Eastbourne all have a fantastic range of diamond jewellery. We specialise in certificated diamond engagement rings – with many designs featuring fabulous fancy cut diamonds.

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What is the rarest cut of Diamond?

While some cuts may be more unusual, or difficult to obtain, they are not necessarily ‘rare’. That is because the cut is the decision about the design of the diamond, led by consumer demand. A rough diamond can be laser sawn into any cut, however in reality the decision of the lapidarist is based on a balance between the shape which suits best the natural formation of the diamond, i.e discarding or disguising inclusions and what the diamond traders think will sell.

Cut is directly governed by fashions and jewellery wearing trends and budgets, however if a certain cut suddenly becomes popular you may find its rarity to obtain increases briefly. Equally lesser-known cuts may not be as widely available so there are less on the market to choose from, so bargain hunting is trickier.

How Many Different Fancy Cuts Are There?

There are hundreds of different cuts, including diamonds cut for one-off commissions, or made to fit into specific designs.

The key to a designing a popular fancy cut is that it has an attractive shape yet still entices you in with supreme sparkle because the facets have been cut to enhance light.  

Unusual fancy cut diamond illustration

Are Fancy Cut Diamonds Expensive?

When factors such as carat, colour and clarity are equal, you usually find that a Fancy Cut is a little less expensive. Without wanting to generalise too much, the most expensive cut of diamond is the Round Brilliant Cut. Fancy Cuts can be more affordable because when they are cut from the rough diamond not as much is discarded as for a round brilliant.

How To Wear A Fancy Cut Diamond?

From solitaire rings to diamond stud earrings, you can always swap a round diamond for a fancy cut, to give your style an instant boost. Some shapes work well on their own in a solitaire engagement ring, such as an emerald cut or marquise cut. Flat edged cuts such as baguette cut and princess cut will sit flush in a diamond eternity ring, giving a superb shimmer. Certain cuts such as half moon, trapezoid and Cadillac cuts are best as a pair, set either side of another gemstone, for example in a Trilogy Ring.

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What To Look For When Choosing A Fancy Diamond?

There are so many variations in the design of fancy cuts, even a variation in the proportions can give a unique look to your ring. The real beauty of a fancy cut diamond, is that you can experiment more with the design of your ring. Combining different shapes of diamond utilises the different ways that light behaves when it hits a diamond creating a dazzling effect.

Fancy cuts make excellent diamonds for unusual engagement rings. Because of the striking shapes, many women choose fancies for their special occasion jewellery. Pairing with coloured gemstones, is where the fun begins, with the blend of colour and shape giving inspiration for some fabulous designs.

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What is a Cadillac Diamond?

The Cadillac Cut Diamond (or Cadi for short) is a shield shaped diamond, with 5 sides, the longest base side has angled sides which symmetrically taper to an apex. It is called a Cadillac cut because of its resemblance to the Cadillac logo.

In Kerry’s Tanzanite & Cadillac Diamond Trilogy Ring, you can see how the pair of Cadi cuts perfectly complement the central gemstone.

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Kerry Newman designer maker at Gold Arts Brighton

Kerry Newman is trained goldsmith and one of our top designers at Gold Arts. She is based in our Brighton workshop, so I asked Kerry how she uses fancy cut diamonds in her designs.

“Selecting the diamonds is a fascinating part of the design process. Modern technologies have helped me as a designer because the precision of diamond laser cutting has given rise to new shapes being developed.   As new shapes come onto the market, they inspire new designs in me.

I often work by creating a sketch, which I then translate into my CAD software. My latest rings stemmed from a pair of beautiful tanzanite which I acquired. They were obviously going to be a centre piece stones, so I could have created a traditional trilogy ring with round brilliant cut diamonds. Instead, I used Trapezoids for one ring as their angular shape matched the Tanzanite emerald cut. The Cadillac diamonds were a new discovery, which I hadn't used before in a design, and I am thrilled with the final ring.”


Whether you are looking for an unusual engagement ring or would like us to design a ring for any other occasion, our team at Gold Arts Brighton, Chichester and Eastbourne would be delighted to help you. Our stores each have a goldsmiths workshop on the premises, who design, make, repair and restore all types of jewellery.

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