CHOOSING your engagement ring is one of the most important decisions a would-be bride will make.
It’s been estimated that the average price paid for an engagement ring is around £2.5K but whatever the cost of the ring, an important aspect is the diamond– and how it looks.
There are a number of different ways that a diamond can be cut and, whether you buy an off-the-shelf ring or a bespoke piece, it pays to know your cuts.
Know your cuts…diamonds can be cut in a variety of ways, particularly when you are looking for a bespoke design
The most popular cut for a diamond is the round brilliant cut. This is where the top of the diamond, called the crown, is cut with a round face-up shape and the bottom, known as the pavilion, is shaped similar to a cone. It’s a round stone with 5 facets and has the most sparkle of all the cuts – perhaps that’s what makes it such a favourite.
It certainly caught the eye of American rock star Joel Madden who famously popped the question to Nicole Richie with a classic engagement ring that had a brilliant cut centre stone.
The second most popular cut is the cushion cut. A cross between a rectangle and an oval, it has a pillow shape and is also known as the antique cut. Actor Ben Afleck popped the question to American actress Jennifer Garner with a 4.5 karat cushion cut diamond ring.
The marquise cut is an unusual style that makes a statement – it’s an oval shape with pointed ends that can look fabulous set simply on a white gold band. David Beckham’s original engagement ring to Victoria was a marquise cut. Although she’s been seen with several, different, precious stones on her engagement finger over the years.
Along similar lines to the marquise cut is the pear-cut diamond which resembles its name. An added bonus to the pear shape is that if you wear it with the point facing away from your body, it makes your finger look long and slender.
If you love the sparkle that a traditional, round brilliant cut gives but want something a little different, why not opt for the radiant cut diamond?
Most square or rectangular cuts just don’t live up to the round brilliant for sparkle, but the radiant cut was designed for getting maximum brilliance. The radiant cut diamond is often a rectangle, but sometimes square, with cropped corners, and it’s faceted for fire. It’s also more forgiving of diamond flaws and weaknesses than the less sparkling emerald cut diamond or the asscher cut.
A gorgeous square radiant cut that gives maximum brilliance to this diamond
An emerald cut which was originally developed for the gem of the same name is rectangular with cropped corners and long, stair-step-like facets. If you want an Emerald cut engagement ring, you’ll be in good company. Angelina Jolie, Beyonce and Kate Hudson all sport emerald cut engagement rings.
An asscher is similar to an emerald cut, but square. Developed in 1902 by the Asscher Brothers of Holland. It is a stepped, square cut, often called the ‘square emerald cut’ and, like an emerald cut, the asscher has cropped corners. It’s designed to draw the eye into the diamond and, if you’re having a bespoke ring, you should always make sure that you select the highest quality stone you can afford. Coldplay’s Chris Martin proposed to Gwyneth Paltrow with an asscher cut diamond.
Unusual and eye-catching…this emerald cut yellow diamond and purple sapphire ring makes a super statement
In contrast to the asscher, there’s also a relatively new diamond cut which was created in the 1960; the princess cut is square or rectangular and the profile or side-on shape is similar to that of an inverted pyramid with four bevelled sides.
Says Christopher Evans, Cheshire jeweller and goldsmith, “The princess cut has gained in popularity in recent years as a more distinctive alternative to the more round, brilliant cut.”
There’s one other cut that romantic brides can consider and that’s the heart-shaped diamond. It’s exactly that – a diamond cut into the distinctive shape of a heart. It’s a style that former Saturday’s star Rochelle Wiseman chose when she got engaged to JLS star Marvin Humes.