Marquise Cut Diamond Engagement Rings
This slim oval shape of the marquise cut is rumored to be named after King Louis XV’s mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour. According to legend, the King commissioned the design and wanted something that matched the shape of her mouth.
Also sometimes called the Navette Shape, color and clarity (two of the 4Cs) are important for this cut to work well. Recommendations are D through I on the color scale and VS2 or higher for clarity.
The cut itself ideally has 56-58 facets depending on the L/W ratio. The marquise cut is less forgiving and can cause shadows within the stone if it isn’t cut properly. This bow-tie shadow effect can occur in most elongated fancy cuts, like the pear shape, oval and others.
Due to its shape, a marquise diamond looks bigger than it really is because the cut allows it to display most of its carat weight. On the other hand because of its shape and the two points that form its geometry, it can be more prone to damage.
Marquise engagement rings can have the diamond set parallel or perpendicular to the band. Each orientation has its own character and personality.
L/W Ratio: 1.75-2.15 [Classic marquise cut ratio range]
(the further outside this range, the more likely the bow-tie shadow effect is likely to occur)
Pros & Cons of Marquise Cut Diamond Engagement Rings
- Marquise have good fire and brilliance.
- They appear larger than their actual weight, which means your ring will look bigger too.
- They’re more unique and less costly than round brilliants.
- They marquise cut can hide some color tints and very minor inclusions.
- When set parallel to the finger, they’ll make a finger appear more slender.
- They are very flexible in terms of settings
- The points need to be set with prongs or other protection (bezel) to protect them from chipping.
- Marquise cut diamonds all have some degree of the bow-tie shadow effect, varying from near invisible to severe. The severity will depend on the quality of the stone and the quality of the cut.
Heart Cut Diamond Engagement Rings
Heart shaped diamonds are considered a fancy cut, like all shapes other than the round brilliant. It’s traditionally used in pendants but hopeless romantics think it’s the ideal shape for an engagement ring.
The shape itself is one of the most difficult to create because of the crevice at the top and is really a variant of the pear shaped diamond. When a cutter sees an imperfection at the top of a pear shape, they often transform it by ‘chiseling’ away the imperfection and creating a heart shape instead.
Good quality stones of this shape are cut with 58 facets just like the round brilliant. However, depending on the technique used to cut the shape, the number of facets can vary. A 58 facet heart shaped stone is a good first indicator of a quality cut.
It’s ideal form should have a length to width ratio of 1 to 1. Some prefer slightly wider for solitaire rings .85 -1.0 and slightly narrower for pendants and earrings 1.05-1.15 . Regardless of ratio, a heart shaped diamond under a half carat is probably not a great choice. The shape becomes harder to discern in smaller stones.
A heart shaped diamond is sentimental and romantic and when you really think about it, a heart shaped engagement ring may be the way to go.
L/W Ratio: 1:1 [Ideal heart shape]
(the further away from 1 to 1, the more distorted the heart)
Pros & Cons of Heart Shaped Diamond Engagement Rings
- The heart shape is surprisingly rare in engagement rings.
- They’re more unique and less costly than round brilliants.
- A lower clarity grade of SI1-SI2 can work because the facets in the cut hide many inclusions well, saving you money.
- Nothing says love like a heart shaped diamond.
- The point of the heart needs to be protected by a prong or through the setting to protect it from chipping.
- They’re difficult to cut so they are harder to find than most other diamond shapes.
- The shape requires a high quality cut.
- Some feel the shape is a little gimmicky for a ring that is worn everyday.
Emerald Cut Engagement Rings
Emerald cut diamonds have been popular since the Art Deco period with their clean lines and step appearance. An emerald cut can sometimes be square shaped, but most are rectangular with trimmed corners. Since this shape has fewer facets to reflect light and hide minor defects, flaws may be more apparent.
The cut also tends to be less bright and fiery compared to brilliant cut stones and instead showcases a diamond’s clarity.
So good clarity (one of the 4C’s) is essential for an emerald cut diamond because the large table of the stone (the largest facet on top) shows off clarity better than any other shape and that is what gives it its character. Clarity VS1/VS2 and higher is optimal.
The emerald cut is a step cut or table cut because of the way it is faceted parallel to the edges of the stone. These rectilinear facets or ‘steps’ usually run the full length of the stone rendering the diamond shiny and bright. The corners of the stone are then mitered or “smoothed out” to protect the stone from chipping and other damage.
Emerald cut engagement rings are for those that like understated elegance. It is both refined and subtle in its beauty, and never goes out of style.
L/W Ratio: 1.5:1 [Classic Emerald cut rectangular shape]
Pros & Cons of Emerald Cut Diamond Engagement Rings
- It’s shallow depth makes the diamond appear larger per carat.
- It’s one of the most versatile diamond shapes, working beautifully in any style setting.
- The tapered edges of the step cut are not prone to chipping or catching on things.
- The shape is flattering on the hand especially on slender fingers.
- In terms of diamond shapes, the emerald cut is at the lower end cost-wise, all things being equal.
- The shape works really well with both small and very large stones.
- D-F color grades in an emerald cut come at a premium cost which means slightly warmer tones of G-H (near colorless) come at a discount, which is a Pro.
- It doesn’t have the intense fire or brilliance of a brilliant cut (when it catches light and flashes, it’s breathtaking, another Pro.
- Heavier fingers may look shorter and wider with an Emerald cut.
- The step cut doesn’t dance and dazzle the eye because of it’s large flat open table.
- Requires higher clarity due its large open facets.
The Cushion Cut Engagement Ring
Cushion cut diamonds resemble a pillow. They’re a rectangular shape with curved sides and rounded corners. Also known as a candlelight diamond, the original cut (pre-electricity) was created to be the most brilliant in candlelight. That original cut has been modified since then to perform better in electric lighting and bring its fire and brilliance up to the standards of the other diamond shapes.
The standards for a cushion cut vary more than for most of the other diamond shapes. So personal taste really comes into play when deciding on a stone.
The newer modified cushion cuts have 58 facets and a crushed ice style facet pattern, similar to a radiant cut. This makes it one of the most brilliant of all square and rectangular shapes. And, because of the number and size of the facets, light is better dispersed through the stone which helps hide certain inclusions while making others more visible.
The cushion cut has a bit of an antique vibe overall and works great with vintage-style pieces as well as more modern settings.
L/W Ratio: 1.00-1.05 [square] >1.10 [rectangular]
Pros & Cons of Cushion Cut Diamond Engagement Rings
- The new modified versions often have better fire than even round brilliants.
- Their versatility in terms of vintage style is appealing to many.
- The tapered edges are not prone to chipping or catching on things.
- The shape is flattering on most fingers.
- In terms of diamond shapes, the cushion cut has larger facets that create a kaleidoscope of fiery colors.
- The shape works well with both small and large stones.
- In order to get optimal brilliance, settings that prevent light from entering the stone, such as bezels, are not advised.
- It doesn’t have the intense brilliance of a round brilliant cut.
- Larger facets may also show inclusions, so better clarity is important.
- D-F color grades in cushion cuts come at a premium cost because of demand. This means that G-H (near colorless) grades come at a discount, which is a Pro.