There are many things to consider when choosing engagement rings and the shape of the centre stone is one of the most important. From the classic round brilliant to the Art Deco-inspired emerald and elegant cut, the shape of the diamond can completely change the look of your engagement ring. With so many different cuts to choose from, we have rounded up the most popular engagement ring shapes for modern brides.
1. Round brilliant
With their exceptional light-reflecting qualities and eye-pleasing symmetry, round engagement rings are by far the most popular, making up around three quarters of all diamond purchases. The majority of rough diamonds lend themselves to being cut into this shape, which maximises the stone’s brilliance and fire. A round brilliant-cut solitaire is a timeless engagement ring that will never date, but this versatile diamond shape also looks fabulous with a halo surround or as part of a three-stone design.
British jewellery designer Andrew Geoghegan says: “As much as I love to create designs with more unique cuts, the brilliant is consistently the most sought after and hence is a cut that features heavily in my collection. The shape has no angles so you could describe it as soft, but there is also no denying its strength and impact; when cut well, the brilliant will throw back more light and colour than most, if not all, other cuts.”
2. Princess shape
Available in both square and rectangular shapes, the princess cut is the second most popular shape for an engagement ring. The newest of the five diamond cuts highlighted here, the modern version of the princess cut was created in 1980 by Betzalel Ambar and Israel Itzkowitz. Suitable for almost any diamond ring style, its pyramid shape with 58 facets and four bevelled sides increases light dispersion and helps hide any inclusions in the stone. Princess-cut diamonds also tend to have a slightly lower price per carat than round diamonds, as less of the rough stone has to be cut away.
If you want a softer, square-shaped diamond it is worth considering the Lucida, a cut patented by Tiffany in 1999. With its wide corners, the mixed-cut shape combines the classic elegance of a step-cut crown and a brilliant-cut pavilion to create a perfectly proportioned diamond.
3. Pear shape
Pear-shaped engagement rings have an elongating effect, making them the ideal choice for those not blessed with long, slender fingers. Also known as a teardrop because of its shape, the pear cut is a combination of the round and the marquise cut. It is also one of the most challenging shapes to create as it is prone to a “bow-tie effect” if the facets are not cut properly. First introduced in the 1400s, the ideal pear-shaped diamond should have a ratio of 1.5/1.75 to maximise its sparkle and ensure it looks in proportion.
Pear-cut engagement rings look very glamorous so it’s not surprising that they grace the hands of many celebrities including Victoria Beckham, actress Katherine Heigl, and tennis star Anna Kournikova.
4. Heart shape
Heart-shaped engagement rings are arguably the most romantic of them all. The heart is also one of the most complicated diamond shapes to cut, as the proportions must be totally symmetrical to ensure the diamond doesn’t look stretched out or bulky. Similar to a pear-shaped diamond but with a sharp cleft at the top, the two sides should have a slightly rounded shape as they curve down to the point. A classic symbol of love, heart-shaped engagement rings look best in a solitaire setting or framed by pavé diamonds that emphasise the shape of the centre stone.
5. Emerald shape
If you’re considering an emerald-shaped engagement ring, it is advisable to prioritise clarity and colour over size. However, thanks to its larger surface area, a 1.00ct emerald-cut diamond will appear bigger than a round diamond of equivalent weight.