Choosing the diamond shape is possibly the first big decision to make on the mission to find the perfect engagement ring for you. Thankfully, for many, it is also probably one of the easier decisions too.
The diamond shape can be defined as the outline of a diamond when viewed from above as opposed to the cut grade or cutting style, which is how the diamond facets are arranged to maximise optical performance which is a combination of brilliance, fire and scintillation. There are two main groups of diamond shapes: round diamonds and fancy shape diamonds – square, rectangle, oval, pear, heart and marquise.
Fancy shape diamonds do hold more colour than a round diamond and inclusions are sometimes more visible, so it is recommended that higher specification for colour and clarity are chosen. Symmetry, length-to-width ratio and depth may also vary when selecting fancy shapes. We only select fancy shape diamonds of excellent to very good proportions as this will maximise the diamond’s ability to collect and reflect light. However, these characteristics also give all shapes their own personalities and suit a range of designs, just like us and our unique hands. When choosing the diamond for your engagement ring, let instinct and your eye guide you.
Round Diamonds – Classic, timeless and stunning, the round brilliant cut diamond is easily the most popular shape for an engagement ring. With exceptional fire, it is perfect in every setting, suits most hands and is the best choice if you are completely unsure as to which shape to choose, especially if it’s a surprise!
Pear Shape Diamonds – Delicate, strong and elegant, the tapered line of the pear shape is particularly favoured in the halo designs. The traditional way to wear a pear is with the point towards you which is thought to make the finger look long and more slender, however today it is up to the individual.
Square Shape Diamonds – Striking, glittering and dynamic, there are a few diamond cuts which fall into the square shape – brilliant-cut princess and cushion, step-cut Asscher and radiant cut. Square diamonds can be transformed from contemporary to traditional depending on their setting being either a modern or a vintage design.
Rectangular Shape Diamonds – Sophisticated, charismatic and alluring, rectangular shapes are stunning in a variety of settings. Due to their long, clear, glass-like nature, a higher clarity is preferred. Step cut emeralds are the most familiar rectangular diamond shape however cushions and radiant cuts can also have rectangular proportions.
Oval Shape Diamonds – Sensuous, smooth and sublime, the elongated curved shape of oval diamonds is a very flattering shape on many hands. The oval silhouette can be both contemporary and classic, it is effervescent in a range of settings. Look for a balanced sparkle across the diamond and a graceful outline.
Marquise Cut Diamonds – Dazzling, directional and distinct, a marquise diamond creates the illusion it is larger in size than its weight. Marquise diamonds can be set in either direction – along or across the finger – depending on your preference however exceptional symmetry is always very important with the marquise diamond shape.
Heart Shape Diamonds – Beautiful, romantic and playful, a heart shape brilliant cut diamond has lovely fire and brilliance and shines in a three-claw setting with a V-shape at the tip. Simple designs such as a solitaire setting, with or without diamonds on the shoulders, emphasise the unique silhouette of the heart shaped diamond best. Symmetry including length-to-width ratio are always crucial when choosing this diamond shape.
Before you start to dive into the 4C’s and whether you prefer a halo design or diamonds on the band, a great way to start your first appointment, if you are not sure what you’re looking for, is to see each one of the diamond shapes in a solitaire setting so that you can see in person how each one captures the light and sparkles. Certain diamond shapes pair more successfully with other diamond shapes in multi-stone rings. Round, oval, square, rectangle and marquise can all work well together. Pear and Heart shapes can be more challenging.
Keep in mind too that your engagement ring will be worn with a wedding band also, if you can’t decide between two shapes, trying-on as a pair of rings can be an easy way to refine your decision.
Trust your first reaction too, instinctively everyone has shapes they immediate love and don’t like. Prepare to be surprised, sometimes the ethereal starry white of the diamond in the least suspecting shape will win your heart.