When shopping for an engagement ring, there's plenty to consider: color, clarity, carat weight, and cut. The cut of a stone sets the mood for the rest of the ring, so choose carefully to create the perfect piece of jewelry. Here's a primer to major engagement ring cuts.
By far the most popular shape, a round cut stone is both popular and classic. The standard when it comes to engagement ring cuts since the 1920s, a round stone is highly sought after for its brilliance and sparkle, a result of the vast number of facets created by the shape.
The princess cut is one of the newest options for engagement rings, as it rose to popularity for the first time in the 1980s. The second most popular stone shape, this square cut combines the sparkle and timelessness of a round stone with a clean, contemporary look. Wear it alone or line them up for a sleek look.
An oval cut is perfect for the bride who wants the tradition and dimension of a round cut with a more unique silhouette. The oval shape also has a mid-century modern feel to it since it became an engagement ring standard in the 1960s.
Also known as a pillow cut stone, a cushion cut diamond has a square or rectangular shape with rounded corners and large facets. Based on the vintage mine cut (which had 58 facets), the cushion cut and its 64 facets was the go-to stone shape in the 19th and early 20th century; the famed Hope Diamond and the yellow Tiffany diamond share this cut.
A pear shaped diamond is perfect for the bride who wants something unique; only 2% of engagement rings are created with stones in this cut. The cut was first created in the mid-1400s, but didn't ascend into popular culture until Elizabeth Taylor sported a necklace with this cut bought for her by Richard Burton. It combines the brilliance of a round cut with the wow factor of a marquise.
Play up a stone's clarity with an emerald cut, which has fewer facets than round and princess cuts. Originally used for its namesake gem, the cut has been a standard in engagement ring diamonds since the 1940s. If you choose this cut, you'll want to go with a high quality stone since the cut will emphasis any inclusions or coloring in the stone.
Named after its creator and famed diamond artisan, the asscher cut was first introduced in 1902. This cut has a distinctive X pattern and 58 facets. Because this style puts the focus on clarity, consider putting an asscher cut diamond in a solitary setting to maximize its impact.
The radiant diamond takes a rectangular or square diamond and adds additional cuts on each corner. The style was created in its current form in 1977 and is a go-to style for those looking for brilliance and sparkle in a rectangular cut. Add additional, smaller diamonds around the stone for even more radiance.
The marquise cut is a stone shape with a deep history. It was commissioned by France's King Louis XV who wanted a stone cut in the shape of his mistress' lips. The length of the marquise cut allows it to give a higher shape per carat than any other cut.
Looking for more inspiration to help you find the perfect ring? Start with these unique ring ideas.