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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 forty-plus years but rivals its vintage predecessors.
What Is the Radiant Cut?
The radiant cut combines the silhouette of the emerald cut with the fire and brilliance of the round diamond. It comes in both square and rectangular shapes and is typically cut with 70 facets. Additionally, the radiant cut’s corners are beveled (opposed to sharp), which results in a more durable diamond that’s less likely to chip.
History of the Radiant Cut
In the late 1970s, master diamond cutter Henry Grossbard created the radiant cut. His aim to merge the timelessness of a square silhouette with the brilliance of a round is why this fancy cut diamond has been the center stone for several celebrity engagement rings, including Jennifer Aniston and Khloe Kardashian. Grossbard’s family fled a Nazi camp in occupied France and after arriving in America, he went on to hone his diamond skills for over 30 years.
Pros and Cons of a Radiant Cut Engagement
Radiant cut diamonds combine traditional shapes like a princess cut and emerald cut—making a radiant cut diamond. This diamond has a natural brilliance and does not need additional details to shine. Even though the cut is bold, the radiant cut still maintains a sleek, clean figure due to its emerald-cut roots. And, since this shape has defined corners, this lessens the chance of the stone chipping and scratching throughout normal wear.
Although radiant cut diamonds have some of the best diamond qualities, there are still cons to the stone. 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, and means that 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 Diamond
“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,” gemologist Lauren Addison tells Brides.
- 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.”
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 (GIA). She’s been working in the jewelry industry for the last 13 years and owns an eponymous jewelry company that focuses on custom bridal pieces.
- Do radiant cut diamonds show flaws? Because of the numerous facets, a radiant cut “better conceals inclusions and enhances color,” Addison explains. It also disperses more light, which means more sparkle.
- What settings work best for radiant cut diamonds? If shine is your MO, 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,” Addison recommends.
How to Care for Your Radiant Cut Diamond
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.
Secondly, she suggests knowing 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, Addison encourages 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 simply disappearance.”
Convinced that the radiant cut is the right diamond silhouette for your engagement ring? Ahead, scroll through 20 stunning and unique options to keep an eye on.
Porter Gulch Julia Ring
If you’re considering ditching the idea of a diamond as your center stone, a radiant cut sapphire is equally as gorgeous. This 4.62ct teal-blue-green parti sapphire (ethically sourced from Madagascar) is set with natural white diamonds to give the ring a truly unique, delicate finish.
Lauren Addison Radiant-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring
Double down on the sparkle and go for this radiant cut ring that’s mounted with trillion-cut side stones and highlighted by pave diamonds. All of Addison’s diamonds are ethically sourced according to the Kimberly Process guidelines and are certified by the GIA.
Mark Broumand Radiant Cut Diamond Engagement Ring
If you're seeking a ring that is a true conversation starter, then meet your perfect match. This ring by Mark Broumand shows stunning details like the 3.37ct radiant cut diamond surrounded by small, round diamonds that illuminate the ring. The platinum band makes the ring look wispy, clean, and bright from every angle.
James Allen Radiant Cut Diamond Tapered Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring
This ring combines a radiant cut diamond with the popular baguette diamond shape. The radiant cut diamond remains at the center of the attention of the ring, 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 radiant cut engagement ring has a 1.8ct 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
For a unique engagement ring, steer away from traditional stones. Instead, choose a stone with some color. Yellow diamonds are an excellent option and add the right amount of color to any ring. This radiant cut yellow diamond stone is a 1.66ct that 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 The Signature V
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 V-shape setting, highlighting the shape of the ring.
Vrai The Duet 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. The rings join at the top of the ring 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.
Brilliant Earth Platinum Horizontal Petite Comfort Fit Engagement Ring
It's no secret that radiant cut diamonds have some of the most unique settings, and this ring is no exception. The design of the ring plays on a traditional shape, but adds a playful touch with the horizontal stone setting. The radiant cut diamond sits horizontally on the sleek platinum band, and although minimal, the ring is full of shine.
Brilliant Earth Mixed Metal Waverly Diamond Engagement Ring
Mixed with white and yellow gold, this ring is full of color and brilliance. The band is slim and lines with smaller diamonds for additional shine. The 0.75ct radiant cut diamond sits high on the band, making it great for adding a unique band underneath.