Deciding on the cut and shape of the precious gem in an engagement ring used to be a pretty simple affair: it simply had to be a round brilliant diamond. With its 56 to 58 facets that capture and maximize the light to produce the greatest brilliance, the round brilliant remains the most popular choice among brides-to-be.
Fancy Gemstone Shapes
Yet “fancy” shapes such as the Marquise, pear, oval, Princess, emerald, cushion, and Asscher have surged in popularity in recent years for the flair and individual personality they project on the wearer. Many more couples today are custom-designing their engagement rings to reflect their own tastes and preferences, not only in the setting, shape and cut but also the non-diamond alternatives like sapphire, aquamarine, Morganite, and moissanite they choose as the centerpiece symbolizing their love.
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Shape vs. Cut
Did you know? The shape and the cut of a gemstone are two different things. As the Gemological Institute of America explains, the shape of a stone refers to its geometrical form (round, oval, pear, and so on). Of course, while a gemstone must be cut to give it its shape, the “cut” refers to the arrangement of facets that gives the stone its “face-up” appearance and determines its brilliance or sparkle (that is, how light passes through or refracts inside the stone rather than reflecting off its surface).
Whatever its shape, when it comes to brilliance in a diamond or other gemstone, it’s all about the cut — one of the 4 C’s to gauging a gemstone’s quality. Learn more about the 4 C’s.
What Shape is Your Gemstone? 8 Types to Consider
When deciding on the shape of your gemstone, here are eight types to consider (with thanks to our friends at the Knot):
A well-set Round gemstone will give you the most sparkle for your buck. The round cut is the oldest, most classic cut and the most sold shape of gemstone on the market. These are some of our favorites from our exclusive Rosados Box collection:
A Princess-cut gemstone has a rectangular or square shape with pointed corners and more intricate facets, which add brilliance and increase the stone’s inherent sparkle, making flaws less noticeable.This design emerged in the 1960’s and has become one of the most popular cuts today (as well as one of the most affordable). Some of our favorites from Rosados Box:
A Cushion, also known as a pillow cut, is the perfect marriage of both modern and classic lines with its squarish shape and rounded corners. Because of its larger facets, the cushion works best for larger-size stones. Some of our favorite Rosados Box cushion engagement rings:
The Marquise has an elliptical shape with pointed ends that can make fingers look leaner and more slender. We love this shape paired with a Celtic knot-inspired design. Or, wear the Marquise mounted east-west style for an edgier flair! Some of our favorite Rosados Box designs:
An Oval gemstone is nice on smaller hands or shorter fingers, because its elongated shape gives the illusion of length to the hand and fingers. Perfect for vintage lovers! Dress it up with a halo or keep it simple as a solitaire. Some of our favorite designs from Rosados Box:
The Pear or teardrop shape can stand alone without elaborate accent stones because of its unique, unbalanced proportions. A popular shape for those with a bohemian streak. We especially love the pear-shaped aquamarine, morganite, and moissanite gemstones in these Rosados Box engagement rings:
The Emerald Cut is a rectangular shape with with long, lean facets and a flat top that best show off the stone’s clarity. Occasionally used for diamonds, this cut works best with colored gemstones like Tourmaline, aquamarine, and emerald (after which the cut was named).
The Asscher Cut, named for the Dutch brothers who introduced it in 1902, is a square version of the Emerald cut, but chunkier and with clipped corners. The shape is perfect for vintage and art deco lovers. Some of our Rosados Box favorites:
Build your own dream ring! Check out our 3D Experience.1