Which diamond shape is right for your engagement ring?
At Secrète Fine Jewelry, our brides-to-be want to make sure that they’re choosing the right shape of diamond for their engagement ring. While settings can be altered or diamonds can be reset as you get older and as styles change, most brides will want to keep their engagement diamond forever, so it’s a bigger commitment than the other aspects of the ring. Diamonds come in a vast array of shapes, and Secrète can help you source the best diamond shape for your hand, your ring, your personality, and your love story.
Round Brilliant diamonds are the most popular shape of diamonds for engagement rings. Their ability to beautifully reflect light and their classic symmetrical shape makes them great choices for anyone. Because circles have no edges, the round brilliant cut symbolizes eternal love.
This modern round brilliant solitaire engagment ring in platinum features a 1.25 ct center diamond, G color, VS1- available now at Secrète Fine Jewelry in DuPont Circle.
Oval cut diamonds are very similar to round brilliants in their ability to sparkle and reflect light, but their length adds a bit of personality. While the oval shape has been popular in diamonds for hundreds of years, most were variations on the rose-cut and lacked the right proportions to really shine beautifully; the modern oval brilliant cut was invented in Russia in 1960. Some women choose ovals because they can elongate shorter fingers, while some women with longer fingers like the way oval diamonds take up more of their hand. Horizontal set ovals (sometimes called “east-west”) have come in and out of style for centuries, and horizontal settings of longer stones have made yet another comeback in recent years.
As Queen famously put it, “Fat-bottomed girls, you make the rockin world go round,” and at Secrète, we love a fat-bottomed pear-shape diamond. These cool diamonds have a lot of history; this cut style was invented in the 1400s by Lodewyk van Berquem of Bruges, a famous Flemish diamond cutter. Pear shaped diamonds are unique with one pointed end and one round, so we recommend these for women who want to symbolize their individuality but also love traditional romance. When set symmetrically, they can bring a vintage charm to any engagement ring. You can also custom-design a pear shape ring set on its side for a cool asymmetric modern aesthetic.
This beautiful engagement ring from Secrète's DuPont Circle showcase features three fancy canary pear-shaped diamonds and yellow and white rounds in 18k white, yellow, and rose gold.
Emerald cuts are rectangles with lopped off corners, and are what is called a “step cut” or “table cut” because their facets are like steps down, or the beveled edges of a corner. The emerald cut style has been around since the Renaissance, but the name “emerald cut” was coined in the early 20th century in the Art Deco era. Its clean lines and understated elegance made it a favorite style of Art Deco jewelry. Women who choose emerald cut diamonds for their engagement rings have a classic, elegant style that’s never flashy or gaudy. Their clarity and simple lines symbolize honesty and purity. Elyahu, Secrète’s designer and owner, says emerald cuts are his favorite shape of diamond.
Asscher diamonds are basically square emerald cuts, but there are subtle differences between the two cuts. Asschers were invented in 1902 by the famous Asscher family of diamond cutters, so world renowned that they were chosen to cut the largest gem-quality diamonds in the world (i.e. the Cullinan diamond). This elegant diamond offers the sparkle, elegance, and heritage of perfection that can symbolize the romance of a bygone era for brides who choose this for their engagement rings.
This old-fashioned diamond is sort of football-shaped, long with two points. Louis XIV called the shape after the shape of his mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour’s, perfectly shaped lips. This stone has fallen out of popularity in recent decades, so it’s a bold fashion statement for the woman who chooses this one. Also, this diamond shows a lot of size per carat, meaning the ratio of its surface area to its weight is better than the other cuts of diamond. We especially love it set horizontally here at Secrète.
This square brilliant-cut diamond is very popular for those who appreciate modern, clean lines and also lots of sparkle. This relatively new diamond cut was invented in the 1960s, but many women appreciate the classic details like the symmetry of the square, the brilliant facets, and its ability to really shine! If you appreciate a good balance of clean lines and glitz, the princess cut is the best diamond shape for your engagement ring.
This princess-cut solitaire engagement ring in platinum is a lovely, simple choice from Secrète.
Cushion cut diamonds are brilliant squares or rectangles with rounded corners (like a cushion or pillow). Many brides prefer the softer edges of cushion cuts because they are universally flattering and because diamonds without hard lines symbolize love that goes on and on. This cut is very versatile and is modeled on the Old Mine cuts of centuries past. Secrète recommends brides understand the variables possible in cushion cuts-- whether they’re “brilliant” or “modified” refers to the number of facets and it greatly affects the look-- one isn’t better than the other, it’s simply a matter of taste.
Radiant cuts are like a cross between the emerald cut and the princess cut. This relatively new cut style was developed in the late 1970s. It offers a lot of beautiful sparkle, but also an elegant length that can complement longer fingers or elongate shorter hands. Radiant cuts look really beautiful with fancy color diamonds because their depth and facets highlight intense colors (Jennifer Lopez wears a pink radiant cut diamond in her engagement ring).
Old European and Old Mine:
Old European cuts and Old Mine cuts are the predecessors of the round brilliant and cushion cuts, respectively. These were popular throughout the 18th- early 20th centuries, but were phased out when the advent of electric light changed the way we look at diamonds (Old Euros and Mines are beautiful in candle-light and gas-light). These diamond shapes represent true old fashioned romance and are best for brides who are old souls, romantics, or for a love that feels like it could endure for eons.
This vintage engagement ring from Secrète Fine Jewelry's Washington, DC estate collection showcases a beautiful Old European cut diamond.
Old-fashioned and charming, rose-cut diamonds have triangular shaped facets all over a dome, as opposed to the table and facets of other diamonds. These quirky cuts of diamonds are especially fun on rough or fancy-color diamonds. Because the cut doesn’t really make diamonds sparkle, it’s typically not used on really clear, white, big diamonds. This is the ring for an iconoclast-- the type of bride who wants a non-diamond diamond-- if that doesn’t make sense to you, the rose-cut probably isn’t you.
This modern ring by Secrète Fine Jewelry n rose gold with a canary diamond features a rectangular rose-cut. Notice how the diamond comes up in a dome of triangles instead of a flat table.
Before you roll your eyes at the idea of a heart-shaped diamond, we swear this cut can be really elegant, classic, and transcend the cutesy. Yes, it’s old-fashioned, yes, it’s a heart, but to us, a heart-shaped diamond is like an Elvis love ballad on a Jukebox; yes, it’s sweet and it’s corny and it’s over the top, but sometimes love is just like that.
Kite, Lozenge, Calf’s Head, Trillion, Hexagon, Octagon:
These diamond shapes typically aren’t used as center-stones for engagement rings, but custom-designing an engagement ring is such a personal process, we’d never rule anything out. These unusual shapes are great for the true artist to custom-create a piece as unique as she is.
Sometimes diamonds aren’t cut into polished, neat, named shapes at all, but instead, are left in a closer-to-natural form. Whether you’re a natural hippy gal or just prefer the rough edges juxtaposed with architectural metal, rough diamonds offer endless possibilities. Natural diamonds symbolize an honest love without the need for fancy decoration.
This dainty engagement ring was designed this spring in our DuPont Circle store in rough rose gold with a greenish natural rough diamond. Inspired by a budding leaf on a branch, this is as fresh and sweet as a breath of spring!
There are so many diamond shapes, it can be very hard to choose the perfect diamond cut for your engagement ring. Secrète Fine Jewelry recommends coming into our store-- either our original Bethesda, MD store in the Wildwood Shopping Center or our Washington, DC store in DuPont Circle-- to try some different shapes and talk to a designer. We’ll get to know you and your tastes instead of pushing the latest bridal trend.
Want to learn more? Contact us today!