When selecting a diamond, the shape of the diamond is probably the first thing that comes to mind. There are dozens of different shapes that it can come in, but not all are created equal and some will have more optical appeal than others. The most popular diamond shapes these days are round diamonds, which come in various cuts and make for great jewelry. But there are other popular shapes such as a pear cut, emerald cut, oval cut and more.
The Round Brilliant Cut
The round brilliant cut is the most popular shape of diamond in engagement rings. This cut contains 58 facets, or small flat surfaces on the surface of the diamond. The number of facets, or "cuts" in a diamond, determine its brilliance—how light is reflected off of it and how much sparkle it has. A round brilliant cut has the most facets out of all diamond shapes, making it appear larger than other diamonds of similar size. It also has the most sparkle and brilliance out of all shapes, as well as the most variety in quality. Because they are so popular, they are very easy to find and buy at a range of prices, qualities and sizes. The round brilliant cut is available in almost all color grades, from fancy yellow to fancy pink to colorless white diamonds.
The Cushion Cut
An antique cut, the cushion cut has been around for over 200 years but has enjoyed a renaissance in modern times. With its rounded corners, it's often called a pillow cut. It has a delightful vintage feel and is especially suited for those who want old-fashioned romance or something different from the standard round diamond. Its large facets give it a romantic sparkle, but its low crown (the part of the stone that rises above the band) means that it doesn't shine quite as brightly as other cuts.
As far as price goes, this cut is typically less expensive than other popular shapes like the princess cut or round brilliant.
The Princess Cut
The Princess Cut is the most modern of all the classic cuts, having been introduced in the 1960s. It's also one of the most popular diamond shapes for engagement rings, especially for those seeking a clean, modern look.
The basic shape of the princess cut is a square or rectangular "pillow" with four long, flat sides and four pointed corners. The beauty of this cut lies in its brilliance—the way it sparkles when light hits it from any angle. The sharp edges along the top and bottom give the stone extra facets to reflect light back to the eye, while its open pavilion allows light to enter through the bottom and shine through its crown (the uppermost portion). This results in a unique brilliance that gives it an edge over other contemporary cuts like the cushion cut.
Another advantage of this shape is its versatility. It can be modified to fit into any ring setting, making it perfect for more elaborate designs that require a stone with a lower profile than what you'd find on round or pear-shaped diamonds. Some couples even decide to have their jeweler customize their princess cut by adding rounded corners and smoothing out sharp edges so they have an entirely unique gem to symbolize their love.
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