The Revival of Fancy Cut Natural Diamonds

The Fancy Family – alternative diamond cuts explained

By |

Founder of The Jewellery Penthouse


Could it be sheer coincidence that Marylin Monroe’s famous, “square-cut or pear-shaped, these rocks don’t lose their shape,” in Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend paid homage to the more angular and elongated counterparts of the standard round diamond? Perhaps, Norma Jean foreshadowed an all-consuming trend that was to reveal itself in decades to come. Alternatively, could the “fancy” preceding the word diamond encompass a metaphor for the diamond cuts at the epicenter of the world’s most notorious love stories? Contrary to what may appear to convey a superfluous decadence to a gemstone, the aptly-named “fancy” cut prefacing a natural diamond, simply describes the shape of a gemstone that departs from the traditional round brilliant cut.

Although the allure of fancy cuts has long captivated the attention of jewellery aficionados and novices alike, their prevalence was reignited by bridal jewellery trends, specifically engagement rings. For instance, Kourtney Kardashian’s minimalist oval cut ring, Princess Iman of Jordan’s east-west set emerald cut solitaire and Priyanka Chopra Jonas’ statement cushion cut wedding ring. Quickly trickling down into the greater realms of fine and high jewellery, fancy cuts form an integral constituent of an unspoken dress code dictating every red carpet and award season – a must-have (or must-borrow in most cases). Notable sightings include Priyanka Chopra Jonas’ recent showcasing of Bulgari’s Aeterna High Jewellery Necklace – a startling rare selection of seven pear cut diamonds at a total of 140 carats, each exhibiting a D Flawless clarity at the 2023 Met Gala, Mona Kattan’s mixed fancy cut collier by Sartoro Jewelry at the 2024 Vogue Ball of Arabia and Eva Longoria’s show-stopping floating pear cut necklace by Bucherer Fine Jewellery at the 2024 Academy Awards.

Moreover, the soaring popularity of fancy cut diamonds coincides with wearers favouring jewellery as a means of storytelling and expressing their individuality – the perfect excuse to reach for peculiar shaped diamonds reflecting one’s distinctiveness.

Heart Cut Diamonds – Jewellery’s Dark Horse

Echoing the fluid lines of the vessel of affection, the heart cut, has indisputably narrated a number of the greatest (literal and fictional) love stories, thereby popularising the opulent shape. The Taj Mahal Diamond, the ultimate symbol of love, is a heart cut diamond dating between 1627-1628, according to Christies. Allegedly, the piece was commissioned as a tangible symbol of Shah Jahan’s love for his wife, Queen Nur Jahan, whose name is etched in Persian on its exterior.

The cinematic portrayal of the ill-fated Titanic would, too, aid in the craze over fancy cuts to a contemporary audience. “The Heart of the Ocean,” the necklace with a heart-fashioned gemstone as its focal point, would first transform Caledon Hockley’s (Billy Zane) nonchalance into an expression of devotion to his fiancé Rose DeWitt-Bukater (Kate Winslet), and would subsequently be used to vilify Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), her lover, for theft. Was the heart-shaped necklace an integral, albeit uncredited, force in the story’s plot? Possibly.

Today, the heart cut natural diamond resurfaces once more as the protagonist of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant’s fairy-tale-like pre-nuptial festivities, reinstating the fascination with the silhouette. Radiating in aesthetic, graduating in size and alternating in colour, Radhika’s heart shaped diamond collier and earring suite were the visual crescendo to her custom Versace dress (inspired by Blake Lively’s 2023 Met Gala gown).

Sophie Bille Brahe

Radhika Merchant | Instagram @rohanshrestha

Stone Fine Jewellery

The Taj Mahal Diamond | Instagram @davincicode7

Dhamani 1969

Pear Cut Diamonds – The Midas Touch to a Jewellery Piece

The image of a glistening pear cut diamond is conjured up, when the term “fancy cut” appears in discourse as the poster child of alternative diamond shapes – and with good reason. The teardrop resembling diamond has been at the heart of one of Hollywood’s most prominent (and tumultuous) love stories – the Taylor-Burton Diamond. Audience’s captivation with the pear cut was propelled, if not by its sheer size, then by the lady whom it had been gifted to, Elizabeth Taylor. The not-so-modest 69.42 carat, E-F clarity diamond was first discovered by Harry Winston. Still, pear cuts are steadfastly wed (pun intended) to the bridal jewellery category, upholding the fascination with their extended shape, as demonstrated by Princess Rajwa Al Hussein’s bespoke Harry Winston solitaire ring, boasting a phenomenal central pear cut hugged by two matching accent diamonds.

Arguably, two of pear cuts’ most contemporary ground-breaking instances were during Emily Ratajkowski’s debut of her then “Toi-et-Moi” engagement ring and now two exceptionally opulent “divorce rings,” a pear cut and square cut dyad. In the case of the newly designed pear cut ring, a slight tilt, the absence of accent stones and a perching placement on the pinky, garnered over a million double-screen-taps of admiration for her symbol of “personal evolution,” according to her exclusive interview with Vogue.


Elizabeth Taylor at the Academy Awards | Getty Images

ARAYA Fine Jewelry

Bulgari’s Aeterna High Jewellery Necklace | Instagram @priyankachopra

VAK Jewels

Divorce Rings | Instagram @emrata

Marquise Cut Diamonds – An Icon in the Making

Jewellery’s understudy, the marquise shaped diamond, is best known for its ability to complement and enhance the appearance of a central stone. At present, however, the oblong shaped diamond enters its protagonist era as an unprecedented demand for the cut soars. The peculiar shape of the navette (little boat in French), reminiscent of a diamond, bears all the hallmarks, literally and figuratively, of a lover’s tale. According to popular belief, a smitten King Louis XV of France commissioned a novel diamond cut by his master jeweller to be evocative of his lover’s lips, Madame de Pompadour, Jeanne Antoinette Poisson.

Fast forward from the French Courts in the 18th Century to the present-day, interest in marquise natural diamonds was reignited by the advent of “Posh and Becks’’’ engagement. The first of Victoria Beckham’s, now infamous, fifteen engagement ring collection (and counting), was a marquise cut solitaire ring in 1998. The iconic Boodles design boasted a 3 carat marquise shaped diamond, a simple band and a barely there setting – arguably the most understated ring in her collection.

More recently, however, marquise cut diamonds’ charm were further perpetuated by Dua Lipa during this year’s Met Gala themed “The Garden of Time,” where she revealed a Tiffany & Co. High Jewellery necklace featuring a central marquise diamond worth over 8 carats. Romee Strijd, too, cast the cut’s appeal in the limelight with her quadruple tiered diamond necklace by Messika during Cannes Film Festival’s 77th edition this year, as part of the brand’s Desert Bloom Collection.

Tiffany & Co. High Jewellery necklace | Dua Lipa – Getty Images


Victoria Adams (Posh Spice) and David Beckham announce engagement, 1998 | Getty Images

Sajjante Jewels

Kamyen Jewellery