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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 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.
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.
Keep reading to learn more about radiant cuts and what to look for when shopping for a radiant-cut engagement ring.
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 20 stunning and unique options to keep an eye on.
Porter Gulch Jane Ring
If you’re considering ditching the idea of a diamond as your center stone, a radiant-cut sapphire is equally as gorgeous. This 2.53-carat 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 pavé diamonds. All of Addison’s diamonds are ethically sourced, according to the Kimberley Process guidelines, and are certified by the Gemological Institute of America.
Mark Broumand Radiant-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring
If you're seeking a ring that is a true conversation starter, meet your perfect match. This ring by Mark Broumand shows stunning details like the 3.37-carat 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.
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.
Brilliant Earth Platinum Horizontal Petite Comfort Fit 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 and 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 Ring
Mixed with white and yellow gold, this ring is full of color and brilliance. The band is slim and lined with smaller diamonds for additional shine. The 0.75-carat radiant cut diamond sits high on the band, making it great for adding another band underneath.