A diamond cut, put simply, is the style or design used when shaping a diamond for polishing. This doesn’t mean the shape, but rather the symmetry, proportioning and polish of the diamond – all of which affect the stone’s brilliance. If your diamond is cut poorly, it won’t sparkle or shine anywhere near as radiantly as the top quality cuts you find at respected jewellers such as Marlow’s Diamonds. That being said, most cuts are easily identifiable by their shape, such as the round, pear or heart diamond.

The quality of a diamond is determined by the “four C’s” – Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat weight. A Carat is simply is 1/5th of a gram, with the average weight for an engagement ring being about 0.37 Carats. Colour and Clarity are fairly obvious – the clearer the diamond, the higher the quality; the colour really just depends on personal preference. The most important thing when buying an engagement ring is generally the cut – so how do you know what cut is best for your other half?

The round brilliant diamond is the most popular diamond shape and cut, and accounts for about 75% of engagement rings sold. This is mostly because they’re the easiest to cut with the least diamond lost in the process, and actually reflect the most light for their size – hence the name round brilliant.  In fact, this brilliance to size ratio is the reason that princess diamonds are the second most popular cut for engagement rings. Diamonds which have an awkward shape before they are cut are often cut into something other than a round brilliant, called “fancy cuts” – fancy really just means “not round brilliant”.

The first thing to consider when choosing your cut is how the ring will complement the hand wearing it. The shape of the finger will affect how the ring looks on the person wearing it, so don’t expect that your grandmother’s engagement ring will immediately suit your other half. People with shorter fingers tend to prefer elongated stones such as the pear, oval or marquise. By contrast, people with longer fingers tend to prefer the radiant and princess diamonds as they can make the fingers appear shorter. People with larger hands tend avoid narrow shapes like the emerald or marquise diamonds as they won’t look proportional. Different cuts suit different fingers better, so it’s always best to try on a variety of rings to see what they look like – don’t just rush at your first choice.

Personality is also an important deciding factor when buying an engagement ring. If you’re buying for someone who’s quite traditional, go for a traditional cut like the round brilliant in a solitaire setting. If, on the other hand, you’re buying or someone who’s sentimental and romantic, a pink diamond in a heart shape may be better. Talk to the staff at the store – the better they know the person you’re shopping for, the better the match you’re likely to find.

It may seem obvious, but the person you’re buying for is always the most important thing to think of when buying an engagement ring. If the ring is a surprise, try to subtly examine the hand before you go shopping, and possibly bring a friend as a hand model. Think about the person’s taste and lifestyle, and if they will like the same ring as you. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help – if you’re at a quality jewellers like Marlow’s Diamonds, the expert staff will know what to look for. Use their advice and you’ll find a ring that both you and your other half will cherish forever.