What if you could combine the old-world elegance of a historic ring cut like emerald, which dates back to the 16th century, and rework the technique to make it even more brilliant? Turns out you can, and it goes by the name of the radiant cut. This diamond shape has only been around for about 40 years but rivals its vintage predecessors, and it has been the center stone for several celebrity engagement rings, including Jennifer Aniston and Khloe Kardashian.
What Is the Radiant Cut?
The radiant cut combines the silhouette of the emerald cut with the brilliance—aka, sparkle—of the round cut. It comes in both square and rectangular shapes, typically cut with 70 facets, and its corners are beveled, making it less likely to chip.
“When selecting a radiant-cut diamond it’s important to be mindful of a well-centered cullet, parallel sides, and corners that are cut identical in size,” says gemologist Lauren Addison. If all those things are in order, the diamond's brilliance will shine through.
Pros and Cons of a Radiant-Cut Engagement Ring
The radiant cut has a natural brilliance and does not need additional details to shine. Although bold, it maintains a sleek, clean figure due to its emerald-cut roots. And since this shape has defined corners, there is less chance of the stone chipping and scratching throughout normal wear.
There are a few cons to the stone, however. Radiant-cut diamonds have a lot of depth to them and carry most of their weight underneath the stone. This can lessen the brilliance of the diamond, so if you want extra shine, you will have to increase the size. The deepness of these stones also means that the setting of the ring needs to withstand the diamond's weight, which also adds to an increase in pricing.
What to Look for in a Radiant-Cut Ring
- What makes a radiant-cut diamond high quality? Once you settle on a square or rectangular shape, you’ll want to ensure the ratio is optimal. “For a traditional rectangular-shaped radiant, the ideal ratio is 1.25, although anywhere from 1.20-1.30 will fall within the target parameters. For a square-shaped radiant-cut, a ratio between 1.00-1.03 is best.”
- What settings work best for radiant cut diamonds? If shine is your goal, you probably should go with an open-prong setting as it will allow for superior light interaction. “If you’re looking for a bit more embellishment, consider adding a diamond halo or setting your radiant with fancy-shaped side stones, such as trillions,” says Addison.
- How wearable is it? This cut is very versatile and makes for a diamond that's great for everyday wear. If you opt for a larger radiant cut diamond, consider a setting, such as six-prong or bezel, for maximum protection.
How to Care for Your Radiant-Cut Diamond Ring
Addison emphasizes the importance of caring for your diamond as you would any other piece of fine jewelry and that all begins with cleaning your ring regularly. To break down the inevitable buildup of dirt and oils, I suggest soaking your ring in a simple solution of warm water and liquid soap every few weeks,” she says. “Gently scrub with a soft-bristled toothbrush, rinse, and pat dry. Avoid abrasive chemicals and ultrasonic cleaners, as they’ll do more harm than good.
It's also important to know when to take it off, like a day at the beach, working out at the gym, or during tasks like gardening or cleaning. You should also regularly check the prongs and settings to make sure they haven’t loosened or chipped. A good rule of thumb: If you shake it and hear the diamond clinking against the setting, head to your jeweler.
Finally, consider insuring your ring. “Whether you add your engagement ring to your existing homeowners or renters insurance or secure a personal jewelry insurance policy, you’ll want to know that your ring is covered in the case of loss, theft, damage, or even disappearance.”
Convinced that the radiant cut is the right diamond silhouette for your engagement ring? Ahead, scroll through 11 stunning and unique options to keep an eye on.
J.R. Dunn Radiant Ultra Thin Solitaire Engagement Ring Setting
The thin band on this radiant-cut diamond ring makes the silhouette feel elegant and versatile. It’ll pair harmoniously with other rings on your hand but is statement-making enough to stand on its own.
Brilliant Earth Six-Prong Petite Comfort Fit Engagement Ring
This customizable ring is sleek and stunning. The slim band highlights the radiant-cut stone that sits at the center of the ring. The ring is a comfortable fit, which allows for additional ring stacking.
James Allen Radiant-Cut Diamond Tapered Baguette Ring
This ring combines a radiant-cut diamond with the popular baguette diamond shape. The radiant cut remains at the center of attention while the baguette diamonds highlight the stone and the ring's band.
Best Brilliance 1.8 Carat Radiant Shaped Diamond Engagement Ring
A handmade ring is the ultimate symbol of personalization and affection. This handcrafted engagement ring has a 1.8-carat stone in a sleek and delicate shank. The band is customizable and can be finished with gold, platinum, white gold, or rose gold.
Pampillonia Radiant-Cut Yellow Diamond Ring
Yellow diamonds are an excellent option and add the right amount of color to any ring. This radiant-cut yellow diamond stone sits between two trapezoid-cut diamonds. The thick platinum band highlights the stones and adds a regal shape to the ring's overall design.
Vrai Signature V Engagement Ring
This v-shape engagement ring is modern and elegant. Not only is the design of the ring stunning, but the radiant-cut diamond that sits at the front of the ring is eye-catching, too. Held by four classic prongs, the stone sits elevated and nestled within the setting, highlighting the shape of the ring.
Vrai Duet Engagement Ring
This double-band engagement ring takes you on a journey with its unique shape. The intricate craftsmanship of the bands has a graceful silhouette that shows elegant curves, and the rings join at the top to hold the radiant-cut diamond at the center. The duet of the bands and the stone make this ring the perfect combination of modern and traditional.
James Allen Radiant-Cut Diamond Cable Solitaire Ring
The cable knotting around this band is a statement-maker—the intricate detailing wraps throughout the entire band and leads up to the radiant-cut diamond.
M&V Vanguard 1.71 Carat Radiant-Cut Diamond Ring
The cathedral shank on this engagement ring holds a clean and elegant radiant-cut diamond. There are additional diamonds that highlight the stone and create a gallery underneath the diamond.
Vrai Curator Engagement Ring
This 14k rose gold ring looks like a work of art. The pavé diamonds give a ring a touch of symmetry throughout the band, and the radiant-cut diamond adds balance to the ring's design.
Kobelli Radiant-Cut Moissanite and Diamond Engagement Ring
This ring has warm hues, thanks to the gleaming rose gold. The radiant-cut diamond sits wrapped by a string of smaller diamonds.
Meet the Expert
Lauren Addison is a designer and gemologist based in New York City. She began her career in a luxury diamond house in Manhattan and went on to earn a graduate gemologist degree from the Gemology Institute of America. She’s been working in the jewelry industry for 13 years and owns an eponymous jewelry company that focuses on custom bridal pieces.