Know Your Diamonds: A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Dazzler!
— By Felicity Newburry
11 November 2015
When it comes to wedding and engagement rings, diamonds are the go-to for most people, but there is more to choosing a diamond than you might think! Diamonds come in ten different cuts, each giving off their own special effect when they catch light, and most with an interesting little history behind them. The team at Wellington Weddings have compiled a go-to guide for choosing your perfect diamond, with some helpful hints and explanations about each cut. Happy ring shopping!
Images from Pinterest and Style Me Pretty
In the 21th century, the round-cut diamond is by far the most popular shape. It is our staple design, representing 75% of all cut diamonds sold worldwide! This is probably because its simple design is the most effective at reflecting light and thus maximized potential to sparkle and glimmer. Almost all round cuts are also “brilliant-cuts” which means they boast 57-58 facets!
This is a cut that boasts its own fabulous history. The Marquise-cut diamond allegedly came into creation when King Louis XIV of France gave a stone cut in the shape of the ‘perfect mouth’ to the Marquise of Pompadour. A marquise diamond is long and narrow with facets that give the illusion that it is of a greater size, making it a great choice for those that have a small budget but want a big sparkle!
The pear-cut diamond is a timeless classic. Featuring a tapered point, this diamond was inspired by the marquise cut, but is rounded on one end. The pear-cut diamond can take on a look that could be anything from a teardrop to a plump pear and looks stunning as a stand-alone piece.
The oval-cut diamond is identical in quality and brilliance to the round-cut diamond, the only difference being its elongated shape. Many diamond ring wearers will pass on oval-cuts, opting for round or princess-cut gems. Thus, the oval-cut is perfect for a person who wants to wear something eye catching and unique.
Emerald-cut diamonds are ideal for those who like a little edge. Instead of the typical sparkle most diamond lover’s lust after, an emerald-cut produces a “hall of mirrors” effect. This is achieved through the combination of a large, flat surface area and stepped cuts on the edges. Though it isn’t going to sparkle like other cuts do, it’s a very elegant and bold design.
The Asscher diamond was first invented in 1902 by famous jewelers, The Asscher Brothers of Holland. This style peaked in its popularity during the 1920’s and until very recently, could only be found in antique jewelers. The Asscher-cut started making a slow comeback in 2002 and is similar in its effect to the emerald-cut due to its large step cuts on the sides.
Once referred to as the “old mine cut”, a cushion-cut diamond combines a square shape with rounded corners. This diamond cut has been around for over 200 years and in the first century of its existence, it was the most popular gem on the market! Until the 20th century, the cushion-cut diamond was the de facto style in which diamonds were designed and produced.
Betzalel Ambar and Israel Itzkowitz only recently invented the princess-cut in 1980 and since then it has become the iconic image of the engagement ring. Their shape offers a lot of flexibility as the cut works in most settings. Princess-cuts share a lot in common with round-cut diamonds in terms of brilliance but are typically cheaper per carat. This isn’t because they are of lesser quality, but rather, their design allows for two princess-cut jewels to be cut from one diamond.
The radiant-cut is the only square-shaped diamond to give off a brilliance effect (meaning it sparkles like a round-cut). A radiant diamond is a nice middle road between a princess-cut and a cushion-cut and it looks best in sets with square cornered or rounded diamonds.
The heart-cut diamond is an unmistakable statement of love and devotion. When choosing a heart-cut diamond, symmetry is very important. The cleft should be sharp and distinct. To be able to distinguish its beautiful shape, you will need to purchase a larger diamond. The heart shape can be lost on smaller stones.