Everything to know about radiant cut engagement rings

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Shopping for an engagement ring can be incredibly exciting. But if you’re new to the world of diamonds, selecting the right stone (let alone an entire ring) can be daunting.

There are plenty of different cuts to choose from out there, but one of the best-looking and best-value cuts is the radiant cut. It’s worth a look!

What is a Radiant Cut Diamond?

A radiant cut diamond is a rectangle or square diamond that looks like a mixture of an emerald cut and a round brilliant cut. It has 70 facets—more than any other diamond cut—and has incredible sparkle. By comparison, round brilliant cut diamonds only have 58 facets.

A Brief History of the Radiant Cut

Compared to other diamond cuts, the radiant cut is a relatively new invention. Henry Grossbard, a master gem cutter in New York, designed it in 1977. His goal in creating this new style was to combine the beauty of the round brilliant cut and emerald cut, two classic diamond cuts that are still popular today.

The radiant cut became incredibly sought-after when the 1980s rolled around. Part of the slight delay might be due to the challenge of creating it. Thanks to its precise 70 facets, a radiant cut diamond can be difficult for even very experienced jewelers.

How Do Radiant Cut Diamonds Stack Up Against Other Cuts?

If you’d like to buy engagement rings, you should know that it’s the crucial decision before your engagement. Choosing the cut of your diamond is one of the most important parts of selecting your engagement ring. Radiant cuts are relatively uncommon, but they do have some notable advantages.

1. They Often Look Larger Per Carat

Having a large diamond isn’t everything, but one of the perks of the radiant cut is that it often looks larger than other cuts of the same carat. That’s largely due to the relatively long diagonal measurement. Of course, its sparkle rivals that of larger diamonds, too!

2. They Have Awe-Inspiring Fire and Brilliance

These two features might sound the same, but each is a different quality. A diamond’s brilliance is the white light reflected off of its facets. Very brilliant diamonds have a captivating, sparkling effect. Radiant cut diamonds are incredibly brilliant, and they are second only to the round brilliant cut diamond.

Fire, on the other hand, refers to the colored light that’s refracted when it hits the facets of the diamond. Like other diamonds with strong fire, radiant cut diamonds seem to split light into tiny rainbows.

3. They’re More Durable

Durability in a diamond might not sound like something you need to consider. After all, diamonds are some of the most durable things on earth! But depending on the type of cut and the everyday stresses a diamond is subjected to, chipping or cracking is possible. This is especially true of square diamonds, whose pointed corners can become especially vulnerable.

Unlike other square and rectangular diamonds, radiant cut diamonds have beveled corners. These carefully-shaped corners are unlikely to chip even if the wearer has an active lifestyle.

4. They’re Often More Affordable

This particular cut preserves a considerable amount of the initial stone, so very little goes to waste. The radiant cut itself is an expensive one to perform, but jewelers typically charge less for the final product because so much of the rough diamond is preserved.

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Consequently, radiant cuts are almost always cheaper per carat. They can be as much as 56% less expensive than round brilliant cuts of the same color, carat, and clarity!

Radiant Cuts: Pros and Cons

When you’re making a decision as important as this one, it can be helpful to have a concise breakdown of the pros and cons. Here are the main ones to consider when deciding whether or not to get a radiant cut stone:

Pros:

  • Thanks to the shape, they often look bigger than they are.
  • They have impressive brilliance, fire, and sparkle—three things you want in a diamond!
  • They’re resistant to chips, scratches, and other damage.
  • They offer better value per dollar spent than other diamond cuts.

Cons:

  • The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) does not offer grades for radiant cut diamonds, so you will need to assess quality yourself or hire a trusted jeweler to do so.
  • The cut enhances the diamond’s color, so if you go too far down on the color scale, your diamond might look discolored.
  • If the diamond is poorly cut, you’ll see a darkened “bowtie” region on the surface.

Should You Get a Radiant Cut Diamond?

We recommend radiant cut engagement rings because of their glittering appearance, durability, and unparalleled value for money spent.

Of course, there are other factors to consider when buying a diamond (like grade, size, and clarity). But once you’ve selected your cut, you’re that much closer to finding the perfect ring!  

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