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ENGAGEMENT RING Diamond Cut Shapes - Guide 2024

Written by Nick Ireland, January 2024

If there’s one thing you should get right about the engagement ring, it’s the diamond shape or cut. 

It determines the ring’s overall look and the diamond’s brilliance. 

Whether your partner wants a big and sparkly ring or one more understated, you can achieve the desired style by choosing the correct cut. 

Here’s an in-depth guide to diamond shapes to help you out.

Round cut example

Round Cut

Round diamonds have unrivalled popularity among brides, and for good reason.

The characteristics of this cut maximize the brightness of the diamond. 

That means it sparkles more on the finger than fancy shapes. Almost all round diamonds are brilliant-cut, boasting 57 or 58 facets. 

While round diamonds get a lot of love, production is low. 

There’s plenty of waste when cutting a round diamond from a rough stone. That’s why they cost more per carat than other cuts. But the heftier price tag is worth it for the impressive light performance. 

The best colour for a round diamond is entirely up to you. Some prefer G to H diamonds with a warmer hue, while others like the coolness of D to F diamonds. 

Clarity is also subjective. Some don’t mind inclusions as long as they’re invisible to the naked eye. 

Fortunately, round diamonds do a fantastic job of masking imperfections.

Oval cut example

Oval Cut

Oval diamonds share many qualities with their round cousins. 

Like brilliant-cut diamonds, they possess a mesmerizing radiance that can make any bride swoon. 

However, oval cut diamonds have a couple of advantages. 

Rocking one on your finger will make you more unique, as fewer people wear them. It also elongates and slims the fingers, an effect that many desire.

One thing to be wary of with oval diamonds is the unwanted bow-tie effect. It’s that dark area that cuts across the middle of the stone. Depending on the diamond, it can be severe or nearly invisible. 

Oval diamonds can vary in width depending on personal preference. 

A narrower silhouette might be more suitable if you want to place smaller stones on either side of the diamond. 

Princess cut example

Princess Cut

Want to feel like royalty? 

The princess cut is the most popular among the fancy cuts, loved for its classic and regal look. 

The brilliant-cut princess comes close to the round cut’s sparkle at a lower cost. 

They’re cheaper per carat because there’s less waste in the cutting process. 

Another perk of the princess cut is the illusion of a bigger diamond, thanks to its square shape.

While the princess cut traditionally means a square diamond, it’s not uncommon to see it in a slightly rectangular form. 

Many opt for this nearly invisible imperfection because it brings the price down. 

You can always add smaller stones to make the sides look more balanced. 

Cushion cut example

Cushion Cut

The cushion cut is like the princess cut but with a softer look. 

Thanks to its rounded edges, it resembles a fluffy pillow, hence the name. It’s a classic cut that has been around for ages and was the go-to shape for a hundred years after its invention.

While the cushion cut isn’t as brilliant as round diamonds, it has a more impressive fire that catches the eye. 

Fire refers to the colourful light flashes that diamonds produce under light.

The classic cushion cut is square, but you’ll often see it with a slightly rectangular silhouette today. 

Emerald cut example

Emerald Cut

Not into the sparkly look? 

The emerald cut might be more suited to your taste. Instead of the brilliance of a round diamond, it has a hall-of-mirrors effect that exudes elegance. 

This cut has long linear facets that give off dramatic light flashes, making heads turn. 

This design was initially made for emeralds but it proved beautiful on diamonds, too.

The emerald cut is usually narrow and rectangular, but you can have it in a square shape, too. 

Colour tends to be more noticeable with emerald-cut diamonds because of their open facets. 

That’s especially true if they’re more than 1.5 carats. Choose the colour of your diamond wisely so you have no regrets. 

Marquise cut example

Marquise Cut

There are more reasons to choose the marquise cut aside from its unique football shape. 

Wearing this long, narrow diamond on your finger makes it look like you’re rocking a larger stone. 

Because of its impressive crown surface area, the marquise cut can maximize the size of the diamond well. 

And like the oval cut, marquise diamonds give the fingers a more slender and elegant look.

Symmetry is the most crucial factor when choosing a marquise diamond. Even the slightest imperfection can result in an awkward final setting. You must also be careful of the bow-tie effect.

Pear cut example

Pear Cut

What happens when you combine the round cut with the marquise cut? 

You get the beautiful pear cut! Its tapered end gives it a unique look, and its brilliance can attract anyone’s attention. 

It also lends a slimmer appearance to your fingers, which is a welcome bonus. 

It’s important to note, though, that there’s no right way to wear a ring with a pear-cut diamond. 

Like the marquise cut, symmetry is essential to the beauty of a pear-cut diamond. 

Also, the top should be a smooth semi-circle without looking too narrow or broad.