The Different Types of Engagement Rings

Engagement rings on display in a shop

Social media sites such as Pinterest have made the lives of soon-to-be-husbands a lot easier. When the time has come for them to start their search for the ideal engagement ring, a visit to their bride-to-be’s Pinterest page might give them the inspiration needed to make the right choice. Many women dedicate entire Pinboards to their desired engagement rings, dresses and flower arrangements, heavily dropping hints for their future husbands.

What good are these pages to man though, when they don’t include the most important details: the names of various cuts, for example. Would a woman know how to buy the right engine for their partner’s fancy sports car based on nothing but a picture? Highly doubtful.

Engagement rings exist in a category of their own, and with so many different cuts to choose from, shopping for the right one can quickly make you break a sweat and storm out of your local jeweller’s in a panic. So before you embark on your search, take a step back, wipe those sweat-pearls from your forehead and familiarize yourself with the world of engagement rings and their many styles and cuts.

This list of the most popular cuts will help you make an informed decision prior to shopping around and will allow you to remain level-headed in the overwhelming environment of a jewellery store. Read through the descriptions below and find what you feel best matches your partner’s personality and style preference.

Once you’ve made your decision, enter your chosen shop with a purposeful stride and allow the jeweller to further advise you in regards to the setting and stone possibilities for the cut you have opted for. As nerve-wracking as it may be, buying an engagement ring is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so treat it as such: enjoy the moment!

The Princess Cut

The Princess Cut was first popularized in 1961, by designer Arpad Nagy, but it remains one of the most sought after choices when it comes to engagement rings. Square or rectangular in shape, the Princess Cut has the appearance of an inverted pyramid, allowing you to bedazzle any room with the sheer sparkle of your diamond. Typically, the Princess Cut is designed for a three-stone setting or a solitaire, but more and more custom settings have become available on the market. This is the perfect cut for the modern woman who likes to combine the contemporary and antique styles to achieve a unique look. This particular engagement ring style also happens to be more economical than other cuts, such as the round brilliant cut.

The Pear Cut

Elegance and delicacy don’t immediately spring to mind when we think of the shape of a pear, but, surprisingly, it works wonders on an engagement ring. The timeless Pear Cut is a true favourite amongst engagement ring styles as it is classy but still shows a whole lot of personality. This particular style can be as flashy or subtle as you wish it to be as there is plenty of space for diamond or gemstone accents – and not just the typical solitaire or halo setting. The Pear Cut is truly customizable to fit your personal preferences.

The Marquise Cut

The Marquise Cut likens the Pear Cut, but with one major difference: while the Pear Cut is elongated on top and round at the bottom, the Marquise Cut is elongated on both sides and is therefore a lot more delicate and should be worn with care, seeing as the sides can get easily caught on things as silly as a door handle. Marquise Cuts are a popular choice for those who have opted for gemstones as opposed to diamonds, as its shape truly highlights the respective colour and turns your engagement ring into a real statement piece. Different stone or diamond settings will contribute to the overall appearance of the ring, giving you a lot of room for creativity throughout the customization process.

The Emerald Cut

If you want to lug a humongous diamond around on your finger but can’t actually afford it, the Emerald Cut is for you. This rectangular shaped engagement ring comes with a special advantage: it makes the diamond or gemstone appear bigger than it actually is and it is particularly flattering, making even the chubbiest of sausage fingers look slender and elegant. The Emerald Cut is a great choice for women who aren’t bothered about the bling effect and prefer a subtler look instead, seeing as it is step-cut and thus not as sparkly as brilliant cut diamonds. Although the Emerald Cut is quite rare, it is cheaper than the highly sought after Princess Cut, and as such a great choice for a smaller budget.

The Cushion Cut

Engagement ring trends keep shifting from year to year, but one that has seen a definite rise in popularity over the last few years is the Cushion Cut design, and this is in part due to its versatility. There are various Cushion Cut styles available including the classic cushion, the square cushion, the rectangular cushion and the chunky cushion, to name but a few. Cushion Cuts can be divided into two categories: the Standard Cut and the Modified Cut. The difference between the two styles may not be visible to the untrained eye, as they are miniscule – basically the Standard Cut adheres to the traditional cut, whereas the Modified Cut refers to slight moderations to the original cut. As is true for the Emerald Cut, the Cushion Cut has a subtle gleam to it, rather than a bright sparkle.

The Heart Cut

A long, long time ago, people believed that the heart was the centre of all human emotion, hence, the heart shape we know today, quickly became a symbol of love. And what better shape to sport on your engagement ring than the universal symbol of love? The Heart Cut is the perfect choice for the hopeless romantic! Queen Elizabeth was the first to have received a ring with this precious cut, and it only seems right that such a complex cut would have first gained popularity on the hand of a queen. Due to the complexity of the cut, it is vital that you do your research and find a highly trained jeweller in order to avoid possible disappointments. An expert will also be able to assist you in the right choice of colour, which is always an important aspect to consider when buying a diamond engagement ring, no matter what cut.

The Asscher Cut

Also known as the Square Emerald, the Asscher Cut is named after its designer, Joseph Asscher who first brought the shape to the market in 1902. It’s sturdy symmetrical shape makes this cut a great choice for those who can’t wait to flaunt their engagement ring and also makes it less vulnerable to damage, thanks to its squared corners. The cut is far less complex than that of a Heart Cut, for example, meaning it is available at affordable prices. A variety of setting options are available for the Asscher Cut, allowing you to customize it to your own preference with added micro diamonds or baguette diamonds.

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