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Sarah Jane Santos, gemologist at Queensmith Master Jewellers, chats to us about choosing the best diamond shape for an engagement ring following a surge of proposals this year. She explains, "we're spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing that perfect diamond shape for our engagement rings. Diamonds are mined in their rough form, before being meticulously cut and polished to the optimal dimensions that demonstrate the stone's beauty and sparkle. Most diamonds are cut for brilliance, meaning every facet is proportioned, cut and polished to enhance the sparkle of the stone. These shapes are called brilliant-cuts. Alternatively, diamonds can be cut in a stylised fashion that celebrates the clarity of the stone."
Here, Sarah gives us a guide to the most popular shapes:
*Round diamonds are a traditional choice because they are the diamond shape that best enhances the stone's sparkle. With an optimal number of perfectly proportioned facets, the brilliant-cut achieves greater sparkle than any other shape. The round diamond lends itself well to most ring designs, and has an iconic, feminine quality that stands the test of time and style. They tend to be marginally more expensive than other shapes, due to high demand plus the fact that more rough diamond is wasted during cutting to achieve the shape.
*Similar to a round diamond but elongated, oval diamonds are amazingly flattering and elegant in style; other than round, they're the most adored shape amongst Queensmith's engagement ring buyers. Their elongated nature means they can appear larger than a round diamond of the same carat weight. Like round diamonds, ovals are feminine and versatile and suit most ring designs. Marquise diamonds always make for an incredibly cool and unique engagement ring. It's a bold choice, and a shape we see more women choose for themselves, rather than partners choosing for a surprise proposal!
*Cushion cuts offer a gloriously vintage look that are typically square in shape with rounded corners and are very feminine and always an enchanting choice. They can be found in elongated styles which are very flattering.
*Emerald cuts are a perfect example of the beauty of step-cut diamonds. First engineered to celebrate exquisitely clear emeralds, the shape is now used to exhibit diamonds with high clarity in their best light. The shape is extremely evocative of Art Deco design, so makes a beautiful choice for those with a penchant for anything vintage in style.
*Princess cut diamonds have seen less demand in recent years. Despite the name, the angular diamond shape can look cool, whilst the brilliant cut offers great sparkle.
*The base of a pear or teardrop diamond is structured similarly to a round brilliant-cut stone, meaning the shape exudes serious sparkle. Finding a well proportioned pear diamond is important; avoid shapes that are too long and skinny, and those that are too rounded. The perfect pear diamond will make for an ethereal and romantic yet modern engagement ring.
*Asscher cut diamonds are ultra contemporary and the eye is drawn to the centre of the stone thanks to a structure of perfectly squared, step-cut facets. With clipped corners, some refer to the shape as octagonal, but when set within a ring design, asscher cuts appear square. Interestingly, the asscher cut is the most similar shape to a diamond's natural, uncut structure.
To arrange an appointment, visit https://www.queensmith.co.uk