back to How to buy a diamond

The Best Diamond Cut for Engagement Rings

by Molly Jones
Last updated on August 22, 2023
Diamond engagement ring

“What is the best diamond cut for an engagement ring?” is a simple question with a complex answer. The answer to this question depends on what you’re looking for in an engagement ring.

Whether you’re seeking a diamond cut that will provide maximum brilliance and shine, or one that makes the carat weight seem larger than it actually is, we’ve broken it all down for you. Lab grown diamonds are already much more affordable than traditional mined stones, allowing you to splurge on a larger gem.

So read on to discover and decide just what the best diamond cut is for your or your loved one’s engagement ring.

The Difference Between Diamond Cut and Diamond Shape

Diamonds in different shapes.

Diamond cut and shape are two terms often used interchangeably when discussing the cut of a diamond. A diamond’s cut refers to the diamond’s facets, symmetry, and dimensions; these allow it to let light in and reflect it–resulting in the diamond’s characteristic fiery sparkle.

However, the diamond shape is the external figure of the diamond and the physical form it assumes.

Consider it like this: If you were going to color in a picture of a diamond in a coloring book, the shape of the diamond would be the border and outline. The cut would be the intricate details you color within that outline.

Because many people confuse shape with the cut we will address and elaborate on both.

The cut of the 4C’s

Another distinction between diamond cut and shape is that a diamond’s cut is graded as part of the 4C’s. A diamond’s shape is not.

A diamond’s cut is analyzed for brilliance, fire, and scintillation. These are produced as a result of the precise facet placements and their relation to the surface area of the diamond.

Diamonds can receive the following cut grades:

  • Ideal: The diamond is cut with exacting precision for maximum brilliance, fire, and scintillation.
  • Excellent: The diamond has an even pattern of white light and dark areas resulting in excellent fire and brilliance.
  • Very Good: The diamond quality is very good and simply appears slightly darker than an excellent rated diamond.
  • Good: Although still beautiful, there is less opportunity for brilliance, fire, and scintillation than in cut diamonds that have higher grades.

Types of Diamond Shapes

When figuring out the best diamond cut for your engagement ring, you cannot leave shape out of the discussion.

When in tandem with cut, different diamond shapes have various pros and cons that ultimately inform the quality. We’ve highlighted some of them below.

Round Brilliant Cut Diamond


The most popular diamond cut is the round brilliant cut diamond. It consists of 58 facets and is renowned for its brilliance and superior ability to reflect light.


  • The round shape allows light to refract through the diamond in multiple directions, resulting in a beautiful sparkle.
  • Round brilliant-cut diamonds are “ideal” cuts because they have the best ratio between brilliance and fire.
  • Round brilliant diamonds are available in a wide range of sizes and colors; you can find anything from a 1 carat to an 8 carat with this cut!


  • It’s a popular shape, and it takes time to cut it perfectly. Round brilliant-cut diamonds are also often more expensive than other shapes.

Princess-Cut Diamond


A princess-cut diamond is square-shaped with rounded corners and 50-58 facets. It’s also known as a square-modified brilliant-cut, which means it’s the same shape but with more facets than your standard round brilliant.


  • Because the princess cut is often considered a square-modified brilliant cut, it maintains all of the shine and sparkle that the round brilliant cut is known for–but in a pleasing square shape.
  • A princess-cut diamond is better able to hide inclusions thanks to the brilliant-cut.
  • Princess cut engagement rings usually appear larger than their actual carat weight due to their large table (the face of the diamond’s surface area) size.


  • Due to the princess cut diamonds’ sharp corners, the diamond shape is less durable and can more easily chip.

Emerald-Cut Diamond

Emerald Lab Created Diamond

The emerald-cut diamond is a classic and beautiful shape that has been around for centuries. Its octagonal-esque shape offers a unique look that’s hard to find in other cuts of diamond.


• An emerald cut has more sparkle than other cuts because there are more facets on the stone. This makes them ideal for everyday wear or special occasions when you want your engagement ring to shine!

• They’re also very durable. If scratching or breaking your ring worries you, this is one of the safest options.

• Emerald cuts are available in many different sizes and carat weights. Whether you want something small enough to fit on your pinky finger or big enough to cover your entire hand, there’s something out there for everyone!


• Emerald cuts are not as bright as some other shapes like princess cuts or round diamonds; therefore, if that’s what you’re looking for in an engagement ring, this might not be right for you.

Cushion-Cut Diamond

Cushion Lab Created Diamond

The square-shaped cushion cut diamond has rounded corners and is between 58-64 facets. The proportions of the cushion cut vary depending on the size of the stone; smaller stones are more rectangular in shape.


  • Balanced and comfortable to wear.
  • The large table makes this a great choice for large diamonds with a more muted color grade (like J or K).
  • The classic, simple shape makes it easy to find a setting that will work well with your cushion cut.


  • Unlike round diamonds, the large facets of cushion-cut diamonds are better at giving off shining fire than brilliance, resulting in less brilliance.

Marquise-Cut Diamond

Marquise Lab Created Diamond

The marquise cut diamond has a unique shape. It is a long oval that tapers into pointed tips on either end.


  • Due to the length of the marquise cut, a well-cut diamond will seem larger than it actually is, providing you more bang for your buck.
  • Additionally, a marquise-cut diamond engagement ring will seem to lengthen the wearer’s finger, which adds elegance.
  • The many facets of a marquise cut create unparalleled brilliance with the ability to hide inclusions.


  • The bow-tie effect is a flaw that occurs in diamonds. This is due to a cut creating a light obstruction. That light obstruction results in a dark bow tie shape across the face of the diamond.

Pear-Shaped Diamond

Pear Lab Created Diamond

The pear-shaped diamond is a trendy choice for engagement rings. This shape is one of the few with a name closely related to its appearance. The main characteristic of this diamond shape is that it resembles a teardrop, with the pointy tip on one side and the wide base on the other.


  • Like the marquise cut, a pear shape will appear both larger than its actual carat weight and lengthen the finger of the wearer.
  • The pear shape can effortlessly reveal brilliance and scintillation.
  • Pear-cut diamonds are incredibly adaptable and suit various ring styles and settings.


  • Due to the pointed tip, a pear-cut diamond is susceptible to the bow-tie effect mentioned above.

Heart-Shaped Diamond

Heart-Shaped Diamond

The heart shape diamond cut is a modified pear with a cleft at the top that creates a unique heart shape. It is one of the more modern diamond shapes for an engagement ring and expertly melds sharp edges with rounded romantic corners.


  • A heart-cut diamond is one of the best diamond cuts you can purchase if you’re seeking a unique engagement ring that stands out among the rest.
  • Heart diamonds maintain the brilliance and scintillation of the pear cut while incorporating hints of an oval.
  • Due to their recent popularity, heart-cut diamonds are set to only rise in popularity through the years.


  • The bow-tie effect appears in poorly cut heart-shaped diamond engagement rings.

Oval-Cut Diamond

Oval Lab Created Diamond

Oval-shaped diamonds are elegant and beautiful. An oval diamond is a round diamond cut in an elliptical shape, and their elliptical shape maximizes surface area and typically contains 57 or 58 facets.


  • Oval-cut diamonds are gleaming and brilliant. When light enters the stone from all angles, it bounces off its surface in every direction before reflecting back into your eyes—giving you a gorgeous glow.
  • The width-to-length ratio is similar to other shapes like hearts and emeralds. This allows the oval shape to appear larger than its carat weight.
  • Oval cuts also tend to have fewer dark spots than other cuts do, so they’re good if you want your ring to look as clear as possible.


  • Even though the oval cut can hide some dark spots, it lends itself to an increased likelihood of the bow-tie effect.

Radiant-Cut Diamond

Radiant Lab Created Diamond

Radiant cut diamonds are a square shape with parallel sides. They have rounded corners and 70 cut facets.

A radiant cut is a brilliant diamond cut that combines the techniques of creating a brilliant cut and emerald cut diamond.


  • Due to the high number of facets, radiant cut diamonds expertly reflect light for maximum brilliance and shine.
  • Radiant diamonds also have good durability—they don’t chip or break easily, making them ideal for everyday use.
  • Radiant cuts have a lot of fire and scintillation, which means that even when viewed from different angles, the stone will still look bright and shiny.


  • Because of the many facets and ample table space, radiant cut diamonds more readily reveal color. So it’s essential to seek out completely colorless diamonds for this cut.

Asscher-Cut Diamond

Asscher Lab Created Diamond

Asscher cut diamonds are known and loved for their square shape and eight sides. Like the emerald cut, an Asscher cut diamond utilizes step cuts which results in a high crown and deep pavilion. The Asscher brothers developed Asscher cut diamonds in the early 1900s.


  • Cut deep. It produces a remarkable flash and equally stunning brilliance.
  • Thanks to the beveled corners, the Asscher cut has no sharp edges. This is perfect for those who use their hands often in their line of work.
  • The classic and timeless vintage Asscher cut style is a popular engagement ring that will not soon go out of style.


  • Due to the nature of the step cut, Asscher cut diamonds are more likely to show inclusions and flaws.

The Best Diamond Cut Is Dependent on a Multitude of Factors

There is no such thing as “the best” diamond cut. The type of cut that’s best for one person might not be suitable for another—and the factors that influence your choice are numerous.

When determining the best diamond cut for yourself or your partner, consider their occupation, personal style, and what they love most about diamonds.

If they prioritize brilliance, fire, and scintillation, look for a round brilliant cut diamond. If their personal style is old-school cool consider the Asscher.

Regardless, Clean Origin can help you find the perfect one for your person. Check out our diamonds now!