The Difference Between Engagement Ring Cut and Engagement Ring Shape

Regardless of the gemstone you are in the market for, the beauty of your jewellery piece is going to depend on the certain engagement ring cut. There is a lot to know about engagement ring cuts in order to be as informed as possible prior to purchasing a ring.

Engagement Ring Cuts

The cut of an engagement ring refers to the facets and angles of the gemstone, namely its number, proportions and symmetry. All these features affect how light reflects from the stone. The grading scale for ring cut ranges from excellent, where as much light is reflected as possible, to poor, where a large amount of light is lost from the sides or bottom of the stone. Cut is the only one of the 4Cs (cut, colour, clarity, carat) that is not naturally created when the diamond forms in the earth. When a diamond is mined, it is called a rough diamond, which is then cut to make it suitable for jewellery. The more a gemstone sparkles and reflects light, the more brilliant it is said to be. A gemstone’s brilliance in an engagement ring directly correlates to the value of the jewellery piece, so that the more brilliant the cut, the more expensive the ring will be.

Cut vs. Shape

The distinction between an ring’s cut and shape is often confusing at first. Technically speaking, cut refers to the gemstone’s ability to reflect light, whereas shape refers to the appearance of the stone. Most shapes are either round, square (cushion), rectangular (princess, Asscher, emerald, radiant), heart-shaped, pear-shaped, oval or marquise (similar to pear but pointed on both ends).

Cut and shape are closely related because stones of the same shape can be cut differently, and this accounts for huge disparities in the value of an engagement ring. A cut that is too shallow will not radiate as brilliantly as one that is cut correctly. As such, the ‘excellent’ cut ring will be far more expensive, even when the stones are the same shape.

If you have a tight budget when shopping for a ring, take your time looking through the various cuts of different jewellery pieces, because cut has a vast impact on the value of jewellery. Shape, on the other hand, does not affect price as much but is an issue of style. Choosing a shape is a matter of personal preference and should be decided on by considerations of visual appeal.