The first decision you will need to make will be regarding the cut of the stone. Diamonds come in a variety of cuts (or "shapes") as listed:

1) Round or "Brilliant" cut – 2) Octagon or "Emerald" cut – 3) Pear shape or "Drop" cut – 4) Square or "Princess" cut – 5) "Marquise" cut – 6) Oval.

The shape of the diamond you choose is largely a matter of personal taste. Diamonds are so highly desirable because of their unique natural properties. Once cut diamonds allow light to be reflected and refracted within the stone creating unique 'fire' or 'brilliance'. It is the work of the diamond cutter to maximize the potential of a piece of rough diamond, by cutting it with proportions that give optimum brilliance. If cut too shallow or too deep, the stone will leak light from the back facets and look dull.
For this reason a smaller stone may actually be more beautiful than a lager stone of inferior cut.

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