When it comes to wedding rings, many couples opt for plain bands which may be made from yellow or white gold, platinum or silver. However, some couples prefer to include a gemstone in their design to make it more personal. Of course, trends alter over the years, and as it is designed to last forever, it is often better to select a more classic design. Choosing a cut diamond is down to personal preference, but in this article, we will examine some cuts that are currently popular.
Naturally, if you do select a stone, it will be one of the integral parts of a wedding ring. High-quality jewellers will offer a selection of different shapes, usually referred to as the cut. Knowing the authenticity and origin of the stones is also vital, and the GIA should certify them. Here are some of the most common cuts, many of which you may already be familiar with.
A round cut will help to exhibit the most facets as well as being known for showing off the shine most associated with diamonds. It is estimated that around 75% of the world’s diamonds are cut in this style, and the 58 facet design is perfectly crafted using a tried and tested formula to give the sparkle effect. To achieve a round diamond, a significant proportion of the original stone will be lost during the cutting process – hence the higher cost per carat.
The oval cut captures the appearance of the round cut, but thanks to its shape, often attracts more attention. It is currently one of the most fashionable styles around the world and can appear larger. Known for its ability to flatter and make fingers look longer and thinner, it has more rounded edges which can give an impression of colour so taking time when choosing the clarity and the colour grade of the diamond is essential.
A pear-shaped diamond is one of the most unique styles of diamond and is most commonly used in engagement rings. As with the round and oval cuts, it usually has 58 facets that give the same incredible sparkle. Due to the shape, it can be worn either way up, and the faceting can disguise any inclusions that may be present in the diamond. It should be set in a prong covering to protect the narrower end of the diamond from chips.
The princess cut still retains a remarkable degree of shine and sparkle, despite the square shaping. It is a relatively modern cut, and the diamond must have a greater depth, often between 70% and 78%. The stone should be set in four prongs to protect the edges from chips and requires great skill from the jeweller. They usually have either 57 or 58 facets and occasionally come in a rectangular form when the ratio is higher than 1.10. Most square princess cut diamonds have a ratio of between 1.00 and 1.05.
The cushion cut is often mistaken for a princess cut due to their similar square or rectangular design. The primary difference is that the edges are rounded meaning that they are more suitable for rings that are worn all the time rather than occasionally. Not surprisingly, given the name, they have the appearance of a cushion and in certain lights can give a rainbow effect. The designs often have larger facets and can show clarity inclusions, so choosing a stone with a high level of clarity is more important.
The emerald cut is one of the oldest cuts of any gemstone. It has a faceted layering which can some be known as the “step cut” and gives a symmetrical sparkle which can’t be achieved with any other style. As the cut emphasises the colour of the stone, it is highly advisable to purchase the highest quality diamond you can afford to give the maximum effect. Diamonds are usually set in an open setting, although coloured gemstones are typically placed in a bezel or closed setting.
The marquise-cut is the official name for this cut of gemstone but often has other names including eye cut or navette cut. It is one of the most common styles used in wedding rings and thanks to its shape; it will allow for the diamond to be incorporated in a range of ring styles. It is often regarded as a cross between a round and a pear-shaped cut and is particularly suited to women with longer and more slender fingers.
The Asscher cut is octagonal and is understated and timeless, giving a softer sparkle than some of the better-known cuts. It is slightly different in that it has X-shaped facets that emanate from the corners to the centre. It can resemble the emerald and the princess cuts thanks to its stepped appearance, which help to show the clarity of the diamond. For this reason, higher quality diamonds are recommended, although the faceting can help to hide some inclusions.
One of the modern cuts is the radiant which has a superbly symmetrical shape that many describe as a blend of the round and emerald cuts. Its magnificent sparkle is down to 70 facets and gentler cuts to the corners. It is often selected by those torn between a round or emerald cut and gives the wearer the best of both worlds.
Choosing your diamond
Of course, this is very much down to personal preference, but as it is one of the critical parts of a wedding ring, it is worth taking time to decide. Elongate shapes tend to be more flattering with the cushion cut proving to be incredibly popular at present. If you are concerned about the cost, we would suggest choosing the emerald cut over a round cut due to a high percentage of the rough diamond being lost during the cutting process.
The right diamond is the diamond that you and your partner will love and cherish forever.