If you're going to put a ring on it, it can't just be any old ring. Most brides will go for the round brilliant cut—in fact, it accounts for some three-quarters of diamonds sold worldwide—or the fancy cut, meaning anything other than the round brilliant. But there's a whole glittering world of gem cuts out there to explore, and they don't even have to be for diamonds.
If you're looking for something a little more unexpected, leave this story open on your browser for your hubby-to-be.
(Related: How to Buy the Right Engagement Ring)
The Asscher Cut
Bonheur solitaire ring in platinum set with an Asscher-cut diamond by Van Cleef & Arpels
The Asscher cut has a royal history and an arresting interior, so there is nowhere for imperfections to hide. There are actually two Asscher cuts—the original created in 1902 and the Royal Asscher cut, which has a higher crown and more facets. The Asscher cut is patented by Royal Asscher but is also used as a commodity term.
The Rough Cut
Talisman ring set with rough-cut diamonds, De Beers
Raw, unprocessed gemstones are natural beauties—earthy, full of character, and some even say they have mystical powers. Diamonds have a natural octahedral shape, while emeralds, sapphires and rubies are hexagonal. Well-designed rough stone rings are a versatile and fashion-forward choice.
The Embrace Cut
Embrace ring with white diamonds, Nirav Modi
Created by India’s diamond king, Nirav Modi, Embrace is not so much a diamond cut than an ingenious technique. It’s essentially a stretchy, flexible band made entirely of metal—it has some 90 moving parts and is studded with diamonds. No fear of size changes with this one.
The Sugarloaf Cut
Diamond ring with a sugarloaf-cut emerald as a centre stone, Graff Diamonds
This non-faceted antique cut gets its sweet name from the predecessor of the sugar cube, and is a variation on the cabochon cut. Sugarloaves have a flat square base and four sides which taper to a point like a mountain, and the cut is used on coloured gems to bring out the richness of their hues.
The Endless Cut
Ring set with Endless-cut diamonds, Nirav Modi
The Endless cut is an icy, understated engineering marvel that was also created by Nirav Modi. Unlike a solitaire, it consists of a seamless ring of diamonds which are held together without the use of prongs or any visible metal. Each piece has to be customised to the wearer’s exact measurements.
The Trilliant Cut
Rose gold princess- and trilliant-cut diamond eternity band, Graff Diamonds
The trilliant or trillion cut has all the scintillation of the round brilliant in a more unusual shape. These rare cuts are often used as accent stones or in eternity rings. Trilliants were created by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. Trillions, which have rounded sides, were created by Leon Finker in Amsterdam in 1978.
The Radiant Cut
Ring set with white and yellow diamonds and a fancy vivid yellow radiant-cut diamond, Chopard
Radiant cuts are square or rectangular and very fiery—perfect if you want the brilliance of a round but the shape of an emerald. Radiants are similar to princess cuts but are more brilliant and have cropped corners. They also intensify colours, so they’re a great choice for coloured diamonds.
The Cushion Cut
Satine ring with a cushion-cut central diamond, Dior Joaillerie
Also known as the pillow, old-European or old-mine cut, cushions are gently rounded squares that ooze romance and charm. It’s not the most brilliant, but over the course of its long history (it was invented in the 1830s), the cut has undergone many subtle alterations to improve sparkle.