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Browsing engagement rings—even if you’re nowhere near the altar—can give us all sort of a jewel-induced endorphin rush. Whether you keep all your engagement ring inspo on a wedding Pinterest board or just bookmarked on your browser, there’s nothing quite like seeing a ring and falling in love. (It’s almost as satisfying as actually falling in love, am I right?) And while trends come and go, knowing all the different types of diamond cuts—and how different jewelers set them—can give you some insight into what’s popular now, and what you might want to boast on that ring finger of yours in the future. Plus, it’s just fun, OK?!
I can’t count the number of times I’ve sat on my computer for hours and clicked through dozens of pages of stunning rings I have no reason to buy right now. That’s the beauty of engagement ring browsing: You don’t have to be in a relationship, engaged or even interested in getting married to enjoy some gorgeous diamonds and other unique jewels. A pretty ring is a pretty ring—whether or not you ever plan on wearing one. Of course, if you do plan on wearing an engagement ring in the future, the browsing gets even more fun. The only thing better than online window shopping is actually online shopping.
Below, you’ll find all the most popular diamond and jewel cuts, how to tell them apart (It’s more complicated than you might think, so everyone from experts to novices can learn a thing or two.) and ways to shop each and every one. If you’ve been looking for some major engagement ring inspiration, allow us to be your guide. Whether you’re looking for some hints to give to your partner, want to treat yourself to some new bling or just have an affinity for shiny things (Same.), consider this your masterclass on engagement rings.
1. Princess Cut
The princess cut is basically just a square or rectangular cut diamond. Its technical name is actually “square modified brilliant,” but princess definitely sounds better. From above, you can see the rectangular or square shape, and from the side, the diamond looks like an inverted pyramid with four beveled (or sloped) sides.
Vintage meets modern in this stunning Shane Co. princess cut engagement ring. This beauty looks like something royalty would wear, and I’m here for it.
This gorgeous diamond-adorned princess cut ring is elegant, modern and classic—all at the same time. It’s a bit over-the-top without feeling gaudy.
Oval-shaped diamonds and jewels are just that: They’re oval-shaped. There’s nothing too wild about this cut of diamond, but it’s often surrounded by other smaller diamonds. So whether you prefer a minimalist look or something a bit on the maximalist side, an oval-shaped diamond is a great option.
Part of the Marilyn Monroe collection at Zales, this stunning oval-cut engagement ring is definitely now on my wishlist. Talk about a unique diamond ring!
There’s something so classically beautiful about this oval cut diamond ring. Maybe it’s the sparkly diamonds surrounding the larger one or the gorgeous white gold, but either way I’m in love.
3. Cushion Cut
A cushion cut diamond or jewel—once called an old mine diamond—is a square cut with rounded edges. It looks a bit like a pillow, hence the name cushion cut. It’s become one of the world’s most popular diamond cuts, and looks gorgeous on any size engagement ring.
I’m so in love with the gorgeous combination of diamond and rose gold in this cushion cut ring. The smaller diamonds surrounding the larger one is truly stunning.
It’s hard to ignore this seriously gorgeous cushion cut ring from Jared. If you’re looking for something unique, this might just be it.
A pear-shaped diamond or jewel looks like the fruit it’s named after. Rings featuring a pear-shaped jewel can either be right-side up—the way a pear looks when it’s sitting on a table—or upside down. While you can certainly find plenty of pear-shaped rings that are minimalist in nature, you’ll likely find most in setting surrounded by other diamonds or jewels.
If you’re searching for a unique jewel, opt for morganite in a pink hue instead of a classic diamond. This Edward Avedis ring pairs morganite with rose gold for a gorgeous look.
For those who like to get a little extra, you can also go full-bling with this pear shaped diamond surrounded by smaller diamonds.
5. Marquise Cut
If you can picture the shape of a football, you can picture the shape of a marquise cut diamond. In fact, this cut of diamond is occasionally called the football-shaped diamond (along with boat-shaped cut and eye-shaped cut). It’s not as popular as the princess or round cuts, but looks amazing in vintage styles.
This lab-created marquise diamond is good for both the planet and a stunning engagement ring. This style keeps it simple while still making sure you have plenty of bling.
Alternatively, you can go with something a little more trendy, and choose a rose gold band to go with your marquise diamond.
6. Radiant Cut
The radiant cut diamond is second in brilliance only to the round cut—thanks to the 70 different facets that make it sparkle. The shape features cropped corners around a perfect rectangle or square cut, creating a seriously sparkly look and durable, sophisticated style.
We stan a gorgeous and unique radiant cut ring. This beauty is totally classic and is sure to look just as good in 50 years as it does now.
If you’re into a little bit more bling, you can snag this Ritani French-set diamond ring. With a classic radiant cut diamond and small diamonds on the band, you’ll be wearing some serious glam.
7. Emerald Cut
Often referred to as a “step-cut,” emerald cut diamonds are rectangular in shape with cut corners. This cut is similar to the radiant cut, but features fewer facets, making it a little less sparkly than round and radiant diamonds. What the emerald cut diamond does do is create a mirror effect with long and elegant lines.
This simple emerald cut diamond ring is anything but boring. With a sleek 14KT white gold finish, you’re sure to love this stunner forever and ever.
While this cluster engagement ring features several different cuts of diamond, the star of the show is the emerald cut peach morganite.
8. Round Cut
The most popular cut of diamond is the round cut—and for good reason. It’s a classic style and looks good on just about any finger. You can place a round cut diamond or jewel in a vintage setting or keep it modern. This cut of jewel is one of the most versatile, making it easy to customize.
Go big or go home with this amped-up round-cut diamond ring. The 18KT yellow gold makes the diamond pop—and you’re sure to get plenty of compliments.
I’m all about alternatives to regular diamonds, and this black diamond ring has my heart singing. The diamonds are heat treated to enhance the color, so you get one seriously unique look.
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