The Centre Stone

When selecting an engagement ring, arguably the most important element is the centre stone. Whilst engagement rings come in a number of different types, designs and styles. Featuring a variety of gemstones: from diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds, amethysts and beyond. Whilst certain ring styles may give varying degrees of importance to the gemstone or stones, none can take away the importance of the centrality of the centre stone. Here will provide a brief overview of the importance of the centre stone: the main factors that one needs to consider when purchasing them in relation to the cut of the stone, with the top gemstone cuts that are used for stones-diamonds and the top diamond alternative-that feature in this prominent position.

The caption of the image

Why the Cut of the Centre Stone Matters

As noted the centre stone is the main and arguably the most visible aspect of an engagement ring. In addition to the style, which provides the design language of the ring, the type of gemstone, diamond or otherwise, all feature a designated cut. The cut is the particular way in which the diamond or other gemstone has been shaped: involving varying number of facets, and with varying quality of the cut: which would differ in terms of shallow, deep or ideal would also come to determine the quality and value of the gemstone.

Cost of the Gemstone

When it comes to buying an engagement ring, in addition to the specific style, the cost is arguably the most important factor. And the price of the ring is greatly determined by the type of stone that is found on the ring. The stone, whether diamond or sapphire or any other variety, vary in price, based on colour, carat, cut and clarity. When it comes to gemstone price the cut of the stone is often not given the kind of significance as factors that make up the 4Cs (or 6Cs in sapphires). However, the cut of the gemstone plays a key role in the final price of the gemstone and by extension the engagement ring. For cut would accentuate the colour and clarity of the stone, depending on the original character of the rough stone from which it is cut. This is especially important in gemstones like sapphires, where the colour is not always universally dispersed. In diamonds type of cut (e.g. oval or round brilliant cut) could mean a considerable price difference for the same carat size; as certain cuts preserve more of the rough stone in relation to others.

Visual Character of the Gemstone

The most notable feature is how the stone looks on the ring and on the wearer’s finger. The cut of the stone varies in terms of different facets, edges and the type of surface area that is visible from various angles. Depending on the cut of gemstone the visual character will vary considerably, and the many options, that we shall outline below, can correspond to various preferences of individuals. As the names of the various cuts: pear, princess, emerald etc. Can correspond to the specific tastes of the wearer that go beyond the visual style of the gemstone cut.

Light Reflective Character of Stone

The manner in which the stone interacts with light is one of the most important factors to consider. As the brightness and durability of the stone are among its key factors, the nature of the cut, and the quality of cutting will determine how well the stone is able to interact with light and produce the desired visual effect. This is especially important when it comes to diamonds: where elements like scintillation, brilliance, fire come into play. It is important to note that the type and quality of cut, will accentuate or weaken these effects in diamonds or other gemstones where such effects are present.

Top Gemstone Cuts and Shapes

The origins of gemstone cuts come from the world of diamonds. Whilst diamonds are not the only gemstone in use, in the modern era (since 20th century) diamonds have come to dominate the market for fine jewellery. Particularly engagement rings, where diamonds remain the top choice. It is important to understand that gemstone cuts that are outlined here all correspond to diamonds. And they are known in the industry as diamond cuts, however, in practice, they also apply to other gemstone types. Here are the main diamond/gemstone cuts that we shall learn about.

Round Cut

Round cut stones are arguably the most popular type of gemstone cut. The most popular variant of this type being, the round brilliant cut. Known for its high number of facets (57) and is among the best when it comes to its ability to interact with light. This round cut is the best-known cut in the diamond world, and is among the most expensive, but comes at a higher price and loss in carat of the stone, which is removed in the cutting process.

Oval Cut

Another popular cut is the oval cut, which as the name implies features an elongated ‘O’ that features prominently on the surface of the ring. The oval cut is a relatively new addition to the diamond cut range, and technically the oval cut is not exactly a distinct cut, but rather a modern take on the round cut range. It's known for its bow-tie effect and its interesting middle position in terms of style.

Emerald Cut

Emerald cuts, as one may have expected come from the world of diamonds, this diamond-cut takes inspiration from traditional cut emeralds, and its origins go back hundreds of years to parts of Colombia. Emerald cuts are among the distinct gemstone cuts that feature an elongated shape, with larger edges and a distinct crown. Emerald cuts are a rarer choice in the world of diamond cuts and are usually preferred by those who wish to go for emerald gemstones, as it seems like a logical choice. For an emerald cut, an emerald cut gemstone, and by extension, an emerald cut engagement ring seems natural. 

Princess Cut 

Among the more standout cuts, the princess cuts is a stone with a rich heritage, that is defined by its upside-down pyramid structure, and is noted for its ability to enhance the sparkle for the stone. Featuring facets that may range from 56 to 57, with bevelled sides that make it one of the top diamonds, and later gemstone cuts in the market.

Cushion Cut

One of the visually more comfortable cuts from which to choose from, with smooth edges, and a larger surface area, the cushion cut is one of the simpler designers and is found in a number of sub-variants, in terms of the pavilion design. Whilst it is not the most popular gemstone cut, the cushion cut comes packed in with interesting features that set it apart from the rest, noted for its larger culet and its ability to preserve more of the rough stone.

Mixed Cut

This is one of the more outlandish additions to the world gemstone cuts, the mixed cut's adoption was mainly driven by the popularity of coloured (non-diamond) gemstones. Since the character of coloured differs, whereby the colour is an important variable, and gem cutter sought to enhance the natural colour of the stone, which unlike diamonds were weaker in terms of their brilliance and fire. Mixed cuts come in a variety of forms by the presence of multiple combinations of more conventional gemstone cuts.

Pear Shape

Among the more natural shape that takes inspiration from the world of the living, pear shape or pendeloque cut is a modified version of the round cut with a distinct edge towards the end, that is defined by a carefully shaped symmetry. What can be considered a more youthful option, and is a popular choice for a younger generation, with a more expressive style, which is valued for the quality of the pear cut, which in practice is often tough to pull off. So finding the right jeweller who can manage it is key in going for this gemstone cut.