Your Guide to Diamond Cuts: How to Choose the Perfect Stone
September 20, 2021 • 7 min read • #diamond cuts
Engagement rings and marriage bands possess a storied place in our society. Those given to royals often end up either in museums or as long-lasting family heirlooms. People show off their rings with pride or judge their partner's valuation of their relationship on the ring they received.
Yes, it cannot be denied that people place incredible value on their engagement rings. That's why finding the perfect diamond shape to declare your eternity is so important.
What are the different diamond cuts? And how can you tell the difference between them? Is any cut superior to the other? Here's what you need to know.
First, What Is a Diamond Cut?
While most laymen use the terms "diamond cut" and "diamond shape" interchangeably, they refer to two different things. When many speak of the diamond using terms like oval or princess cut, what they mean is the shape that the diamond takes. However, the "cut" technically refers to the quality of the diamond and how it can reflect light — One of the 'Cs' in the '4Cs'. This is usually broken down into its brilliance, fire, and scintillation.
For the sake of simplicity, we'll use "diamond cuts" in its more common sense and talk about the various shapes in which we at Four Words can cut our lab-grown diamonds to suit your desires.
Understanding the Diamond Cuts/Shapes
The cut or shape of a diamond has as much to do with the ring's overall beauty as the ring setting. When contacting one of our concierges to create your perfect bespoke wedding ring, you can choose from any of the following standard options:
The Round Brilliant Cut
If ever there were a diamond shape synonymous with engagements, this would be it. Since its massive explosion in popularity during the nineteen forties, this diamond has adorned the fingers of movie stars and lovestruck young adults alike making up 75% of the diamonds sold worldwide. It has fifty-eight facets, all precision-cut to reflect the most light — if you wanted to maximise sparkle the round brilliant cut is the one for you.
The Oval Cut
The oval cut can provide the brilliance and shine of a round while offering the flattering elongation of a marquise or a pear cut. Like many other diamond cuts longer than they are wide, this cut can make a stone appear bigger than its carat weight would suggest. The oval is a classic shape that has become very popular over the past few years. If you wanted the sparkle of a round brilliant but the elongating effect of a longer stone then an oval cut is a great option.
The Princess Cut
The princess cut is one of the most recognisable and iconic engagement ring shapes. This square-shaped diamond with sharp edges and corners reigns over many others as the premier choice for a ring setting rife with diamonds. In fact, that's often where this monarch among diamond cuts shines: surrounded and supported by a band of its smaller kin.
The Pear Cut
Despite its name, this diamond cut is less of a pear shape and more of a teardrop. It has a single point with a rounded bottom, making it serve as an in-between for a marquise and oval cut diamond. This shape is quite effective at making smaller stones appear bigger, which can help you save money on the size of the stone. A pear shape would be a great option for someone looking for a modern shape while maximising sparkle.
The Emerald Cut
As one might expect, the emerald cut takes its name because the shape resembles one often used for that gorgeous green gem. This diamond has a large, open table and deep, step-like cuts which that reflects light that looks like 'flashes' than a glimmering sparkle. If you're after an understated, modern style then an Emerald cut is the way to go
The Asscher Cut
So named for the jeweller who crafted it, the Asscher cut relishes in its art deco vibes. This cut can sometimes be called a "square emerald" cut since it resembles an emerald cut but is more squared off. It's among the boldest, most statement-making engagement ring shapes, and suits those who vintage style rings.
The Marquise Cut
If you want a diamond that looks larger than it is, look no further than a marquise cut. This elongated, pointed shape makes the finger on which it rests look longer and more graceful. This makes it a perfect choice for the feminine lover in your life.
The Radiant Cut
What would you get if you married the sparkle and shine of a round brilliant with the rectangular shape of an emerald cut? You'd get the fiery radiant cut, which is by far the sparkliest straight-edged stone you can buy.
The Cushion Cut
The cushion-cut resembles, as one might expect, a couch cushion in its shape. It's a square with somewhat rounded edges that tends to have larger facets and a lot of sparkle and fire. It offers some of the bulk of a square-shaped diamond without all the sharp edges and harshness.
The Heart Cut
What could be more romantic than rendering the common symbol of love into an eternal stone? Such was the thinking that inspired jewellers to modify a round brilliant cut and make it into a heart shape. Depending on your tastes, this can be touching or kitschy. However, if a heart cut is your heart's desire, we at Four Words can guarantee that you'll have a diamond that shows your love for your partner and the environment.
Other Fancy Cuts
Then there are other 'fancy' cuts that are rare to find and often used as accent stones in an engagement ring. This includes things like trilliant cut, baguettes, half moons, calfs head, hexagons and a whole list
Antique cuts that are making a come back
Then there are the vintage cuts that are making a comeback. These are cuts of diamond that were used in the 1700s and 1800s when diamonds were cut by hand and didn't maximise the size of the diamond vs the shape and sparkle. In the 1900s once we had better tools and started cutting diamonds with machines the round brilliant cut became mainstream and these antique cuts lost almost all their popularity.
However, over the past few years as vintage styles have come back into style, cuts like old mine cut, old european cut and rose cut diamond started coming back. Normally with mined diamonds these are recycled from old rings and are very hard to find. But with our concierge service, we can custom make or source these cuts of diamonds for you.
What to Do Once You Have the Perfect Ring in Mind?
Now that you understand the differences between the types of diamond cuts, you probably have an idea forming in your mind for the perfect engagement ring. Our skilled designers will discuss and sketch your bespoke ring with you in real-time to help you find the best cut, ring setting, and other features for your ring. If you want to see what our concierges and designers can do for your special someone, reach out to us today for a full consultation!