The diamond cut you choose for your engagement ring is extremely important, because it influences both the style of your ring, as well as the radiance of your diamond. Here we take a look at the different diamond cuts and shapes, their benefits, and the types of hands that they suit, so you can choose the best diamond for your ring.
What does ‘diamond cut’ mean?
The term ‘diamond cut’ actually refers to 2 aspects of a diamond. Firstly, it relates to cut quality – in other words, how beautifully the diamond is carved and how sparkling it looks. Secondly, it refers to the diamond’s shape – specifically, whether your diamond is round, rectangular, oval and so on.
What cut quality should I look for in a diamond?
As explained above, cut quality determines how well your diamond plays with light, or ‘sparkles’. Diamond cuts are graded from poor to excellent. As a rule of thumb, you should look for a minimum of a ‘good’ cut.
What diamond shape should I look for?
Different diamond shapes have different characteristics, and some sparkle more than others. Some can also suit different hand shapes better. Below we list the 7 most popular diamond shapes, and the pros and cons of each one.
The pros and cons of different diamond shapes
1. Round cut
This is the sparkliest of all diamond shapes. Available in many sizes, the round diamond suits all hand sizes and shapes, because it always looks proportionate and does not overpower the finger. It is the most popular dimaond cut. In fact, over 75% of diamond engagement rings that you see in shops feature round cut diamonds.
This is despite the fact that round diamonds are slightly more expensive than other diamond shapes. Why? When a diamond is mined, it comes out of the ground as a rough stone, but most of it is lost when the diamond is carved into a faceted gem. In the case of round diamonds, much of the rough stone has to be discarded to achieve a circular shape. Hence, round diamonds are valued more highly.
2. Princess cut
First introduced in the 1970’s, the princess cut diamond has a square shape. Just like the round cut, it has a large number of facets and therefore offers exceptional sparkle. It’s a modern, minimalist alternative to the round cut. The square shape easily disguises inclusions, meaning it looks beautiful in all carat sizes. Its geometry tends to appeal to those who like contemporary jewellery, but it actually looks good on all kinds of hands.
3. Emerald cut
This rectangular cut gives off sustained flashes of light, rather than the classic type of sparkle offered by round diamonds. It has large facets, notably creating a ‘box of mirrors’ effect when you peer inside the stone. The emerald cut is a vintage cut but has become more popular in recent times. Apart from looking extremely beautiful, this diamond shape has a slimming and elongating effect on the fingers.
4. Marquise cut
The marquise cut is a tapered cut. If you’re looking for a sophisticated vintage diamond shape to slim and elongate the finger – and one that stands out from the crowd – then the marquise diamond is perfect for you. Dating back to the 18th century, the name marquise is derived from the title that was above a count; courtiers used to wear marquise cut diamonds as a symbol of their rank. One of the benefits of marquise cut diamonds is that the large, long surface area makes the diamond look bigger than it actually is.
5. Oval cut
Much like the round cut, oval cut diamonds offer outstanding brilliance and fire. Although a little less traditional than the round cut, oval cut diamonds look good on all hand shapes. Those who are looking for the incredible sparkle and classic elegance of round diamonds, but want something a little out of the ordinary, should buy the oval cut. Same as the marquise cut, it also gives the illusion of being larger than it actually is due to its elongated shape.
6. Pear shaped
Resembling a teardrop, the pear shaped diamond was created to offer maximum brilliance and fire. Pear shaped diamonds date back many centuries; they were first invented in the Middle Ages around 1475. Whilst pear shaped diamonds suit most hand types, they are particularly great for those who love antique ring styles. Pear shaped diamonds also favour those with short, wide fingers, as they appear to elongate the hand.
7. Cushion cut
The cushion cut is a square cut with rounded corners. Before the round cut came along, in the beginning of the 20th century, the cushion cut used to be the most sought-after diamond style. Combining a vintage feel with modern brilliance, the cushion cut really grabs the eye thanks to its substantial sparkle and inner fire. This cut is suited to people who like lavish vintage looks. In bigger carat weights, it is very flattering on wide fingers.
In conclusion – What diamond cut is best for my engagement ring?
Ultimately, all cuts are unique and beautiful in their own way and your final decision is down to personal preference. If unsure, however, we would always advise you to go for a classic round cut diamond ring with a minimum cut quality of ‘good’ – it’s the most timeless style. The round diamond is the most popular diamond shape, ever, thanks to its superior brilliance and versatility, and therefore will always be well-received.
Looking for more engagement ring advice? Feel free to get in touch, and one of our experts will be happy to chat to you. And if you’re looking for more ring inspiration, take a look at our selection of engagement rings, and find the perfect piece for you.