10 Engagement Ring Cuts and Their Unique Meaning | Vogue

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10 Engagement Ring Cuts and Their Unique Meaning | Vogue

To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.

The most exciting aspect of the engagement process can also arguably be the most agonizing: deciding between engagement ring cuts. After all, this is the longest style commitment you’ll ever make. Luckily, diamonds never go out of style.

GIA-graduated gemologist and fourth-generation diamantaire, Olivia Landau has provided countless couples with expert guidance on how to choose a sparkler. The New York-based private jeweler and founder of social media darling The Clear Cut has made a career of creating one-of-a-kind engagement rings and custom fine jewelry for couples looking to create a special piece to commemorate their love. “The experience has to be transparent and enjoyable,” Landau says, referring to the bespoke process.

“A diamond is very personal and very pricey. It’s important to ensure that you’ll fall in love with the stone when your significant other makes the big purchase. Trying different styles is a great way to get a sense of what you like on your hand—there are no wrong choices in choosing a diamond cut, but knowing your personal style and what you’ll feel most comfortable wearing can help your soon-to-be fiancé make the right decision.”

Here, discover 10 of the most common engagement ring cuts, who has worn them, and what each style says about the people who wear them.

As worn by: Mila Kunis, Allison Williams, Brooke Shields, Miranda Kerr, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Emmy Rossum, and Emily Blunt.

“This cut is for someone who is drawn to a classic and timeless style,” Landau says. “A round brilliant is perfect for someone who wants a traditional look that will last through the ages; the brilliant faceting is also great for women looking for maximum sparkle.”

Baylee Zwart, founder of cool-girl favorite jewelry brand AZLEE, agrees. Fancy shaped diamonds have always been popular throughout time, she says, especially round diamonds.

“Recently we have created a few engagement rings that feature classic round diamonds, but we pair them with really unexpected, and unusual side diamonds—such as kites. It makes the round diamond feel new and adds an interesting element which still utilizes a classic shape.”

As worn by: Kate Bosworth, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Katrina Bowden.

A princess cut diamond is square on the top, features four beveled sides and comes in at a point (like an upside-down pyramid) beneath the shiny surface of the ring. If you want maximum sparkle in a modern design, this is the ring cut for you. The clean lines keep the ring looking contemporary.

Zwart mentions they have also found that clients are gravitating towards asymmetrical shapes like princess cuts that “almost feel a bit random, like crushed ice, and don’t fit into classic categories like fancy, shield, kite or lozenge.”

As worn by: Beyoncé, Amal Clooney, Kristen Bell, and Anne Hathaway.

“Emerald cuts exude elegance and refinement,” says Landau. “The elongated shape and step-cut faceting is great for someone on the more understated side.” She adds that this cut is best suited for women who have discerning taste—those who skew classic with an edge.

Atara Lev, head of design at celebrity-favorite Material Good, says emerald cut diamonds have always been on-trend, whether classically set as a three-stone ring with tapered baguette side stones or set as a solitaire.

“Recently our clients have been back into the three-stone emerald cut look,” Lev says, “but done in a modern way. They’ve wanted the emerald cut center stone to have an unusual character, so we've been sourcing them with features such as ultra-long ratios and ultra-long cut corners.”

Lev’s clients have also embraced not only emerald cut diamonds, but emerald cut sapphires in a variety of colors. “Paired with diamond side stones of rare and special cuts, such as elongated trapezoids, hexagons, kites, and calf cuts, the completed rings have [become] the definition of a modern classic.”

As worn by: Kim Kardashian, Sofia Vergara, Leighton Meester, Bar Refaeli, and Gabrielle Union.

According to Landau, the cushion cut is both feminine and trendy. “A cushion’s curved corners and brilliant facets are perfect for someone searching for a soft look with a lot of sparkle.”

And there are variations on the traditional cushion cut: “I came across checkerboard cushion-cut diamonds recently and fell in love with them,” says Zwart. “I hadn't seen [that] before, so I was especially intrigued. [Checkerboard cushions] are incredibly impactful because the shape itself is soft and feminine, but the faceting features strong, angular lines, so the concept feels very balanced and striking.”

As worn by: Serena Williams, Blake Lively, Kate Middleton, Katie Holmes, Julianne Hough, and Christina Aguilera.

Oval cuts have become one of the most up-and-coming, popular diamond shapes. “This cut is great for those who love to stay ahead of the trends, but also love a classic, elegant aesthetic,” Landau says.

Brent Neale, custom jewelry designer to the fashion set, including Julia Berolzheimer and Sylvana Ward-Durrett, agrees. “Recently we have seen an uptick in requests for ovals and have been setting them in a variety of our setting styles, BN Signature, Pillow Set solitaires, and our Wildflower,” Neale says, adding, “Ovals and rounds generally look the largest.”

Maria Canel, who built her eponymous New York-based, made-to-order custom jewelry business on a spider web of word-of-mouth recommendations in the fashion industry, said she’s seeing “a lot of oval cut and emerald cut diamonds at the moment, particularly set east-west along the width of the finger, in all types of settings.”

As worn by: Princess Charlene of Monaco, Kaley Cuoco, Katherine Heigl, Anna Kournikova, and Mia Farrow.

Shaped like a tear (of joy!), the pear cut gives the finger an elongated look. It’s one of the least common engagement ring cuts. “Women who move to the beat of their own drum and don’t want a ring like everyone else gravitate toward a pear,” Landau says. “We have been seeing thicker gold bands and diamond cuts like marquise and pear shapes become increasingly more popular over the last year.”

Lev mentions she’s seen an upswing in interest for fancy color diamonds such as fancy yellow and fancy brown, and within these fancy color categories, there has then been a desire to take it “one step further” with a unique cut, such as a step cut pear shape.

As worn by: Christina Milian, Portia de Rossi, Ashlee Simpson Ross, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

The marquise cut is the ultimate in elegance. Its oval shape meets in pointed ends, resembling the hull of a ship—this cut is also known as the Navette cut (meaning “little boat” in French). In addition to being unique, this cut is also great for someone looking to create the illusion of elongated hands. Landau notes marquise cuts have become more popular over the past year.

As worn by: Brittany Matthews, Draya Michele.

Similar to an emerald cut, the radiant cut is shaped like an octagon. Unlike an emerald, however, the radiant has 70 light-reflecting facets within it, making it quite the dazzler. “Women who like radiant cuts tend to be bubbly and outgoing,” Landau observes. “The brilliant faceting and rectangular shape is great for those who love a lot of sparkle and flash!”

As worn by: Pippa Middleton, Gwenyth Paltrow, Zooey Deschanel, and Jessica Alba.

“Asscher cuts have an old-world sophistication: Women who love antiques and unique designs tend to gravitate more toward Asscher cuts for their retro look,” Landau says. Similar to emerald cuts, Asscher cut diamonds have step-cut faceting rather than brilliant-cut faceting, making them understated and elegant. The short, octagonal cut was a hallmark of the 1920s and ’30s and has a distinct Art Deco feel.

Zwart agrees. “I adore Asscher cuts,” she says. “I feel like they are underused, which makes me gravitate to them even more. I think they radiate class, but have a modern feel since they are step cut rather than brilliant cut.”

But take note: “Asscher cuts, because they are deep [stones], they always look visually smaller than any of the cuts,” warns Neale. (She also notes she is a little biased, as her own ring is an Asscher cut!)

As worn by: Nicki Minaj, Arielle Charnas, Jenna Rennert, and Gwen Stefani.

Perhaps the sweetest of all engagement ring cuts, rocking a heart-shaped engagement ring is a bold choice. This is definitely not an engagement ring cut you see every day, and the women who gravitate toward it tend to stand out in a crowd.

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10 Engagement Ring Cuts and Their Unique Meaning | Vogue

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