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The Top 3 Most Favourite Diamond Shapes of Filipino Collectors Around Metro Manila

Over the past year, Gemcamp's local gemologists have been conducting a trade survey all across the different areas of Metro Manila. We wanted to find out about the diamond preferences of Filipinos today. Of course, differences in age obviously diversified the main results of this survey, but we were indeed able to figure out some interesting bits of information.

In our first ever community-driven survey, we set out to ask over 100 high-end jewelry buyers which popular diamond shapes and cutting styles they preferred the most. 

Even if the laboratory doesn't buy or sell diamonds or gemstones, some of us thought to share this knowledge with the Philippine jewelry-buying public. It might be of advisory use, or possibly just a good read to pass the time while you're waiting for an appointment or event to start.

In any case, we'll begin first with this article, talking briefly about how Filipinos decide on the shape they prefer the most for their diamonds and diamond jewelry sets. We do suppose that it's no surprise, across every age range the unanimous preference was for the standard round-brilliant cut. With a total of 57-58 facets, the round brilliant cut is the currently the world's most popular cutting style for all high-end precious gemstones.

We were more curious about the other shapes to be honest, as all of us already expected the RB cut to take the top spot. About 34% of the people we asked preferred a different shape however. This list talks a bit more on these other shapes and why Filipinos tend to prefer them over most other cuts.

 The Oval Shaped Cut in a Full Brilliant Faceting Style

Oval cuts are inherently the most similarly shaped cuts to the round-brilliant style. Their curved, yet over-arching forms showcase an air of minimalist classicism, finding a balanced placement between the familiarity of round cuts and the elegance of 'emerald cuts'. Most of our surveyed population chose this shape as their favorite cut after the round brilliant, stating that it simply looks like a much larger (and much more imposing) version of the latter. Oval brilliant cuts are widely popular for use in rings as solitaire or center stones. They are also a good choice for earrings, pendants and even cufflinks, due to their tantalizing symmetry and broad lengths.

The Rectangular Shaped "Emerald" Step-Cut Style

Next on the list, we have the 'emerald cut'. For those of you who are not familiar with this cutting style, the emerald cut is a rectangular-shaped cut with bevelled corners. It was so named this way because many of the raw emerald crystals unearthed from Colombia in the 1900's were very elongated in one dimension, therefore gem cutters always cut the rough stones into long rectangular shapes in order to save the most weight. This cut also requires all of the gem's facets to possess four sides or edges. We call this faceting preference, a step cut. Step cuts have rectangular, trapezoidal or square facets, as opposed to brilliant cuts, which have triangular and kite shaped facets.

Emerald cuts create the most regal appearance for your diamond, according to the opinions of many here in the country. Their specific faceting style however can also be a double-edged sword. The orientation creates the opportunity to make the stone appear more brightly transparent, making this cut the best choice for very high-clarity diamonds. On the other side of the range, low-clarity stones may find that their inclusions would look more obvious and significant when fashioned as emerald cuts.

The Two Square Shaped Cuts, "Princess" and "Asscher"

For our third most favourite fancy cut, we have a tie between two square shaped variants, each one faceted differently in either the step-cut or brilliant-cut polishing styles.

Both the "princess" and "asscher" cuts (as they have been coined by the trade) are some of the most popularly used styles for diamonds today. One boasts an unparalleled sharpness when it comes to light reflection, with a crisp allure that stems from miniature pinpoint flashes of spectral color and scintillation. This arises from the multitudes of thinly-partitioned facets placed on its gleaming, elegant surface. The other in turn, promotes a strictness of clarity and pristine transparency, just like the "emerald cut", but while also showcasing a geometric grandeur that can only come from the minimalistic appeal of symmetrically angled forms.

A lot of proprietary cuts and fancy shapes exist out there in the market today, and some of which don't seem to be doing as well in terms of demand. For many Filipinos and Chinese-Filipino families, the pear-shaped or droplet shaped brilliant cut can sometimes give the impression of a lastings sadness, due to its outline resembling the visage of a teardrop. Little superstitions like this seem to play a bigger factor than some of us realize, as they can govern the buying-trends of not only small family clans, but entire societies as well.

Heart-shaped diamonds, while popular among the younger millennial population for their jovial and intimate appearance, is not as thoroughly appreciated today by the older generations. These shapes are seen as romantically thematic, and not everyone decides to buy an expensive diamond to give as a present to their lover. Diamonds that are to be given as gifts for great aunts, sisters or even those that are bought for basic self-satisfaction, rarely come in the form of hearts. Investment diamonds also don't regularly come in heart-shapes, as people would normally prefer faster moving shapes on the market, like rounds and ovals.

As we continue to document our findings, we do hope that these small tidbits of information can become helpful for those currently shopping the local jewelry trade here in Metro Manila. Some specific shapes are great for investment purposes, others might be ideal for fancy and elegant party-wear, and some are best suited for special themed occasions like Valentines' day surprises or romantic gestures.

Next up we'll publish results from our second and third surveys about color and carat-size preferences in the nation's most bustling city.

Image Credit: Graff Diamonds and Respective Photographers
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