Simply brilliant: The boyfriend’s guide to choosing an engagement diamond shape
So you’ve found the girl of your dreams, and you’re ready to “put a ring on it.” You thought all the decisions were behind you, right? Not so much! There’s still that all-important engagement diamond to pick out. You want to create a ring that expresses your love and commitment, but is also a reflection of your bride-to-be’s unique personality and style. It’s a tall order, but this quick primer will break down the basics on selecting the centerpiece stone of this ring of a lifetime.
It all starts with the shape
You have probably heard that when it comes to diamonds, it’s all about the “four Cs.” Gemologists have co-opted the alphabet’s third letter to remind you of the critical characteristics of the diamond: cut, color, clarity and carat. All four of those are important. But there is a fifth “C”, and it is more critical than the rest: Confidence. Make sure you are working with a jeweler who has extensive experience with diamonds and engagement rings and is accredited with the Gemological Institute of America and American Gem Society.
Once you have found a jeweler you can be confident in, the first decision they will likely ask you to make is the shape of your stone. Here, we’ll take a look at the five most popular diamond shapes to help you decide which one will make the cut when it comes to your bride.
If you’re not sure where to start with your stone, begin by looking at round shapes. According to Brides magazine, more than half of all brides surveyed wear a round diamond. A traditional choice, this is a popular selection not only due to its timelessness, but also because the round shape maximizes the diamond’s sparkle when it catches the light. In fact, round brilliant diamonds make up ¾ of all diamond purchases, so if your bride is the classic type and likes simple elegance, this may well be your ticket.
She loves monograms, Barbour jackets, and handwritten notes. Even when she’s wearing jeans and loafers, she always looks put together. Her sense of style is evergreen – just like your love. She’s a Round.
First created in 1980, this square shape is the most popular of the “fancy cut” shapes, maybe because it makes a woman feel like the eponymous member of royalty. It offers a modern, metropolitan take on the classic stone, and like the round diamond, makes a highly flexible centerpiece to any setting.
Her outfits are a funky blend of today’s designers and vintage pieces she’s found out thrifting. She reads the New York Times cover to cover every Sunday – on her iPad. Her style transcends time, just like your relationship. She’s a Square.
Though this shape that blends a square cut with rounded corners has been around for more than 200 years, it has enjoyed a recent resurgence in popularity after having been seen on the big screen as the ring on Daisy Buchanan’s finger in 2013’s “The Great Gatsby.” A stone in this shape offers a vibe that’s both glamorous and distinctive, reaching into the past but with a modern spark of brilliance.
She’s always seen with that one handbag she carries, and you can bet it’s vintage Hermès – it’s her statement piece. It’s her outfits that all her friends oooh and aaah over … she’s truly a tastemaker. One thing’s for certain: This woman is truly unforgettable. She’s a Cushion.
Similar to the cushion, this is a centuries-old shape that has regained a great deal of popularity in recent years. Unlike the cushion, however, this cut’s return to the limelight didn’t come as a result of a movie appearance: The Asscher got an upgrade around the turn of the millennium with significant improvements, which in turn led to it being the first-ever diamond shape to be patented. The choice of Hollywood idols from Elizabeth Taylor to Gwyneth Paltrow, this shape calls to mind the Art Deco look of the rectangular emerald cut, but with more facets for increased sparkle and shine.
You know when it’s September because she’s curled up with the extra-thick issues of all her favorite fashion magazines, soaking up every trend– those she hasn’t already unearthed on Instagram, because your bride-to-be is nothing if not an #influencer. She turns heads, she makes marks, she takes names … she’s an Asscher.
This shape is comprised of a rectangle with cropped corners and a relatively large, flat face that produces a hall of mirrors effect (don’t be confused by the fancy talk; it’s just what it sounds like). Since flaws inside the stone (“inclusions,” in jeweler-speak) will be easier to see in this sleek and elegant shape, clarity is prized over sparkle here.
She’s all clean lines and angles, with a style that’s as understated as her practical approach to life. She loves Frank Lloyd Wright, and her favorite handbag is a late-1990s Kate Spade nylon shopper. She’s no-nonsense and straightforward, and you can’t wait to make her yours. She’s an Emerald.
So, gentlemen, there’s a look at the five most popular shapes. If you don’t see your love reflected in that lot, don’t worry, we have more. You can also choose from marquise (more bling for the buck); oval (sparkles like a round, but with a little unexpected edge thrown in); radiant (a stunner with tons of facets to catch the light – hence the name); pear or teardrop (a hybrid of oval and marquise, great for delicate brides); and heart (sweet and sentimental).
As you can see, there’s truly a special diamond out there for every bride. As your family-owned jeweler, we’d love the opportunity to be your partner in the design process, and put over a century of experience in crafting exquisite heirlooms to work shaping a one-of-a-kind masterpiece just for your bride. Drop by and see us, and you’ll find our team offers not only the personalized service you expect from Hamilton Jewelers – because this process is too important to entrust to just anyone – but also the international resources you need to uncover that one perfect stone.
After all, you’ve already made one of the most difficult decisions of your life. Let us help you with this next one!