What Are the Best Diamond Cuts for Engagement Rings?

Best Diamond Cuts for Engagement Rings

Choosing a diamond cut for an engagement ring is a big decision, because once you decide, it’s there forever, you know…like a tattoo. The cut affects how the stone sparkles and shines, making it a key factor in the ring’s overall beauty. From classic round cuts to unique shapes like cushion or pear, there are tons of options to think about. This piece will help you wrap your brain around the best diamond cuts for engagement rings, their characteristics, and how to choose the right one for your partner.

Popular Diamond Cuts Explained

Round Brilliant:

This is the most common and popular cut. It has 58 facets that are precisely arranged to maximize the diamond’s sparkle. Light enters the top of the stone, bounces around inside, and then reflects back out, creating a dazzling effect. Round brilliants are timeless and suit almost any setting.

Princess Cut:

With its square shape and sharp corners, the princess cut is modern and eye-catching. It’s the second most popular cut after round brilliant. Princess cuts have a unique sparkle pattern and can look larger than round diamonds of the same carat weight.

Oval Cut:

This cut looks like a stretched-out round diamond. It can make fingers appear longer and slimmer. Oval cuts often show a “bow-tie” effect – a dark area in the center of the stone. A well-cut oval will minimize this effect.

Cushion Cut:

Also known as a pillow cut, cushion diamonds have rounded corners and larger facets. They give off a soft, romantic glow that looks especially beautiful in candlelight. Cushion cuts can be square or slightly rectangular.

Emerald Cut:

This cut has a rectangular shape with step-cut facets. It creates a hall-of-mirrors effect rather than the sparkle of brilliant cuts. Emerald cuts show off a diamond’s clarity, so they’re best for high-quality stones.

Pear Cut:

Shaped like a teardrop, the pear cut combines the best of round and marquise cuts. It can make fingers look slimmer and longer. The point of the pear should face towards the hand for the most flattering look. For a truly unique and personalized touch, consider a stylish custom engagement ring with a pear cut.

Choosing a diamond cut for an engagement ring is a big decision, because once you decide, it’s there forever, you know…like a tattoo.

Matching the Cut to Her Style

When choosing a cut, think about your partner’s personal style. Do they prefer classic, vintage-inspired looks or more modern designs? Their everyday jewelry can give you clues. If they often wear intricate, detailed pieces, they might love the vintage feel of a cushion or emerald cut. For those who prefer sleek, minimalist styles, a round brilliant or princess cut might be perfect.

Pay attention to the metal colors they usually wear too. White gold or platinum settings make a diamond look very bright and modern. Yellow or rose gold gives a warmer, more romantic look.

If your partner loves colorful gemstones, think about how different cuts show off a diamond’s fire (colorful flashes) and brilliance (white light reflections). Round and princess cuts are known for their exceptional brilliance and fire.

Got a question? Are you in the process of choosing a diamond, but aren’t sure which direction to go? Come talk to us for a no-strings chat in our store. We’ll give you all the info you need and guide you in the process, so you can make an educated decision. Just book your meeting here by choosing the best date and time for you, and we’ll see you then.

Custom Engagement Rings - The Best Diamond Cut for Your Ring

The Science of Sparkle: How Cut Affects Brilliance

The way a diamond is cut dramatically changes how light moves through it. A well-cut diamond reflects light from one facet to another and then back through the top of the stone. This is what creates the brightness, fire, and scintillation we see. For those looking for a unique touch, explore Personalized engagement rings in Scottsdale to find the perfect cut and design that showcases the diamond’s brilliance.

Cut quality is determined by several factors:

  1. Proportions: The relationships between different parts of the diamond
  2. Symmetry: How precisely the facets align
  3. Polish: The smoothness of the diamond’s surface

If a diamond is cut too shallow or too deep, light escapes out the bottom or sides instead of reflecting back to the eye. This makes the diamond look dull or lifeless.

Different cuts create unique sparkle patterns:

  • Round brilliants are designed for maximum sparkle and fire.
  • Princess cuts have a distinct “X” pattern when viewed from above.
  • Oval and pear cuts create beautiful flashes of light and dark.
  • Emerald cuts produce broad flashes of light rather than the sparkle of brilliant cuts.

Understanding these differences will allow you to make an educated purchase matching your partner’s preferences for how they want their diamond to look in various lighting conditions.

Budgeting for Your Diamond: Cut Considerations

Diamond pricing varies based on the cut. Round brilliant cuts are typically the most expensive because they’re in high demand and require more of the rough diamond to be cut away during shaping. For a truly unique and customized touch, consider exploring Tailored engagement rings in Phoenix to find the perfect cut and design that fits your style and budget.

If you’re looking to maximize your budget, consider these options:

  1. Fancy shapes: Cuts like oval, pear, or cushion often cost less per carat than round brilliants.
  2. Slightly smaller carat weight: A well-cut 0.9 carat diamond looks nearly as large as a 1 carat stone but costs less.
  3. Lower clarity grade: As long as the diamond is “eye-clean” (no visible flaws to the naked eye), it can still be beautiful.
  4. Prioritize cut quality: A smaller, excellently cut diamond looks better than a larger, poorly cut one.

Remember, the goal is to find a beautiful diamond that fits your budget, not the largest stone possible.

The Right Setting: Enhancing Your Chosen Cut

The ring setting plays a role in the perceived appearance of your chosen diamond cut. Here are some popular settings and how they work with different cuts. For a unique and personalized touch, consider exploring Tempe custom-designed engagement rings to find the perfect setting that enhances the beauty of your diamond.:


This classic setting lets the diamond take center stage. It works well with all cuts but is particularly stunning with round brilliants and princess cuts.


A ring of smaller diamonds surrounds the center stone, making it appear larger. This setting can beautifully enhance cushion, round, and oval cuts.


This setting uses side stones to accentuate the center diamond. It works well with all cuts and can create a balanced, symmetrical look.


The diamond is surrounded by a metal rim, which can protect stones with pointed edges like princess or pear cuts.


The band is set with tiny diamonds, adding extra sparkle. This complements any center stone cut but looks glamorous with round or oval diamonds.

The metal color of the setting also affects how your diamond looks:

  • White gold or platinum makes a diamond appear brighter and more colorless.
  • Yellow gold adds warmth and complements lower color-grade diamonds.
  • Rose gold offers a romantic, vintage feel that pairs beautifully with cuts like cushion or oval.

Navigating Diamond Certifications

When buying a diamond, always ask for a certificate from a reputable laboratory like GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or AGS (American Gem Society). These reports provide unbiased information about the diamond’s characteristics.

Key things to look for on a certificate:

  1. Cut grade: For round brilliants, aim for “Excellent” or “Very Good.” For fancy shapes, which aren’t given cut grades, pay attention to the polish and symmetry ratings.
  2. Color grade: This ranges from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). Most engagement rings fall in the G-J range, which appear colorless to the naked eye.
  3. Clarity grade: This measures how clean the diamond is from inclusions (internal flaws) and blemishes (surface flaws). VS1 and VS2 grades offer a good balance of quality and value.
  4. Carat weight: Remember, this measures the diamond’s weight, not its size.
  5. Proportions: These affect how well the diamond handles light. Look for a table percentage between 54-57% and a depth percentage between 59-62% for round brilliants.

Understanding these factors will help you make an informed decision and ensure you’re getting a high-quality diamond.

Final Thoughts

Remember, while the technical aspects of diamond quality are important, what matters most is finding a ring that will make your partner’s eyes light up every time they see it. With the right information and a bit of patience, you will no doubt find a beautiful ring that will be cherished for a lifetime.

Still looking for the right cut? 

We can help. Come in for a no-strings design appointment, and we’ll ask all the questions that will guide you to choosing the right cut, as well as understand how to get your vision of a custom ring out of your head, and on to your partner’s finger. 

Just book your appointment below in our calendar, choose the best date and time for you, and we’ll see you then!