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.
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. 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.
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. And 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 five stunning and unique options to keep an eye on.
Anna Sheffield Bea Three Stone Ring
Eschew a traditional engagement ring aesthetic and go for this 18k yellow gold and 2.03ct champagne diamond ring. The indie jewelry designer is a favorite amongst brides-to-be looking for options that speak to modern taste.
SHOP NOW: Anna Sheffield, $16,300
Katkim Radiant Double Band Engagement Ring
The double band on this 1.04ct 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.
SHOP NOW: J.R.Dunn, $5,500
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.
SHOP NOW: Porter Gulch, $7,420
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.
Price available upon request.