Finding the right cut for your engagement ring is sort of like a kid trying to choose one candy in a candy store.  Impossible, right? Never fear, here's what you need to know about these sparkly gems.

Asscher

One of the first patented cuts, the asscher cut features 74 facets.  What does this mean for you? It plays off light really, really well. The downside is that because of its open, square cut with cropped corners, this style doesn't hide diamond imperfections well.  The good news is that if you purchase an above-average diamond in terms of color and clarity, this cut will show off your investment splendidly!

engagement ring with asscher cut center stone

Cushion

Also called a pillow-cut, the cushion cut is most often a square shape with decidedly rounded corners (although sometimes the shape can be slightly more rectangular).  Because of the cut style, it shows off clarity very well. The cut is also beautifully enhanced with a halo setting such as the one below.

cushion cut engagement ring in halo setting

Emerald

This timeless cut has long cuts to create a narrow rectangle with cropped corners, similar to the asscher. Many brides love it because of how flattering it can be on the hand, elongating the appearance of the fingers. The emerald cut, while popular, is not as common as other cuts, so you can often find affordable options in higher quality than other cuts in your price range.

emerald cut engagement ring

Heart

Perhaps more so than any other cut, it is important to pay attention to the overall appearance and proportion of a heart shaped diamond.  Make sure you like how the cleft of the heart is cut, as well as the wideness of the body. Be sure to also note how is it incorporated into the setting. Its shape might require more prongs than you like the look of.  However, because of its irregular shape, these additional prongs are necessary to protect and reinforce the stone.

sparkly heart cut engagement ring

Marquise

The name of the marquise is a nod to its origins with French royalty. It's essentially a narrow oval with pointed ends. Like the heart cut, the marquise requires more prongs and requires that you be more selective on choosing a setting that will create a solid foundation for the diamond.  These stones look particularly stunning as a solitaire because of their dramatic shape.

engagement ring with marquise cut diamond

Oval

The oval cut elicits so much sparkle. This popular brilliant cut elongates the finger and hides small flaws well. Although, you should pay attention to the color in the center of the stone. If it is decidedly darker, a "bow-tie" illusion might appear when you look straight down into it (this is a sign that the stone is of lesser quality).  This cut is also flexible with a wide variety of different settings and styles.

engagement ring with center oval cut diamond

Pear

A pear cut diamond has a unique and elegant appeal. Look for even and well-proportioned shape. You can wear the point in either direction, although some believe it is more flattering with the tip pointed up towards your fingernails. Because of the shape, pear diamonds can also appear larger than other diamond cuts of a similar weight.

platinum engagement ring with pear cut center stone

Princess

The second most popular diamond cut in the United States is the princess cut. This cut is a square shape without the cropped corners that you see in asscher or emerald cut diamonds.  Although the appearance of an asscher cut and a princess cut are very similar from above, the princess features more facets towards the top, whereas the asscher has a larger flat surface area.

white gold princess cut engagement ring

Radiant

A radiant diamond is designed for lots of sparkle because of its many facets. The most dominant feature of a radiant cut is cropped corners. Some radiants are square, whereas others edge towards rectangular in shape.  If you look into a radiant cut from above, you will notice a slightly circular pattern--this is due to the way it is cut. See the differences from the similarly shaped princess cut above?

radiant cut engagement ring with twisted platinum band

Round

The most popular diamond cut, you will have no problem finding an exhaustive selection of different settings, grades, and styles with round diamonds. Because of the way this diamond is cut, you also have plenty of sparkle.  This cut looks equally spectacular alone in a simple solitaire setting, or surrounded by diamonds in different cuts.

engagement ring with round diamond center stone

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