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Kelowna's Sparkling Choices: Which Diamond Cut Offers The Most Brilliance?

Kelowna's Sparkling Choices: Which Diamond Cut Offers The Most Brilliance?

Ah the question of diamond cut: which diamond shape offers the most brilliance? This is not a cut and dry question and answer but a dynamic one! With this article we hope to break down some of the most stunning diamond shapes on the market today with some insight into diamond brilliance and which is the most popular diamond shape.


The Most Important Factor

The most important factor you should consider when choosing the best diamond is not the diamond clarity. It’s not the diamond color. It’s not the carat weight or even the diamond cut grade. Diamond quality has it’s place and it certainly deserves your attention, however, the most important factor when choosing a diamond is your personal preference. Whether that the diamond you hold in your hands speaks to you. Whether it makes your heart go pitty-pat. That, my friends, is how you know it is the perfect diamond...for you. So many times we see couples get caught up in the minutia of diamond grading. The GIA certificate. What they are being told on paper is beautiful. While these details are important since they have a direct bearing on the price tag of a particular diamond, we love when she gazes deeply into the diamond and smiles. When she says with a tiny tear in her eye “its very good...that’s my diamond.”


Because it’s part of an engagement ring... have to love your diamond. Your engagement ring is going to be on your hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for, well, forever. You’ll notice it’s facet pattern when the sun shines on it. Your heart will give you a little tug when light reflection hits in just the right way. You want to absolutely be in love with the center stone. Most very good, high-quality engagement ring designers do not sell the center stone, instead they create a “ring setting”. What is a “ring setting”? A ring setting is the entire ring, including any side diamonds, but not the main center stone. This allows you to choose any shape and carat weight of diamond you desire. In this article we’ll focus on the most desired diamond shapes that can be put into any Tacori, Simon G, Noam Carver or Parade Designs engagement ring setting.


Round Brilliant cut

a round brilliant cut diamond

Round brilliant cut diamonds consistently lead the way in most popular diamond shape. Why is round brilliant cut a popular choice? A round diamond that is properly cut will have the most sparkle, fire and scintillation. Marcel Tolkowsky was a well-known mathematician and gemologist who scientifically established the best formula to cut and polish a round brilliant cut diamond. We still use his standard today!

In addition to having the most sparkle, round brilliant cut diamonds are aesthetically pleasing to the eye and look amazing in virtually any engagement ring setting. Halo settings? Yes. Bezel settings? Definitely. Prong settings? Ohmigosh...perfection!

How to choose a round brilliant cut: this cut is a pro at hiding inclusions so you may have more flexibility in clarity grade. If the diamond is GIA certified, look for a cut quality of “excellent” along with polish and symmetry being “excellent” as well. A well-cut round brilliant cut will sparkle like nothing else!


Oval Cut

oval cut diamond

Oval diamonds have been rapidly gaining ground and stolen the hearts of millions of women. If you love oval cut diamonds you’re in good company. Celebs Blake Lively and Hailey Beiber rock huge oval cut diamonds and they are stunning.

How to choose an oval cut diamond: be sure you are in love with the overall shape and outline. Some ovals are short and fat, some are long and skinny. There’s no wrong or right, just what is right for you. Look out for the undesirable “bow tie” effect when there is dark spaces in the center of the diamond.


Marquise cut

a marquise cut diamond

Marquise cut diamonds are edgy, fun and oh so personal. I absolutely adore the versatility this diamond shape offers. In 2023, look out for marquise cut diamonds set East/West on an engagement ring...we think Tacori had a little influence on this dramatic look!

How to choose a marquise cut diamond: like ovals this elongated cut is available in a variety of length to width ratios. Take for instance this dramatic extra elongated marquise engagement ring by Noam Carver. A yellow gold band with teeny side diamonds is the perfect backdrop for this rock and roll vibe.


Pear-Shaped Diamonds

a pear cut diamond

If you read my other articles you’ll know that I have so much passion for this diamond shape! Like a cross between a round cut and marquise cut, pear-shaped diamonds (aka teardrop) offer loads of brilliance with a whimsy flair.

How to choose a pear-shaped diamond: look for an overall shape and outline that you enjoy. I really like when a pear cut is very elongated, when the point is very defined. Watch out for the undesirable bow tie effect in this cut as well!


Emerald Cut

an emerald cut diamond

An emerald cut diamond of very high quality clarity and color is a sight to behold. This cut is classified as a “step cut” meaning that the facets are cut into steps, or long flat sections. This allows for a completely different sparkle: it is like looking into a perfectly clear window.

How to choose an emerald cut diamond: this cut has to be quite deep in order for a diamond cutter to get maximum sparkle to shine through so be prepared for it to look slightly smaller than other diamond shapes in the same carat weight. Also, any inclusions will be more readily visible on this cut, so opt for a high diamond clarity (we recommend VS1 or higher) on this elongated shape.


Princess Cut

a princess cut diamond

Princess cut diamond are perfectly square, an elegant, minimalist shape. The way this diamond cut sparkles is simply gorgeous. Princess cut diamonds, like round brilliant cut diamonds, look amazing in a variety of engagement ring designs. The crisp white light that is emitted looks absolutely unforgettable against the backdrop of white gold diamond engagement ring. Simply exquisite.

How to choose a princess cut diamond: it’s important to note that color is concentrated in the corners of a princess cut. This means that any tint of yellow will be more noticeable in this diamond shape so choose a high color grade if at all possible. Be sure that your engagement ring setting has prongs securing the diamond over the corners. The corners of a princess cut are quite vulnerable you’ll want the jeweler to offer as much coverage as possible.


Heart cut

a heart cut diamond

There is nothing quite like a heart-shaped diamond, I find it quite dreamy (especially in a large carat weight!) If this is your desired cut of diamond, allow yourself extra time for the diamond search. Most retailers will not have this cut on hand as it is sadly not a popular choice. At Perrara, when we get a call for a heart cut, we shop for the specific diamond for our client. That enables us to get exactly what is desired, when we need it.

How to choose a heart-shaped diamond: look for a pleasing, elegant outline. A heart cut should not feel heavy at the top, nor chubby where it comes to a point. Absolutely base your decision for purchase once you have seen the diamond in person. You’ll want to judge the sparkle and scintillation with your own eyes!


Cushion cut

a cushion cut diamond

A cushion cut diamond is rapidly emerging as a most desired diamond shape in 2023 but only if it is an elongated shape. We love the soft pillowy glitter of a well cut elongated cushion shape and think it looks equally as stunning prong set or bezel set.

How to choose a cushion cut diamond: look for a high color grade as, like princess cut diamonds, any tint of yellow will be easy to see in this cut of diamond. And like emerald cut diamonds, cushion cuts tend to be cut deeper than other shapes so if budget allows opt for a larger carat size so the overall shape of this cut can shine through.


Radiant cut

a radiant cut diamond

Radiant cut diamonds have the same rectangular outline but have more facets for more sparkle. This elongated shape is wonderful in a simple white gold engagement ring setting, may we suggest with a pave diamond foundation?

How to choose a radiant cut: look for a radiant that is neither short and fat, nor excessively long and skinny. You’ll want that 1.15 to 1.35 ratio to be quintessentially radiant. Unlike an emerald cut, a radiant cut hides inclusions beautifully so sacrifice a high clarity grade in favor of a larger carat weight!


Asscher cut

asscher cut diamond

Asscher cut diamonds can be thought of like a square emerald cut: they have an overall square outline instead of rectangular. It’s crucial to know that in order for a diamond cutter to get proper sparkle out of an asscher cut, they are cut quite deep. This means that a lot of the weight is in the depth and not face up to your naked eye. For example, a 2.50 carat asscher cut will look similar to a 1.50 carat round brilliant cut.

How to choose an asscher cut: opt for super high quality clarity on this diamond cut as imperfections and inclusions will be readily apparent. We recommend this diamond cut be set into white gold as yellow gold will tend to shine through an asscher cut, causing it to look tinted yellow.


In Summary:

Which diamond cut offers the most brilliance? Arguably the round brilliant cut. However, and this is a BIG however: every other diamond cut offers exquisite brilliance in it’s own way. My best piece of advice is to shop for a diamond with your own eyes and let them tell you which is your perfect diamond. The one you will wear forever.

With Love, Perrara

Author: Lisa Maloney, Proprietor

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