What is the best diamond cut (for an engagement ring)?Becky Waldron
Have you figured out what diamond cut you want for your engagement ring? The diamond cut of your dreams can depend on a lot of different things such as your wedding dress, the ring band and your hand shape. Even if you have a cut in mind now, it might change once you’ve tried it on.
Diamond cut can be one of the most important aspects of a diamond engagement ring. It’s a chance to be a bit creative and determine the overall style you want to go for.
Here is the low-down on everything you need to know to create your perfect engagement ring diamond cut.
What is diamond cut?
For people newer to the diamond game, you may be curious to know what exactly is diamond cut? For those who already know, skip down to explore the different cuts...
Diamond cut is the geometric appearance of a diamond. This is formed by a professional gem cutter or ‘lapidary’ or, more commonly now, motorised diamond saws. As you can imagine, it’s a highly skilled task, knowing exactly how and where a diamond needs to be cut for its intended shape.
The cut of a diamond is largely centred around maximising its light performance - giving it the kind of radiance that people love. The ‘bling’ comes from the number of facets, how they are angled, and the shape and size of the diamond all come into play when determining how well a diamond disperses light.
Diamond cut grading system
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) introduced a diamond cut grading system in 2005, which determines how well the cut affects the stone’s ‘performance’. This can help you when buying an engagement ring, especially online, as you can gauge just how sparkly your diamond will be.
The GIA diamond cut grading system assigns diamonds to the following grades:
Excellent - a stone with high brilliance, scintillation and patterns of light and dark areas.
Very Good - these diamonds still have high brilliance and scintillation, but its pattern might mean it’s darker in the centre and at the edges.
Good - diamonds that are slightly darker and have less scintillation. Weight ratio can also have an impact: if it weighs more than the average gem with the same diameter, it will score lower on the scale.
Fair - a diamond graded ‘Fair’ will have little scintillation or brilliance, and appear darker than ‘Excellent’ and ‘Very Good’ stones.
Poor - these stones have very little brilliance or scintillation. They are often murkier, with some having black centres. Poor weight ratio can lower the stone’s grade.
The different diamond cuts
Now for the exciting bit; helping you choose an engagement ring you’ll love…
A round cut is a popular cut for brides. A classic, simple and understated cut, a round diamond has been embellishing engagement rings for women for decades.
With approximately 56 facets that reflect light, the way that a round diamond is cut means that it shines particularly bright. Although diamonds can have up to 144 facets, most commercial diamonds don’t reach over 58, making a round diamond is the epitome of sparkle.
This cut works well for solitaire rings and multi-stone engagement rings. A round diamond will definitely be eye-catching and amaze the lucky recipient when you pop the question.
Depending on the width to length ratio, a princess cut appears as a square or a rectangle shape. A combination of delicate and striking, the princess cut is also a widely chosen shape for engagement rings.
This cut boasts 50 facets and is a modified brilliant diamond, created with pointed corners. This cut’s brilliance can be seen from far away, catching light in the most mesmerising way.
The art deco aesthetic of an emerald cut makes it a glamorous choice for anyone looking for a diamond ring with an edge.
Emerald cut diamonds have rectangular facets, and while they don’t reflect light in the same way that round or princess cut diamonds do, their hall-of-mirror effect makes their shine more dramatic than sparkly.
Some call it pear, some call it teardrop. Either way, a pear cut diamond is enviously elegant, for the brides wanting to add more than just a ring to their finger.
A perfect centre piece, a pear shaped jewel needs little else to bring it to life (except perhaps the wedding ring to match).
This bottom-heavy diamond can look bigger than it actually is, with an excellent display of light. And, a teardrop shape helps to make your fingers look longer, ideal for the more hand-conscious wearer.
A cushion cut diamond gets its name from its resemblance to a pillow shape. Similar to a princess cut with softer corners, a cushion shaped diamond sits comfortably in any engagement ring.
Don’t be deceived by the name, a cushion cut is by no means soft. This 58-faceted stone accentuates its brilliance. The cushion is typically a more retro cut, so ideal for those going for a more vintage aesthetic for their engagement ring.
This oblong-shaped diamond is a cut for those wanting something a bit more adventurous than round, and less dainty than a marquise.
Like the pear, an oval cut diamond helps to elongate the fingers. The cut of an oval diamond emphasises the jewel’s brilliance and fire, so your engagement ring will definitely have some dazzle.
Want more sparkle? An oval cut is a popular shape for halo engagement rings, for the most extravagant symbol of love.
Also known as a Navette cut, the marquise cut could be likened to the shape of an eye (much more fitting than its usual comparison to an American football). Long, narrow and with pointed corners, a marquise diamond won’t be seen as often as other cuts like round or cushion.
This sleek cut has a distinct beauty, deriving from the French language, roughly translating to nobleman or noblewoman. This stone looks gorgeous paired with white gold, rose gold or yellow gold, perfect for any noblewoman...
Despite the heart being the universal symbol of love, heart cut diamonds are not typically used for engagement rings. We know the heart is not everyone’s cup of tea, but this only contributes to their individuality when seen on an engagement ring!
A heart cut diamond has a precise length to width ratio, making it symmetrically curved. Keep it simple as it is, or go that one step further and use your heart diamond in a halo engagement ring. A gorgeous way to wear your heart on your...hand.
The cousin to the emerald cut, an Asscher cut is a square shape with between 50 – 58 facets. Its depth allows more light to get in, making it magnificent to look at. Shiny, not sparkly, an Asscher cut diamond is not for the faint hearted.
‘Asscher’ derives from the man who invented the cut, Joeseph Asscher, and is quintessentially Art Deco. This cut has a rich history, not just in the Art Deco period but with royalty. A royal cut for a royal woman.
Are some cuts more expensive than others?
Diamond cut can influence how much you spend on an engagement ring. This is more about the quality of the cut, than the cut itself. However, cuts that maximise light return, such as a round cut, tend to be more expensive because they are usually more desirable.
The cost for each carat retained after cutting a round diamond is relatively high, too. Diamonds such as princess cut usually waste less material when being professionally cut, so are less money per carat.
If you want optimal light return, then you may have to spend a little more. If you’re more interested in the responsible sourcing of the jewel, for example, with cut being a secondary consideration, then your budget might have to be adapted accordingly.
The Skydiamond selection
An engagement ring reflects the wearer. A diamond cut is a perfect way to add personality to your wedding jewellery, the representative token of your love.
There’s a cut out there for everyone, each boasting their own qualities. Whether you’re set on a shape, or still deciding on your diamond, why not lose yourself in our stunning selection of sustainable and ethical diamonds?
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