Choosing the perfect diamond engagement ring to mark the next chapter of your life is not an easy task. From the ring size to the type of metal, the diamond weight to the clarity and everything in between, there’s an endless list of factors to consider when choosing the perfect engagement ring for your partner. 

Diamond cut is one aspect that often gets overlooked when looking for engagement rings. However, it is arguably more important than a diamond’s weight as the cut will give the diamond the sparkle you desire - one of the key buying points for any diamond engagement ring. 

In this blog, we highlight some of the most popular diamond cuts for engagement rings, the difference between different diamond cuts and which engagement ring cut is the most popular.

What Is A Diamond Cut?

A diamond cut is part of the diamond 4Cs though instead of referring to the shape it represents the symmetry, proportions and polish of the diamond. A diamond cut accounts for the number of symmetrical arrangements of the diamond facets which contribute to the shape and appearance. The polish refers to the smoothness and the symmetry covers the alignment of the facets. 

Looking for more information about diamonds? Check out our complete diamond guide for everything you need to know. 

What Are The Different Diamond Cuts?

When it comes to diamond cuts you may automatically be drawn to the classic round brilliant diamond - which still remains the most popular type of diamond cut today. But if you are looking for something a little more original, then there are plenty of cuts that all reflect light differently, adding a different kind of sparkle to your piece. 



What Is A Round Brilliant Diamond Cut?

Often referred to as the “round brilliant cut” due to its ability to reflect light (i.e. brilliance) that often outshines most other diamond cuts. It’s by far the most common type of diamond cut for engagement rings, with a market share of 75%. This cut’s popularity is partly due to the amount of flexibility that it gives the owner with the other 3 Cs – clarity, colour and carat.

What Are Fancy Diamond Cuts? 

Fancy cut diamonds are cut from the rough in a way to retain more of the carat weight. Each fancy cut is different, appealing to a wider range of audiences.  A fancy cut diamond is literally any other diamond shape other than the round brilliant cut. Some of the more popular fancy diamond shapes include emerald, pear, radiant, heart, and marquise cut diamonds.

Princess Diamond Cut

First created in the 1980s, a princess cut diamond is any diamond that appears in a square shape with pointed corners. This is another type of diamond cut that’s in high demand due to its brilliance, however, it’s typically a lot more affordable than round brilliant cut diamonds.

Cushion Diamond Cut

Cushion cut diamonds can look almost identical to princess cut diamonds at first sight, however, the main difference is that they feature rounded corners. This type of cut has been around for centuries and has remained one of the most popular cuts throughout this time. Due to its timeless style, cushion cut diamonds are a great choice for classic and contemporary engagement rings alike.

Oval Diamond Cut

With a similar cut to round brilliant diamonds, oval cut diamonds are another type of diamond cut that have incredible brilliance, making them ideal for engagement rings. Like marquise diamonds, this style helps to elongate the finger.

Emerald Diamond Cut

Emerald cut diamonds were highly popular throughout the 1920s, making them a great option for Art Deco-inspired engagement rings. As they’re cut in a different way to brilliant diamonds, using rectangular step-cut facets, emerald cut diamonds don’t really reflect light in the same way. Saying that, the emerald cut is often considered as one of the most luxurious diamond cuts and is instantly recognisable by its unique style.

Radiant Diamond Cut

With a similar appearance to emerald cut diamonds, the main difference with radiant cut diamonds is that they have been designed to showcase brilliance in the same way round cut diamonds do. This is a great choice for anyone that loves the shape of an emerald cut but doesn’t want to sacrifice brilliance, or for anyone looking for a truly unique style of engagement ring.

Marquise Diamond Cut

Known as the “eye-shaped cut”, marquise diamonds have the largest surface area of any diamond per carat. Although it might look like a more modern design, this diamond cut actually originates from 18th century France, when King Louis XV commissioned his royal jewellers to cut a diamond that resembled the smile of his lover. Due to their long, thin shape, marquise cut diamonds do a great job at accentuating slender fingers.

Pear Diamond Cut

Often referred to as the teardrop cut, this beautiful style takes inspiration from the round brilliant cut and marquise cut. It’s become extremely popular in recent years, sported by A-list celebrities such as Cardi B and Paris Hilton.

Heart Diamond Cut

Whilst you might expect the heart shape cut to be a relatively new creation, it’s actually been popular since the late 1400s. This unique style looks exactly how it sounds and makes a great choice for engagement rings, particularly if you plan to share a picture of it on Instagram.

Which Diamond Cuts Are The Most Popular?

The most popular diamond cuts are the round brilliant, cushion and princess cut. Round brilliant diamonds have fifty-seven perfectly aligned facets and its brilliance out-shines the rest. Plus over 75%  of diamond engagement rings sold are round brilliant cuts, so there's no doubt this is one of the best. 

In the past couple of years, cushion cut has taken over princess cut to become the second most popular diamond shape. It is a soft square or rectangle shape, similar to a cushion - a cross between the round brilliant and the princess. Lastly, one that is all about angles, is the princess cut. The square shape has a contemporary touch and can be set in either the square of compass point orientation - it's a classic! 

What Are The Diamond 4Cs?

Diamonds have certain characteristics that help us tell them apart. The 4Cs - clarity, colour, cut and carat - are the globally accepted standards for assessing the quality of a diamond. 

How Is A Diamond Cut?

Put simply, a round brilliant diamond is cut by the following steps:

  1. Evaluate the diamond using computer software.
  2. Mark the outline for the best possible diamond shape and cut.
  3. Saw or cleave the rough stone.
  4. Create a final diamond outline using a process called bruting or girdling.
  5. Block the main pavilion facets.
  6. Create the diamond crown.
  7. All main facets are polished.
  8. Brillianteering and quality control.

What Is The Difference Between A Diamond Cut and A Diamond Shape?

Many people may think these are the same, but they aren’t. A diamond cut determines how the facets interact with light, whereas the shape describes the geometric appearance. Cut also defines the shape for a rough diamond. 

What Is The Difference Between A Radiant And Emerald Diamond Cut?

When you look at emerald cut diamonds and radiant cut diamonds, they will appear similar. A radiant cut diamond is most likely rectangular, but on some occasions can be square, whereas an emerald cut is also rectangle but with truncated corners. 

Another difference is their facets - emerald cut diamonds are shaped so that they are parallel to the girdle and each other. However, radiant cuts have triangular facets and other non-rectangular facets.

Finally, in radiant cut diamonds, the facets are positioned and shaped to enhance the brilliance of the stone. As radiant cut diamonds have the better brilliance, the flaws in the stone will not be as easily visible when compared to emerald cut diamonds. However, in emerald diamond cuts, they tend to have wider, more dramatic flashes of light. 

Which Diamond Cut Is The Best For A Large Engagement Ring?

The brilliance of a round brilliant diamond is what truly makes the diamond stand out amongst a crowded room. Some will suggest that elongated shapes, such as oval, pear and emerald cut will appear larger when placed on an engagement finger, but it's all about how the cut maximises sparkle on every carat size.

Do you need help making sure you find a piece your partner will treasure for a lifetime, long after your wedding day? For more information check out our guide on engagement rings

Which Diamond Ring Cut Is The Most Expensive?

You may be wondering what the most expensive diamond cut is, well it is actually the most popular cut. This is because it wastes the highest amount of rough stone during the cutting process - nearly 60% on average! This large amount of discarded material means that consumers will pay for a larger stone than they end up with to help cover costs.

How Do I Take Care Of My Diamond Rings?

Are you looking to keep your diamonds glistening year after year? When it comes to looking after engagement and diamond rings you should ensure you don't wear them when washing your hands or showering, as submerging rings can cause them to dull. You should also never wear them swimming or when working outdoors as saltwater can be corrosive and small rocks can be abrasive and permanently damage your ring.

If you do need to give your ring clean, follow these steps: 

  • Get a small bowl of warm water and mix with any mild liquid detergent.
  • Brush your jewellery gently with a small soft brush and be careful not to scratch the metal or diamond.
  • Rinse thoroughly under water and pat dry with a soft lint-free cloth.
  • Use a quick dip liquid jewellery cleaner to keep your diamond jewellery shiny.

For more of our articles check out the Hatton Jewellers blog.