Diamond Cuts and Shapes for Engagement Rings

Are you stumped by all the engagement ring cuts out there? Even if your bride-to-be has told you the exact ring cut she wants, you still may feel… a little clueless. What’s a princess cut versus a cushion cut, and what does it all mean? Fear not! We put together an easy guide to all the engagement ring cuts, from a classic princess to an elegant Asscher, so when you finally decide to buy, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting—and giving.

Types of Engagement Ring Cuts

Here, we’re breaking down 13 of the most popular engagement ring cuts—and yes, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. But it’s the primer you need to get you in the right direction—and you’ll get a little extra scoop too, like which engagement ring cuts match which personalities best, and which celebs rock each cut. (See the best celebrity engagement rings here!)

1. Princess Cut Engagement Rings

Photo by Mikkel Paige Photography

About: You know how you have that one pair of pants that looks great with every shirt you have? The princess cut is that pair of pants. This perfectly square shape looks amazing with many styles of rings and bands, and it’s an extremely popular cut. Another great thing about the princess cut engagement ring is that it is generally less expensive than rounder cuts!

For: A princess! An every girl who still appreciates a healthy dose of glamour.

Celebrities with princess cut engagement rings: Hilary Duff (while married to Mike Comrie), Kate Bosworth, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi

2. Cushion Cut Engagement Rings

About: The name really explains this one. The diamond is literally in the shape of a cushion – so, a square cut with rounded edges. The cushion cut engagement ring is a very classic, popular and trendy cut, and it’s been around for almost 200 years. If you have absolutely no idea what your lady would like, other than to be surprised, then the cushion cut is always a safe bet. From a simple plain cushion diamond to a cushion cut with pavé diamonds surrounding it, she will be in awe.

For: The multi-tasker. The cushion cut gives you a little square, a little oval, and a whole lot of versatility.

Celebrities with cushion cut engagement rings: Kim Kardashian, Sofia Vergara, Ashley Tisdale

3. Emerald Cut Engagement Rings

Photo by Coco Tran

About: An emerald cut does not mean the stone is green (although, colored rings are big these days). Emerald is just referring to a shape, much like the shape of green emeralds. The emerald cut is similar to the cushion cut, except that it boasts a rectangular shape (not square) with angled edges, and there are longer line cuts in the stone. The stone is more flat, but flat is not bad at all in this case – this is a very elegant look!

For: The uptown girl. Sleek and timeless, the emerald cut is an endlessly sophisticated choice.

Celebrities with emerald cut engagement rings: Beyoncé, Amal Clooney, Angelina Jolie (while married to Brad Pitt)

4. Marquise Cut Engagement Rings

About: Plain and simple – it’s the football-shaped ring. This ring is long and narrow, much like a football, and this type of shape makes the stone appear larger than it is. It also has the largest crown surface area of any other diamond, meaning it sits the highest above its outer edge, showing off a lot of rock. So, in the words of Lil Wayne, “Every time I come around yo city, bling, bling.” And, if your future bride is self-conscious about the length of her fingers; this ring has the ability to make her finger look longer!

For: As it’s the engagement ring cut that shows off the most stone, this is for the lady who likes to shine! It’s also for the bride-to-be who likes to stand apart from the crowd, as you really don’t see the marquise every day.

Celebrities with marquise cut engagement rings: Victoria Beckham (her original engagement ring; she’s had many upgrades since!), Ashlee Simpson (with Art Deco flourishes), Catherine Zeta-Jones (set east-west)

5. Asscher Cut Engagement Rings

About: If the cushion cut had a baby with the emerald cut, it would come out looking like the asscher cut. The asscher cut has features of both of the other two cuts, as it is somewhat square but with cropped corners and it’s a bit flatter than others. The asscher cut engagement ring is one of the most expensive cuts, so be prepared to spend some big ones if you go with this option (it’s a big hit in Hollywood).

For: The artist. As one of the more geometric engagement ring cuts, if your lady loves her modern art (or is simply a fan of symmetry), she’ll adore this stunner.

Celebrities with asscher cut engagement rings: Gwyneth Paltrow (while married to Chris Martin), Jessica Alba, Elizabeth Taylor (technically, the 33-carat ring wasn’t her engagement ring, but it’s certainly the most iconic bling Richard Burton gave her)

6. Round Cut Engagement Rings

Photo by Valorie Darling Photography

About: Well, this is self-explanatory – the stone is simply round. This is one of the most popular engagement ring cuts, perhaps because when light hits a round diamond, you get a lot, a lot of shine. Get your sunglasses out if you’re looking for one of these.

For: The traditionalist. It doesn’t get any more classic — or romantic — than a round stone in a Tiffany setting. The best thing about this stone? It pair with just about anything — including your choice of wedding bands.

Celebrities with round cut engagement rings: Lauren Conrad, Miranda Kerr, Mila Kunis

7. Oval Cut Engagement Rings

Photo by Valorie Darling Photography

About: An easy one: the oval engagement ring cut is shaped like — you guessed it — an oval. It’s similar to the round cut, of course, but the oval shape creates a more unique look and even makes the stone look bigger!

For: Vintage lovers, as the oval shape of the stone will give the engagement ring a very retro feel.

Celebrities with oval cut engagement rings: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Blake Lively, Julianne Hough

8. Pear Cut Engagement Rings

About: The pear cut essentially looks like a teardrop. I polled a few of the HowHeAsked girls and most of their Moms have the pear cut in their engagement rings. It’s a beautiful and classic shape especially when other stones accompany it. Pro tip: If you decide to go with the pear shape, make sure that when she says yes and you put the ring on her finger, the point is pointing up at you!

For: For the girl who likes her tradition with a twist. The cut is more than 500 years old, but the fancy shape still puts a fresh spin on the more commonly spotted round of princess cut.

Celebrities with pear cut engagement rings: Margot Robbie, Katherine Heigl, Princess Charlene on Monaco

9. Rose Cut Engagement Rings

About: Since Justin Theroux proposed to Jennifer Aniston with a rose cut diamond engagement ring in 2012, there’s been a boost in interest for the rose cut, whose facets are said to resemble the flower. What’s interesting about this cut is that it has a flat base, so all the facets — anywhere between 3 and 24 — are on the crown.

For: The subtle beauty. With less facets than, say, a brilliant cut round stone, the diamond will have more a “glassy” finish than your standard solitaire. But this antique cut originated in the 16th century, and went strong as a ring cut for about 400 years. Who can deny the romance in that history?

Celebrities with rose cut engagement rings: Jennifer Aniston, Camila Alves

10. Heart Cut Engagement Rings

About: So this can be one of the toughest engagement ring cuts to work with. If you’re looking to get a smaller stone, it may be difficult to do a heart cut. Since both sides need to be exactly the same size and shape, it is much harder if the jeweler is working with a small stone. Unless your bride-to-be has specifically asked for a heart cut, be careful of this one – it’s not for everyone.

For: The ultimate romantic and girly girl. It’s shaped like a heart, after all!

Celebrities with heart cut engagement rings: Lady Gaga

11. Brilliant Cut Engagement Rings

About: Here, “brilliant” doesn’t correspond to a shape so much as a finish. It refers to the number of facets a stone boasts — and when it comes to brilliance, the more facets the merrier. The original brilliant cut engagement ring, introduced in 1919, has 58 facets, but today, that number can go as high as 96.

For: The bling queen. This cut is built to sparkle, so it’s perfect for the girl who dazzles everyone she meets — with or without the diamond.

Celebrities with brilliant cut engagement rings: Amy Adams, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Fergie

12. Radiant Cut Engagement Rings

About: The radiant cut is, well, radiant! And ravishing! The original radiant cut engagement ring is a mix of the round and emerald cuts. The cutting style used to cut this shape is known as the “step cut” which allows for a very glassy appearance. This is another cut that looks great with a lot of different settings.

For: Another one for the glamazons! If she likes the sparkle of a brilliant cut round stone but prefers a square shape, you’re in business.

Celebrities with radiant cut engagement rings: Megan Fox, Drew Barrymore (while married to Will Kopelman), Khloé Kardashian (while married to Lamar Odom)

13. Trillion Cut Engagement Rings

About: The trillion cut engagement ring’s shape? Triangle, of course! (Hence, “tri.”) The trillion cut mimics an arrowhead, always pointing up, which makes it perfect for the…

For: The Illuminati devotee. (Kidding!) The upwards point makes up think the cut is perfect for the eternal optimist — or the adventurer, pointing in the direction of your next destination (especially if you choose to set the son horizontally).

Celebrities with trillion cut engagement rings: None, as of now! Though plenty (including Eva Longoria and Elizabeth Hurley) have accented their rings with trillion cut side stones.

And there you have it!

I understand that picking out a ring may sound overwhelming, but a good suggestion is to talk to your soon-to-be fiance’s mom, sister or best friend – especially if you want the ring to be a total surprise. If not, talk through the engagement ring cuts (and other details!) together and be sure to keep in mind all of the qualities your lady wants in a ring. For an added touch, you can also get a bit crafty and carve into the band. A little message as simple as “I love you” or the date of your wedding is perfect.

Good luck and be sure to share what you chose how you proposed with us!