There are four categories for the fancy cut: modified brilliants, step cuts, mixed cuts, and rose cuts. The popularity and choice of a particular cut is influenced by its practicality and fashion. Fancy cuts are not bound to the same strict standards as Tolkowsky's standard for round brilliants.
The modified brilliant is a modified round brilliant cut. This cut offers the brilliance of a round cut while providing unique and personalized shape. Because of modern cutting technology, this cut is popular as it offers numerous shapes. Shapes included in this cut are the heart, marquise, trillian, and navette. Extra caution must be taken with this type of cut. Because of the cuts irregular shape, the diamond is more fragile and can easily chip or fracture.
The step cuts or trap cuts is one of the oldest forms of cuts. It is characterized by a rectangular or square shape. The facets of crown and the pavilion run parallel to the girdle. The step cut preserves more of the raw diamond's weight than that of the round cut. While step cuts lack the fire or flash of round cuts, they retain the diamond’s brilliance and scintillation. This gives the step cut a high luster and a warm glow. One of the most popular cut under the step cut is the emerald cut. Other shapes under the step cuts are the triangle, obus, and kite cuts.
The mixed cut is the combination of the round cuts and step cuts. This cut offers the brilliance of the round cut and preserves the weight retention of the step cut. Mixed cuts were introduced during the 1960s – a new addition to the world of diamond cutting. The most popular mixed cut is the Princess cut.
The rose cut is an older cut. It was developed prior to the use of electric lighting. Its lack of brilliance triggered its decline during the early 20th century. Recently, however, the rose cut is slowly increasing in popularity as the market for older, antique jewelry increases.