The most exciting aspect of the engagement process can also arguably be the most agonizing: deciding between engagement ring cuts. After all, this is 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 The Clear Cut has made a career of creating one of a kind engagement rings and custom fine jewelry for brides and their grooms. “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 women who wear them.
As worn by: Mila Kunis, Allison Williams, Brooke Shields, Miranda Kerr, 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.”
As worn by: Kate Bosworth, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Hilary Duff.
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.
As worn by: Beyoncé, Amal Clooney, Olivia Wilde, Mariah Carey, and Anne Hathaway.
“Emerald cuts exude elegance and refinement. The elongated shape and step-cut faceting is great for someone on the more understated side.” Landau says this cut is best suited for women who have discerning taste—those who skew classic with an edge.
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.”
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,” she says.
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.
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.
As worn by: Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston, and Khloe Kardashian.
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,” she 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 ’20s and ’30s and has a distinct Art Deco feel.
Heart Ring Cut
As worn by: Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, and Gwen Stefani.
Perhaps the sweetest of all ring cuts, rocking a heart-shaped engagement ring is a bold choice. This is definitely not an engagement ring cut you see everyday, and the women who gravitate toward it tend to stand out in a crowd.