Diamonds are cut in a variety of shapes. But how does a diamond cutter decide what shape to create? Well, a diamond cutter's number one responsibility is to preserve and maximize carat weight. And since rough diamonds can come in unpredictable shapes and sizes, the diamond cutter will create whichever shape maximizes carat weight and value.
Interestingly enough, round cut diamonds actually result in the most wastage of rough diamond carat. The other fancy shapes are deeper and tend to have longer, less uniform shaping so they capture more of the rough diamond. Diamond value is often determined in part by the amount of wastage in the rough diamond when cutting a particular diamond shape. Shapes that can preserve more of the rough diamond can be less expensive. Popularity and availability are the other factors that determine the price of the diamond.
While diamonds can be cut in any shape, these are the most popular diamond shapes: round, princess, cushion, emerald, oval, pear, asscher, marquise, radiant and heart. The heart shape is unconventional. Exotic shapes include Baguettes, Bullets, Half Moons, Trillion, Old Mine and Rose. While new diamond shapes are being invented, there are classics that have stood the test of time. They have endured for their beauty, and ability to showcase the sparkle of the diamond.
The diamond's shape is technically the most important factor affecting the diamond's price for a few critical reasons. First, the shape is the most visual aspect of the diamond. More popular shapes tend to have a premium because they're more desired and less popular shapes, a discount. Second, a diamond manufacturer must try and preserve as much diamond rough as possible. Shapes with the most rough carat wastage tend to be most expensive. Diamonds with greater carat weight in their depth tend to be less expensive because they also look smaller and depper than other shapes.
When it comes to the 4Cs of diamonds(Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat) some affect the price of finished loose diamonds more than others. While everyone tends to focus on the carat, it's actually diamond cut that's the single biggest factor in the price tag. Knowing how the cut changes the price can save you a lot of money on your engagement ring, or help you determine which of the 4Cs to prioritize in your budget. It's probably no surpise that the round brilliant is the most expensive diamond cut, but we'll explain what does into that price, and why this stunners are worth it.
Diamonds are cut to maximize light performance, the sparkle, fire, brilliance and overall visual beauty as light hits a diamond. Before a diamond is cut and polished, it is known as a rough diamond, which is opaque and has little to no sparkle. Diamond cutting adds facets (or faces) that reflect light and refract it back to your eye, creating a sparkling effect. The type and quality of cut directly impacts light performance, as the angles, locations, sizes and shapes of facets will determine the diamond's sparkle.
Each diamond is assigned one of four cut grades by the GIA. The diamond cut grade affects not only the appearance but also the price of each diamond. Here's what you should expect from each cut: how they look, how the light dances through them, and how rare they are:
Excellent - This is the highest grade, representing the top 3% of all diamonds in the world. Diamonds with an excellent cut grade are masterfully crafted and precisely cut to create maximum sparkle and brilliance. Little or no light leakage occurs as light passes through.
Very Good - Cuts of this grade capture almost all of a diamond's potential. These stones are very brilliant with minimal light leakage. If you're on a budget, you might choose a Very Good cut so you can prioritize color, clarity or carat. This grade represents the top 15% of diamonds.
Good - Diamonds of this grade capture light well and possess high degrees of sparkle. Good cut diamonds have some light leakage but still shine bright. Cutters may intentionally cut to Good proportions to achieve a particular look or style. The top 25% of diamonds have a Good cut grade or higher.
Fair & Poor - Diamonds with significant light leakage earn a Fair or Poor grade. These diamonds tend to leak noticeable amounts of light from being too deep or shallow, and they have little brilliance. We recommend avoiding this grade, as it won't make for sparkling jewellery.
Here are the three most important insider tips to know about diamond shape when looking to maximize your engagement ring budget:
The most expensive diamond cut is the round brilliant - As described above, it is also the shape that has the lowest yield from the rough diamond and therefore the maximum wastage. Rounds are typically about 25%-30% more expensive than other shapes (fancy shapes: shapes other than round) in the same carat weight and quality. The fancy shapes include princess, oval, cushion, emerald, pear, marquise, asscher, radiant and heart. The most popular cut for diamond engagement rings is also the priciest. And it's not just because it's the most in-demand: The round brilliant has the most facets of any shape, which require more precision work, and cutters have to discard more of the rough diamond, so you essentially pay for a larger stone than you end up with. The (major) upside: A ring with truly dazzling fire and brilliance.
Fancy shapes can save you money - Fancy shaped diamonds (such as pear, oval and marquise cuts) can save you up to 10-43% more than a round brilliant diamond of the same carat size. That's because less of the rough diamond is discarded in the cutting process. These shapes have a striking, unconventional appearance, and still have complex faceting and excellent light performance, so they might be a good compromise between sparkle and budget.
Emerald and asscher cuts can save you even more money - Emerald and asscher cuts can be even cheaper than fancy shapes, because they have step cuts, or facets that look like a bit like a staircase. They're simpler in design, use more of the rough diamond and require less precision cutting work, all of which result in cost savings for you. But the final effect is still supremely elegant and attention getting. It's all about her personal taste. Remember: The perfect engagement ring is one she'll love to wear every day.
Below is an illustration of the differences in pricing, holding all other factors and diamond attributes constant among GIA certified stones. In the chart below, we've examined the average diamond prices of the 10 popular shapes and of carat - 1.00 ct & 2.00 ct, cut - Excellent, color - G, clarity - VS2:
(Select image shape to see Buying Guide)
|For 1 ct||For 2 ct|
As you can see, fancy shapes can save 10-43% in some instances against round diamond shapes of the same carat weight and quality. Shapes such as marquise and pear can also in fact look larger than round diamonds due to the shallow depth and elongated shape. Almost 40% of all engagement rings now have a non round diamond in the center as the main stone. The most popular shape is round, followed by princess and cushion.
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Diamond shape popularity has always been popular as jewellers have always been looking for a way to maximize the amount of shine of a single ring. Jewellers had their own agenda for creating shinier rings, the shinier the ring, the more they could charge. However, what started as a method to earn more money per ring turned into a very popular concept. Diamond shapes are incredibly popular today, and most people would consider the shape of diamond to be one of the most important factors of any ring.
This popularity stems from the difference in price, the lifespan of the diamond, and the appearance of the ring. With this being said, it is clear that different diamond shapes are more prone to damage than others, and therefore, it is important for the woman to do her research to determine what diamond shape will work the best for her lifestyle. Additionally, different diamond shapes have different essences. Some are considerably more modern while others seem more classic. These vibes are incredibly important to look out for when choosing a diamond because the shape could change the entire feeling of the ring as a whole. When choosing a shape for an engagement ring, be sure to pick something that resonates with your likes and personality, since you will be wearing it for a long time. Something classic and versatile will also blend in easily with any other jewellery and clothing that you wear. Don't make a decision simply based on what is trending.
What you need to know if you're thinking of buying a loose diamond in different shapes. We break it all down from pricing, other shapes comparison and ring setting choices.
Round Cut Diamond
Round diamonds are traditionally the first and most popular diamond that's given as a symbol of commitment. They have a classic uniform and symmetrical shape that consists of 58 facets, which qualifies them a brilliant cut. The faceting on round cut diamonds also makes color and inclusions appear better than in other fancy shapes. In fact, these stones are so beloved that over 50% of all diamonds purchased are round cut, you probably can't look around without seeing a round diamond engagement ring.
Round cut diamonds carry the largest premium for two reasons: demand and rough wastage. Round diamonds are the most popular and so manufacturers and suppliers tend to hold a premium on them because their demand can make them rarer. Because diamonds are a natural material, they cannot just be produced on a moment's notice. Second, when a rough diamond is mined it comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. There is no predictability around what size or shape will be unearthed. More often than not, the shape of the rough isn't perfect for cutting a round diamond. A diamond cutter's top priority is to maximize carat weight. Round diamonds yield the highest rough wastage and top out between 28%-38% rough usage, which means more of that precious raw material is going to waste.
For a 1 carat round diamond that's VS2 clarity, an Excellent cut, and a G color diamond, you can expect to pay somewhere around $7291. The price will go up from there as clarity and color grades increase. But don't expect to pay double this for a 2 carat round cut diamond. Diamond prices aren't linear because it becomes increasingly difficult to find rough material large enough to produce the bigger stones. That means the price for a 2 carat diamond of any shape can easily shoot up to between $19,000 and $27,000. Exact prices, of course, depend on how each individual diamond is rated according to the 4Cs of diamonds.
Although round diamonds are the most popular of the diamond shapes, cushion cuts and princess cut are nipping at their heels in the rankings. If you love one outline of a diamond over the others, your decision is simple. But if you're someone who appreciates the silhoutte of more than one, it can be difficult to pick a loose diamond. So beyond the outline, how does the round diamond differ from other favorites like the cushion and the princess?
Many jewellers regard cut to be one of the most important factors in selecting a loose diamond. The diamond's cut or the angles, locations, and sizes and shapes of the diamond's facets is responsible for and is a measure of the diamond's ability to refract light in order to create the diamond's signature sparkle. When selecting a diamond cut, the most popular choice is that of a round vs princess cut diamond. While round diamond engagement rings have been a favorite for nearly a century, princess diamond engagement rings are rising in popularity with its edgier and more modern style.
Round diamonds tend to have fewer flaws, more clarity, and are more forgiving, as its multi-faceted cut and brilliant sparkle can easily hide minor flaws. For round diamonds, the GIA diamond cut scale allows for easy comparison between the diamond cuts of round diamonds. However, there is no official GIA scale for other diamond cuts because they can maximize refractive quality through a variety of shapes, lengths, and widths. Outside of refractive quality, round diamond engagement rings are also an extremely practical choice in terms of price and durability. Round diamonds can accommodate most diamond price needs as they are readily available as loose diamonds. And unlike the princess diamond, the clean cuts of a round diamond leave no sharp edges to be chipped, broken, or snagged on fabric. Round diamonds are also extremely versatile in terms of style, popularly seen in solitaire or in two or three stone rings. They can also be paired with other bands or beautifully displayed in halo arrangements.
The princess diamond cut is the second most popular, and definitively more modern, diamond cut. Princess diamonds are typically cut into a square shape with square shapes being more expensive than more rectangular shapes. Princess diamonds are typically more affordable than round diamonds because they more closely mimic the natural shape of a rough diamond, allowing the polished diamond to retain more of its original weight. For example, 1 carat of rough diamond will typically retain 40% of its original carat while a princess diamond cut will typically retain 80%-90% of its original weight.Although more affordable, princess diamonds refract less light than round diamonds. Although no diamond cut can refract all of the light it captures, the optimal round brilliant cut is the industry standard definition of 100%, while the princess diamond has a refractive quality of 70%. Princess diamonds are perfect for more complex ring designs such as channel, floral filigree, cushion princess settings, and elaborate vintage designs. Princess diamond engagement rings are also popularly seen in three stone arrangements.
In addition to the ring itself, consider the wearer's hand. Those with smaller hands may prefer the smaller look of round diamonds engagement rings while the contemporary princess diamond engagement ring may be better for those with larger hands. While personal taste should always be the ultimate guide in selecting an engagement ring, diamond experts often advise prioritizing diamond cut above diamond color or diamond clarity. A poorly cut diamond negatively impacts the signature sparkling brilliance of a diamond, generally resulting in a less beautiful diamond. Whether you're choosing a princess or a round diamond, be sure to factor in cut above all else. Round diamond engagement rings are a timeless style that is sure to be on trend for years to come. Princess diamonds are also another great way to propose as it is a style that is sparkling, elegant and regal.
Both are traditional and popular choices, and each has different characteristics to recommend them. For example, if you're going for maximum sparkle, there's one style you might prefer. Although both round and cushion cuts are very popular, the cushion cut is slightly more popular at the moment. However, this has not always been the case; this cut fell slightly out of favor in the past, but in the last decade, it has surged in popularity to be more popular than ever. But rounds still hold their appeal; they do a fantastic job at hiding imperfections, plus they are also the shiniest cut of diamonds.
The round cut is the most popular shape for engagement rings because its cuts maximizes the reflection of light, along with brilliance and brightness. The round brilliant cut diamond has 58 facets. Its 58-facet cut, divided among its crown (top), girdle (widest part) and pavilion (base). Cushion cuts blend the energy of a round brilliant with the symmetry of a radiant cut. Their 58 facets are larger, so they're slightly less sparkly than round cuts. Larger facets can show clarity inclusions, so evaluate the location of inclusions by examining the certificate's diamond plot. But if you're set on a cushion cut and need to hide an inclusion, you might want to consider a crushed ice diamond, which features more imperfection-masking facets.
Because they have more facets, round cut diamonds hide inclusions better than cushions and they also hide color a bit better than cushions. Cushion cut diamonds tend to be about 25% less expensive than their round cut counterparts. When jewellers cut a rough stone, more is lost in shaping a round diamond, so the cost of each carat retained is higher. Round diamond engagement rings are a timeless style that is sure to be on trend for years to come.
Diamonds in this shape are classic, and their effortlessly elegant silhouette means they match a wide variety of settings. And that means that choosing a round diamond ring setting ultimately comes down to personal preference and style. A round diamond solitaire ring can be just as stunning as something more complex, like a round diamond with baguettes. Your creativity and style is truly the limit when it comes to round engagement rings. So here are some ideas for getting started with finding your ideal round diamond setting, and how to make yours stand out.
A round diamond with halo setting has also become a classic, like it's more basic cousin the solitaire. That's probably because accent diamonds set in a halo are an elegant and cost-effective way to add size to your center stone. In fact, they can make it appear up to a half-carat larger. But not every diamond halo is the same. A round diamond in a square halo, is enticingly complex. Your eye dances over the different lines: some straight, some arched. This setting takes it one step further by rotating the halo, a contemporary and trendy spin on classic settings.
A round diamond with a cushion halo can look like a cushion cut from afar, and a gorgeous round diamond up close. It lends visual appear to the entire ring and may help shoppers torn between the two ultra-popular diamond shapes. But even if you're set on your round engagement ring with a halo that mimics the shape of the diamond, you still have unique options. Double halos add a dramatic effect to your ring. And some settings, play with accent diamond sizes to create a round diamond halo ring.
Two round diamond rings with the same setting and the same size stone can look completely different in two different metals. So if you're worried about your round diamond ring with a halo looking like everyone else's, be sure to familiarize yourself with your metal options. Many people don't know that even within the same metal choice, like yellow gold, you'll get completely different hues in 14k and 18k. A round diamond rose gold engagement ring, for example, will look pinker if you opt for 14k, but more of a champagne hue if you go instead with 18k.
Learn more about the round shape diamond in our round cut diamond guide to help you choose the right diamond for you.
Radiant Cut Diamond
The radiant cut diamond is a beautifully symmetrical, non-traditional cut, the radiant cut combines the brilliance of a round and the purity of an emerald cut. Trimmed corners give this loose diamond shape versatility to shine in all kinds of jewellery, especially engagement rings. The faceting of a radiant cut gives it a fiery look compared to a princess cut, while maintaining soft, cut corners. Overall you could say that the radiant diamond combines some of the most beloved traits of other popular diamond shapes.
Radiant cut diamonds are often called the "rectangular modified brilliant diamond." Simply put, these are the squarer version of the common round brilliant diamonds. Radiant cut diamonds are in the gemstone cut group known as "hybrids," which speaks to how its characteristics can be seem as combinations of some of the other stone shapes. The radiant cut rectangular diamond is an excellent option for buyers who like the emerald cut shape, but want something with the brilliance of a round. But radiant diamonds are also available in a square shape. The difference simply comes down to their length to width ratio. This diamond shape also tend to be a very popular choice for fancy colored diamonds because they capture more rough diamond color than other cuts.
Radiant cut diamonds tend to have a larger pricing discount than other diamond shapes. Round diamonds have greater rough diamond wastage, whereas radiant diamonds use the maximum amount of diamond rough so they are very efficient from a diamond cutter's perspective. Radiant diamonds tend to be a bit deeper, though, which means they'll appear smaller at the same carat weight than other shapes such as round diamonds.
Additionally, It is very important to examine a diamond's length to width ratio when considering the shape. Radiant diamonds with a optimal ratio of 1.25 possess the greatest premium in the radiant cuts. Shorter or longer radiant cut diamonds will look either a little thicker or slender and longer. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but merely a preference. Shorter radiant diamonds will look smaller and slender, long length to width ratios will look larger. While the average customer isn't an experienced jewellery craftsman or appraiser, the evenness of the radiant cut diamond's edges should be apparent to the naked, untrained eye. If the diamond appears crooked in the setting, or the entire ring sits a bit off center on your finger, it is probably not parallel. However, if you are set on buying a radiant cut diamond, check the corners of the gemstone! Emerald and princess cut diamonds, as well as other square and rectangle shaped stones, have the sharp corners; the radiant cut diamonds do not.
The price difference between different carats of diamonds is incredibly large. With smaller diamonds, the price is much lower due to the size and availability in nature. Once a stone reaches 2 carats, the price can reach to a little over $20,000. That price skyrockets when another carat is added to the stone. While this is true of all diamonds, radiant cut diamonds are definitely on the high side of diamond pricing.
As usual, when purchasing a radiant diamond ring, a buyer should seek out a professionally-graded stone. This grade ensures that the stone is authentic and that the buyer can be sure of its value. One tip for buyers is to keep the length to width ratio in mind; make sure the stone has the proper measurements to make it a square or a rectangle. If the length to width ratio is not desirable, the stone may appear more oblong than rectangular.
VS diamonds are diamonds that have minor inclusions, and they're broken down into VS1 and VS2. But what you need to know about the VS diamonds is that they are usually eye-clean, which means you won't be able to see the stone's inclusions without maginification. Although there are clarity grades above VS, these diamonds can be fantastic choices.
If you have a 2 carat VS2 diamond ring that is high quality, it will sparkle and truly show off its brilliance. Sometimes 2 carat radiant cut diamonds can be hard to find. A 3 carat radiant cut diamond will cost more than a 2 carat not only because it weights more but also because it's harder to find the rough material necessary for a stone this size. That's why you shouldn't expect the price to increase linearly by carat. You'll see the price increase exponentially once you hit the 2 carat measurement.
One major advantage of choosing a radiant cut diamond is that it allows for the inclusions and blemishes of the stone to be hidden better. Many diamond cuts accentuate the flaws of the stone, and therefore, the radiant cut diamond is special in its ability to hide them. Additionally, the radiant cut diamond is incredibly versatile which means that the cut will look incredible with a multitude of styles. A radiant cut diamond can be paired well with almost anything!
Radiant cut and cushion cut diamonds can appear quite similar, making it hard to choose what one to buy. The main difference between the radiant and cushion cut diamonds is their shape. Radiant cut diamonds have a rectangular outline, and the corners of it are cut. Meanwhile, cushion cut diamonds have rounded sides, so it doesn't look as rectangular as a radiant cut diamond. Sometimes cushion cuts can even have an oval appearance to them, depending on their length to width ratio.
Both radiant and cushion cut diamonds belong to a group called "brilliant cuts." This simply means that all of their facets are arranged and shaped so that their brilliance is enhanced. Radiant cuts have been known to exhibit more brilliance than cushion cuts. In terms of clarity and color, there's no major difference between the two cuts. Their color and inclusions usually look very similar. Your choice here will primarily come down to your preference in the shape.
In terms of shape, the radiant cut and the emerald cut are much more similar than the radiant and the cushion. Emerald cut diamonds have the same straight sides as the radiant cuts. But unlike the radiant, which sports cropped corners, emeralds have the same sharp, bold corners that you see on the princess cut. The biggest difference between these two diamonds is their faceting. Radiant cuts, as we mentioned, are brilliant cut diamonds. They have a crushed ice look, and they are cut for maximum sparkle. Emerald cuts, on the other hand, are step cuts. They have fewer, larger facets. That means they don't sparkle as much as brilliant cuts. Their look is more subdued, and the large factes are perfect for showing off the high clarity of a stone.
By being less likely to chip, these two diamond cuts are perfect for women with a more active daily lifestyle. Because of the brilliance of radiant cut diamonds, this shape is a popular choice for colored diamonds. By enhancing the brilliance of the diamonds, the colors pop even more to create a more stunning overall effect versus a muted color. In terms of imperfections, 3 carat radiant cut diamonds are much less likely to show flaws than 3 carat emerald cut diamonds are; this is due to the brilliant cut of the stone which hides many imperfections to the naked eye.
This is another choice that ultimately comes down to your preference in diamond shape. Radiant cut diamonds and princess cut diamonds are both brilliant cuts, just like cushion cut diamonds. They'll both reflect light well and sparkle, as long as they're cut well. But that leaves the shape. Princess cuts have sharp corners and are typically square in shape. They're bold and very geometric. Radiant cuts on the other hand have the cropped corners. And though they're not rounded like the cushion cut, the cropped corners still offers some softening of the angles. Radiants also tend to be more rectangular than the princess cut diamonds, which can make your hand and fingers appear longer and thinner. It's a nice bonus if you're already leaning toward the radiant.
These subtle differences have a big impact on the popularity of the stones. The princess cut is incredibly popular while the radiant cut is much less in demand. The radiant cut has the ability to reflect more light due to the arrangement of its facets, and therefore, it shines brighter than the princess cut. For women with active lifestyles, the radiant cut is more fitting because it does not contain any sharp corners which are likely to become snagged.
Radiant cut diamond engagement rings are beloved for the unmatchable shine they produce. Once the buyer has chosen to purchase a radiant cut diamond, the next logical step is to choose a setting to complement this choice in diamond cut. The most popular and logical setting to choose for a radiant style engagement ring is the four-prong setting. A diamond with a high clarity grade will sparkle brilliantly even with a 6 prong setting. But the 4 prong setting will emphasize the square or rectangular shape of the diamond, making it ideal for the radiants.
Bezel settings, although they may be used, are not recommended for radiant cut diamonds. A bezel setting is a closed setting that encloses the center stone for a secure and cohesive feeling, but by closing itself off, the bezel setting hinders the amount of light that will hit the stone. Although it ultimately comes down to personal preference, this setting will cause a significant loss to the amount of shine of the ring. But if you're looking for a truly unique radiant cut engagement ring, you might consider this trade-off well worth it.
Radiant cut settings are ultimately a personal choice. You're the one wearing the radiant cut ring, so you're the one that needs to love it! But there are some settings that get more love when it comes to how they highlight radiant cut diamonds. First and foremost is the solitaire setting, especially with prongs. Prong settings are given this name because they contain a prong, also known as a small and sturdy metal claw that tightly grips the diamond and holds it into place. Prongs can be rounded, flat, or pointed, and you probably already know that you can choose between 4 and 6 prongs. While 4 prongs allow for more of the diamond to be shown and 6 prongs are more secure for the diamond, it ultimately comes down to personal preference.
But there are plenty of people who also love radiant cut engagement rings with a halo. Although it's flashier than its solitaire cousin, a halo engagement ring is still elegant and timeless. There's actually plenty of room for personalizing your radiant cut diamond engagement ring if you want a diamond halo. Even something simple like metal choice can drastically change the look of your ring. A radiant cut rose gold engagement ring, for example, will give off a warm glow that the same ring in white gold just won't have. Even then, you get different shades of the rosy hue, depending on whether you choose 14 or 18K gold for your radiant cut with halo.
Learn more about the radiant shape diamond in our radiant cut diamond guide to help you choose the right diamond for you.
Pear Cut Diamond
The pear cut, pear shaped, or teardrop diamond is a timeless, vintage cut that represents an emotional bond or connection. Like a round cut diamond, it is a brilliant cut known for high sparkle. These loose diamonds are shaped like a teardrop and blend the best attributes of round cut and marquise cut diamonds. Diamonds are often described as icy or flowing like water. The pear cut is a perfect representation of that concept. The pear cut diamond is long and can make a finger look thinner and longer. Pear cut diamonds can also be short or long, depending on their length to width ratio, with an optimal ratio of 1.50. Symmetry is a very important characteristic in pear shapes, more so than other fancy shapes, as is the placement of any inclusions.
Pear cut diamonds, like other fancy shapes, are less expensive when compared to round cut diamonds. Round diamonds have greater rough diamond wastage. Because rough diamonds have odd, long shapes, pear cut diamonds are able to use more of this precious raw material. Pear diamonds do a good job of distribuitng carat weight in the length of the diamond, which allows the diamond to look larger than other shapes such as princess or cushion at the same carat weight. Therefore, a 1 carat pear shaped diamond will be about 8.5 x 5.5 mm versus a 1 carat round cut diamond, which will be about 6.4 mm. A 1 carat teardrop diamond costs around $5802 if it's an Excellent cut, G color diamond that's rated as a VS2 clarity grade.
But though pear diamonds effectively use the rough, it's still harder to find raw material big enough to make larger diamonds. That means you shouldn't expect a 2 carat pear shaped diamond to be simply double the cost of a 1 carat. The price of a 2 carat stone can jump to anywhere between $8000 and $20,000, depending on the quality of the diamond.
Although seemingly similar in shape, oval and pear cut diamond engagement rings have a few key differences which clearly set them apart from each other. Experts agree that buyers looking to purchase a pear cut diamond engagement ring should look for a more rounded base and even shoulders to the stone as these aspects will allow the stone to have a more consistent shine. Buyers should especially be wary of elongated pear cut diamonds. While they may make the fingers appear even more slender, these shapes may appear to simply be faulty cut oval cut diamonds. While oval cut diamonds have many different options for ratios, the pear cut diamonds are typically most valuable with the very clearly rounded base and pointed top. However, whatever diamond is chosen depends on the wearer. If she is seeking a certain elongated pear shape, there are no rules against that; in fact, the stone may even be cheaper to purchase. As with any diamond, it is completely up to preference.
While both the pear cut diamonds and the oval cut diamonds are relatively elongated, the oval is symmetrical in its style while the pear cut is larger on the bottom than it is on the top. These two rings both produce a slimming effect on the wearer's finger, but due to the symmetry, the oval cut is the prime choice to create this effect. Although both shapes are popular and readily available as the center stones of engagement rings, both pear and oval cut diamonds are also commonly found flanking a round or square center stone. The versatility of these diamonds makes them a viable option for almost any engagement ring. Additionally, both of these shapes are perfect for other options of jewellery. As pendants or earring sets, both pear cut and oval cut diamonds offer an elegant and complete effect.
You don't have to go above and beyond on your setting to get a unique pear shaped diamond engagement ring. The teardrop stone is visually stunning, and you can change the look of your ring simply by flipping the way that you wear it on your finger. We cannot emphasize enough just how striking a simple 1 carat pear diamond ring can be, especially if you enjoy a length to width ratio other than the "ideal." But there are certainly ways to ensure your ring turns heads that don't come down to the stone.
But metal choice is another great way to play with the look of your pear shaped diamond setting. A pear shaped yellow gold engagement ring, for example, will look like a vintage style engagement ring thanks to its warm glow. Even better, the warmth from the setting can make lower color diamonds look one color grade clearer, which can hide some tint in the point of your teardrop. And, yes, white gold is a perennial favorite, but you might want to consider a teardrop rose gold ring. Depending on whether you choose 14k or 18k, rose gold can appear pink in color or a gentle champagne hue. And the symbolism of this metal means a teardrop rose gold engagement ring is doubly romantic. The shape of the stone signifies your emotional bond, while the metal stands for romantic love.
Learn more about the pear shape diamond in our pear cut diamond guide to help you choose the right diamond for you.
Emerald Cut Diamond
Emerald cut diamonds are a unique and elegant class of diamond cuts. Unlike most other shapes that are brilliant cuts, an emerald cut diamond is actually a step cut. Its faceting is not the traditional kite and star shaped facets of other loose diamonds; rather, emerald cuts have small rectangular facets that resemble stairs or steps.
These step-cut facets most certainly emit sparkle and brilliance, but in a more subdued fashion. Emerald cuts have very high appeal because of their long, elegant body. And you can easily see the attraction of an emerald cut diamond ring: this stone shape tends to look larger than others. That means it's the perfect choice for a show-stopping engagement ring. Although emerald diamonds are most commonly rectangular, they can also be square.
Emerald cut diamonds look best in higher clarities because their large table and lack of brillianteering makes it difficult to mask inclusions. They do, however, handle color better than other fancy shapes. So selecting a lower color emerald diamond is not necessarily a problem. Even better, this combination of attributes can help your budget go further. Although a higher clarity diamond will cost more, you'll save some money (without sacrificing on look) if you go for a lower color with the emerald cut diamond.
Like other fancy shapes, emerald cuts are fantastic at consuming much of a rough diamond's carat weight. They require less manufacturing when being cut, compared to rounds, and waste less of the precious raw material. The trade off though, is that they can hide carat weight in their depth. Therefore, they are always cheaper than round cut diamonds.
But among the fancy shapes, you won't be saving. Emerald cut diamonds more premium than other fancy shapes and they tend to be in line with cushion cut diamond pricing, and only slightly less than the princess.
When selecting an emerald cut diamond, you should consider investing in a higher clarity. As mentioned, inclusions have a tendency to show more under the large table of the diamond. With brilliant cut diamonds, light can often bounce around facets and mask the inclusion. Because emerald cuts have limited facets, they will show the inclusions. Consider emerald cuts with high clarity or inclusions that are off center and closer to the diamond's girdle. Higher clarity grades will cost you more, but you can often offset this a little with a slightly lower color grade in this shape.
The length to width ratio is also particularly important in emerald cut diamonds. Emerald cuts can be square or rectangular and even then, they can be long or short. The optimal emerald cut ratio for a square is 1.00 to 1.05. There is no optimal rectangular ratio as it is purely preference. The typical ratios though, are approximately 1.35, 1.50 and 1.75. The ratio is determined by dividing length by width. Before you browse for loose diamonds, you should know the look you're going for. An expert gemologist can also help narrow your search if you know what length to width ratio is your ideal in this shape.
Emerald cut and asscher cut diamonds are both well known for having a vintage sparkle, and also for their step-cut faceting. It can sometimes be difficult to tell the two shapes apart. Many people assume that an asscher cut is simply a square emerald cut, which isn't the case.
The easiest way to tell the difference between the two is by the shape of the loose diamond. Emerald cut diamonds have a long and rectangular shape. Asscher cut diamonds, on the other hand, have more of a square shape. If an asscher cut has a length to width ratio of 1.00 or even 1.06, it will be perfectly square, or look very close to a square. Emerald cut diamonds have a length to width ratio that is between 1.50 and 1.75, which gives them a thinner and elongated appearance.
These diamonds are also cut differently. Asscher cuts do not have as wide or open of a table as emerald cuts. This wide and open table is what gives emerald cuts their classic, elegant look. On an emerald cut, it will be very easy to see any inclusions and blemishes. Therefore, you are always better off going with a higher clarity grade for emerald cuts. Asscher cuts are known for having more faceting, though they also feature step cuts, and they have an "X" pattern that becomes apparent when you look at them from the top down.
Similar to the emerald cut, asscher cut diamonds show color more readily due to their large surface area and opportunity for color saturation. Therefore, buyers should be mindful to watch out for inclusions and yellowish tints within the diamond. Emerald cuts, like asscher cuts, have a subtler shine than most other cuts of diamonds due to their being a step cut. The diamond is more similar to mirrors than it is to a brilliant and sparkly diamond.
Both diamonds are exquisite and come with their own stylish design, but there are some amount of differences between the two. Emerald cut diamonds are also known as step cut diamonds, because of their parallel looking facets. An Emerald cut diamond ring is extremely elegant and will give off a dramatic flash of light. Diamonds on a 2 carat cushion cut diamond, on the other hand, are much more sparkly, with the factes set in the same way as a brilliant cut diamond. Diamond cushion cut engagement rings are great choices for any type of ring, but especially great for a halo setting. The setting is a large open table, so unlike the emerald cut, it may be more expensive to get a stone with a higher grade of clarity. The cushion cut is fancy, but has a soft side, so it cannot be evaluated by the numbers. The best way to choose cushion cut diamonds is by getting an evaluation done, or by using reviews from someone who has already bought one.
A cushion cut diamond, which are also known as old mine cut, is a square cut diamond that has its corners rounded. The light on a cushion diamond, or one that is used on a cushion cut diamond ring, has a thicker pattern than its modern counterparts. Its larger than normal culet can be seen through the table. This gives the diamond a distinctive look that results in it being preferred by many. The emerald cut has what is considered to be steps. Several similarities exist between the two, including the table, they both possess, dramatic flashes and long lines, as well as the effect of a hall of mirrors.
Emerald cut diamonds look great in a variety of settings. However, two of the most popular setting options are simple solitaire settings and glistening halo settings. Emerald cut solitaire engagement rings show off the sophistication of the center stone, but an emerald cut with diamond band can also be a sleek and understated option for the minimalist bride. But even though emerald cut solitaire rings and emerald diamond rings with a halo are common, they're far from the only gorgeous options. Emerald cut three stone engagement rings are beautiful options, and emerald cut engagement rings with baguettes are gaining popularity. The baguette side stones mimic the step cuts of the emerald diamond center, making them a natural pairing.
But even if you choose an emerald cut diamond solitaire ring, there's plenty of ways you can customize it. metal choice is one of the easiest. Emerald cut gold engagement rings are surging in popularity, but each metal can give your ring a distinct look. White gold is, of course, the most popular. But more brides-to-be are opting for rose gold for its romantic symbolism, and yellow gold lends a vintage feel that some people adore.
Because of the unique shape of the elongated rectangle shape of the emerald cut diamond, it can be difficult to find a ring setting befitting its elegance and sophistication. It takes a little trial and error to find the best setting and stone combinations for this specific diamond cut. One popular choice is the solitaire setting with a plain metal band because there's no need to worry about which secondary stone cuts or type of metal work pair well with the diamond's characteristics. The only decision you have to make with this setting is what size diamond you would like. However, some people want accent diamonds in the band, so they may choose a solitaire setting with small diamonds encrusting the band.
As a rule, halo type settings are hard to match well with emerald cut diamonds. However, with a very small accent diamonds making up the halo and little beaded metal work outlining it, an emerald cut diamond ring takes on a lovely, antique appearance. This specific design and style for this setting is among the most popular choices because it looks like an emerald cut vintage diamond ring. Perhaps the most popular setting for emerald cut diamond rings, is the three-stone ring setting.
Learn more about the emerald shape diamond in our emerald cut diamond guide to help you choose the right diamond for you.
Marquise Cut Diamond
The marquise diamond is a classic and historic diamond shape that captures hearts thanks to its whimsical shape that resembles a smile. Marquise cut stones are also called boat-shaped, football-shaped and eye-shaped diamonds, or the navette. None of these are incorrect; in fact, the "navette" cut diamond, which translates from the French language to "little ship," is often considered similar in shape to all these things. Despite their dramatic look, marquise cut diamond are rarely seen in engagement rings; but for some non-traditional brides, that only increases the appeal of these loose diamonds.
We've all seen marquise stones in rings, but maybe you didn't realize they weren't engagement rings. Traditionally this stone has been set in more cocktail and right-hand rings than their engagement cousins, but that has been changing. There's good reason to choose this stone, too. It has almost 60 facets within its rounded central shape and sharply pointed ends, which means it truly delivers on the drama. You'll get plenty of sparkle from the marquise cut stones but also style. This shape is particularly beloved for its unique ability to make fingers look thinner and longer.
Marquise cut diamonds, like other fancy shapes, tend to cost less than round cut diamonds of the same carat weight. (Marquise diamond price for a 1 carat stone hovers around $5596.) Round diamonds have greater rough diamond wastage, whereas marquise diamonds use the long shape of rough diamonds very well. These diamonds do a good job of distributing carat weight in the tips of the diamond, which allows the diamond to look larger than other shapes such as princess or cushion. Therefore, a 1.00 ct marquise diamond cut will be about 10.5 x 5 mm versus a 1.00 ct round cut diamond, which will be about 6.4 mm.
It is important to find well cut marquise shapes that don't have light leakage from the bow tie effect, though. This is when light is not reflected as sparkle back from the center of the diamond.
Both oval and marquise cut diamonds offer an elongated shape that have a slimming effect on the finger of the wearer. Because both shapes are brilliant cut, they shine more than most other diamond shapes, making these styles popular choices for engagement rings. As a mixture between round and marquise engagement rings, oval cut diamond engagement rings give an updated look to a traditional stone. Although its origins began in the 1960's, the oval cut feels classic and timeless. The oval's length makes the ring more flattering as it gives the illusion that the fingers are elongated and slender.
Despite the common bowtie effect in both cuts of diamonds, marquise cut diamond engagement rings and oval cut diamond engagement rings both offer an intense shine with the ability to make any finger look slender and small. Because both of these diamond shapes appear larger than other diamond shapes of equal carats, marquise and oval cut diamond engagement rings remain much more affordable than other diamond shapes.
In general, the marquise cut diamond is for brides-to-be who are looking for a little drama on their ring. The shape is so striking that a 1 carat marquise diamond ring is going to be just as captivating as a more intricate ring. Similarly, a marquise diamond solitaire ring setting makes a statement without any additional diamonds or metal work, though that can certainly be added to acheive a look like a vintage marquise diamond ring. Another classic choice, especially for those opting for a 1 carat marquise diamond, is the marquise diamond halo ring. The halo emphasizes the shape but also adds a half carat of size to your center stone (for a fraction of the cost of getting a bigger diamond).
A popular trend in marquise diamond ring settings has been to get a marquise diamond set sideways on the band so the stone runs parallel with the band (or east to west on your hand). Also called east-west rings, they're good choices for showing off a larger stone, like a 2 carat marquise diamond. One carat stones won't extend far beyond the band, so it might be hard to see the star of the show (the center diamond) if it's set this way. Another way to personalize your setting is to think about your metal choice. Rose gold can give your entire ring a subtle warm glow, whereas a marquise diamond yellow gold ring can look antique even if it's brand new.
Learn more about the marquise shape diamond in our marquise cut diamond guide to help you choose the right diamond for you.
Heart Cut Diamond
Heart cut diamonds are one of the rarest fancy shapes. Only a highly skilled diamond cutter can get their symmetry and proportions just right. Heart shapes make beautiful pendants, but they've also become more popular in recent years as engagement ring stones. Let's take a look at the heart cut diamond and the one-of-a kind characteristics that might make it the perfect choice for your own ring.
Fancy diamond cuts,like hearts as well as ovals, pears, and emeralds, are evaluated differently than ever popular rounds. Rounds receive cut grades from gemology labs, based on a very detailed, well-established grading system. Fancy cuts. The process is much more subjective, ultimately coming down to the overall appeal of the stone to the customer instead of how close some measurements come to a standard.
Nevertheless, the heart cut is actually a modified brilliant round cut. That means these stones have triangular and kite-shaped facets designed to maximize brilliance and scintillation. As a result, hearts can be very bright and sparkly.
Heart cut diamonds usually cost about the same as rounds of the same weight. However, they typically cost more than other fancy cut diamonds of the same weight because diamond cutters rarely cut them and cutting them well can be difficult. In addition, larger stones can show the heart shape more clearly. So, you'll find more hearts in larger carat weights, which increases their price. (Some smaller hearts may not look heart shaped at all. They may appear more pear shaped if placed in a heart shaped setting).
With heart shape diamonds, don't sacrifice the carat or cut in order to save money. If you're on a tight budget and really want a heart shape, you can compromise in other areas. On the other hand, if you just want to buy a large fancy diamond for less money, you should probably consider ovals or other fancy cut diamonds.
Shopping for lab-created heart diamonds is one way you can save money. Since synthetic crystals can be "made-to-order" in more regular shapes than natural crystals, diamond cutters will waste less rough cutting them. Synthetic rough is also "cleaner," with none of the flaws that have to be cut out of natural rough. The more rough that cutters can "convert" into sellable finished stones, the less they will cost the consumer.
Larger diamonds tend to show inclusions more easily. So, if you're shopping for heart cut diamonds of one carat or larger, you're likely to encounter stones with eye-visible inclusions. However, there are ways to hide flaws in heart cut diamonds.
First, brilliant cuts can hide flaws easily in the many reflections of their facets. Fortunately, heart cut diamonds are cut in a brilliant style. Second, flaws in the outer edges of a diamond can be hidden in the setting. A well-placed prong or a bevel setting can cover obvious flaws.
Most importantly, avoid stones with large, numerous, or dark inclusions under the table. Smaller or light-colored inclusions in this area will be harder to see when you view the diamond from a normal viewing distance, about six inches from your eyes.
If you're shopping at a brick-and-mortar store, make sure the jeweller shows you the diamond under magnification as well as from different angles and distances. If you're shopping online, use viewing tools and magnified videos to examine the stone.
The right engagement ring setting can enhance both the brilliance and color of your diamond as well as protect it. It can also help define and emphasize the shape of a smaller heart.
If you like the classic solitaire arrangement, a four-prong setting will let more light reach your stone. This will help maximize the brilliance of the heart cut diamond. A six-prong setting will let less light in, but it's a more secure setting. Of course, a solitaire bezel setting will provide the most protection but allows far less light to enter the diamond. On the other hand, it can help hide inclusions on the edges of the stone, too.
A classic halo setting will surround your center stone with smaller diamonds. This will not only add elegance and sparkle but also make the center diamond appear larger. (That's especially helpful if you have a heart cut diamond smaller than one carat).
A three-stone setting will also help the center stone appear larger. Two smaller side stones, either diamonds or colored gemstones, are placed on either side of the heart. If the side stones have non-heart shapes, this can also help emphasize the heart shape of the center stone.
If you choose a three-stone, halo, pave, or any other setting that places stones next to your heart, make sure their colors match. At the very least, don't use side stones with higher color grades than the center stone. Otherwise, your ring might have a very non-harmonious appearance.
Whatever setting you choose, make sure the point of the heart is well-protected. This is the area most vulnerable to damage if it strikes a hard surface. Although diamonds are famously resistant to scratching, they can still fracture or chip if struck hard enough. Unprotected points can also catch on clothing or other objects.
You can make your heart cut diamond appear whiter than its color grade may indicate by choosing the right metal for your ring.
For white gold, stones with high color grades, from colorless (D through F) to near-colorless (G through J) will look their whitest in platinum and white gold settings. However, check any I or J color hearts carefully against white metal to see how the individual stone appears.
For yellow gold, stones with mid-range color grades (K though M) will actually look whiter in a yellow gold setting than in a white gold setting. (A white metal setting will just accentuate their yellow tints). Stones with higher color grades may look white in yellow gold if the setting uses white metal prongs.
For rose gold, You'll have to check an individual stone against a rose gold setting to see how it appears. Usually, D through F grades will look off-color in rose gold. Colors from G through M may either appear whiter or take on a deeper color. White prongs might help stones with higher color grades appear whiter in rose gold, while rose color prongs may help stones with lower colors appear whiter in rose gold.
Learn more about the heart shape diamond in our heart cut diamond guide to help you choose the right diamond for you.
Oval Cut Diamond
Oval cut diamonds are simply an elongated round brilliant cut, but the appeal of these loose diamonds goes much deeper. Oval cuts have the brilliance of the round diamond, but a more unique shape. They are a fashionable and trendy diamond cut that, when cut well, can look larger than a round diamond. But many people love this diamond shape for another of its benefits: Oval diamonds can make one's fingers look thinner and longer, and it compliments a wide range of hand shapes and sizes. Although this shape is a more recent cut, invented in the mid 1900s, it has already proven to be a lasting and beloved style. This cut is intended to represent the longevity of your relationship, which might explain the popularity of oval cut diamond rings.
Like other fancy shapes, ovals waste less precious rough material and therefore are less premium than round brilliant cuts. However, unlike other fancy shapes, they require less depth, so the diamond looks larger and fuller. This makes them a great value for their cost. Oval cuts can look visually stunning, but in some instances, may exhibit a "bow tie" effect. The bow tie effect is a visually dull/darker center that resembles a black bow tie. It is an area where light is leaked and not reflected. Diamond brilliance is impacted by the bow tie effect, but this only appears when the oval cut is too shallow or deep. Presence of a bow tie will drive down the price of a loose diamond.
One other factor to consider is color. Although a higher color grade will cost more money, it's worth considering if you're set on an oval diamond for your engagement ring. Ovals tend to show more color than rounds, particular near their shallow edges. Therefore, consider a slightly higher color when choosing an oval cut diamond to make sure the edges look clear.
Two of the most popular diamond cuts of today are the cushion cut and the oval cut. Cushion cuts have been popular for quite a while, whereas oval cut diamonds have only just recently surged in popularity. Although seemingly different, both diamonds have a rounded appearance and an intense brilliance that make them some of the shiniest contenders in the diamond world. Both diamonds make great additions to jewellery of all types which accounts for their incredible popularity. In fact, these two cuts are the two most popular types of loose diamonds for engagement rings.
Overall, these two diamonds are incredibly different. A cushion cut diamond ring generally produces a more brilliant shine than that of an oval cut diamond ring. The facets of a cushion diamond ring are more condensed, allowing the ring to produce much more shine. Oval cut diamonds win over cushion cut diamonds in terms of size though. With diamonds the exact same weight, the oval diamond will appear to be larger simply because of its elongated length. However, cushion cuts are square, and therefore, the stone will produce a fuller effect on the wearer's finger than an oval cut due to its width.
Oval diamonds have an undeniably romantic shape. Like we mentioned, they shine in solitaire settings, so don't feel like you need to go for a setting with more frills. A 1 or 2 carat oval diamond ring is a classic choice, and you can personalize it with some design elements like pave accent diamonds or a split shank. But oval diamond halo engagement rings are also very popular. The delicate diamond halo emphasizes the sleek shape of the center stone and adds up to a half carat of size visually, making it a smart and budget-friendly way to get a bigger ring.
But you can also personalize your oval cut engagement ring by spending time thinking about what metal you'll go with. Oval cut yellow gold engagement rings, for example, can feel vintage even if they're brand new. That's something some brides-to-be adore about this metal choice. But if you want your oval cut gold engagement ring look like it's made up of all diamonds, you'll want to opt for white gold. A white gold band and prongs melds seamlessly with diamonds so your eye is drawn to the stones and not the setting. But make sure you read about all of your metal choices because even within the same type of metal there can be a difference in color between 14 and 18 karat.
Learn more about the oval shape diamond in our oval cut diamond guide to help you choose the right diamond for you.
Princess Cut Diamond
Princess cut diamonds really are royalty in the diamond world. Princess diamonds, which are one of the square cut diamonds, are the second most popular shape behind round diamonds. Like the stones that rank slightly above them, princess cut stones are brilliant cut. Princess cuts have a square (sometimes rectangular) shape with pointed corners and up to 76 small facets. On a GIA report, you'll see it called a square modified brilliant. But while these stones, which originated in the United States, have a gorgeous sparkle and daring corners, there's a lot more to love about these square shaped diamonds, like the fact that their faceting reduces the visibility of flaws, or inclusions, in the diamond.
The princess cut diamond accounts for a whopping 30% of engagement rings, and shows no sign of letting go of its rank as the second most popular diamond choice. Maybe that's because princess cut diamonds have such a classic look. When turned upside down they resemble pyramids, and their four sharp corners offer a subtle edge to the femininity of their sparkle. Whatever it is, it's made this cut a popular choice for far more than princess cut diamond engagement rings.
Princess cut diamonds are very efficient diamonds for manufacturers, but what does that mean for you? They use a very large percentage of the rough diamond (approximately 60%-70%), so very little of the precious rough material is wasted. Wasted material drives up the cost, so expect to pay less for a princess cut diamond than a round brilliant of the same carat weight. But keep in mind, this is a very popular cut. For that reason, you're going to see higher prices with the princess diamonds than with other fancy shaped diamonds, such as the radiant cut or pear shaped diamond.
But, as with all diamonds, the price of your particular princess is going to come to down to how it's evaluated according to the 4Cs of diamonds. Cut is especially important as it impacts the brilliance, or sparkle, of your stone. A less well cut diamond will appear more dull, while excellent cut diamonds should retain their dazzling beauty. For that reason, you should look for a stone with an excellent cut, polish, and Symmetry. Choosing a princess diamond with these characteristics can be pricey, it is best to consult a gemologist to help you figure out how to maximize your budget and get the best stone possible. They'll help you perform an in-depth diamond search to make sure you're getting a stone that will turn heads without breaking the bank. You will have to decide something based on personal taste, though: the length to width ratio. This determines whether your princess will be a square diamond or rectangular.
Keep in mind, though, that princess cuts carry more of their weight in their center or belly. That means they're deeper stones than round brilliants and will look smaller at the same carat weight. That's because their weight, instead of spreading to their sides like the round, spreads downward. If the size of your stone is a priority, simply tell your gemologist. They can keep this in mind while hunting for your perfect diamond.
In addition, while cushion diamonds are extremely beautiful, the nature of a cushion cut does not afford it the same sparkle as a round brilliant or princess diamond. Compared to round diamonds, both princess and cushion diamonds are considered more affordable because they more closely mimic the natural shape of a rough diamond, allowing the polished diamond to retain more of its original weight.
In terms of light refraction, princess diamonds are a happy medium below round diamonds and above cushion diamonds. Although no diamond cut can refract all its captured light, the round brilliant cut is the industry standard definition of 100%, while the princess diamond has a refractive quality of 70% and the cushion diamond, 60%. Both diamonds can be considered quite fragile. Similar to the cushion diamond's slim girdle, the sharp corners of princess diamonds can be prone to chipping and snagging on fabric. The stunning princess diamond cut is perfect for more complex ring designs such as channel, floral filigree, cushion princess settings, and elaborate vintage designs. Princess diamond engagement rings are also popularly seen in three stone arrangements.
Although, as we mentioned, princess cut diamonds are popular for other jewellery, we think they really shine in engagement ring settings. The daring corners of this shape make the stone perfect for a princess cut solitaire, but there are many more options. People sometimes debate a princess cut vs round when they're shopping, and dislike how princess cut diamonds look smaller face-up. But we think there's an easy and elegant solution. Princess cut halo engagement rings are a gorgeous way to make your center stone look larger. And since princess diamonds cost between 25% and 40% less than their round cut counterparts, it can also be a stylish way to save money.
That's probably why you'll see a lot of princess cut halo diamond engagement rings once you start looking. This diamond shape is versatile. It's just as gorgeous taking center stage in a princess cut split shank engagement ring as it is in a square engagement ring with a halo. (Not all halos look the same, by the way.) And metals can make a big difference on your ring. A princess cut platinum engagement ring or a princess cut white gold diamond ring is a classic choice, but you can play up the romance by choosing a princess cut ring, or lend your look a vintage vibe by opting for a princess cut yellow gold engagement ring. And that's before you even consider style elements like milgrain and filigree.
So even if you love the classic style of this cut, don't feel boxed in by choosing a princess cut loose diamond. You can easily turn it into an engagement ring that is stunning and unique.
Learn more about the princess shape diamond in our princess cut diamond guide to help you choose the right diamond for you.
Cushion Cut Diamond
Cushion cut diamonds, also referred to as the mine cut or old mine cut, derive their name from the shape, which resembles a pillow. What is a cushion cut diamond exactly? These loose diamonds are square or rectangular in shape, but unlike the princess cut diamond, their corners are rounded. Although generally less brilliant than round brilliant diamonds, cushions have more fire. Whether it's this fire or their distinctive soft, rounded corners with a square shape that attracts buyers, the cushion cut has successfully claimed its spot as the third most popular diamond shape.
Fancy shaped diamonds, like the cushion cut, are less expensive than round cut diamonds. That's thanks to their shapes, which make them efficient at using the rough diamond. More of this coveted rough material is sacrificed when creating the round brilliants. But the lower price does come with a tradeoff. Fancy shapes have an increased depth and more carat weight inside the center of the diamond, as opposed to on the corners or sides, where the diamond expands. What does that mean? Think of two diamonds, one cushion cut and one round, that are both 1 carat diamonds. The round cut will measure about 6.4mm while the cushion cut diamond wil only be about 5.5mm.
Popularity of cushion cut diamond engagement rings has, unfortunately, driven the up the prices of these stones. Luckily, there are several different styles of cushion. One of them, the square cushion cut, tends to be more expensive. That means you stand to save some money on this beloved diamond shape if you opt for an elongated cushion cut or a rectangular cushion cut. For many shapes of diamonds, it's important to look at the length to width ratio. The cushion cut is no exception. Square, elongated, and rectangular cushion cuts all have the same basic shape, but differ in their length to width ratios.
Cushion diamonds with a ratio of 1.00 to 1.05 are considered square. These are the most desirable cushion cuts, and tend to cost more. A diamond with a length to width ratio from 1.06 to 1.10 is considered squarish, meaning it is slightly off square. These are also called elongated cushion cut diamonds. The extended length to width ratio on these stones can actually make the diamond look visually larger. Finally, rectangular cushion cut diamonds have a length to width ratio of 1.10 or higher. These diamonds tend to be less expensive by 5%-10%, when compared to square cushion cuts.
Like all other diamond shapes, cushion cuts are more affordable in smaller sizes, and the prices don't increase at a steady rate. That's because it's very hard to find a rough diamond that's large and clear enough to make a quality diamond in those higher carat weights, like 3, 4, and 5 carat. Once the stone reaches 2 carats, the price shoots up to anywhere from $17,000 to $21,000. If you look at 4 carat cushion cut diamonds, it's fair to say the price skyrockets. Some even go for $100,000. But there are plenty of quality stones in smaller sizes, and budget-friendly ways to make your center diamond look bigger than it actually is.
Many buyers hesitate when choosing a cushion cut diamond because it is so similar to a princess cut diamond, but there are enough subtle differences that a buyer may feel overwhelmed. Firstly, a cushion cut diamond has rounded corners versus the princess cut's sharper edges. However, with a prong setting, these corners may not be visible once part of the engagement ring. Additionally, princess cuts are only square in shape while the cushion cut diamond can be either square or rectangular. The cushion cut represents a more vintage vibe compared to the modern style of the princess cut. All-in-all, there is no "right" diamond cut to choose; the ultimate decision depends on the buyer's style, preference, and other stylistic choices he or she makes for the ring.
As mentioned above, cushion cuts do not necessarily have to be square; the more rectangular cushion diamonds are considered elongated cushion cut diamonds. Although these diamonds have all of the same characteristics as the square cushion cut diamonds, they also allow more light to come in due to the bigger surface area. Since the lack of light is a common issue with cushion cut diamonds, the extra light goes a long way. These elongated cushion cut diamonds tend to have much more luster making them a popular choice for cushion cuts.
Radiant cut and cushion cut diamonds can look very similar, making it hard to choose one over the other. The main difference between radiant and cushion cuts is their shape. The radiant cut is more rectangular, with hard edges. A cushion cut diamond is softer and rounded, resembling a pillow. But elongated cushion cuts will look more like radiant cuts, because of their proportions, they take on a shape closer to a rectangle.
Both radiant and cushion cut diamonds belong to a group called "brilliant cuts." That just means their facets are shaped and arranged so the diamond's brilliance is enhanced.
"Antique" versions of radiant cuts were known to have more brilliance than cushion cuts, but in the modern era, the two are essentially equivalent. Comparing the brilliance of a cushion to a radiant now comes down to evaluating two individual stones.
How do cushions and radiants stack up to the most popular engagement ring choice, the round brilliant? Both are a bit less brilliant, but they have more fire. Cushions and radiants appeal to many women because they combine the brilliance of a round with the purity of an emerald cut.
Although cushions and radiants are both brilliant cuts, they differ slightly in the number and shape of facets.
A cushion cut diamond generally has 58 facets, although that can vary. A radiant cut usually has 70. The facets of a cushion cut diamond reach from the culet of the diamond out toward the girdle, resembling a star. The facets in a radiant cut can assume a bit more of an "X" pattern. The visual effect is very similar, though. From a normal viewing distance, there's no difference except for the shape outline of the stones.
Pick whichever you prefer! Weigh the outline most heavily, since that's the biggest difference between a cushion and a radiant. The softer edges of a cushion cut can read more "vintage," while the sharper edges of a radiant can seem more modern. But that can change, depending on the setting. Price won't rule one out in favor of the other, the two are pretty close to each other in cost.
With similar outlines, it is no wonder that the cushion and asscher cut diamonds are constantly compared with one another. For the untrained eye, the two diamond cuts might even be confused. However, cushion and asscher cut diamonds differ in one important aspect: sparkle. With a different arrangement of facets, the two diamonds have strikingly different appearances and luster.
The asscher cut diamond is a variant of the beloved emerald cut diamond. With this in mind, this cut of diamond has truncated corners to finish off its square shape. Although this is the typical form, cushion cut diamonds come in several different variants which may affect the stone's shape or the arrangement of its facets. Because of the many variations this diamond cut has, the sparkle may also change. Some cushion cut diamonds have a higher intensity of sparkle than others due to the different arrangement of facets. For example, some "chunky" cushion cut diamonds may show less sparkle than the incredibly reflective and sparkly "crushed ice" diamond. Overall, however, the cushion cut diamond was originally developed for the intent to increase the intensity of sparkle.
Cushion cut diamonds tend to have more sparkle than asscher cut diamonds. Asscher diamonds are not lackluster though; Asscher cut diamonds have a clearer sparkle while cushion cut diamonds are incredibly brilliant. Due to the difference in type of sparkle, asscher cut diamonds may display more of their imperfections than cushion cut diamonds because the brilliance of the cushion cut sneakily covers up the subtler imperfections. In terms of color, the sparkle also plays a role in masking a more yellowish-tinted diamond. Therefore, if comparing diamonds of a similar color and clarity, the, say, 2 carat cushion cut diamond will appear less yellow than an asscher cut diamond of the same grade because of its brilliance. Asscher cut diamonds, in turn, show more of the color of the diamond, giving cushion cut diamonds the advantage once again.
With all of this being said, cushion cut diamonds are the way to go if the buyer is seeking out brilliance and intensity of sparkle, but if the buyer prefers a softer glow for the stone, then the asscher cut diamond is the perfect choice. It is all about preference!
Cushion cut diamonds are most adored for their enticing vintage charm. While vintage style engagement rings tend to pair settings with old school style with a number of diamond shapes, a certain hint of nostalgia can only be achieved through perfect settings for the cushion cut diamond. And though it's far from vintage, the cushion cut halo engagement ring has undeniable appeal and a sizeable fan following.
Whether it is a 2 carat cushion cut diamond or a 4 carat cushion cut diamond, the most practical setting is four-prong. This setting ensures the stone will remain in place for the longest period of time possible. While extra prongs can block light and make your stone appear more dull, it will have a minimal effect on your cushion cut diamond. The light and sparkle really generate from the uncovered upper sections of the diamond like the table facet. We suggest making that decision on security of your stone and personal preference. If the stone is particularly large or rectangular, 4 prongs may not be the best choice. A 6-prong setting is typically used for these larger diamonds to ensure maximum stability of the stone.
In stylistic terms, one of the most popular choices is the bezel setting. Although it appears beautiful and elegant paired with a diamond. A bezel setting makes any ring appear all the more gorgeous, but keep in mind that a bezel-set diamond will not shine as brightly as a diamond in a different setting because the setting wraps around the entire setting, and therefore, most diamond experts suggest picking a different setting. Regardless of the compromised shine, the bezel setting for cushion cut diamonds remains a popular and marvelous choice.
Learn more about the cushion shape diamond in our cushion cut diamond guide to help you choose the right diamond for you.
Asscher Cut Diamond
The asscher cut, (also a step cut diamond like the emerald cut) is a blend of the princess and emerald cuts with X-shaped facets from its corners to its center culet. The brilliance of its faceting can mask certain inclusions and lower color grades. Asscher cut diamonds have a clean balance, visual appeal, and an Art Deco air that appeals to many brides-to-be who love vintage elegance. The step cut of the asscher diamond also emphasizes the clarity of the stone, and it is ideal for showcasing higher clarity loose diamonds.
Asscher cut diamonds tend to be a bit deeper and so they use rough diamond more efficiently than round diamonds. They use a very large percentage of the rough diamond (approximately 65%-75%). Asscher cut diamonds hold more carat weight distribution in the center or belly of the diamond, rather than out wide. This makes them look visually smaller than round cut diamonds of the same carat weight. A round cut diamond with 1.00 ct weight will be about 6.4 mm whereas the asscher cut will be 5.5 mm.
Knowing that the size is visually smaller, you can therefore expect to pay less for an asscher cut than a round cut, holding all other factors the same. The average discount to a round cut diamond may be as much as 15%. If you're looking for a 1 carat asscher cut diamond ring, you can expect to pay around $4137 for the stone if it's Excellent cut, VS2 clarity, and a G color diamond.
Another common name for asscher cut diamonds is the "square emerald cut." This name was given to it because most of the asscher cut diamonds have a close length to width ratio of around 1:1. They have similar features such as the step-cut and blunted corners. However, the asscher cut has a pointed culet (which is the bottommost facet of a stone), whereas the emerald cut has a long flat culet. The pointed culet of the asscher is an appealing aspect to many buyers because it draws the eye into the center of the diamond. By doing so, the observer is often mesmerized by its dazzling depth.
It's likely the silhouette that has you torn if you're deciding between these two stone shapes. But that's where the similarities end. Although they're both relatively square in shape, the asscher cut features cropped corners. It also has fewer, longer facets than the princess cut. So while the step-cut asscher is mesmerizing and its facets lead the eye to the center of the stone, it's best for showcasing the clarity of a diamond, not the brilliance. A princess cut diamond, on the other hand, has elaborate faceting that's created to magnify the brilliance of the stone. That means you'll get much more brilliance, fire, and scintillation from engagement rings featuring this diamond shape.
This debate is similar to asscher cut vs princess cut. Overall, the biggest difference is that cushion cut diamonds will be more brilliant than asscher cut diamonds. Like princess cuts, cushions are brilliant cut. They have more facets than the step-cut Asscher, which means light bounces through the stone and back to your eye more. The outline of the stone is different between these two as well. While the asscher has blunt, cropped corners, the cushion's corners are rounded. The cushion's shape is all about arches, making it a good choice for brides-to-be who love a soft, feminine look. The asscher on the other hand is architectural. The straight lines and clear, large facets are perfect for those who love something simple and elegant, with a tinge of the vintage.
Designing your ring, whether it's an asscher cut solitaire or a 3 stone asscher cut engagement ring, ultimately comes down to personal preference. Only one person will be wearing the ring day after day, and that's the only person whose opinion really matters in this. But what we can do is tell you how asscher diamonds are typically set, and how to make yours unique if you want it to stand out among other rings with this same center stone.
Since Asscher diamonds first rose to popularity during the Art Deco era, many people choose to honor this tradition with their engagement ring setting. But this diamond shape doesn't need much in order to turn heads. The clear step cuts are enough to take center stage, so it's worth considering an asscher cut solitaire engagement ring. And since the larger the stone, the more you can see the clarity of the diamond, we think these settings look particularly striking with a 2 carat asscher cut diamond. The baguette side stones are also step-cut, reinforcing the striking linear look of the asscher diamond. But then it's balanced out with round stones on the pave band.
But what if you want your 2 carat asscher cut diamond ring to look distinct? There are plenty of ways to do that, like not leaning into the Art Deco era. Not many people know that an asscher cut rose gold engagement ring can look completely different depending on whether you choose 14K or 18K rose gold. A rose gold asscher cut diamond ring with 14K, for example, will look much pinker than an asscher cut rose gold engagement ring using 18K rose gold. That's because 14K rose gold uses more copper alloy in the metal, which imparts that rosy hue.
Learn more about the asscher shape diamond in our asscher cut diamond guide to help you choose the right diamond for you.