The ultimate guide to the best diamond cuts for engagement rings (2023)


  • od Sarah Hutchins
  • May 29, 2023
  • 5 min of reading

When choosing an engagement ring, you need to take the time to research the different onesdiamond cutand shapes to find what works best for you. At Orsini, we're often asked for guidance in this area, so we've put together the following comprehensive guide to diamond cuts, including round, princess, cushion, emerald, oval, pear and marquise, and what to consider when choosing a diamond cut for your engagement ring design. ring.

(Video) How to Choose a Diamond: Four-Minute GIA Diamond Grading Guide by GIA

What is the difference between diamond cut and diamond shape?

This can be a little confusing, but once you know what you're looking for, differentiating the two is a breeze.

Diamond shape refers to the geometric appearance of the diamond. Diamond shapes fall into two categories: round diamonds and fancy diamonds. Round diamonds, also known as round brilliants, are the most traditional diamond shape and are very popular. A fancy shape diamond is any diamond that is not a round brilliant, such as princess, cushion, emerald, oval, pear, marquise and heart.

It is important to note that diamond cut and diamond shape are not the same thing. A diamond's cut determines how its facets interact with light, while the shape describes the diamond's geometric appearance. The cut determines the shape of the rough diamond, not the other way around.

This is why diamond shapes are often referred to as synonyms, just to make things even more confusing!

What is the best diamond cut for an engagement ring?

Wondering which is the best diamond for an engagement ring? This is really subjective and depends on what you want most from your stone and setting - and often your budget. With that in mind, let's take a closer look at how shape affects size, price, and wearability so you can choose the best stone for your style and budget.

round diamond

Perfect for classic shapes, the round cut is made to produce the most shine and is known for its brilliance and versatility. Well-cut round diamonds are an excellent choice for engagement rings, but because round shapes are the most popular diamond cut and high-quality examples are in high demand, they are also the most expensive.

Another factor to consider is that while round diamonds may cost more per carat than other shapes, the same cannot be said for size. The beautiful brilliance of a well-cut round diamond can actually make it appear larger than a lower cut round diamond (which is why the cut grade is so important when buying a round diamond ring), but other shapes allow you to get more gems for less money.

(Video) Ultimate Guide to Princess Cut and other Squarish Shaped Diamonds (part 1)

princess diamond

The princess cut is one of the most brilliant diamond shapes and is more affordable than the round. How does it compare to other cuts? The Princess cut diamond is a square modified brilliant with sharp corners and with more than 50 herringbone facets, the princess cut is known for its exceptional fire and brilliance. Although these cuts are slightly smaller in frontal size, their long diagonal size makes them appear larger. Easily the most popular fancy shape, the princess cut looks great in any setting.

However, in terms of strength, the princess cut lacks the durability of other cuts due to the sharp angles. Their four corners are the most vulnerable to breakage as it is the thinnest part of the diamond and can easily hit furniture or other household items, but a quality jeweler can create a design that will ensure it is protected by a safe environment.

oval cut diamond

Ovals still have much of the shine of round ones, but their elongated shape has a very flattering elongated effect on the toes that many customers love. Oval is an elegant mix of round brilliants and marquise diamonds, this brilliant cut has shimmering facets that allow the light to really dance while creating the illusion of longer fingers. Bold and sophisticated, they're often much cheaper than round ones, so they're a great option if you're on a budget.

Speaking of flaws, if the symmetry of the oval cut isn't perfect, the diamond can appear slightly off-center. Look for identical mirror faces and buy your stones only from certified suppliers.

cushion cut diamond

Cushion cut diamonds show great fire, and these angles are used to enhance the sparkle of the color. Cushion cut diamonds are also traditionally known as "cushion cut diamonds", and the rounded edges soften the corners of this square or rectangular cut diamond. A unique twist on the classic round brilliant, cushion cut diamonds are a great choice for any engagement ring setting.

Cushion cut diamonds are unique, so every piece of jewelry they create will be truly unique. In addition, the rounded edges of the stone make it more durable.

Disadvantages of faceted gem pads include that they are an "open table," making imperfections easier to see. This cut also retains color better than other cuts, so you have to be very selective in your color grading if you want a true clarity diamond.

emerald cut diamond

Instead of the usual sparkle and fire, the emerald cut is inlaid with various sparkles. These diamonds reflect light in a beautiful and subtle "hall of mirrors" effect. Emerald cut diamonds are highly sought after for their understated appeal and dramatic depth. This cut has parallel rectangular facets with a wide open table that emphasizes the solid color and icy clarity of the stone.

On the other hand, this makes it difficult to hide imperfections in the stone. Large, flat surfaces are more likely to show inclusions than other cuts, so you may need more clarity than with a diamond of the same size or opt for a colored diamond.

pear-shaped diamond

Not only do pear-shaped diamonds have a uniquely beautiful outline, they are also less expensive than round diamonds. The pear-shaped diamond combines round brilliant and marquise cut styles to create a tapered teardrop diamond that exudes unusual brilliance. Like oval and marquise diamonds, flattering pear shapes can elongate fingers—especially when the tip is facing the nail.

On the other hand, getting the pear shape to be perfectly symmetrical can be very challenging, and

(Video) Oval vs Round Diamonds WITH REAL DIAMOND VIDEOS | The Ultimate Guide!

The end of the teardrop is a fragile tip that can easily crack or shatter the diamond. A quality jeweler should be able to protect it by placing it firmly.

Marquise cut diamond

The elongated shape of the marquise cut makes the stone appear large, which always ensures that the engagement ring stands out in the crowd. Marquise diamonds have the largest face-up area of ​​any diamond cut, making them stunning in any setting. Attractive and pleasing to the eye, what should you consider when choosing a marquise cut diamond?

First, the marquise cut accentuates the toes, making them slimmerThe longer, elongated shape extends down the fingers in a way that many other cuts cannot. Another advantage of marquise cuts is that they cost less than round cuts (but more than many other fancy cuts), and their light properties can hide inclusions.

However, most marquise cuts suffer from what jewelers call the "bow tie effect." It appears as a black line in the center of the diamond, shaped like a bow tie. However, while most marquise cuts have an arch, its visibility can vary depending on the quality of the diamond.

As a final note, the marquise-cut tip reduces its durability, but this can be protected by a tight fit.

How can I find the best diamond cut for me?

At Orsini, we love the process of helping our clients create the engagement ring of their dreams, especially one with a brilliant diamond centerpiece. The process of building and shaping an idea and then turning that idea into a masterpiece is one that we enjoy every step of the way, and a deep understanding of the diamond cut is fundamental.

If you have an idea for an engagement ring, we would love to meet with you. The Orsini team consists of talented jewelry designers, master diamond appraisers, gemologists and master goldsmiths, all trained to create unique jewelry at every stage of the process with the utmost precision and finish. We pride ourselves on our creativity and teamwork and would love to work with you to make your dreams a reality.

Feel free to contact us anytime or stop by our elegant Parnell studio, where we invite you to relax as we discuss these seemingly endless possibilities for your diamond design.

Get in touch now!

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What cut diamond holds its value the best? ›

Since a round diamond is thought to hold the most value when compared to the other shapes, it will almost always be given a higher price than any other shape with similar clarity, color, and carat weight.

Is James Allen legit? ›

Yes, James Allen is an extremely reputable jeweler, and its inventory consists of over 315,000 natural diamonds as well as over 50,000 lab-grown diamonds. Diamonds sold by James Allen are certified by one of the leading independent diamond labs.

What setting makes a diamond look biggest? ›

Choose the Right Number of Prongs

Round cut diamonds, for example, are typically set with four, five, or six prongs. If you're looking to maximize your diamond's size, setting it with six prongs will help it to appear larger than it may actually be.

What is the most important of the 4 C's of buying a diamond? ›

Diamond cut is the single most important of the 4Cs when it comes to the physical beauty of a diamond. Why? Because a diamond's cut determines how much it sparkles. The number of facets, the angle of the facets, and the symmetry and alignment of the shape will affect how the diamond returns light.

What is the cheapest cut of diamond? ›

What are the least expensive/most affordable diamond Cuts? Carat-per-carat, emerald and Asscher cuts are the least expensive. Because they are step-cut, there is less waste when these diamonds are cut off of the rough stone, which is going to cost the same no matter how it gets cut.

What shape of diamond sparkles the most? ›

Round Cut Diamonds Sparkle The Most

The standard round cut diamond comprises 57 facets (58 including one on the bezel). This cut heightens the diamond's sparkle and shine. Because round diamonds have the largest number of facets, they create the most sparkle.

What is an impressive diamond size? ›

3.00 Carats

For a truly stunning ring, a 3.00-ct diamond may be just what you need. At this weight, there's no doubt you'll have a big rock. However, a ring like this has a big price, too. For a three-carat diamond with excellent cut and color, you'll want to budget about $35,000.

How can I make my engagement ring look more expensive? ›

Choosing colored stones over a single, larger diamond works effectively at making your engagement ring look expensive. Colored diamonds are not just beautiful and unique but also easily grab attention. Their bright color gives a beautiful look to your fingers as well as the ring and makes the ring look expensive.

What makes an engagement ring look expensive? ›

The Halo Effect

The Halo Engagement Ring Design is one of the most popular engagement ring designs on the market because it looks expensive, without the expensive price tag. The center diamond is designed with a halo of smaller diamonds around it, giving off the illusion of a larger diamond ring.

What should I prioritize in an engagement ring? ›

  • Know the 4Cs. The first tip for buying a diamond engagement ring is to know the 4Cs: Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight. ...
  • Know diamond shapes and cut styles. ...
  • Look at diamonds under different lighting. ...
  • Pick a metal for the band. ...
  • Choose the setting. ...
  • Consider side stones. ...
  • Know Styles and Trends. ...
  • Measure ring size.
Jul 21, 2022

How many carats should an engagement ring be? ›

One of the decisions to be made when considering the purchase of an engagement ring is how many carats should the ring be? The average according to The Knot (a research company and website for all things wedding) is 1 to 2 carats. There is no rule. Developing a budget is always a good place to start.

What is the best diamond cut clarity and color? ›

FL (or Flawless) is the highest grade for clarity. An FL diamond has no imperfections even when magnified 10x by a professional. For color, D or completely colorless diamond is the highest grade. While flawless and colorless diamonds are extremely rare, cut determines a diamond's true value.

Is James Allen owned by Jared? ›

But they share the same parent company. Signet Jewelers is the world's largest diamond retailer. Signet owns Jared and expanded its empire in 2017 when it bought James Allen. Although you may have seen James Allen rings inside Jared stores, the two are still separate stores.

What does Ja mean on a ring? ›


Hallmark(s): "JA" Information: Founded in 1954 by James Avery in Kerrville, Texas. Works primarily in silver and gold. James Avery.

Do lab grown diamonds hold their value? ›

Unlike natural diamonds mined from the earth, lab diamonds won't usually gain value. In fact, in recent years, their value hasn't kept up with inflation, mostly due to the increased availability of lab-grown gemstones. So, to put it simply: a lab-grown diamond isn't going to bring much, if any, return on investment.

What is a poor cut diamond? ›

Poorly cut diamonds won't reflect as much light, giving the diamond less brilliance and fire. Some of the light will reflect out of the bottom of the stone, which is unseen when a diamond is set in a ring. Poorly cut diamonds may have light or dark patches that make the diamond look dull and lackluster.

What is the most difficult diamond cut? ›

Being one of the most difficult diamond shapes to cut, the eye-catching Heart shaped diamond is made up of between 56 to 58 facets and is beautiful to see. Nothing says “I love you” like a romantic heart shaped diamond with a brilliant cut.

Is J color diamond OK? ›

J color diamonds are a great choice for diamond buyers looking to get a larger carat size while staying in the near colorless range (grades G, H, I, and J).

How many carat is Meghan Markle's ring? ›

The center stone has a special meaning

The cushion-cut center diamond of Meghan's engagement ring is estimated to be roughly three carats and was sourced from Botswana — a country that is very important to Prince Harry and where the couple took their first vacation together.

What color diamond shines the most? ›

Because diamonds reflect white light, colorless diamonds produce the best sparkle and fire. In fact, the more color a diamond has, the less likely it is to reflect white light. And as a result, will produce less sparkle. A D-color diamond is the highest quality, and will offer the greatest sparkle.

What is the second most popular diamond shape? ›

But there are 10 shapes that are the most popular: round, cushion, oval, emerald, radiant, asscher, princess, pear, heart and marquise. Below you will find a deep dive into the top 5! In our showroom in Oceanside, NY along with our website we have helped hundreds of brides choose the perfect diamond.

What is the most popular engagement ring size? ›

The gem's carat is the unit that measures its weight, which can influence how big it appears. According to our study, the average engagement ring size is 1.5 carats. Roughly half of all engagement rings fall between 1 and 2 carats, with just 25% of rings sizing above two carats.

Is a 1.7 carat diamond big? ›

For the average person in the U.S., any diamond at least between 2 and 2.4 carats is considered “big,” i.e., way more than enough.

Is a 2 carat diamond considered to be big? ›

Is a 2 carat diamond considered to be big? The average carat weight for a diamond engagement ring is about 0.9 carat, meaning a 2 carat diamond is definitely considered big.

What is the most expensive part of an engagement ring? ›

Diamonds are the most expensive part of an engagement ring, so you can save major dough by using a diamond alternative as the center stone. “Consider a white sapphire, which is hard enough to withstand daily wear and has a similar color,” says Gandia.

Which diamond cut looks the smallest? ›

The smallest looking diamonds cuts are the asscher, princess and cushion cuts. Because of their square length-to-width ratio, these diamond shapes all have a small diameter and surface area relative to their carat weight.

Does 4 prong or 6 prong make diamond look bigger? ›

Four-prong mountings make diamonds look larger, while six-prong settings make the stones look a bit smaller in comparison since more of the gemstone surface is covered with metal.

What is a realistic engagement ring budget? ›

How Much Should an Engagement Ring Cost? A one carat engagement ring typically costs around $5,500, but most couples spend over $6,000—and 7 percent spend over $10,000.

What makes an engagement ring sparkle? ›

When light enters an ideally-cut diamond, the light bounces around its internal facets, bends, and exits through the top of the diamond. This is known as refraction. Refraction creates a sparkle in a diamond as a result of light bouncing around the inside, which hits your eye when the stone is in motion.

Do you haggle for engagement rings? ›

It is indeed completely appropriate to negotiate the price of any piece of jewelry. Jewelers know this and will expect it. That being said, it's important to note that the commercial jewelry chain stores (and brand name jewelry stores) will almost always immediately shoot down your negotiating attempts.

What are the 3 C's of engagement rings? ›

The three C's of diamonds are important: the clarity, the cut, and the carat.

How far in advance should you buy an engagement ring? ›

While there isn't a steadfast formula to follow when picking the best time to buy an engagement ring, here's the bottom line: Aim to buy a pre-designed ring at least one month before your intended proposal date, while two months minimum should be allotted for custom diamond jewelry.

What are the 4 Cs of diamonds? ›

Take a few minutes to study the 4 Cs (Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat) of diamonds below and become an informed engagement ring shopper.

How many carats is Hailey Bieber's ring? ›

Hailey Bieber's engagement ring is a stunning piece of jewelry that features a breathtaking oval cut diamond that is estimated to be between 6 to 10 carats in size. The diamond is set in a classic yellow gold band with a very delicate and tucked away peek-a-boo hidden halo.

How much does the average guy spend on an engagement ring? ›

While $6,000 is the national average cost of a ring, the spend per couple varies. Our study found that roughly one-third of all respondents are spending between $1,000 to $4,000 on their engagement ring. In fact, 8% of ring shoppers are spending under $1,000.

Is 2.5 carat a big diamond? ›

A 2.5 carat round diamond has a diameter of 8.9mm, this makes it look visibly larger than the 2 carat round diamond, which is 8.1mm in diameter. When compared to a 3 carat round diamond, however, the difference is barely noticeable; as the 3ct has a 9.3mm diameter.

Is VS1 or VS2 better? ›

A VS1 diamond has slightly fewer and smaller inclusions than a VS2 diamond. In other words, a VS1 diamond is slightly better than a VS2 diamond.

What grade diamonds does Tiffany use? ›

White diamonds are given a color grade of D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). Tiffany only accepts engagement diamonds in the “colorless” and “near colorless” range on a diamond color scale. For engagement diamonds, Tiffany only accepts D, E, F, G, H and I color diamonds.

What is the best cut clarity? ›

The best diamond clarity rating is Flawless (FL). These are the rarest diamonds in the world; less than 0.05% of all diamonds are Flawless or Internally Flawless.

Does shape of diamond affect price? ›

The shape is an important consideration when buying a diamond as it directly influences price. Round diamonds, the most popular diamond shape, tend to be priced higher than other shapes (referred to as fancy shapes) because of market demand, increased manufacturing costs, and their incredible brilliance.

Does cutting a diamond increase its value? ›

The cut of the diamond you purchase can actually affect the price by more than 30%. Whether you're looking for something simple online or you're buying an engagement ring in Michigan, you want a style that will please both your S.O. and your wallet.

Does a diamond's cut affect diamond quality? ›

Why Is Diamond Cut Important? Put simply, cut is responsible for the quality of a diamond's sparkle. If a diamond is cut poorly, it will appear dull even if it has a high color and clarity grade. If a diamond is cut well, it will reflect and refract light for maximum brightness and sparkle.

Are cut diamonds worth more? ›

Are old cut diamonds more valuable? Most Old European cut diamonds are valued less than round brilliant cut diamonds of similar carat weight. Although they are rare, there is less demand for old cut diamonds than round brilliant cuts.

Which shape of diamond is cheaper? ›

Radiant are square or rectangular brilliant-cut diamonds with cut corners. They are often the most affordable diamond shapes.

What affects diamond prices the most? ›

The weight of a diamond has the most significant impact on its price. Since the larger a stone is, the rarer it is, one 2 carat diamond will be more expensive than the total cost of two 1 carat diamonds of the same quality.

How much is a 1 carat diamond worth resale? ›

On average, the retail price for one carat diamonds can be anywhere between $2,000 to $16,000, and between $8,000 to $72,000 for two carat diamonds .

What ring holds its value? ›

Engagement rings will usually hold most of their value even if there are new fashions. Outside niche trends like black diamonds, style changes in engagement rings are most easily measured by the popularity of various diamond cuts.

Are diamonds worth more now than 10 years ago? ›

In general, diamonds do not increase significantly in value over time. Outside of a small number of rare or colored diamonds, the vast majority of diamonds have decreased slightly in value over the last few years, making them a poor investment from a price appreciation perspective.

What cut is the Tiffany diamond? ›

Since 1886, the iconic Tiffany® Setting has featured a triple excellent round brilliant diamond, setting the standard against which all engagement rings are measured.

What is a poor quality diamond? ›

A diamond with a poor clarity grade has multiple inclusions, which directly affects sparkle. Because inclusions hinder the refraction and return of light, the lower the clarity grade, the cloudier the diamond will appear.

Are old diamonds better than new? ›

Antique diamonds are known for their more understated, flowery brilliance and have a softer sparkle thanks to larger facets arranged differently than a modern round or cushion cut diamond. On the other hand, modern diamonds feature a sleeker, more geometric quality than their antique counterparts.

How much do you lose when cutting a diamond? ›

A diamond loses 50% of its weight in the cutting and polishing process. In order for a rough diamond to reach its full potential it will undergo a cutting and polishing process; during which, the diamond will lose up to 50% of its original rough carat weight on average.

Why are fancy cut diamonds cheaper? ›

Fancy-shaped diamonds are less expensive than round-cut diamonds. This is because round-cut diamonds are the most popular and they also produce more rough diamond waste.


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