Princess cut diamonds are the second most popular shape diamond for engagement rings. They are a wonderful option for people that like the brilliance of a round diamond but prefer a more square appearance. They will appear smaller than round diamonds, though, due to their shape and typically greater depth. The top of a Princess-cut diamond is either square or rectangular, while the bottom looks like an inverted pyramid. Princess cut diamonds are a relatively new diamond cut and were specifically designed to maximize brilliance. This is largely due to the fact that they are cut to follow the natural crystalline structure of the diamond. They also offer great value per carat, as more of the rough diamond is preserved in the cutting process. Princess diamonds are cut to achieve the highest degree of brilliance and offer maximum light return.
A marquise-cut diamond is considered a classic diamond shape because it compliments any engagement ring. When selecting a marquise diamond, color and clarity are the two most important aspects to consider. A marquise diamond is cut in a way that is similar to a round brilliant diamond, except the carat weight of the stone is maximized by lengthening it into its highly recognizable boat-shape. Unfortunately, because marquise-cut diamonds have such a distinctive elongated shape, imperfections and flaws are more pronounced than they are in traditional round brilliant diamonds.
Cushion diamonds are an interesting combination of rounded corners on a square or rectangular frame. There are two cutting styles for this shape: Cushion Brilliant, which is a more vintage cut with chunkier facets and larger flashes of light return, and Cushion Modified Brilliant, which is more akin to a modern-day round diamond cut with smaller facets and more rapid light return. Cushion cut diamonds have been around for over two centuries and as a result, offer a very antique feel for an engagement ring.