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Diamond Shapes for Rings: A Helpful Guide

by Adriana Perez-Nakamura
Last updated on August 26, 2023
how to buy an engagement ring

With countless diamond shapes for rings available, it can be hard to choose–especially if it’s for an engagement ring. After all, an engagement ring is one of the most special rings a person will receive in their lifetime. That’s why we put together this helpful guide. We hope you can use it to find the perfect ring that you or your partner will cherish forever.

Read on to learn about the best diamond shape, what’s popular, what’s cost-effective, and so much more.

What Is the Best Diamond Shape for an Engagement Ring?

Solitaire engagement rings. Diamond shapes for rings.
Solitaire Engagment Rings

There truly is no best diamond shape for an engagement ring. The best diamond shape is going to be the one you or your partner loves the most.

What Is the Most Popular Shape Diamond for Engagement Rings?

Overall, one of the most popular diamond shapes for engagement rings is the round brilliant.

But there is another category of diamond shapes known as fancy diamond shapes. Within the fancy diamond shapes category, the most popular diamond shape for rings is the princess cut diamond.

What Shape Diamond Has the Most Sparkle?

The Noelle Classic. Diamond shapes for rings.

Round brilliant diamonds have the most sparkle and are known for their incredible fire and scintillation. The round diamond’s sparkle comes from its symmetry and 58 precisely cut facets. They’re also more expensive than any other diamond shape.

The higher price of round diamonds has to do with their popularity; the higher the demand, the higher the cost. Round diamonds also cost more because much of the rough diamond is cut away during the cutting process.

How to Choose a Diamond Shape for an Engagement Ring

You should always go for the diamond shape that appeals to you the most. But with that said, we do think there are a few points to consider before you decide on a shape.

Let’s go over those points next.

What to Consider When Shopping Diamond Shapes for Engagement Rings

A ring's setting should complement its centerstone. Diamond shapes for rings.
A Ring’s Setting Should Complement Its Centerstone

Think About Your Ring Setting

When it comes to choosing a diamond shape for your engagement ring, you want to make sure the setting complements your stone. Additionally, put some thought into what setting would offer the most protection for the diamond shape you choose.

Settings like bezels and halos are good, safe choices for protecting your center stone. They are especially helpful if you (or your partner) are considering rings with diamond shapes that have pointed corners.

Consider How the Ring’s Wearer Will Use Their Hands

If you or your partner use your hands a lot throughout the day, you might want to consider a curved or round diamond shape like a cushion, round brilliant, or even oval.

A diamond with pointed corners like a princess, pear, or marquise shape could easily catch or snag on clothing and chip.

Diamond Shapes Available for Engagement Rings

With the above points in mind, let’s take a look at some different shapes of diamonds available for engagement rings. We’ll go over their characteristics, as well as some tips for buying.

Round Cut Diamonds

The Seraphina Ring. Diamond shapes for rings.

You can never go wrong with a classic round brilliant cut diamond. It sparkles and looks good in just about any setting and ring style. And since it’s a “classic,” you don’t have to worry about it going out of style or looking dated.

An added benefit to choosing a round diamond for your engagement ring is that it won’t snag or catch on clothing. This is thanks to its lack of points and corners.

Tips for Buying Round Cut Diamonds

Since round cut diamonds are the most expensive and popular diamond shape, you may be deterred by the price. No to worry! You can still get a beautiful ring you love with a round diamond that fits your budget.

Choose a Halo or Cathedral-Style Ring to Make Your Center Stone Look Larger

A halo is the perfect way to create the illusion of a larger diamond–this even applies to fancy shape diamonds, not just round diamonds. Halos consist of a row (or even more) or diamonds called melee diamonds that surround the ring’s center stone.

Along with making a diamond look bigger, a halo also adds extra sparkle and shine. If you choose a halo ring style, you can go with a slightly smaller carat size (and pay less) but still get the look of a larger diamond.

If a halo doesn’t appeal to you, consider a cathedral ring style. Cathedral-style rings have elevated arches that hold a center diamond. Since the diamond sits up higher on the ring and brings it closer to the eye, it can look slightly larger.

Princess Cut Diamonds

The Melina ring.

With its modern square shape and eye-catching shine, the princess cut diamond is the most popular fancy diamond shape for an engagement ring. The princess cut diamond’s popularity is partly due to the fact that, despite its square shape, it sparkles almost like a round brilliant.

Tips for Buying Princess Cut Diamonds

A princess cut engagement rings sparkle rivals that of a round brilliant cut, minus the heft price tag.

In fact, thanks to the princess’ larger table, you can get a princess cut diamond that is the same size (or slightly smaller) than a round diamond for much less. This is because the princess cut diamond’s larger table makes it look bigger than it is.

Choose a Bezel or 4-Prong Setting for Your Princess Cut Diamond

Since the princess is a square cut diamond shape, it has four pointed corners. Those pointed corners are vulnerable to chipping and breaking if not protected properly.

A bezel setting offers your princess diamond the best protection. But if that’s not your style, go with a 4-prong setting. The prongs will protect each corner of your diamond and prevent it from damage.

Emerald Cut Diamonds

The Madeline Ring

The emerald cut diamond has a rectangular shape and truncated corners. And unlike round brilliant and princess diamonds, an emerald cut diamond feature a step cut.

A step cut diamond has rectangular facets that create a hall of mirrors effect. And even though they don’t sparkle like a round brilliant, emerald cut diamonds produce beautiful flashes of light that lend it a sophisticated feel.

Tips for Buying Emerald Cut Diamonds

Thanks to its cut, you can see inclusions and blemishes in an emerald cut diamond even more than in other shapes. But this doesn’t mean you have to choose an emerald shape with the most flawless clarity grade.

A Flawless Clarity Grade Is Not Necessary

An emerald cut diamond with a VS2 clarity grade can appear perfectly clean to the naked eye. In fact, you may even be able to find an eye-clean emerald cut with an SI1 clarity grade.

If you can’t see any inclusions in your diamond with the naked eye, there’s no need to go with a FL (flawless) grade.

Pear Shaped Diamonds

The Aurelia Ring. Diamond shapes for rings.

Pear cut diamonds have a beautiful feminine, elongated shape to them. And thanks to this elongated diamond shape, it can look larger than a round diamond. But that’s not just an illusion!

Tips for Buying Pear Shaped Diamonds

A pear shaped diamond has, on average, an 8% larger top surface than a round diamond of the same carat weight. It also has 58 facets that make it glitter and shine.

If you’re looking for a diamond shape that stands out in a sea of round diamonds, without compromising on shine, then a pear shape might be for you.

Heart Shaped Diamonds

Heart-shaped lab grown diamond.

A heart shaped diamond is a unique shape that can be challenging to get just right. Because they require such skill and precision to make, heart shaped diamonds are usually more expensive than other fancy shape diamonds.

Tips for Buying Heart Shaped Diamonds

Choose Carat Size and Cut Over Clarity and Color

Clarity and color are not as important when it comes to a heart shaped diamond. If you want to save a bit of money, prioritize cut and carat weight.

Go With at Least 1 Carat, and Look for Symmetry

For a heart shaped diamond engagement ring, we recommend looking at no less than a 1-carat stone. Anything smaller may not show the shape very well, and it could end up looking like an oval diamond. You should also make sure it has good symmetry and a defined cleft and point.

Oval Cut Diamonds

The Amelie ring.

Similar to its pear-shaped counterpart, an oval diamond is an elongated shape with 58 sparkling facets. In addition to their beautiful sparkle, oval engagement rings can also look larger than their carat weight (when compared to a round diamond) thanks to the oval diamond’s larger table.

Tips for Buying an Oval Diamond

There are two important things to keep in mind when you buy an oval diamond. The first is its length-to-width ratio.

Pay Attention to Ratios

For the most part, the length-to-width ratio of an oval is going to be a matter of preference. But commonly preferred ratios are 1.5-3.5. And as with a pear shaped diamond, the longer the length the more elongated it will make the finger of the wearer.

Understand Bowties When Choosing Oval Diamond Shapes for Rings

The second thing to keep in mind when you buy an oval diamond is its “bowtie.”

All oval diamonds have bowties. Bowties in oval diamonds are the result of light leakage. When this happens, a bowtie (or dark area) forms over the center of the stone.

Oval diamonds have bowties in varying degrees and while some are barely noticeable, others are prominent. It’s up to you to decide if you can deal with a noticeable bowtie in your oval cut diamond.

Cushion Cut Diamonds

The Kayla ring.

The cushion cut is a square diamond (but it can also be a rectangular shape) with rounded corners. Interestingly, cushion cut diamonds have the most dispersion, aka “fire.”

Dispersion in a gemstone happens when white light passes through it. As the white light passes through it breaks up (disperses) into different colors. When the different colors of light exit the stone, they do so at varying speeds and create flashes of color. This effect is known as fire.

Tips for Buying Cushion Cut Diamonds

Spend More on Carat Weight Than Clarity

If you’re thinking of buying a cushion cut diamond you may want to spend a little more on one that is larger. Unlike elongated diamond shapes like pears and ovals, the cushion cut diamond has a smaller table. You can make up for the larger carat weight price by compromising on clarity.

Marquise Cut Diamonds

The Solon ring. Diamond shapes for rings.

The marquise diamond is an elongated ellipse with a point on either end. It’s an eye-catching and unique shape that can make fingers look longer and slimmer. Another advantage of marquise shaped diamonds is they are about 15% bigger than a round shape of the same weight.

Tips for Buying Marquise Diamonds

When it comes to selecting a marquise shape, both shape and symmetry are important.

The Length-to-Width Ratio of Marquise Diamond Shapes for Rings

You should consider the length-to-width ratio to ensure you don’t choose a diamond that is too chunky. You also don’t want one so long that it affects the diamond’s brilliance.

Choose a Marquise Diamond With the Smallest Bowtie Possible

One more thing to keep in mind about marquise diamond shapes for rings is that, like pear shaped diamonds, they have bowties. Large bowties in marquise diamonds can affect their sparkle so look for a diamond with the smallest bowtie possible.

Radiant Cut Diamonds

The Noemie

Available in both a rectangular and square shape, the radiant cut diamond is as beautiful and sparkly as a round brilliant–for much less money.

Tips for Buying Radiant diamonds

On average, radiants have a 4% smaller table than round brilliants of the same size; however, the diagonal measurement of a radiant cut diamond can make it look larger.

Well-Cut Radiant Diamond Shapes Can Have Barely-Visible Bowties–Making Them Perfect for Rings

Radiants have bowties as well. While bowties are unavoidable in radiant diamond shapes, you can find some where the bowtie is hardly visible–you just need to find a radiant that is well cut.

Make Sure Inclusions Are Not in the Center of the Diamond

If you want a radiant cut engagement ring you can spend more on a larger, well-cut diamond and sacrifice the clarity rating a bit. But if you do this, be sure that any inclusions the diamond has are not in its center.

If inclusions are in the center of the diamond (especially if the diamond has a noticeable bowtie), they will be more prominent.

Asscher Cut Diamonds

Classic 3 stone ring.

Like an emerald cut diamond, the asscher-cut diamond features a step-cut and cut corners, along with a hall-of-mirros effect. But unlike a typical emerald-cut diamond, asscher cut diamonds have a square shape.

Tips for Buying Asscher Cut Diamonds

Make Sure the Diamond’s Facets Meet in the Center

Before you choose an asscher diamond, make sure its 8 facets meet in the middle. When the facets meet in the middle it creates a beautiful “windmill” effect in the center of the diamond.

If you don’t look carefully, you could end up with an asscher cut diamond whose facets don’t meet in the center. This creates an odd-looking diamond. You should also stay away from asscher diamonds that appear darker in the center.

Choose a VS2 or Better Clarity Grade

And finally, you can see into the center of an asscher cut. So be sure to choose a stone with a clarity grade of VS2 or greater. An asscher diamond with less than a VS2 grade could have inclusions visible to the naked eye.

Clean Origin Offers Several Diamond Shape Options for Engagement Rings

All Of Our Lab Grown Diamonds are Ethical and Environmentally Friendly
All Of Our Lab Grown Diamonds are Ethical and Environmentally Friendly

From round brilliant diamonds to fancy shapes like the princess, we guarantee we have a diamond shape you will love. All of our diamonds are lab grown, ethical, and environmentally friendly. And best of all they’re priced just right! On average, lab grown diamonds cost 20-40% less than their mined counterparts.

When you shop with us, you have your choice of the best quality diamond engagement rings at an amazing price. But you also get the satisfaction of knowing you’re making an purchase that is ethical and won’t harm the Earth.

Shop our stunning selection of rings and diamond jewelry, today!